Colonial broadcasting company

Caprica City, Caprica

"You're on in fifteen minutes, Mister President."

"Thank you," answered Adar. The young aide looked almost giddy being in his presence. "I'll be ready," he said and then flashed his best smile, one that he had perfected over the years.

Gods, he hated the press. But right now he was needed to be seen by the people out in the open, giving them confidence in the power of the government. The entire war was threatening to fall apart and his advisors were all in agreement – the people needed to seem him, hear him speak, let them know that he cared for them and most importantly that he was strong and in charge. Things were going to change. No more hiding – not if they were going to win this war.

The summary report Adar had just read made that explicit. It wasn't encouraging. The military was shaky and the Tau'ri seemed invulnerable, not that they were, not by a long shot. But, as he knew so well, image was everything and sometimes the perception alone could defeat a nation.

The resources, all of those lives, all gone now. His nation was reeling simply because a single little world hadn't become part of the family as they were supposed to. If they had simply allowed themselves to be brought to heel then all this could have been avoided. But they had fought back, viciously and they defeated the Colonial fleet, something that even a Cylon armada would have been hard-pressed to do. It should have been over but against all common sense they declared war on their own people and destroyed Picon! That changed everything. It was no longer a simple battle between worlds. It had morphed into a conflict that would decide the fate of a dozen worlds. If lost history would judge him a fool.

No, it wasn't his fault! It is imperative that this war be won! Sooner or later this war will end and it had to end in the Colonial's favour. If the Colonial people were to live in freedom, then the Tau'ri had to be stopped before they became too strong. Their influence had to be ended in any place that they claimed as their own, or in their rage the Colonials would see just what kind of savageries these people were capable of. Adar sighed. He was determined that this war would end with the Colonials the victors no matter the costs. Failure could not even be contemplated.

"So say we all," he muttered and this time he meant it for all it was worth.

Six hours earlier:

Caprica Command and Control Centre

Castor Security complex Alpha

Level Five-Athenia City

Page seven-hundred sixty- eight section six: Summary Evaluation Report code-Castor:

Summary Code Castor - Section One: Assessments

To the esteemed Leaders of the Quorum, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol:

Since the start of the state of war between the Twelve Colonies and the Earth government known to us as the 'Tau'ri' the Colonies have suffered massive casualties and losses unseen in any previous war. At the behest of President Adar, the Research and Development teams of the Military, the corporate leaders of the most massive civilian companies and corporations, the head personnel in charge of Militaries Logistics, and the top three university 'Strategic Sophists' were brought together to discuss the true state the Colonies existence at this time, the state of our enemy known as the 'Tau'ri', as well as what steps will need to be taken to win this war.

First, our assessment of the current state of the Colonies will be identified and detailed. Second, an assessment will be made of the Tau'ri and their capabilities with the information available at this time.

In the first battle of this war, the Colonies lost a grand total of one hundred fifty nine ships of the liberation fleet, and additional twenty seven capital ships with one heavily defended military anchorage, over two billion civilians, and the industrial might and capabilities of one of the most industrialized of the Twelve Worlds. The epidemic currently sweeping through the rest of the surviving Colonies is further exasperating the situation, even with the gradual discoveries of inoculations against this Tau'ri Plague we are still hard pressed to contain the virus from the colonies at large. From an economic standpoint, the Colonies are in the greatest crisis ever faced with the total loss of Picon, as Picon served as the main trade hub throughout the Colonies as well as host to the Colonial Military headquarters. It held a great deal of manufacturing and supply capabilities and its destruction now hampers the logistics of the war more than any other current factor.

As it stands, these conditions set the Colonies as a whole, back on military production and manufacturing by six to eight months. It will take that minimum time to get them back up to their previous levels, and at least three years for us to return to the full capacity that Picon would have brought to the Colonies as a whole. At this point in time the Colonies are not at our full industrial might, and unless actions are taken now to address this issue, they never will be. Each of the Colonies must expand their own production and manufacturing facilities in order to cope with the loss of Picon.

With the quarantine of Picon and the military blockade of its surrounding space, civilian cargo must now take longer access routes to travel and deliver their cargos, resulting in longer shipping times, increased fuel expenditures, and more wear and tear on parts leading to longer repair and maintenance times. As Picon will be contaminated for at least five hundred years or more because of radiation, virus mutations and atmospheric pollutions, this results in long term issues for the Colonies civilian and commercial traffic that must be addressed as soon as possible.

The Colonies have also suffered massive losses to fighter pilot and ship crew numbers in the liberation fleet, forcing the Colonial military to draw on its reserves and any enlisted military personnel with artillery or piloting experience to account for the losses. The issue at the time is that while the government is bringing the reserves to bear, it is left with a minimal number of reserve personnel in case the recalled military men and women of the Colonies are lost against the Tau'ri. This can only be solved through training the newly enlisted personnel so that they are of any real use to the military, though this eats away at time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. There are a lot of volunteers but those numbers may be insufficient. A universal draft law may be warranted in the immediate future.

This will of course be fought against by more than one of the remaining worlds in regards to total militarization of their populace, smaller worlds such as Aerilon and Sagittaron. The basic pacifistic slant of both worlds when compared to the more violent histories of Picon and Caprica pre-articles would lead almost a full five percent of the remaining Colonial strength refusing to assist in any form of employment of their skills.

The Tau'ri are a bit harder to assess, though some general statements regarding them at this time can be postulated. However, it must be stated, that further Intel on them is needed if the war is to be successfully prosecuted. This is a matter of utmost importance. Without further, reliable intelligence on the enemy, this war may very well be lost.

Summary Code Castor –

Section Two:

Known Tau'ri Capability

To begin, what is known for certain of the Tau'ri will be summarized. Other information that has been accumulated but has little documentation to support concrete evaluations will be speculated upon until further Intel can be gathered to support or contradict said speculations.

Item One: This speculation is based on initial conversations with the Doctor Daniel Jackson and the Tau'ri, and observations from our own probes. It indicates that Thirteenth Colony holds somewhere in the ranges of five to eight billion people on its surface. In comparison, the most populous of the Colonies in the entire history has only held three point six billion people.

Item Two: From recorded evidence taken from our probes it is known that the Tau'ri ground fighting Forces are as good as any within the sphere of Colonial Air and Ground Assault Forces, though it has been observed that they have had more experience and may in fact be more combat effective than Colonial ground forces of equal training and experience.

Item Three: The Tau'ri are more technologically advanced than us in certain military technologies. This cannot be denied or ignored.

These are the three things known for certain which can not be modified without further Intel. However, speculation and deductions can be made on generalities of what is believed to be the situation with the Tau'ri.

Summary Code Castor –

Section Three Speculation:

Item One: Speculation is that the Tau'ri holds fewer resources or that their resources are spread out much further than the Colonies. This can be deduced from fact that the Tau'ri have not pressed further incursions into the territories of the Colonies. Because of these lack of resources, it has been speculated that the Tau'ri attacked Picon to buy themselves time with which to build up their forces in preparation for a series of attack on the Colonies leading up to an invasion.

Item Two- part one: Speculation as to why and how the Thirteenth Colony, under the control of the Tau'ri, is as technologically advanced as it is. It is currently believed that one of three scenarios is the likely explanation for why the Tau'ri are more scientifically developed than anything we have previously seen. The first is that the show "Trek to the Stars" is in fact a documentary of previous historical events and that the previous Federated Earth government got involved in an interstellar war which left them and their territories decimated afterwards. There is circumstantial evidence adding to the credence of this theory by the ruined worlds encountered by the exploration fleet that precluded the Liberation Fleet.

Item Two-part two: The second possible scenario is that Earth barely survived a conquest fleet by alien life forms (refer to section thirty-nine subsection eight on possible evidence of non-human life forms), and that Earth has been reverse engineering these captured alien technologies and integrating them into their forces in the wake of their victory and rise to power. Given the scenario of a true alien invasion, this in turn could have given rise to the Tau'ri coming into power. With the previous groups within the governments failing to stop an alien threat from destroying their world and civilization, the peoples of the world would have turned to those who not only could have promised a chance at victory, but those who could actually accomplish such a promise.

Item Two-part three: The third scenario believed is something in between the first two.

While these scenarios may seem fanciful, the circumstantial evidence currently being evaluated from recorded Earth visual data, and the data and observations of the observed worlds leading to and near Earth space that have been utterly ruined and destroyed, presents evidence that needs further evaluation. Given the incredible technological gap between the Tau'ri and the Colonies of Kobol, this evidence leads the researches and analysts to believe that the former Federated Earth was involved in a large interstellar war somewhere between fifty to two hundred years ago with an alien race, and that the Federated Earth and her Colonies were decimated, leaving a power vacuum that 'The Tau'ri' used bring themselves into power and have used back-engineered alien technologies to place and keep themselves in power. The timeframe is uncertain as to when this possible interstellar war and the Tau'ri's rise to power would have occurred in as we do not know how much devastation, death, and destruction were wrought to Earth and her possible Colonies. Much of their advanced technology may have been lost and it is very likely that their so-called world wars were the Tau'ri's attempts to gain and consolidate power and reacquire some of that lost technology from different parts of Earth.

Given that there was only one energy weapon aboard the Tau'ri warships, data leans towards Earth and her Colonies having suffered extensive damage, with the Tau'ri only just rediscovering their previous sciences alongside their use of back engineered, possibly alien technologies before contact was made between the Colonies of Kobol and the Tau'ri. This explains why they were both so primitive yet so obviously advanced. The greatest concern however are the Tau'ri's creating and installing more of these energy weapons into their ships. Colonial military vessels as they are cannot stand up to this sort weapon. The military need to quickly find out if they are developing more capital energy weapons, and they must make an extreme priority of destroying any such facilities or shipyards responsible for the manufacture and installment of these weapons.

Weapon's-wise, a Tau'ri ship is already superior to any ship the Colonial military can currently field. Given the range of their attacks, the sort of sensors needed for those ranges, the rapid response of their anti-fighter craft guns and fighters, the energy shielding their vessels have, their ship speeds, and the materials their vessels are made out of, it is strongly assumed that they may be on an equal if not greater footing than the Cylons in terms of their computer technology and general knowledge of the sciences. Given that Earth's average amount of data being transmitted at any given time is estimated to between twelve to sixteen times more than Picon and Caprica combined at their peaks, we believe that the Cylons, even if they were to somehow infiltrate the Tau'ri computer systems, would be inundated due to the sheer amount of information flowing through them. This is assuming that the Cylons could adapt and infiltrate what is essentially an alien computer data system that they would not know anything about. Of course, this scenario also assumes that the Tau'ri and the Cylons do not know of each other or are not in contact with each other, something that can't be determine one way or the other without further Intel. However, it is the supposition of the analysts that the evidence leans towards the Cylons and the Tau'ri being unaffiliated with each other at the time of the publication of this report. That supposition may change in time as more intelligence is gathered. The Tau'ri may seek the Cylons out, if the two have not had previous dealing with each other. This is something that the Colonial military and government must do everything in their power to prevent if at all possible. This must be prevented at any cost. Again, it is imperative that the Cylons must be prevented from gaining access to Tau'ri technology!

Another issue that must be investigated regards the words of the American North Tau'ri leader 'Henry Hayes'. Earth was believed to be a myth until the Tau'ri stumbled onto us. It must be assumed that there are many other human populated worlds. We must assume that some of them are as advanced if not more so than the Tau'ri and evidence points towards the fact that there is another interstellar power unaccounted for that even the Tau'ri are wary of. Doctor Jackson's words indicated that the reason the Tau'ri considers some of those unaffiliated worlds as 'brethren' is due to the fact that the Tau'ri lacked the time or resources to conquer them, instead deciding to spend their time and energy on other matters related to Earth, such as dealing with their own internal troubles.

Looking at the recorded visual evidence, we see that the Tau'ri military was slowly being turned into a branch of the Tau'ri Government in the form of a Police Force. The Army of the American North shows the most obvious signs of this. We must also assume that the Tau'ri are employing the use of drugs their 'Militarized Police Forces' to help in controlling their populations. The evidence is circumstantial on this, but it cannot be discounted.

Summary Code Castor –

Section Four:

Recommendations to be considered

Given the situation and assessment of the war at this time, an initiall outline has been generated of things that need to take place for the war to be won. The first and foremost is the need for accurate and continious intelligence of the enemy. This Intel is desperately needed if this war will be prosecuted to a sucessful conclusion. Because of the lack of reliable intelligence data there are many vital unanswered questions at this time. The most pressing question is whether Earth has colonies of its own to draw men and material from, as well as the pressing concern over whether the Tau'ri have a base situated somewhere near the Colonies. While the CDF can and should continue scouting the outlying systems

we must know whether or not ships are entering Earth's solar system from other, unidentifed sources. This in turn will definitively determine whether or not the Tau'ri are receiving outside help and how much of it they are getting and may give cluses as to where these support ships and supplies are coming from and if there is a Cylon connection. This in turn can allow the Colonial defense forces to create a more effective assessment of how much ship building capacity they can bring to this war, a good framework for how many colonies or at least allied nations are supporting them, and a general idea of whether or not the Tau'ri are moving outwards or consolidating themselves inwards. If they are consolidating inwards then their resources would appear to be limited and as such they are vulnerable.

Rigorous investigation of the surrounding Earth systems are strongly recommended and continued observation of the Tau'ri
home world is critical. If the Tau'ri are sending ships and supplies outwards, it must be assumed that they are creating forward bases and outposts from which to spy and attack the Colonies of Kobol from and are preparing stragetims aimed towards going on the offensive. If they're receiving ships and supplies and logistical support from other places, colonies, bases or other unknown sources for Earth, then they already have colonies and outposts under their control, and are working mainly on creating the numbers of ships needed to wage effective war. It is now surmised that there are other interstellar powers within the galaxy, the worst case scenario being that Earth already has the ships needed to wage war against Colonial interests, but have spent their time waging a covert war against another enemy and do not have the time or resources to focus full attention to the Colonies.

If this worst case scenario is the situation being dealt with, then it would be advisable to find a way to encourage this other power to fight thereby weakening the Tau'ri military base. The Tau'ri have powerful technology at their disposal, but it isn't believed that that they have the logistics they would need to win a two-front. Given that Earth is only slightly more industrialized than Sagittaron, it is presumed that the Tau'ri may be suffering from issues of a supply bottleneck in this war. However, a single Tau'ri ship with an energy weapon is worth three dozen Colonial capital ships and their fighter escorts, barring suicidal rammings Therefore it is imperative that intelligence be acquired of their current ship numbers, as well as their ship building times. Crtical data as to whether or not they're producing more of those terrifying energy weapons used by the Tau'ri ship the "Prometheus" must be obtained. Captured samples of this or any of the other Tau'ri technologies is strongly encouraged so as to provide a counterweight against their weaponry.

The posibility of other human occupied worlds is high and information is needed to determine if there are any other humans worlds out there willing to stand against the Tau'ri. This data should include location, their technological capabilities, their dedication to the customs and piety of our ancestors through which every nation and city is sustained. And worlds that should be avoided at all costs must be located and idenified for future reference. Separate protocols must be created as to how to approach these worlds, and it has been suggested that the main Judiciary Tribunal, the College of Pontiffs, and the military be the ones to decide on such a list of directives for how to go about such a contact.

However if the war situation continues with the technological gap left as it is, the the greater Colonial industrial might must be made to bear in the fight against the Tau'ri. This would however require time we may not have. While it is unthinkable, if this action cannot quick y negate the technological advantage the Tau'ri have, then the government may need to enter into talks with them, even if only to gain more time. If this can't be done, military plans for the disruption of the Tau'ri economy and production must be created in an attempt to stall them while allied forces are built up in order to overwhelm them with sheer numbers. Above all else, again and this point can not be overstressed, Intel is needed if effective counter strageties can be formulated against the tauri in order to win this war.

Regarding the remaining Colonies, expansion of our industrial and manufacturing centers on each and every surviving world must be increased. This war in terms of ship losses is already as bad as the Cylon war almost a half century earlier, and (under present conditions) it will get worse before it gets better. Each of the Colonies needs to decrease their reliance on shipments of goods and materials from the other colonies worlds, and they need to increase their own food production rates. Anchorages should be moved into a further orbit away from the worlds they protect so that if the Tau'ri do destroy them that they won't rain down on our worlds like they did on Picon. We need to create planetary defense batteries (Rail or Coil Gun weaponry in combination with missile batteries) on the surface of the Colonies themselves to help protect the worlds from near orbit objects and ships. The Tau'ri make use of effective heavily armored combat vehicles they call 'Tanks' and armored fighting vechiles.

It is stroungly advised that our own armored mobile weapons be upgraded to aid our own ground troops, as early tests proved these tanks to be insanely effective as killing craft against both armored personnel carriers, buildings, and infantry. Strategies must be developed that will disrupt the powerful Tau'ri sensor and communications equipment. Resources such as petrolieum, Tylium, hull plating, and Faster-Than-Light Engines and assorted parts for it must be stockpiled and protected aganist Tauri incursions. Without these essentials materials, our ships will not be able to take the fight to the Tau'ri or hold out against a dedicated offensive conflict from them.

Another series of suggestions were brought up by the esteemed Gaius Baltar's computer tech teams regarding what we can do to further protect our computer systems from both and the Tau'ri and possible Cylons attempts to subvert our computer systems as they attemptedto do during the first war. The first suggestion was that communications and sensor systems be separated from from the rest of the computer systems that control Colonial ships. Items such as the engines, the pressurized doors and hatches, and the weapons systems should use separate and individual non-integrated computer systems. Under those conditions, if one of them is compromised or otherwise disrupted, the interference will be obvious to spot and will remain separate from the rest of the systems. A second recommendation is that we should partition and hardwire a small section of our systems to a hardset of code and having each computer check and double-check their system codes against the original code as a means of further security.

While the second suggestion is the most likely path to a data-system that the Cylons cannot hack into, the terrifying scenario of someone altering the main code has also been put forth. In regards to that unlikely, though terrifying scenario, a third suggestion of giving each ship its own individual security code has been put forth and it is felt that this would give Colonial military defense systems another layer of security to prevent the Tau'ri or Cylons from exploiting our computer and network securities.

Logically because of minimal r
esources, the Tau'ri should try to disrupt Colonial economies and its ability to wage war by purposely attacking shipping and industry as well as resorting to the use of general terror tactics similar to what was experienced druing the cylon agression thirty-eight years ago. Given the Tau'ri's lack of logistics in comparison to the Colonials, as well as their previous use of terror tactics, it is believed that they will try to intimidate the Colonial people into submission at they start to attack the foundations of civilization. The Tau'ri will hit the economy, homes, food supplies and distribution, and the sense of pride and security, and our very beliefs. The Tau'ri from the current information, lack the numbers needed at this point to do anything else. Given this, scenarios and plans should be developed to deal with future Tau'ri terror attacks.

Preparations must be made in the event that they strike Caprica. The ruling body of the Government must be relocated elsewhere as needed. Evacuation plans need to be created, supplies of all sorts need to be stockpiled, heavy re-enforced shelters need to be built. The destruction of large numbers of cities, production centers, and shipyards by the Tau'ri before they are driven off and destroyed must be taken into account. Unless the Tauri become desperate. it is not believed that another Picon-like event will occur where the entire planet is rendered uninhabitable, as the majority of the damage done to Picon was done by the anchorage itself as it fell back into the atmosphere due to the Tau'ri attack. As the anchorages are being moved much further away from the worlds they orbit, more time will be given to each world to remove or otherwise destroy any debris before it could cause the same level of devastation that it did to Picon. However, preparations must be made in the event that the Tau'ri use radiologic and viral weaponry against Colonial interests even though current data sugests that the Tau'ri's primary aim will be too subjugate rather than to outright destroy.

There will be later suggestions and proposals made, but this preliminary summation represents the most up-to-date status of the current situation, and these suggestions are of things that can be done right now. Stockpiling on a massive scale should be begun as soon as possible. More Intel is required.

End of summary.

Present time:

Caprica network broadcast corporation (CapNBC) and the Colonial broadcasting company (CBC) presents the following report: Colonies under Siege!

"Good evening everyone, I'm Kellan Deanoir reporting on day one hundred and ninety-three of the Colonial-Tau'ri conflict. We've been following events in the last week of the as yet unidentified plague that has devastated the survivors of the Picon attack by the Tau'ri. Leonis, Canceron and Virgon colonies have reported sixty seven million people have contracted this highly virulent airborne disease. Those colonies have been quarantined, isolated from the rest of the colonies in a desperate effort to keep the plague from spreading. There have been thousands of cases where people who seemed well in the mornings are found to be in dire straits that same evening. Speculation has run wild that the unknown virus originated on Picon and is being spread via respiratory contact. Hospitals have been overwhelmed by the unknown virus that has so far claimed more than fourteen million reported lives in just the last three weeks on Caprica, Aerilon and Tauron, anywhere the Picon refugees have been relocated. There are over one hundred fifty million confirmed cases recorded so far and unconfirmed cases are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions spread across five planets. People are quarantined in their homes. There have been reports that terrified Colonials are killing Picon refugees in several cities. Colonial militia equipped in full decontamination suits has been called in to maintain order. We will continue with our ongoing coverage after this special broadcast.

Tonight, the leader of the Twelve Colonies, President Richard Adar, has consented to come to our studio and grant me a personal interview to discuss the state of the war and the conditions of Picon and the state of readiness in our conflict against the Tau'ri. This is the first one-on-one interview that has been granted since the conflict began and our station and the CBC expresses its appreciation for this unprecedented interview. Mister President, thank you for coming here."

"You're welcome. It's good to be here."

"But first before we begin, I want to play an excerpt of that historic speech that changed the course of a mission of liberation to an interstellar conflict."

Across the twelve colonies and three clocked Earth probes and several Cylon intercept-stealth satellites the scene changed to show the previous interview.

President Adar: "Three days ago I received a report from the commander of the fleet that was deployed to rescue the recently rediscovered residents of the planet called Earth, known to us as the fabled Thirteenth Colony, to regain their place with us, their brothers. It was decided by the Quorum of Twelve, my military advisors and I, that the Earth needed to be liberated from their oppressive government whose control over Earth borders on totalitarianism. They were separated from us, completely unaware of and at the mercy of Cylons who could have destroyed them had they discovered them. It has always been our intention to offer them our protection and my forces assured me that there are hundreds of millions of people who would welcome us. Therefore, we sent our fleet in numbers that would ensure their protection and the removal of those we know as the Tau'ri. But I am mortified to tell you my people, that instead of coming together to be once more a reunited people, that in an act of unbridled aggression the military of that world destroyed more than a hundred of our vessels without provocation. Our forces entered their system but we believed that the people would rise up and overcome their oppressors without much bloodshed. Our military was prepared for any offensive tactics used by their space military. However…

"However," the moderator continued as the tape was cut off, "the fact was our military suffered a defeat not seen since the Cylon/Colonial war. That defeat shook the very foundations of the government and destroyed our confidence in the Colonial military ability to protect us. How confident are you that, under current conditions, our worlds can be protected against Tau'ri aggression should they continue their acts of genocide against the surviving colony worlds?"

"After the initial reports of the defeat by the Tau'ri military began to come in, our analysts were attempting to understand just what happened. I received an emergency courier just hours before the attack on Picon informing me of the failure to liberate the people of the Thirteenth Colony. The survivors of the massacre at the Apellai System were returning to our outermost base and were still in a state of retreat when Picon was attacked.


"That is our Colonial name for the Thirteenth Colony. The Apellai system is most appropriate as it is derived from the archaic root word apollymi meaning 'to destroy'. They are destroyers, even naming their ship Apollo after the word, a conscious decision to cause fear amongst our people, as much so as the other well known traitor names of Prometheus and Daedalus. From the evidence we've accumulated since the attack on Picon, we strongly believe that the Tau'ri were planning this attack from the beginning and were waiting for an opportune moment to proceed with their mission of terror."

"Couldn't they have tracked the courier to our territory and then attacked?"

"No," answered Adar with absolute conviction. "Their ships are small and the underpowered FTL drives are primitive and would take many months to get to the colonies. Besides, there is no known way to track a stealth-runner class courier. There is no trail to follow as the ships move from point to point instantaneously." There is no trail to follow." He paused for a second weighing his words. "Our military believes that the enemy has a forward base somewhere near the Colonies and we have been efforting to discover that base of operations. The timing between the arrival of the courier and the attack is coincidental."

That confession shocked and frightened the reporter. "But the military hasn't found the ships that attacked us yet. They could conceivably launch another attack on our worlds!"

"No," consoled the President. "The Colonial military will not be caught unawares ever again. Never again will we suffer the horrors of Picon. The people will be safe from any form of sneak attack by the cowardly enemies that struck our peaceful world. Every system in the immediate area has been searched and we believe that wherever they were that have since abandoned their base. That supposition is supported by the fact that there have been no further attacks against our colonies."

"At this time…"

"At this time," agreed Adar. "I can assure you that there will be no more repeats of the attacks that we've suffered. I am taking every action necessary to safeguard the people of the twelve colonies. We will be resolute and vigilant so that no one, be they Tau'ri or Cylon, will ever again perpetrate such acts of genocide against our people. Because of this loss, our military is becoming stronger than ever. The people of this great nation are rising to the front, volunteering in huge numbers not even seen during the Cylon uprising, begging to be trained to protect everything that we know and love. We have new ships being designed, and we're protecting our worlds with diligence. The newest Mercury-class and Warstar combat groups are patrolling the colonies ensuring the utmost protection we can afford. We will not be caught unawares again," he said with conviction. "And we are also pursuing more aggressive combat patrols along the Cylon border to counter any intrusions or possible attacks from that quarter."

The reporter looked concerned. "We haven't violated the treaty by entering their territory, have we?"

"No, we are abiding by the treaty stipulations."

"But it is possible that the Tau'ri ships that attacked Picon are hiding inside Cylon territory."

"That is a possible scenario, however we have no confirmation and until there is we will not violate the treaty, but that is a possibility, yes. As I've said before there appears to be a link between the Tau'ri of Earth and the Cylons. How far and how deeply this extends, we are unsure at this time. If this suspicion is confirmed then it indicates just how dangerous the leaders of the Earth Cabal are and how much they are willing to sacrifice to maintain their terrorist grip on the people of Earth. We've already seen evidence of this."

"What evidence? Are you referring to the genocide on Picon?"

"No, I am referring to the genocidal practices of the Tau'ri government against their own people. It's not just the use of nuclear weapons on their own world against their own people. We have video evidence of the other atrocities committed by the Tau'ri. You've been briefed that we have obtained information on a recurring video programming called the station of History or as they call it, the History Channel. That program has broadcasted some of the most heinous sights that we've ever had witness to. Our analysts have been able to accurately translate the narrator's language. What we have seen is incontrovertible proof of the lengths in which the Tau'ri government will go to, to stay in power."

"We haven't been privy to those images yet, Mister President."

"You will very soon," Adar promised. "They're being released to the public right now and I promised you will be enraged as we were by what you see. The videos explain that less than sixty years ago, the Tau'ri waged a war against the rest of the planet. They were responsible for the deaths of millions of people placing their political prisoners in internment facilities they termed concentration camps, starved and systematically killed. The creators of the History channel tried to blame others but the evidence couldn't be hidden. Soldiers of the American North, Englanda Britannia and a province called Germanea, watched and very likely participated, as uncounted millions were sent to gas chambers to be poisoned and slaughtered like so much cattle. Other political prisoners were burned in ovens, men, women, children," Adar grimaced. "Those soldiers were seen to be helping those poor people whose only crime was that they believed in the gods instead of the religion of the cabal, but other pictures clearly show them herding those people like cattle to their deaths. Their only belongings were stacked in piles to keep them from being damaged while the victims were herded naked into ovens. Women's hair had been shaved and placed in bundles probably to be used for the production of wigs for the vanity of their Tau'ri oppressors. There was mass starvation, an action that is continuing to this day in some of the more oppressed regions. I – I have never witnessed anything like that, something that is blasphemy to the gods of the highest order, but I forced myself to watch, to bear witness of something we suspected for some time."

"For some time?" the moderator asked. "The people weren't told of any atrocities being perpetrated on the Thirteenth Colony. When did you find out about these alleged actions?"

The President looked into Kellan's eyes and steeled himself. His own eyes darkened as he started to explain. "I must make it clear that it is not the population but the Tau'ri cabal responsible for this carnage, although I have little doubt that there are many collaborators on Earth more than willing to revel in the blood on their hands. Several years ago, we were visited by an unknown ship we know as the Tau'ri-controlled vessel Prometheus. At that time we discovered that it was from the fabled Thirteenth Colony to which by the majority of accounts had been labeled as little more than a myth. The Battlestar fleet Helena under the command of Commander Etwaters initiated the first meeting with other humans near Caprica for the first time since the formation of the twelve colonies. First, we had to ascertain if this was really a first contact or some sort of deception by pirates or other organizations, or even the Cylons. It was quickly determined that they were indeed what they said they were. Doctor Daniel Jackson one of their langua specialist, understood the language of their ancestors, and it was through him we were able to develop a line of communication.

Doctor Jackson told us that the ruling class of the Thirteenth Colony was called the Tau'ri and that their ship was on a partial mission of exploration to discover other human worlds. They were apparently to surprise to see the advances that we made and were interested in developing closer relations with us. It then became our responsibility to get a better understanding of these people and that was the beginning of our uncovering the true facts of the state of Earth and the oppression the people there were forced to live under. The Tau'ri, Jackson explained, didn't believe in the gods, that they were false and they, the Tau'ri fought against them in some sort of secret war. We now know that that war was nothing less than the eradication of the belief in the gods on the Earth. He spoke of their forced labor camps and indoctrination centers designed to change the minds and hearts of the people. Furthermore, they wanted to know if we would become allies in their mission to completely subjugate Earth and several small colonies and in return they would share technological advantages they had developed. The Etwaters' response was one of outrage and he ordered the ship confiscated and the crew detained."

"But why would he do that? The Prometheus was effectively a ship from another government that we have no ties with yet. What right did we have to detain them?"

"Officially, none whatsoever. In retrospect, Commander Etwaters erred in his actions. Unofficially, however his actions were precipitated by the subsequent actions of one General Jack O'Neill, the leader of the Tau'ri military forces that butchered so many Colonial lives at the massacre of ApellaiThree or what the Tau'ri call Sol Prime. He was the one who ordered Daniel Jackson to cease further communications. He was the one who, after receiving the order to surrender, immediately fired several missiles which crippled two cruisers, a destroyer escort, and destroyed several Vipers before they used their as yet unidentified FTL drive to escape retribution. Those revelations and actions were the official reasons given to the public for the orders to liberate the Thirteenth Colony and reunite them once more with their brethren. However, the real reason we sent our brave brothers and sisters to earth was to liberate the people from the murderous control of the Tau'ri. What you have not been told, until now, that is, is that the Prometheus used nuclear missiles to destroy a secret forward base we had monitoring the Cylon border. Tens of thousands of our people were butchered without even knowing that they were at war. They're responsible for the deaths of millions, the revelation to the Cylons of the forward base such murderous actions can't be ignored. The deaths of our brave men and women weigh heavily on my mind. I can hear their souls screaming for justice at the way they were murdered. Every night, I can hear them crying for their lost brothers and sisters dying on Earth. I ordered the men and women of the colonial forces to save their brothers and sisters from the horrors being inflicted on them by murderous and vile people such as Jackson and O'Neill. I could not remain complacent and something had to be done. After private consultation and personal meditation with the gods, and intense discussion with the Quorum I informed them of my beliefs and decisions. The quorum agreed with me and developed plans taking everything we knew into consideration for a successful outcome and to free those enslaved."

"But it didn't work out that way. The Colonial forces were defeated and outgunned by what was considered a vastly inferior force by our force commanders."

Adar's face looked pained. "Inferior in numbers, but not in strength."

"So our intelligence gathering was inadequate when it came to the power and capabilities of the Tau'ri navy. From my understanding we had surveillance probes monitoring the planet for quite a while, so how did this lapse in intelligence occur?"

"The Tau'ri were able to hide their true capabilities from our intelligence services observing the planet. We were correct on the numbers of ships they had in service, but woefully inaccurate when it came to those same ships ability to inflict damage to our forces. Admiral Nagala was unprepared for the kinds of resistance the Tau'ri were able to mount against our forces. Reports are still coming in however. Apparently, Nagala had chosen a strategy which allowed the enemy ships to use their superior speed to outflank and damage our forces. He hesitated, trying to give the enemy ample opportunity to surrender before she sanctioned lethal force. The Earth military forces under the command of General O'Neill opened lines of communication and then immediately attacked during opened communication unconscious of the articles of conflict and proceeded to decimate our forces. Nagala's attempt at mercy was thrown back in his face."

"Even during the battle the Tau'ri were flaunting the fact that they were in league with non human races. Their fighters are close to identical in appearance to the old style Cylon war craft. Their lines and basic configuration were more than obvious to the intelligence gathering personnel within the fleet. We knew this from the first contact with the Prometheus, but the fact that hundreds, maybe thousands of these fighters fought against the fleet confirm that the Tau'ri while using the same basic doctrine when it comes to their fighters they use them as force multipliers just like the Cylons do."

"Then if the Cylons are in fact in collusion with the Tau'ri then they may know more about the Colonies than we ever thought."

"They knew of the weaknesses of the ships sent, our tactical plans, and all kinds of information that the Cylons may have given the Tau'ri to invalidate our own military advantage over them. It has long been believed that the Cylons disappearance was not simply due to cowardice but part of a longer term strategy. If they have indeed been in collusion with the people of the Tau'ri, then they may have been planning on this all along. Enemy forces trapped our people, causing a death toll unseen since the devastation of Caprica on the eve of the Cylon-Colonial war, and has only been eclipsed by the destruction of Picon as a habitable world. The Tau'ri could only have known how to hit Picon if they had been informed about it and the scale of its defenses. This was an attack that came barely two weeks after the first battle had been concluded and our forces long since gone from their territory."

"So you claim that the Earth people or their overlords have no concept of the Articles of Conflict. President Adar, are you trying to say that it's the fault of the commanders in the field?"

"Let me make this clear. We have the best, most competent officers commanding our fleets at all times. These officers have cut their teeth on the battlefields of the Cylon wars and amongst the pirate attacks that came for years afterwards and no one is more proud than I to have known them and to have them serve under me. But this is also the first war with humans fighting humans since Unification. According to our latest reports, Nagala's desire to keep loss of life at a minimum allowed the Thirteenth colony warriors to get in a first strike with their weapons. While laudable on his part, that error effectively cost the lives of thousands of our own people and the indirect loss of millions of lives on Earth. It gave the Tau'ri government the opportunity that it's been looking for, for decades."

"Excuse me, but what excuse are you referring to?"

"Our liberation attempt inadvertently allowed the Tau'ri the excuse to use nuclear weapons to kill millions of people who remembered their origins and still loyal to the gods and remove any threats from those who would have risen and joined us on the planet. Their infamous broadcast of their declaration of war against their brothers just before their destruction of Picon was filled with lies. Their leader said that we used nuclear weapons on their planet. The records show an even darker truth. Yes, we did release nuclear weapons near their planet – after they used them on us first – but it was the Tau'ri that selectively chose to allow those weapons to hit the planet. We have recordings that clearly show that the defenses that were so effective in destroying our brave men and women, purposely ignored certain uncontrolled missiles that hit the planet in areas were the Tau'ri resistance was strongest. They killed millions to remain in power and blamed us to cover their heinous crimes. That crime can never be forgiven. It is an offense against both gods and man!"

"We have reports filtering in from the first elements of the liberation force arriving home. There are horror stories of entire corps of our frontline fighters being slaughtered without ever seeing their enemies. There were reports that even after we began our retreat the enemy continued to kill and destroy. The wounded are in the tens of thousands. Radiation sickness, physical trauma, emotionally handicapped warriors needing to be sedated. How are we going to treat them and deal with the plague that is ravaging the people? Our hospitals and services are already over-extended, the first time since the height of the Cylon War. What are your plans to help deal with the situation?

"As the fleet arrives, some of the Battlestars will serve as mobile life stations. Those ships will help alleviate some of the over-crowding while other units will be averted to stations and areas where the plague is not present."

"I hope those crews will be vaccinated with the experimental drug we've had reports on before the patients are allowed to come into contact with them…"

"Yes, they will and I'm glad that you mentioned that. Our scientists have been working hard to develop a cure to whatever this is that is killing our people. Most of the deaths we've seen so far are from the very young, sickly, those whom are affected by other diseases, and the older members of the population and as of now, we do not have a cure. We have a vaccine, still experimental, that we are rushing into production. The long term effects of the immunization are not known but we have little choice. It should protect any of those whom have not contracted the disease yet. However at this point we can only treat and try to minimize the symptoms. We are dealing with a completely new and unknown virus and there are no cures for virus-related diseases, the common cold being the perfect example."

"How long before it's ready to be distributed to the general population?"

"It'll be another two weeks minimum before it will start to be available for everyone's use. Officials and military personnel are being given the experimental vaccine now. There is still testing going on as the development of such medicines take time. The Picon plague as some are calling it has been a disaster of interplanetary proportions," Adar said stating the obvious for effect. Then he stopped and rubbed his eyes the act causing more people to sympathize with his 'plight'. "Our scientists have confirmed that this disease didn't originate from Picon's biosphere," he let slip.

This perked up the moderator. "Most people believe that with the destruction of the dry docks and their subsequent crashing into Picon somehow released the dormant virus from its slumber affecting the Picon population and the others as it the Picon refugees as carrier. Are you saying that this isn't correct?"

"I am saying that the destruction of the dry docks and the timing of the disease are not coincidental. This disease is a form of biological attack instigated by the Tau'ri. We have solid evidence that the Earthers used a spy to deliver the plague to Picon. The attack on the anchorage was a ploy to cover their real attack. In fact, we have caught the individual, Patient Alpha, who sacrificed his own body to spread the plague that is killing our people."

The moderator was shocked and it took a moment for her to regain her composure. "Who is this person? Has he been confirmed to be from Earth? How did he get here?"

The President looked grim, playing it for all it was worth. "This 'individual' from Earth, despite his illness, didn't reveal much information other than he had been sent to punish us for daring to attack the Tau'ri. He didn't speak our language competently and communication was difficult, however he informed us that for the small amount of time he was on Picon before the attack, he contaminated dozens of individuals, in the days before the destruction. The most chilling words stated by the man before he died of disease were, "I just hope to see your face when the virus kills most of your population dead… DEAD." Those words stuck with me. He laughed about it and seemed quite please with himself being the instrument of mass murder."

"How did he get here?" the moderator repeated. "How was he captured?"

"That is classified, but I can tell you that that particular entry method has been closed and secured. This incident shows how implacable the enemy is, how determined they are to destroy us and how ruthless they can be."

"Can you tell us anything more about the captured Earther?"

"Other than the fact that he was part of the Tau'ri military, I am not at liberty to say. He died from the illness and injury shortly after he was captured. Our doctors are cultivating the virus from the remains in hopes of finding a cure."

"They used biological and nuclear weapons on both Picon and their own people. Will our military consider retaliating accordingly?"

"We have all options on the table," the President responded coldly. "These people are not like us. They are ruled by an intolerant government whose values and morals conflict with the laws of the gods and man. When our forces retreated and broke off the engagement, the Tau'ri continued the attacks, killing those who were unable to defend themselves from their murderous weapons. The conflict should have been over. That should have been the logical outcome as we understand that continued war only adds to the destruction of both sides. The Tau'ri don't follow the rules set down buy the gods. They declared war against their own brethren and purposely destroyed a world falsely claiming that we used nuclear weapons on their home world. They are a primitive culture much like we were in the distant past. We used to fight wars against each other. As our science increased, we eventually used the Cylons as soldiers in our wars. But those wars were never intended to be instruments of genocide. We understood our limitations and that was the primarily the reason why we used Cylons instead of our own people. Using Cylons instead of men and women in wars helped mankind to mature and we were able to purse our dreams of a better society and culture without fear of sending our youngest and brightest to their needless deaths. In contrast, the Tau'ri are a vengeance-filled people who will stop at nothing to further their goals."

"And those goals would be?"

"Nothing less than the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies."

"But President Adar isn't that a bit of a stretch?"

"The evidence speaks for itself," Adar testily answered. "Doctor Jackson made their intentions clear during our first contact with their ship. They can't afford to have their complete dominance of Earth challenged and the have vowed to destroy anyone who would interfere with their plans, whatever they may be, for Earth. They are afraid of us because of what we represent. These monsters don't just defy the gods they try to 'slay' the gods by destroying their very memories! Blasphemy upon blasphemy! They justify this by calling the gods false and intend to force us into following their own perverse beliefs, something that advances their own agenda. They're terrified of us and are hiding behind lies and deceit and murderous deeds afraid of our righteous retribution against those whom have kept the people of the Thirteenth Colony from their rightful heritage and their brethren. They know we are coming. They will not stop and we must be just as diligent. For now on, peace is not an option. The Tau'ri are more treacherous than the Cylons because they are us, humans. Even if we were to make peace with them, they would use that peace to prepare and attack us in force as soon as they were able. For these and other reasons, we must protect ourselves and save our brethren on Earth. The concentration camps, the mass murders are continuing unabated across their ruling countries. If something is not done soon, there will be none of the reunionsts left with the power to resist the predations of the Tau'ri terrorist cabal. Then they will be free to come after us."

"President Adar, what you are advocating is nothing less than a full-scale war against the Tau'ri. Granted, considering their actions, anything less would be irresponsible, however we have the right to dictate policy to these people, colonists or not?"

"Yes," he answered. "They are the Thirteenth Tribe of Kobol, and as such they fall under the jurisdiction of Colonial justice. Humanity must to be reunited if we are going to survive. The Cylons want our destruction and if they have influenced the Tau'ri in any way then the danger to the human race has been increased ten-fold. Without the thirteenth tribe, the Cylons could never defeat us. Our warships can stop any actions the Cylons can try. But in association with the Tau'ri, the Cylons could launch a coordinated attack with the intent of crippling and then destroying our nation. I have no doubt that with their newfound technology they'd swiftly turn upon the Earth and destroy all human life there. It is in their artificially generated nature to turn upon their creators. I will say this, no matter how despicable the Tau'ri are, the people under their control are innocents, captives in a war not of their making. In light of this evidence, as elected President of the colonies of Kobol I cannot stand by and allow this to continue. Therefore, in accordance with the Quorum of Twelve, I have authorized the placement of the Articles of Colonization to the people of Earth. As of now, all of the people of Earth are now free, having all of the rights and responsibilities as any of the other twelve colonies. This gives them protection under the law as they fight against their oppressors."

"This however isn't binding considering that the people of Earth have no way to know that they are being set free," the reporter countered.

"They have no way to know for the time being," Adar agreed, something he found himself doing much too much of during this interview. "But when the time comes and the Tau'ri have been brought to justice, the people will rejoice. The gods will not allow evil to triumph over freedom. Understand my resolve: We will prevail."

"Mister President, getting back to the plague. What steps are being taken to minimize the ever increasing numbers of casualties?"

"By my presidential authority, I am quarantining all of the crews and ships of the liberation fleet from all contact with the affected colonies until this disease is under control. The last thing we need is to have the plague loose inside a re-circulated air system among out returning troops! The soldiers have not been exposed and we are doing everything in our power to that they are not. As I've said before, we have developed an experimental vaccine and all of our returning soldiers will be inoculated. And with the blessings of Aesculapius, the god of medicine, we will keep them safe."

"Does this include the Sagittarons on board?"

"No one will be exempt," the President hissed. "This plague is too dangerous not to be fought with everything at our disposal. If treatment is refused then the Sagittarons will be shuttled to their homeworld and left there until the plague burns itself out. We can't afford untreated crew to infect the rest of the returning fleet. Other fleets patrolling the systems and beyond have been ordered to remain isolated until we can vaccinate them. And I stress once more that the vaccine is a preventative, not a cure."

"I'm surprised that this vaccine was produced so very quickly. Doesn't this normally take months even years to produce an effective vaccine?"

"True, but we have hundreds of scientists working on the problem. There are at least three different facilities developing their own versions of the vaccine. Aquarian Pharmaceuticals has produced the earliest version of a vaccine. Vaccine production is a fairly standard procedure once we isolated the virus. Our scientists' main concern is that it has not been enough time for it to be properly tested. There may be side effects that won't present itself until the future."

The moderator didn't want to going off on that tangent. "How effective is it?"

"AP's current vaccine is approximately eight-six percent effective and must be given by injection."

"Only eight-six percent effective?"

"The acolytes of Aesculapius are working as hard and as fast as they can and I have been assured that the vaccine will be improved as soon as possible."

"The Sagittarons will not take this vaccine. Their religious leaders will denounce this as an affront to the gods."

"Sagittaron has not been hit as hard as some of the other worlds. But they do have over a dozen confirmed cases so far. That is sure to blossom into a full-blown planetary epidemic in a matter of weeks if they don't use the vaccine. Because of their determination to refuse to use medical techniques that can help their people, I have ordered that world to be completely quarantined as soon as the survivors of the fleet who choose to go there set foot on their home. The vaccine will be available to all who ask of it. But I can't let this spread any further than it already has."

"Millions will die if they refuse to take it."

"Sagittaron is a free colony. The decision that they make will be their choice," he added soberly. There was nothing else to be said. Everybody knew what was coming."I know that they wish to allow for the rights to be kept intact, but I will not allow for a possible second mutated strain to leave their world in the future and if I am forced to I can and will have the planet blockaded completely for the foreseeable future."

Kellan knew as well as he did that the colony's religious leaders would adamantly refuse the medicine effectively signing the death warrants of thirty five percent of four billion people. It was their beliefs and their choice. She'd say a silent prayer for them against the death that was sure to come.

"And with that I thank you, Mr. President, for sharing some time with us."

"Thank you."

"We'll be back in a moment with commentaries and video of the Earth's History channel…"


Adar, surrounded by his aides and security contingent quickly left the television studio and the dozens of reporters trying to get an impromptu interview. His car sped back to the secured bunker located some twenty miles north of Caprica City. There was another meeting he had to attend to. The High Priestess would be there, no doubt to berate him for not having enough faith in the holy quest. Well, screw her. The President let go of a long breath he was holding. This debacle had seemed so simple. Prestige, resources, the list had been endless. The President stretched inside the limo. His back hurt almost as bad as his head and in fact both of them were throbbing in synch with one another.

His lifelong friend waited patiently as Adar went through his ritual of knocking back two backache killers and ambrosia cocktail before speaking to him. Giovanni had known him from childhood. Some had said that it was he that was the power behind the power. He often laughed at that. If only they knew. "I saw the interview," he started. "I thought it went pretty well. And the initial commentaries seemed to be positive."

"Thank the gods for something going right. I was sure that Deanoir was going to ask me when we planned to strike back."

His friend shivered something that had nothing to do with the air-conditioning.

"We can't do a thing to them right now," Richard continued more to himself than to one of his few real friends. "This plague…" He stopped, trying to compose himself. "It if wasn't for this plague, we could have gotten our resources together to rebuild back to full strength in less than a year. With Baltar's new integrated computer system, we could have upgraded our ship's response time and even improve jump efficiency."

"Military's resisting." It wasn't a question.

"Not as much as you might think," Adar answered. "Attitudes are changing among the younger officers, not like Corman and his old guard. It's been thirty-five years. We haven't heard from the Cylons since the treaty. You can bet that they know something's wrong, but they won't dare attack us now. Our military is on a heightened sense of alert. And if they do, we'll be ready for them. No, my only problem now is the College of Pontiffs. They think they're getting away, leaving me to take the blame," he muttered more to himself than to his friend. "They're as much to blame for this fiasco as we are."

"You can't blame the will of the gods," Giovanni said.

"You can't blame the will of the gods; it's our faith that's weak, not their will'. That's what they always say, and then they walk away, with their hands clean. Not this time. Livia wanted this 'liberation' – ha! – as much as I did." Adar leaned back. "The entire college wanted the Tau'ri brought to heel. They couldn't wait for the new converts and their money to start flowing into their coffers. I wanted to be remembered as the man to reunite all the worlds in our war. The military and industrialists wanted that so-called primitive FTL drive and the energy shield technology. And all of the resources present on that planet! Everybody had a stake in this gamble. Now look at us, eleven worlds, one destroyed and one looking to destroy everything we stand for. Damn, I frakked this one up. But if I go down, I'm taking them down with me, especially Livia."

Giovanni solemnly nodded in agreement. He'd been there when that meeting had taken place. The current Archpriest of the Order of Athena was so excited that she could barely sit when the plans had been first laid out. Millions of new worshipers flocking to the gods, and her order specifically, from the thirteenth colony would have filled her coffers while they bled the planet dry. Not unnoticed by him was the look of pure hatred that flickered across her face when she had been told of the estimated numbers of monotheists that inhabited the planet. Pontifex Maximus Livia's whole body was screaming 'purge' and he suspected that that was the main reason why she had given Adar's and the Quorum's plan the official religious blessing. His opinion of her bordered on monstrous and idly he wondered what she was feeling now since this spectacular failure. She had been unusually quiet; just like a volcano ready to blow. He had no doubt that Capital Industries and the rest were quaking in their boots right about now. Most of them were already preparing to throw the blame on Adar.

"If the Tau'ri attacked us with only three ships, now, we might as well surrender."

Giovanni sat there stunned by the admission. "It can't be that bad!"

"Gio, the footage frightened the entire Colonial Defense Command. If they attacked with those nukes they have now, they might destroy half of the colonies before we would be able to contain them. I have sanctioned Gaius Baltar and his team to rush research on new weapons and computer technology to be integrated as soon as possible. I've ordered a more aggressive patrolling of the borders just in case the Tau'ri really did come through or from Cylon territory, can't afford to take the chance. The military's going to be crawling up my butt but we don't have a choice."

The President was spent now. He needed a bit of rest before his next confrontation with Livia. The witch had to be planning to push for his removal by a vote of no-confidence in the Quorum just to cover herself. But she hadn't taken into account the people who were strongly behind him both political and emotionally, and he needed to talk to his wife. Mesalynna always knew how to make him feel better. She was a slut he admitted, but she was a political animal and he always took her advice. Besides, he wasn't much better at fidelity than she was so it didn't matter – as long as neither one of them got caught publicly.

"What about the incoming fleet?"

"I'll deal with that," dismissed Adar. "And Livia, if she wants to shift the blame well, let her try."

Athenia City

Caprica Command and Control Centre

Castor Security complex Alpha

Level Twenty-three

"Are you sure you're okay?"

"The worst of it is over, Steven" Admiral Corman announced. "Every once in a while it seems like it's trying to come back, but I'm feeling better every day."

Admirals Robert 'Bob' Corman and Steven Blake followed by seven high ranking aides stopped at the elevator. Two Colonial marines in full combat-dress snapped to, pulled their weapons and pointed said weapons at their superiors."

"Name and identification, Sirs," the larger of the two marines demanded. "Please speak into the microphone slowly."

Corman grabbed the huge microphone and spoke. "Admiral Robert Corman. Identification Caprica-Seven-Seven-Three-Delta-Two-Zero-Zero-Eight."

"Admiral Steven Blake. Identification Caprica-Nine-Seven Eight-Sigma-Eight-Seven-One-One."

"Voice print and identiscan codes are confirmed. Please place your hand on the scanners, one at a time, Sirs," the same marine ordered.

Corman placed his hand on the scanner. The instant he did so, the scanner activated, its sensor light moving up and down slowly picking up hand print patterns, confirming the identity of the hand's owner after about thirty seconds. Blake repeated the action.

"Thank you, Sirs. Now please roll up your left sleeve."

Both men did so, each of the revealing small vaccination marks at least three weeks old.

"Thank you. You have access to the elevators. Your aides will follow as soon as they complete their Ident checks," the same marine announced. He snapped a salute as the two men entered the elevator.

The door closed and they began to descend.


"Coughing his lungs out," was Blake's solemn reply. "I'm betting he won't make it."

"The gods help him," Corman whispered. "I know what he's going through."

Silently, he cursed the family of the POW whose diseased body had started this plague in the first place. The vaccination mark he had on his arm, in his case was more for show than anything else. He had already had the fever plague and had recovered although he felt aged by ten years. The vaccination was given to him, just in case. None of the doctors believed it was necessary but for political reasons, the mark was sported by everyone including the survivors who developed the disease early. Better to have the vaccination rather than be perceived as a threat to his family and those under his command.

The elevator stopped.

"Level seventeen. Please remove all clothing and personal objects and place them in the receptacle provided."

"I hate this part," Blake muttered as he complied. "Another reason to kill all of those Tau'ri." Naked, they were hit with a nasty smelling decontaminant spray. Completely soaked, they toweled off. Both men now put on the clothing provided. Then the elevator continued to the twenty-third level. "At least this gives the people down there some measure of protection."

The doors opened and the two men stepped out. The marines saluted the two men.

"Sir, your aides will be arriving in eight minutes."

"Thank you, soldier," Corman said.

Both men were immediately joined by Frederick Jamison, a high ranking member of the Quorum and a staunch adversary of President Adar. He shook his head as he smiled at the two men. "Generals, glad you could make it."

The marine in front of the three men turned. If you will follow me, Sirs?"

The three men and one female marine walked down the gray corridors to a large pressure door. The huge circular door was sixteen feet thick designed to resist a nuclear strike. The code was punched in and the door slowly opened.

"Welcome to CASTOR."


"Operation CASTOR, Mister Jamison, is our first line of defense against the Tau'ri," Admiral Corman said as they walked through the huge complex. "Information is power and here is where every bit of data we received from our recon probes and ship transmissions is stored. There is a copy of everything stored at the Pollux sister site. There are dozens of personnel here, divided into three main sections. The first section, section Alpha focuses on the current overall political structure of the Tau'ri specifically and the Earthers in general. Beta section is dedicated to the analysis of all things military from overall history tactics and structure, to weapons capability, to morale and religion. Gamma section catches everything else including geography, history and nature of the planet. What the Tau'ri are is all here."

Jamison was not impressed. "I've read the report and its summary, and that's why I'm here. There was so much butt-covering in it, it should have been written on tissue paper. With all the accumulated data we have on those people how did we get it so wrong? How did we become the laughing stock of the Tau'ri not to mention our own people?" He watched as the other officers and handful of civilian specialists listened in. "I'll tell you why. Because in retrospect we concentrated on what we thought we needed to see. We looked for a limited number of ships, possibly no more than five and that's what we saw. We expected a somewhat primitive but beautiful world and that is what we saw. When we expected that the Earther reunionists would rise up and overthrow their oppressors, we assumed and looked no further. We looked for colonies and found none and assumed that there were none even though we were told that there were. Because we found nothing we assumed that they were alone and we followed that assumption. Seven hundred pages and we have only three concrete pieces of evidence on these people!" He looked at the two Admirals. "We saw what we wanted to see, and all of it was wrong! We used every bit of intelligence data we had when we went to liberate Earth and nothing, nothing we encountered was expected. I understand what happened in hindsight, gentlemen. We're all at fault here and now we're paying for it. We looked at things through colored glasses. And Adar," he whispered, "is making it worse. He's distorting everything and even if it were possible to make peace with the Tau'ri, the people would never stand for it now. They want blood." He glared at the officers momentarily as the hatred for what the enemy had done threatened to spill over. "I want blood."

"Then it's same to assume that the Tau'ri will never surrender under these conditions."

"I agree and they're going to come after us because they don't have a choice," Jamison said. "That's what we'd do. They know we have the resources to eventually wear them down but if we can't understand them, anticipate the way they think, it's going to be a blood bath. I've seen some of the reports coming in from the lead elements. Our navy is demoralized and frankly scared of these Tau'ri. The marines are demoralized and angry that they didn't get into the fight. Gentlemen, this has got to change. Every opinion I've gotten has come to the same conclusion. Every day Earth is getting stronger and if something is not done soon, they may well slaughter us all with those hellish weapons. I have heard reports that Admirals and Generals are advocating a scorched colony protocol. We're talking annihilation and not liberation. That is a fundamental change, gentlemen. We need to start from the beginning and use every bit of captured intelligence we have from those probes, find me anyone that would be sympathetic to us and anyone that would allow us to whisper in their ears."

"Yes, Sir. We have been focusing on this fact for the last couple of months, even though we've had this data for almost five months before the start of the war. We have more probes in the sector but they're useless until we can retrieve them. The biggest problem that we've faced is the translation of their communication transmission into something compatible with ours. Their communications system is far more complex than we initially believed. We were never able to break any of their military stations so we were forced to extrapolate. And the huge amount of data being shunted around their globe at any given second is staggering. We're estimating that their average amount of data being transmitted at any given time is about twelve to sixteen times more than Picon and Caprica combined at their peaks and that may be underestimated."

"That much?" asked a shocked Jamison. He had read the report but it hadn't sunk in.

"At least that much," Blake confirmed. "And that's just what we were able to capture. The second problem is that Earth has so many languages that separating and distinguishing one from another have been extremely difficult."

"But we're able to communicate with them," Jamison said. "I believed they had a unified language."

"You would think so, but it's not true. The langua-basic we're most familiar with is American North, and its twin Englanda Britannia. Our Intel suggests that the Britannia is the original version of the language, several other variations exists which also suggest that their languages were modified due to the devastation of their world by some unknown enemy. The other languages we're still working on. They have one language I believe called Chinese." He shuddered, not even wanting to go there. "America North is the most familiar to us. It's as if the different languages of the Colonies, like Gemonese and Caprican, have all existed on one single planet and they all divided and multiplied to an absurd degree. It looks like this language is used the way we use Federal Koiné as the common language. They are apparently the most powerful sub-tribe and Doctor Jackson used that language and gave us the first contact protocols using that language, which was most helpful by the way in helping us to understand their communications."

"What's this about thousands being killed on the Katlean base destroyed by the Prometheus? I was never informed of any details of the attack, only the destruction of the ships attempting to capture Tau'ri vessel. This is the first time I've heard details and Adar," he sneered, "didn't say anything to the quorum about that."

Blake blushed red. "The President was given the full details of the encounter, which did not mention any attacks on any of our bases by the Prometheus. However, certain high ranking members of the Quorum and others pushing for the liberation added more to the official report than was factual. The forward base suffered life-support failure nearly two weeks before the Prometheus ever contacted us."

Now it was Jamison's turn to flush. "They used the loss of all of those brave men and women to help justify this war?"

"I am not at liberty to say, Sir."

He didn't have to, thought a thoroughly humiliated Jamison. Apparently, some of the members of the Quorum knew what really happened and influenced the rest, he included. He believed what Adar and his cronies had told them as it helped them justify what they all wanted to do in the first place. All of them, himself included, believed that the war would have been at best a footnote in history once Earth had joined the twelve. At this point he couldn't oppose Adar during a time of war without being politically skewered and surrender to these maniacs was out of the question. The Colonial defenses as they were now were apparently not enough. He was an advocate for more allocations for the military and when the time came he'd make sure that the military would have everything they wanted. Adar knew that and had played him like a lyre.


The other aides had finally arrived stepping crisply behind their respective Admirals. Corman headed straight to Gamma Section. The entourage arrived and was greeted by senior analyst Thomas Norton, Gamma Section.

"That you for coming, Sirs," the man in his late forties said offering the three leaders a seat in from of a large table monitor which had to be almost thirty inches across.

It was the biggest computer monitor Corman had ever seen. When they were seated then he continued. "As you know Sirs, Gamma Section is tasked with the mission of identifying and separating historical documents and dispersing what is deemed relevant to the Division head and Colonial Intelligence. CI placed information gathered and deciphered here as low priority."

"A mistake we're correcting," he heard Jamison mutter.

"Our initial reports indicated that Earth was very similar to Caprica in geography, climate and natural resources," Norton said. "However those initial reports may have severely underestimated the differences. What little detail that Gamma Section has continued to study indicates that Earth's resources are far richer than Caprica. They have more water than landmass."

"We are aware of that," Corman said. One look at the planet and anyone could see that

"Yes, Sir. However, the life in those oceans is more abundant and diverse than any of the twelve colony worlds. They have things there that we have never seen before, creatures large enough to swallow several people called whales. But some of the slightly smaller creatures have teeth that will shred flesh to the bone if given half a chance. They have things that float and have long thin tendrils that if you touch them will paralyze and kill you in an instant. And they're still finding new species of aqua-life after all of these years." He shook his head. "The data is frustratingly incomplete and the translation is sometimes spotty if not in America North. The number of transmissions that overlay each other are so compressed that we're have a difficult time separating where one section begins and ends. They have a wealth of what we assumed were entertainment channels, deemed as unimportant, however some of our analysts disagree as to what is entertainment and what isn't."

"They are an isolated, almost alien people and that they would have a lot of entertainment stations is understandable however, can you be a bit clearer?" Jamison asked.

"Yes, Sir. We were positive that the 'Trek to the Stars' programming was strictly entertainment. However, the more we were able to isolate related material, the more we found and the less positive we are of our initial presumptions. The amount data discovered about 'trek' has been staggering. For all intent and purposes, what we're seeing is beginning to look more like a historical anthology of Tau'ri or Earther space travel. Books, radio, technological information, documentaries, historical references reaching back decades exist in their databases, we are unable to get hold of any of them as of the current time but if these transmissions are real then we are in for a very, very rough time."

That perked Corman's interest as he hadn't heard of the arguments raging among Gamma section recently. "So now you're saying that this isn't entertainment?"

"We're not sure," Norton admitted, something he hated doing in front of his superiors most of which were demanding information from him as fast as possible. "We can see a progression of the different vessels over a specific time period. If we have translated it correctly, then we have a history of these people and their ships over a period of perhaps a hundred years. We've uncovered far too much data. Bits and pieces have even shown up on their History Channel."

Quickly he showed the observers a view of several ships from something small and rather primitive to obviously more advanced versions that looked deadly in their predatory beauty. The space stations ranged from primitive docks to things of graceful beauty. And the way their weapons worked and the way they moved showed more than just a passing resemblance to the Earther warships. When the short presentation was over, everybody watching was thoughtful. "Again this is most probably entertainment; however there are small observations that our analysts have pointed out that contradicted our initial findings. The phone system they use both in the 'entertainment' and in many of the other video segments we've extracted have the common fact that they are physically smaller than anything we have and they are completely wireless. The way their ships travel faster than light is very similar to how the Prometheus fled during first contact. Their energy weapons and missiles are similar."

"So you're saying that these people have a massive number of ships with energy weapons?" a horrified Jamison asked. "If true, why did they only have one of their ships?"

Norton was about to answer when Blake interrupted.

"The people of Earth could have been involved in some sort of war," he speculated echoing the report. "Most of their advanced technology was lost and they may well be on the verge of rediscovering those lost sciences. And they are rediscovering those lost sciences very quickly. That would explain how their ships can move so quickly without injury to their crews, as well as their energy shielding and their energy weapon."

Corman who was a step behind following that same train of thought, blanched. "That's a plausible explanation as to why they're so primitive and advance at the same time. That also means we may have less time than we thought."

"Yes, Sir," Norton said solemnly. "That's one theory but there is another as well. If you will look at the screen?"

There was an image of a huge spaceship hovering over the entirety of a city. Another image show it attacking and utterly devastating the Earth city in fire. Another scene showed Earth fighters battling the enemy, their missiles being deflected by the enemy's defensive shields that covered both the smaller fighters and massive city destroyers. Without sound it seemed like a documentary than anything else. The onlookers hadn't seen anything like it. It looked absolutely real and none of them had any doubts that what they were seeing wasn't real.

"And that's our other theory," Norton continued. "Earth was invaded sometime in its past and they have been back-engineering the captured technology. We don't however have enough data to back up or discard either theory."

"But this could simply be entertainment," Major Johnson, one of the aides stated.

"Until we know more, I wouldn't bet my life on it."

"It's too bad we couldn't get boots on the ground to find out what's true or not. The marines could have cleared up this mystery," Johnson said. Like the rest of the Colonial Marine Corps, the aide was still smarting at the fact that they hadn't been allowed to engage the Earthers on the ground.

"If the marines had made it to Earth and survived, we wouldn't be having this conversation," Blake snapped. "Still, maybe it's a good idea to step back and gather more intelligence before we rush in."

"Sirs," Norton said. "Again I stress, that the images we are seeing are the ones that took us months to filter properly. There is more to this, possibly even completed programming but we're not confident as to what is or is not part of that particular program, although we're pretty good at guessing and identifying certain patterns. News related material is simpler to de-construct and then re-construct. There are other considerations we need to look at. From what we've seen, it's clear that the Earthers have some problems with nature and biology. We've seen glimpses of their weather patterns. Tornados and Hurricanes that rival anything seen on Caprica. We've seen erupting volcanoes, floods, starvation and massive fires covering entire forests. And they have problems with land creatures."

"Land creatures?" Jamison asked.

"Yes, sir, we saw footage of their version of the Colonial marines locked in battle with a –a thing. It was huge, about the size of a thirty-story building. Someone had a handheld motion picture camera of some sort and captured the battle; amazing little device really. We estimate that it's no larger than a pair of hands. Other civilians were across the street screaming and the marines were advancing on that walking nightmare in the middle of the road with some type of mobile armored vehicle. Bravest thing I've ever seen, going up with something like that with nothing but a rifle." Johnson glared at him. "And all of them were letting loose with everything they had. The camera was shaky," the analysis said. "Between the shooting and the creature tearing up buildings, I'm surprised that whoever was shooting got any usable footage at all."

He motioned to the monitor, pressed a button and the video started. The footage was grainy like everything else but it was clear enough to stun the Colonials watching it. They saw a creature whose mouth was filled with hideous teeth standing in between and tearing apart the huge skyscrapers while bombs, bullets, and missiles hit it, apparently bouncing off its thick hide. There were maybe three people trapped in the crossfire with the fourth obviously documenting what was going on. There was running, the cameraperson apparently favoring survival over quality footage. The civilians were jumping into some underground shelter or structure. There was static and very little sound but every person's mind watching the color screen filled in what had to be the monster screaming its defiance as its foot crushed the street beneath it. It seemed preparing to attack as the image cut off.

"Entertainment?" someone, one of the senior aides suggested, hoping to the gods that it was true. "Has to be. Nothing like that has the right to exist in real life."

"Looked real enough to me," Admiral Corman said. He looked grim. "What a frightening world. It's unfortunate the Thirteenth Tribe settled on such a hostile planet. Why these people haven't decided to join us so that we can help them is beyond my understanding. O'Neill and his people must be insane to try to go this alone."

"Insane of not, from everything we're seeing the ground fight for Earth would have been far worse than we might have prepared for. Their communications systems are superior to ours. Their phones are so small they could hide them anywhere. They could use those micro cameras to spy on us and we'd never know. Our forces might run into a nest of those things."

"Some of the phones appear to have built in cameras inside of them," Norton said. "How they do this is beyond anything we've ever seen. Their computer sciences developed in an entirely different direction than ours did. We need more information and more people to analyze what we find. We're looking at the interesting material but we're missing the smaller, most likely more important things. For example, did you know that they developed suits and ties almost identical to Caprica standard? We don't know how they did it or why but those small almost trivial details may determine the outcome of this war."

"If we're right about any of this the Earthers have lived a violent life," said Jamison. "If they have been invaded or if they have lost their heritage through internal conflicts, it's no wonder why they are so hostile about joining us. They're an isolated, paranoid world. They may be just as concerned about us attacking as we are about them attacking us. If we're the first contacts outside from a few of their own lost colonies they've seen since they restored their space sciences, then naturally we'd be frightening to them. Maybe they called the gods false because they believed that they were abandoned."

"I don't think so," countered Corman. "The last thing we need to do is to feel pity for them, Sir. They did everything they could to keep us from reaching orbit at their world. Consensus was that if we achieve orbital superiority then the fight would have been over. We believed that they wouldn't have dared to continue to resist us when we had control of their skies. However, because of their actions at the Khthonic System and their attempts to kill every one of our ships regardless if they were retreating or not, those beliefs have been re-evaluated. What they did at Picon and this plague…" He hesitated. There was a feeling of intense anger at the ease that he and the CDF had been set up. The POW had allowed himself to get caught so that he could spread this plague. It was a simple, sinister plan that worked all too well and as a result uncounted millions were infected and dying with more numbers being added every day despite precautions. "They need to be put down like mad dogs. When they come after us, they won't understand the concept of restraint."

"They have to throw everything they had to hit us here," Jamison said. "They wouldn't dare go up against the combined forces of the colonies in our home system."

Blake wasn't so sure. "Quorum Delegate Jamison," the admiral started. "I'd like to agree with you but you weren't there looking up when they were using their heavy nukes in orbit to shred the anchorage. We were actually hoping that it was the Cylons because we were more confident that we could handle them rather than the Tau'ri weapons! They have no respect for life as their actions have shown. Feeling pity for those people will get us killed," he finished while Jamison slowly nodded as he digested the arguments presented to him.

"On some level, we continue to think that these people are Colonials like us. It's not true. Even their religion is antithetical to everything we know to be true. The Tau'ri's religious beliefs are based for the most part on monotheism, a single god as opposed to the true religion. Much of the broadcasts we've been able to translate agree on this one fact. There are exceptions such as in the land of India. But their religion is radically different from the beliefs of the true gods. These facts alone, taken with what Scholar Jackson said, proves how alien these people are."

Norton watched the exchange with detached interest. The officers were correct in their assessments about the Tau'ri. Gamma Section had been the first to see the starvation and brutality of the Earthers against one another and he wanted nothing to do with those people. They were also the first to see actual footage of the massacre at Sol. The destruction of Battlestars being vaporized by single nukes terrified him at a visceral level. That battle had been too easy in the favor of the enemy and he could see no reason why the enemy wouldn't come for them. Furthermore, there were Cylons waiting at the gates making this a possible two-sided war, on they'd lose and if he were in charge, he'd order a blanket nuking of the entire planet Earth while they had the chance even if they had some of the most beautiful beaches he'd ever seen.