To everyone who has read this story, put me on the author's and story's list, a heartfelt thank you. I am blessed that you've enjoyed Worldwar: Discovering the Balance. This marks the end of this story. Originally, I planned to make it a lot shorter than you've read. It was designed to be a serious AU of Bob Regent's RAAB interspersed with lots of amusing scenes, a sort of tongue and cheek variation, with the Race learning that the galaxy wasn't as black and white as they believed it to be. The Race is not evil: stubborn, and set in their ways but an honorable species. Meeting the Tau'ri when Earth was able to handle them comes as a shock that is more traumatic than the world war two timeline. Turtledove's massive series covered at least six books. In comparison this story covers a small fraction of that and the Race characters used have been condensed in their growth and actions. Some of the characters sayings have been repetitive and is purposely done so here, as it is how Turtledove developed his characters in the books. Who am I to dispute that?
Battlestar Galactica, the 2003 series….I must be careful with what I say about that show. Enough said.
When I thought about using the Race, Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis slammed me in the face. They would be the perfect foil for the very conservative Lizardians (as I have nicknamed them) without necessarily killing them off. However as you've seen the threat was always there with the SGC. Despite my liking the Race, they had absolutely no compunctions in nuking Earth to ash if it suited their will and if they could get away with it. Earth was a threat to them and the only reason they didn't do it in the series is because they needed the planet for their colonization fleet. However throughout the entire series that was an option for them as they believed it to be necessity of survival against the Tosevite humans. Ah, well. The SGC would have and could have stopped them most effectively. And they had enough experience to keep from wiping Atvar and his people out.
The Colonials are another problem all together. Enough said.
SpaceCowboy2013: I am glad you liked and has inspired you. The purpose of my writing in the first place was 1) to get my ideas out and 2) to inspire others so that I could read more! When your story comes out, please let me know.
Hobobillybob: Great story. I have never read the World War series but after reading this, I am looking forward to it.
Read it, 'In the Balance is the first one. Well worth the time.
Guardian54: This is the fourth time I've read this whole thing through to Epilogue One, I just noticed does Basestar 117 have to do with Halo and SPARTAN-117?
No, it isn't. In fact I'm not fully familiar with Halo as a whole…
JC: Above and Beyond is good. May make an interesting story. Go for it.
Worker72: The Asgard were only mentioned in passing at the very beginning – what you call some nameless ship. As in the SG-1 series, they are gone. I would have preferred to have them alive but I kept that with canon. Concerning the Race and the Colonials you will get your wish. The Race has absolutely no warships at all, never needed any as they have never envisioned space warfare.
heyster1: Thank you. Remember that Bob's story and mine are intertwined in several ways. Of course it helps as he is a Ghost writer to WW as I am to RAAB. So I can see it can be confusing. But I have also went in another direction which is more apparent in this last chapter.
Reagan: In writing the SG universe I am either very good or very bad-depends. Cain will have an interesting life either here or in RAAB.
Kell Shock: Me make mistake. Try as we might, stuff gets past us. Sorry. Thanks for pointing it out.
Again, thank you everyone. And on with the story.
Epilogue part Two
The lone Cylon Basestar, watching the encroaching Colonial fleet pause under the hammer blows of the Tau'ri forces, and unwilling to do nothing to defend themselves, went active with what few weapons they had available. The ship moved away from close orbit of the planet but still remained within the protective sphere of the defensive systems the Tau'ri had assured them were there. The Cylons couldn't detect those systems but none of them doubted that they were there, not with the sheer firepower they were seeing being thrown out by these 'other' Humans.
They had exactly four nukes left and they'd be hoarded until they could do the most good, or the most evil depending upon who was on the receiving end at the time of launch.
Mercury Class Battlestar
"The Cylon ship is reorienting, DRADIS targeting active! Nukes, Sir."
"Target?" shouted Fisk.
"The Aetos, Sir. Launch is imminent. Board is lit up."
The Aetos, a small cruiser was cut off from most of the fleet. The other ships in the squadron had either broken off the attack run or had been destroyed, but she had gotten through unscathed with all weapons active and performing what amounted to a suicide mission. The small Minoan was sacrificing everything to get a shot at destroying the Cylon vessel. Behind it was one of the Earther ships bearing down on it fast, unbelievably fast.
"Aetos is firing, all missiles. Missiles free and clear."
"This is Pegasus Actual to second wing, immediate jump. Protect Aetos," Cain shouted into the radio. "Wing Five, take down that Cylon ship."
"Aetos has signalled. They're about to jump out in five…four…three…"
Flashes of light appeared from the other side of the battlefield as a second wave of Colonial warships jumped from FTL into the maelstrom. Having already seen what had happened to the first wave of Battlestars and escort ships, the second wave jumping in, concentrated solely on the incoming nuclear missiles and heavy rounds coming from the single Tau'ri ship and the Basestar. Every gun, anti-missile launcher, and Viper sprayed space with wave upon wave of flack taking down the missiles well away from the fleet. Heavy capital fire began to take its toll on the already damaged Basestar. One crippled arm shattered under the impact of a dozen heavy cannon rounds.
Both sides launched salvoes of missiles from their remaining magazines. The dozen remaining Cylon raiders supported by F-302's went after the nukes vectoring in on the Basestar intercepting nuclear missiles and cannon shots as they formed up between the Colonials and the Cylon base ship. Six seconds later seven of the missiles were intercepted and destroyed. Three more were destroyed by the Basestar's defences; one bounced off the Sun Tzu's shields. The final missile glanced off the Sun Tzu's shields and exploded almost on top of the Basestar. Explosions peppered the area, denying the Colonial a quick victorious attack against it, but in the process all of the remaining Raiders were decimated. As a counterpart to this broadside of the behemoths, the faster more powerful F302s had already approached under stealth, all but invisible to DRADIS systems already strained to the limit trying to counter the ECM being thrown out by the Earther ships against the Viper CAPs. The 302s volleyed a full launch of naquada enhanced anti-ship nukes into the lower undefended hulls of the Battlestars and cruisers. The resulting chaos was impressive.
DRADIS command immediately started shouting. "The Aetos is gone; the Earther ship blew it apart before they could jump! There's nothing left. The second wing jumped right into the middle of the Earther's flight path. They're firing nukes point blank at the Tau'ri ship!"
A huge explosion on the port side shook the Mercury to its core.
"Report," Cain growled. Emergency lighting had flickered on just before regular systems kicked back in.
"Some type of super nuke. Took out the Solaria and two escorts. Nothing left."
"Frak!" This wasn't going well and that was an understatement. Even worst case scenarios hadn't prepared them for this nightmare. All across the board, Colonial forces were shrinking far too fast. The Thirteeners had shown all too clearly that they could fight. But they had inadvertently shown the Colonials something else – that they were a major threat. If they continued to resist then more stringent methods would have to be employed. "Get me Admiral Nagala."
"On the phone, Sir."
"Admiral Nagala, the situation is deteriorating. Either we break off the attack, or move to a more offensive position!"
"Agreed, Cain." There was momentary static before communications re-established itself. "…Be our brethren but they're too dangerous for their own good. There's no choice. Alpha strike on all Earther ships and Earth is authorized. I take personal responsibility for the orders."
"Sir, as per orders confirmation of these orders is required. Will you confirm those orders?"
"Orders are confirmed, Admiral. We're taking far too many loses against less than a dozen of the enemy. The gods only know how dangerous they'll be in ten years. If they get organized, they'll make the Cylons look like a stroll in the park. We need to cut the heads of these snakes off now before they become too strong. We break them completely now while we have the chance and pick up the pieces later."
The Basestar fired the last of its nuclear missiles at a Columbia-class warship headed straight for it.
"The Tau'ri stopped the attack on us, the Colonials are falling back!" Caprica Six said. She was coughing. The damaged ventilation system was failing to remove the smoke.
"I was right," Four said with a supreme amount of satisfaction. "They kept their word."
"Good, because we've been hurt badly. We've lost FTL and we're losing life support all over the ship."
"Can it be repaired?" asked Three even thought she knew the answer to the question.
"Not likely," the Six confirmed. "The systems are too badly damaged. How many did we lose?"
"More than half," came a Seven's sober reply. "We have so many wounded that we can't do anything."
"Those Humans out there…they're bleeding for us – strangers," the emotionally damaged Six said in hushed tones. "I would have never believed it. These people really are different, not what I expected." Different or not she still was a long way from trusting them.
"Too much damage-this ship is dead. We have to abandon it."
And go where?"
"Wait a moment. We're getting a signal from the Resolution."
"We've been monitoring your situation. Outpost One is sending reinforcements. Stand by for transport."
"Transport? Oh, God!"
"Why are you upset? We used to resurrect all of the time."
"It's not the same thing!"
"Reaper One to all squadrons, bug out now."
"This is Reaper Nine. I've got six Raptors on approach to the Basestar. Radio transmissions from the Cylons say they are carrying nukes," Nine shouted. "They are going in fast, too fast for defences to take down."
"I don't know, boss. I'm going in."
Four nuclear missiles were launched at a closing enemy warship. At that range, three of the missiles were knocked out. The fourth slammed into the armored ship which kept coming. Its cannons spoke and shells slammed into the Cylon warship which staggered from the blows.
"Ten, Four, Five go with him," Reaper One ordered. The pilot flinched as the space outside of his cockpit flared as hundreds of Vipers and half dozen heavy escorts ships ceased to exist in the massive nuclear blasts. Turning back he saw more and more fighters, hundreds of fighters and Raptors, attempting to swarm them. There were far too many just to destroy the Basestar. They were trying for Earth orbit. From there they could launch nukes. "SGC this is Reaper one, we need some serious back up over here."
"This is the SGC, All 302s pull back to Earth orbit immediately."
"Fine for them to say," Three's voice came over the radio.
"Stow that, Three," One ordered while dodging a trail of fire that intersected with another 302 to his rear. The Earth fighter disintegrated as explosive rounds shredded the fuselage.
"All Reapers pull out, head for the Cylon ship. Let's take some heat off them."
"This is Hades Squadron, we're with you Reapers."
The incredibly fast Earth built fighters outstripped the still re-orienting Vipers, missiles and gunfire unable to lock onto the evading stealth fighters.
"Nice timing, Hades Lead. We need to take down those Raptors before they get into range."
"All part of the service, Reaper One. Hades flight two Hellfire. Fox five."
Affirmatives came from the four aircraft as they in turn spun in place lining up their targets. From the internal bays a larger than usual missile was dropped its rocket engine igniting sending it careening towards the Raptors at a speed far beyond that of anything on the battlefield. Only seconds later an entire area in front of the fighters erupted in light as the missiles loosed a number of smaller missiles into the rears of the Raptors. The tiny naquada warheads wiped out the entire Raptor squadron, throwing the Viper escort out of position.
"What the…what was that?!" a pilot shouted.
"Zip it. We've got Vipers to kill. We'll figure it out later. All Reapers form up with Hades."
The Sun Tzu added its weight to the overall destruction, blowing off the port bay of the Columbia. The ship visibly buckled and began an uncontrolled tumble towards the planet. Explosions continued to tear the doomed ship apart as tylium and weapons stores consumed the ship. The Toshkan was right behind her sister, adding its weight to the fight. The small ship used its single energy weapon to eviscerate a small escort. In response several of the larger Battlestars tried their best to blow the Daedalus-class ship into its component parts.
Stung badly, the Colonials backed off, trying to reform.
"Redeploy the remaining reserve squadrons against those Earth fighters, then bring in the second wave onto our flank," Cain ordered. "We have to break through these ships and make orbit. Alpha strike has been authorized. All ships push forward. We're bigger. Let's make use of that! All destroyers pull in close to the Battlestars, cruisers take point."
Admiral, Commander Cunningham's Squadron's prepared to use their missiles."
"Excellent, tell him to fire when ready."
Cunningham's ships carried enough of the specialized, heavy hitting, long ranged missiles that could conceivably render half the planet uninhabitable for decades. Once half of their major population centres were removed, the Tau'ri would have to give up. There was no way they'd want a second strike and all of this butchery would be over. They weren't that insane as to continue fighting. O'Neill and his ilk would pay for the all of the destruction she was force to witness and implement. It was all their faults for resisting unification. There were too many human planets out there threatened by the Goa'uld, to waste time and resources on the Thirteeners. They should have just followed the dictates of the Quorum, but no, they just had to do this the hard way. "By order of Nagala, he is to target population and industrial centers."
Outpost One: Antarctica, Earth
"…Advise when all fighters are out of the immediate combat zone."
"Roger that Outpost One." The Apollo swing around just in time to intercept over a dozen nukes vectoring in on her position. Her beam weapons and point defences made a mockery of the attack. Ten ships and several squadrons had held the Colonial attack fleet at bay; however this was a situation of quantity over quality. There were too many of them even though that number was steadily shrinking. Several dozen Raptors and two missile carriers supported by at least two of the mammoth Mercury-class Battlestars have just slipped past initial Tau'ri defences and have a clear path to the planet.
"This is Outpost one, hold onto something people, this is gonna get messy."
Jack O'Neill's voice came from the wideband communications suite at the SGC. "Commence primary ignition." He had so wanted to say that for a long, long time…
Shiplord Kirel had firmly decided that war was not at all righteous when the creatures you were supposed to conquer shot back at you. A swarm of missiles with explosive metal warheads were vectoring towards his ships at a speed that consumed the distance between them and him with appalling rapidity. The vessels under his temporary command had no defenses at all against this type attack. Indeed they had no defensive capabilities whatsoever as the ships' designers had no idea that something like this could have possibly happened. The lumbering transports of the Race weren't built for speed. At maximum efficiency the ships would achieve fifty kilometres per second in approximately two hours, far too long with those missiles closing in…in…
"How long before the missiles intercept us," he practically screamed.
"Fifteen seconds, Shiplord," came the panicked response from the senior Radar controller. "There is much interference directed by the Tau'ri ship Hammond against the missiles and their enemies. They may be trying to somehow interfere with the guidance systems." Senior Radar specialist Nrahla almost jumped out of his seat as his radar screen showed the Hammond placing itself between the forty missiles trying to destroy them and the ships of the Race. "Emperors past, present and future be praised!" he yelled as the Hammond's powerful weapons array began sweeping missiles from space.
Missiles from the Tau'ri ship hatched from their berths and exploded, destroying even more of the cursed death dealing things hurtling towards them. Eight of their space capable killercraft helped to destroy the missiles coming to kill them. The senior radar specialist was again surprised by the speed and the efficiency that their weapons had destroying the missiles. The computers they had had to be extremely advanced, and far faster than the ones the Race currently had.
Two of those missiles were intercepted by the Hammond itself and at the point of contact the radar screen went blank for a moment. The Earth ship protecting them had been hit! "No! We are doomed!"
"Emperor save us!" hissed Kirel as he rushed or rather floated over to see the radar images for himself. If they were to die, then as Shiplord he would face death as leader, not cowering in a corner as missiles came to obliterate the ship. Somewhat hysterically he realized that conquering other races wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
Again his ear pads were assailed by the Senior Radar specialist.
"By the Emperor, it still exists! How is this possible?"
Kirel silence was his answer. He had no idea how the Tosevite creatures had survive. He was only too glad that they were still alive and hoped with all of his liver that they would continue to remain so.
Seventy-three Vipers and Raptors broke close formation and spread out, advancing cautiously towards the fourth planet. The missile strike, as impressive as it was, had been intercepted by one Earther ship and a few fighters which said a whole lot about the enemy they were about to engage. The fighter-bomber screen each packed two seven kiloton nuclear missiles with orders to destroy the transport ships that had escaped the missile strike. Evidently they were extremely valuable as the Tau'ri vessel had sacrificed itself to save whatever cargo the ships, or so it was originally thought
The Heracles, Maciste and Anthar were forming a protective sphere around the Andromeda, with the Glaucus and Ursus took point.
Jamming had increased enough that DRADIS was having a very difficult time cutting through the interference. They knew the Earth ship was heading directly at them, but the Tau'ri fighters were nearly impossible to see through the countermeasures set up by the enemy. Two Vipers were running point in front of the squadrons watching for an enemy they couldn't quite see.
Captain Howard Antoninio was lead Viper pilot was a seasoned veteran of the Colonial-Cylon battles at Cymaedas IV and Cystus III. Those had been brutal affairs. Although outnumbered and not prepared, the Cylons had fought with a viciousness few had anticipated. Three entire battlestar squadrons had been completely wiped out, but finally the main fleet was able to make it through the first wave of defenders. The toasters had thrown everything they had against the combined Fifth, Sixth and Eighth fleets. Almost a thousand raiders of all configurations had risen up to protect the Cylon's home world. They were so thick you would think that you could have tiptoed on their topsides all the way to the Basestars they were protecting. And the secret base next to a collapsed black star had cost the lives of eighteen thousand warriors and four of the most powerful Battlestars ever made. Those battles had taken five days to win, but win they did. The CDF had prevailed and were the stronger for it. But if they were stronger then why were they having so much difficulty with less than a dozen ships smaller than frigates supported by just a few squadrons of fighters filled with pilots that had so obviously not had much training in space fighter tactics? One hour and the entire offensive reeled against inferior numbers of defenders. "This is Xuthus One to Xuthus Fifteen and Sixteen, sitrep."
"Xuthus Sixten, Beginning our run, missiles active and seeking."
"Hurry up and get out of there."
"Yes, Sir. Absolutely, Sir. Beginning acceleration." The two forward Vipers began their attack runs using the gravity of the planet to increase their acceleration dramatically. By the time of release, the missiles would hit their targets at close to a fourth of the speed of light. "Short range and acquisition DRADIS is picking up three targets. Confirming missile lock..."
Those were the last thing heard from either ship's pilot.
Xuthus One's DRADIS threat board went crazy for all of a second, showing dozens of missiles heading right for his command, panicking the leader who instinctively began evasive. The threat system went back to normal as if nothing had happened. Other than friendlies, there was nothing there, absolutely nothing, which could not be correct since they knew that there was Earther warship in the immediate area very likely hiding behind the fourth planet protecting the transports and waiting to ambush them.
"This is Raptor Sigrich DRADIS command," said a nervous Commander Janestan. As the senior intercept command ship assigned to defensive traffic control and threat evaluation, her Raptors DRADIS threat board twice as powerful as the other Raptor systems had picked up something and then simply lost the signal. "We picked a signal for a second, then it disappeared. Did anyone notice anything? We're still getting a lot of interference out here." The heavily modified Raptor acting as a mobile command center had also detected a big signal and then the whole thing vanished.
"Confirmed," said Antoninio. "There was something, thought it was a glitch." Two other Vipers and four Raptors had reported seeing the same thing.
Years ago, his father had told him something that he'd never forgotten. 'There's no such thing as coincidence in the heat of war.'
The squadrons of Colonial ships were starting their orbital burn retracing the path of the two now silent Vipers. "All ships, be on alert. Something's wrong. They have to…"
The Captain's DRADIS system went ballistic. There were missiles, a lot of them heading directly for his command. The screen was filled with incoming. He frantically went evasive while screaming for his wingmen to do the same. This time his threat board picked up radiologics interspersed with conventionals almost on top of him and his people! Somewhere in his mind he understood that the Earthers had some type of stealth system built into their missiles that made it very hard to detect them until they were almost on top of their targets. In other words, DRADIS was screwed.
Vipers immediately began to fire their weapons, desperately trying to destroy the incoming as quickly as possible. Several missiles were destroyed. Several others, the ones leading the pack exploded prematurely.
DRADIS systems went down, overloaded by whatever particles had been dispersed by those missiles. The effect only lasted four seconds, but Viper and Raptor pilots, unable to use their threat DRADIS now, and knowing that their lives were in immediate danger from missiles they knew were coming but couldn't see panicked.
"Break, break, break!" Captain Antoninio screamed into the mike even as he kicked in his afterburners in a vector that he prayed would keep him from getting killed. Gees caused by acceleration slammed into his gut as he vectored on his Z axis at full burn. There were only glimpses but he did imagine seeing his fellow pilots turning to fireballs. Something that had to be a nuke exploded a hundred kilometers from where he had been a few seconds earlier. Turning once more, he was facing the Glaucus about fifty kilometers distant. His expression grim he and a few other Viper pilots stared for the moment at the action.
The pocket Battlestar was being attacked by one of the small Thirteener frigates. Ursus was spinning wildly as its engines continued their burn. Half of the ship was missing from its midsection forward. Explosions were tearing that ship apart. The frigate had already passed the doomed ship and was firing at the Glaucus using some type of explosive shells. There was a collective moment of fear as two ten kiloton nukes failed to even slow it down while it returned fire with impunity.
The entirety of the Glaucus rocked from the explosions as the entire port armour shredded like paper under the onslaught. The comms were alive with screams for help which rapidly turned into high pitched shrieks while the command center began burning. To his horror, the shrieks quieted quickly as the ship went the way of the Ursus.
His own threat board started screaming, forcing him to focus on another missile attack. There were several explosions as several Vipers were hit. He didn't have time to mourn. He was too busy trying find out the source of the second attack. The missiles were originating from beyond his visual range. Another flash, different this time signalling the arrival of yet another of the Thirteener frigates. His heart shrank as this new ship went after the Andar. The Maciste swung around firing everything in support of its sister ship while the Heracles locked on and tried to skewer the first ship with support from the Andromeda.
The entire combat group was in jeopardy and the worst thing was that Captain Antoninio was unable to help. The remains of the Viper contingent were being wiped out by what had to be enemy fighters they couldn't even see. Unfortunately his attention lapsed for a second. The threat board screamed and he slammed the yoke starboard just missing a missile. A black and silver fighter almost Cylon-like in appearance flew right past him. DRADIS barely saw it.
"Sigrich DRADIS command. We have six, repeat six fighters on top of us! Janestan was screaming into the mike. "Missiles everywhere! ECM is negative. Repeat ECM is ineffective! All Raptors…ghaah!"
Antoninio dodged fire one of the Tau'ri fighters while several Raptors took missiles from three different directions. "Xuthus squadron, form up and pick your targets. Stay together!"
Gunning his Viper, he barely got into range of one of the fighters. Three of his surviving wingmen were right with him when he fired on the Tau'ri. "Missed!"
The Tau'ri were terrible space fliers but what they lacked in experience the made up in speed and power. He had missed but Xuthus sixteen had stitched the target nicely. The fighter had barely been scratched. It swung around with its wingmate coming in for an attack. Instantly, Antoninio went defensive - again. Two of his own wing mates died moments later as their Vipers and pilots were turned into unidentified shrapnel.
"By the gods," he said. "By the gods!" They were using lasers or something so close that it made no difference! Viper and Raptor light weapons barely scratched those ships. They used energy weapons just like their bigger ships! He never really believed in the gods but in those seconds he realized that he had just discovered religion.
They were all going to die in this ill-advised mission to save the Thirteenth colony. What a joke.
The entire command and Control center rumbled from that last hit by the Earther ship protecting the freighters hiding behind the fourth planet. Alarm systems were screaming, announcing horrific damage to the port side. The port hanger deck had been nearly sheared away from the first scraping run despite the Mercury class vessel throwing up enough defensive flack to stop attacks from two Cylon base stars in their tracks. The powerful Battlestar defences had done absolutely nothing to stop the energy weapons used by the thrice-cursed Earther ship.
Commander Jurgan was intense pain. His left arm was broken in two places, a result of bouncing against the far wall. Other crewmembers had been hurt worse with several of them on the deck. Some of them would never get up again. A second Earther ship had engaged the remaining members of the CDF and he grimaced at the battle screen. Their survival was in serious doubt, a fact that was confirmed a moment later as the Machiste exploded. He wasn't expecting the Andar to do much better. The Heracles was the only thing between the Colonial carrier and eternity. "All nukes fire on that sip-ship," he hissed through the pain. "Fire everything at it. Keep it from the Andromeda. Tell her to jump now. Doesn't matter where! Prepare to jump on my mark!"
"We may blow up, Tyllium tank sixteen is ruptured."
"Initiating jump in twenty seconds. Feeding coordinates to jump computer."
Everyone's eyes turned towards the battle screen. The Andromeda initiated a jump at the exact same moment one of the Earther beams made contact. The familiar jump distortion flashed, but only half of the carrier made the transition. The other half remained, destroying itself in a series of titanic explosions all of which made the destruction of the Andar by the other enemy ship barely noticeable. Both enemy ships were now vectoring towards the Heracles whose survival could now be measured in seconds.
Seconds was too optimistic a word. There was a momentary stab of guilt that he was giving an order that would effectively leave the Vipers at the mercy of the now much hated thirteenth tribe but there was no choice. Both enemy ships were firing their weapons. "Initiate jump now, now, now!"
The damaged Heracles' FTL flashed and the ship was elsewhere an instant before three plasma beams touched it.
Captain Antoninio witnessed the entire battle between fighting for his life. The Battlestars were gone, destroyed by the Tau'ri. The badly damaged Heracles jumped as far as he could tell. That left about a dozen functional Raptors and Vipers left. Dozens more were damaged his people dying. With no support there was nothing he could do and no way to make it back to the fleet action near Earth, not past those monsters. His fight was over. They could only hope that the Thirteeners would be merciful.
"All ships, stand down. Try to signal the Tau'ri ships." The bile in his mouth was almost unbearable. "Let them know we surrender."
Atlantia squadron, under command of Commander Frank Cunningham had made it to strike range. The fleet of twelve ships had been badly mauled by the Earther defenses. Four had survived the gauntlet to make it to strike range. The Atlantia was damaged beyond repair. The FTL engines were gone and the ship threatened to destroy itself at any moment.
"All tubes ready for deployment," his second-in-command yelled. "Ripple fire on your mark."
Twelve missiles were targeted for the largest cities located on the planet. At fifty miles, the city killers would deploy four nukes each to saturate everything in and around target
Frank wasted no time giving the order. "All ships fire!"
All twelve missiles were launched inside of seven seconds. Cunningham's squadron then locked on to the Condorcet in a desperate bid to stay alive long enough to jump to safety.
Admiral, All DRADIS are reporting what seems to be some kind of column of light emitting from the surface of the planet, near one of the poles."
"Any kind of reading? Is it nuclear?"
"Negative, Sir. It's heading into space at a high speed. It's barely readable on the DRADIS, but its moving, wait – its changing course, destabilising, breaking up. Oh Gods, it's not one column, Sir! It's thousands of small missiles heading for the second wave coming in fast! Some are heading for the Alpha strike and the others… They're headed straight for us!"
'They keep coming up with something new', thought Nagala. He couldn't win, not like this, with most of the ships destroyed and this new menace. "Order all ships to return fire take down those missiles before they hit our ships!" Whether the missile their targets or not, he knew it was time to order a strategic retreat and rethink this whole debacle over. Too many of his people had died already. "All ships, make ready to jump."
The wave of ancient drones leapt into the remaining ships of the Colonial's second wave, the two Earth warships and dozens of Tau'ri fighters standing off to the side simply watching. Vipers and raptors just ceased to exist as they were covered over by the streams of tiny projectiles. What was left of Alantia squadron's cruisers, destroyers and the last remaining Battlestars trying to support him, set up wave after wave of massed projectile fire. Flak and auto-cannon fire streamed out of weapons ports, meeting the drones as they came in clustered together, a seemingly easy target for the Colonial defences. Their defenses did nothing to slow down the things swarming towards them.
"What in the Gods Name are they?" Cain shouted.
Shock and fear reigned through the CICs of both groups of ships as the counter fire failed to knock down even a single drone. The main fleet could only watch and stare dumbfounded as the second wave exploded into shrapnel one after the other. Destroyers and Vipers attempting to escape couldn't evade the inevitable and died en masse. The accursed things seemed to penetrate ships and then blow up. Some of them simply went through the ships armor tearing it apart and coming out the other side unscathed!
"What were they!? All ships begin the retreat immediately. I want the remaining escorts to form up and jump when clear. Battlestars to screening positions, cover the other ships as they jump. Move it!"
Some of the glowing projectiles had turned and tracked the nuclear missiles launched by Cunningham's now dead squadron. They caught the missiles easily and just as easily, those missiles cease to exist. The drones turned and headed back towards the main column.
Four more signals disappeared from the DRADIS console as the Colonials tried to pull away from the attack. A Battlestar fell next as two missiles at close range from the Tau'ri found the holes in its defences detonating against the rear and fore simultaneously. The Mercury was immolated in dual massive fireballs, debris flying away from the explosion out into space. The surviving ships manoeuvred around the partially melted metals which was all that remained of the once proud Battlestar. Two of them disappeared in FTL flashes and were gone.
Drones impacted with the slowing Colonial ships slipping through the heavy defensive fire coming at them from point blank range. Unfazed by the thick armour and heavy fire, hundreds of the million year old weapons blasted the second wave apart piece by piece. Within moments the entire group was gone blown apart from the inside out. Ships, fighters, crews, and pilots, everything was simply wiped from existence in only seconds.
"Zeus has been hit by a nuke. She vent atmosphere! She jumped!"
"Thank the gods," Cain muttered. Now it was their turn.
The Pegasus, retreating now, was forced to watch as ship after ship was annihilated by the Tau'ri ships, the massive force Cain had arrived with was down to barely a quarter of its number with ships dropping every few seconds. One of the last of the intact Battlestars exploded as the Prometheus' cannon impacted it in several places along the flank. Holes appeared through both sides breaking the back of what was left of the Colonial ship, sending it tumbling.
One other Battlestar was encompassed in beams of white light emitted from the Tau'ri ship that caused the Battlestar drift out of control. The communications teams were unable to make contact with its crew. More than a dozen ships from both groups had undergone this same treatment. Cain didn't have a clue as to what was happening and had no inclination to find out.
"Sir, the destroyers are signaling FTL jumps imminent. Six ships gone, others following in five, four..."
The Comms officer was interrupted by the Battlestar was literally thrown to the side sent spinning on its axis against its own momentum. The crew were sent flying into displays, doors, walls, consoles and other crewmen. All across the ship alarms blared as decompression and critical damage forced airtight doors and permanent seals to crash down throughout the vessel.
"Report." Cain shouted.
"We've got critical damage to the rear sections, we've lost comms to the engine rooms, several of the main computer relays and all weapons are down. Tau'ri ship coming straight for us."
"Prepare for emergency jump. How many ships have, we got out there left?"
"What?" Fisk demanded.
The Comms officer whispered. "We're the only surviving Battlestar left. The Zeus and the escorts just jumped before those things or the Tau'ri could kill them. The marine transports have jumped."
"Get us clear. Emergency Jump. NOW."
"Jumping in three, two, one."
The final surviving warship of the Colonial Attack fleet flashed out of existence its FTL engines sending it hurtling away into the depths of space away from the incoming Tau'ri warships. Beams of plasma energy passedg through the area it had occupied an instant before.
For both sides the battle for Earth had finally ceased.
The bridge was totally silent for the first time that day. The Daedalus class vessel had been forced to lead an unready and inexperienced force against a massively superior force in numbers and experience and had come out the other side with minimal losses and no appreciable damage to their side or the world below them. It had been a whitewash against the Colonials. The more advanced technologies garnered from Stargate Command had allowed them to defend the threat to Earth within mere hours. In other words the 'Door to Heaven' more than made up to the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on it.
Odyssey sat in the middle of what could only be described as a graveyard, dozens of ships off all kinds, unexploded ammunition, flash frozen bodies, clouds of particles that had once been fuselages and hull plating. The few unexploded nuclear weapons that had missed either side were being tracked and shut down from range by the Daedalus class vessels.
The blessed silence was interrupted by the Communications officer. "Sir, conformation from all ships, the entire colonial fleet has been neutralised. Final count of seven escort class ships have escaped as did the Pegasus. Six more are deemed salvageable, the rest are gone along with the majority of the crews."
"How many have we picked up?"
"A few hundred. A wing of Vipers were also picked up in close orbit of Mars. Looks like they picked up signals from the Race ships and tried to take them out."
"What about our losses?"
"Unconfirmed but it was pretty bad for the 302s when the second wave attacked. We've lost maybe a third of all squadrons. But most of the pilots have been picked up or at least found, quite a few Viper pilots were EVA as well. The Prometheusand Odysseyare scanning the area for any other survivors but are not hopeful."
"Very well, take us down to condition three. I don't think we've got much if anything to worry about, the Colonials will think long and hard about trying anything like this again. Orders are to get the Race ships and our people to Home II as soon as possible."
"They're probably scared to death."
The Colonel's response: "Yes. Welcome to the galaxy at large. Speaking of which, General O'Neill has informed me that Atlantis will be delayed a couple of days. No need to let the Colonials or the Race in on that little secret."
"I thought the Lemuria was coming instead?"
"No, she stays in the Pegasus galaxy." Typically his half smirk had a grimness to it that no one could mistake as friendly. When that little surprise was sprung, the Goa'uld were going to wish they'd never heard of Earth.
The massive Battlestar flashed into normal space eight light-years from the Tau'ri home system into the middle of empty space which was, as far as the survivor were concerned, a blessing.
Commander Jurgan could barely stand as shooting pains from his broken arm threatened to push him into unconsciousness. "Are we clear? Is DRADIS clear!?"
"DRADIS is clear," one of the lieutenants responded. "No ships detected in the area."
There were no Vipers or Raptors left to provide cover. All of them had been lost, every single one and they were still far to close to those Tau'ri devils. "Initiate emergency repairs. Get the leak under control." Medical personnel were flooding the bridge now. One of them had Jurgan propped up at his command. "I want a status update within the hour."
Almost twenty light years away the Pegasus reappeared, its emergency FTL discharging them into the inner system of a close by star. The rear of the vessel was still glowing red from the close nuclear detonation that had stripped the vessel of half of its sublight engines and a number of rear compartments, ragged and half melted armour punctuating the loss of a full fifth of the warship's mass.
"Jump complete," Hoshi shouted. "We're clear of the Tau'ri Solar system."
"Position," Cain ordered."
"Just where we're supposed to be. Seventeen light years from our previous position, emergency co-ordinates worked, Sir."
"Any of our ships make it this far?"
Plans spinning through her mind Cain stared in concentration at the DRADIS screens, the range had been unaffected by the attack but the resolution had been reduced by the overloads and nuclear burst that had hit the Pegasus. The six signals closest to the ship had begun moving towards the Battlestar taking flanking positions,
"Reading twelve ships in the area. All have Colonial transponders. The Warstar, her escort, and destroyers, Sir."
"That's a mixed blessing at the least," Fisk replied. "We'll need them to tow us in when to get back." He looked to his seething Commander. "Admiral, your orders?"
She shot a look at him. "Contact Nagala. Find out his status. We'll have to pool our resources and then get home."
Nagala looked strained. The losses were starting to press on him. "We return home or at least as far as we can. We'll need a tender or drydock to take us all the way back. I'm not going to risk leading the Tau'ri to our mid-range stations. The transports will let tem know what happened and they'll know what to do if there is no communication from us within the next day and a half."
Turning to the other staff within the CIC Fisk shouted out orders to assemble the other ships into formation. Crewmen moved sluggishly and wearily and neither Cain nor Fisk could blame them. The entire fleet had been wiped out in a little more than an hour – an hour! – That was something that hadn't happened even during the greatest battles in the Second Cylon War. They were being forced to flee from a planet that by all logic should have surrendered or been defeated with ease.
"It should have been enough to pacify one little planet."
Nagala took a long drink of Ambrosia. Earth was off limits to the Colonials until they could assemble a larger more powerful force. The ships sent barely scratched a hundred or so and were outfitted for a different enemy. The Mercuries of the fleet were aging and were not as powerful as the newer Pacifica and prototype Themis-class Battlestars would be. Something two or three times the size involving the bigger ships of the fleet would be necessary to take down the Tau'ri. And taken down they would be. They had proven to be too much of a threat and had to be controlled when the Colonials went after the Goa'uld. Humanity had to be united and if the Thirteenth colony had o be crushed in order to achieve that goal, then by the gods' will, so be it.
Heracles- Three days later:
"Course plotted," Lieutenant Galton responded. "Jump sequence is in fifteen seconds."
The Battlestar had undergone emergency repairs as quickly as the crew could manage. Every second's delay meant that the Tau'ri could find them and every single man and woman knew that if they were found by the Thirteeners, their lives would be forfeit. The FTL engines had been repaired and patched as much as possible but still needed to be tested. Their test destination was a star four light years away. If they didn't blow up first then they'd likely make it home or fairly close to it.
The Colonial ship winked out, only to appear an instant later in the system of Tau Ceti. Instantly the comms were assaulted by hundreds of individual signals. DRADIS was seeing dozens of vessels and at least two stations of some sort orbiting some unidentified planet. Two vessels were heading towards them from out system on an accidental intercept course. At their speed they were hours away from visual. They were huge and ponderous with a configuration never before seen by the Colonials. Nevertheless, the Colonials were apprehensive.
"Vessels closing in, still nothing on IFF."
"Any recognition signals of any kind?"
"Negative, it's not Colonial, Tau'ri, or Cylon," replied the Comms officer. "The ships are big at least as big as the Mercury but… I'm reading very, very low nuclear power readings, most likely a power source and no weapons at all. Shall I signal them?"
"Negative. They don't know we're here and I am not announcing myself. DRADIS can't identify them?"
"No, Sir. However, they have some superficial resemblance to those transports we saw hiding behind the Thirteeners' fourth planet. But less than a thirty percent match."
"Close enough," the Commander snapped. "I want a marine heavy transport to intercept one of those ships and get me prisoners. The more we know about the Tau'ri, the better. Next time we hit them, we'll be ready."
Prepare to tight beam jam the signals of both ships. We don't want the stations and the others to know we're here."
A dozen high explosive rounds pierced the hull of the closest Race vessel, a transport ship on its last legs of a fifteen year journey from the star system Epsilon Indi from the planet called Halless Twoon its wayto Home. The shells stitched the ship ploughing deep into the interior. As huge as the ship was it was delicate and the warheads designed to penetrate Cylon armored ships detonated blowing holes throughout the ship sending crewmembers and debris spinning into space. Gouts of flame expanded within the confines of the hull, setting fire to the escaping atmosphere, killing the few remaining crew that had survived the impacts and original detonations.
Onboard the second ship, the Lizardian command crew were barely aware of the destruction of their sister ship when something slammed into their own bulkheads. Communications were completely jammed and alarms hissed loudly as explosive decompression rocked the ship.
Space-suited Colonial marines burned through the hatches and came face-to-face with their first real aliens. The members of the race saw large things in space environmental suits and panicked. The Marines saw them running away and shot several of them as they fled. The slaughter continued until the captain ordered his men to stand down. He reported his findings to a stunned Jurgan.
"Yes, Sir. No people, just these lizards and some other kind of alien. Most of them are in some kind of freezer compartments. Probably some type of cryostat units.
"Like our old timer ships. Long distance travelling without FTL."
"Yes, Sir. They're lizard like, short and ugly. Reminds me of some of the lizard we have in our deserts."
'So our first contact with real aliens and we shot them'. "How many are alive?"
"About thirty not frozen, probably crew and mechanics."
"Take'em and stuff 'em on the transport. Grab as much data and info as you can carry and bring it back with you. We need to know what their relationship is with the Tau'ri. You are authorized to place a small nuke next to their power plant. I don't want these things to know what happened here. Make sure there's nothing left of either ship. Get back here ASAP. We jump for home as soon as you arrive."
"Lieutenant Galton, place our prisoners in isolation as soon as they arrive and have them checked out. I don't want some alien disease killing us all before we make it home."
"Already being prepared, Commander." He stopped and turned to Jurgan. "What if they've never been contacted by the Tau'ri?"
"Then we've just made history with first contact," he said indifferently. "I really don't care. The Tau'ri have to know about them. They're only twelve light years from Earth. If they don't, then too bad. Command will certainly want to know about these lizard things. Who knows, they may be useful. We'll probably get a bonus for this." 'If we're not all court-martialled that is' he thought. Somebody's going to get blamed for the Tau'ri fiasco.
An hour later, the Heracles made its first of seven jumps for the Colonies. The damaged transport exploded taking the remains of the second ship with it. When the Race sent a ship to find out what happened two months later, there was nothing but small pieces of shrapnel left to examine. The Race never discovered the exact cause of the loss of those transports in the years to follow.
Fleetlords Atvar and Ruffet basked in a rare moment of peace between the two of them. The light of the twin moons shimmered across the black sands. The evening was hot, the sands almost sizzling and the intense heat felt good to both of the members of the Race. In front of them stood the Star portal, looking dark and foreboding, but at the same time holding the keys to eternity.
"At first I thought that all Tosevites looked alike," Fleetlord Ruffet said. "But after looking at the Tosevite Cylons, I find that they really do look alike, so much so that I am almost able to pick out the differences between the Tosev Tosevites. I wish that they would remove their clothing so that I could tell the male for females. It would make life much easier for me. I tried to order them to do so and replace their strips of cloth with proper paint but the ugly creatures ignored me! How dare they?"
Fleetlord Atvar laughed.
"Oh how I wish that our colonization plans for Tosev III could have been completed properly. This world is not Tosev III but I will admit that I am satisfied with this new colony world, although I am not please by the way we acquired it," Ruffet said. "The circumstances have left a sweet bitter taste on my tongue receptors."
Atvar repressed a sigh. This argument had continued since he and the Fleetlord of the colonization fleet had met. "The Tosevites would not have allowed the colonization fleet to land on Tosev Three," he explained once more. "The conquest fleet would have been destroyed. The entire program would have failed. Instead, the spirits of the Emperors past have granted us this planet." At the mention of the Emperors past again both Lizardians showed respect.
"But," Atvar repeated. "Home is not a radioactive rock in space. We are alive."
"At their sufferance."
"The Tosevites or Tau'ri as they preferred to be called, may be dangerous neighbours but they are neighbours, one we can not ignore. There is danger out there," he said pointing to the unknown stars above them. "The Tau'ri have warred against an unknown enemy and we have seen frightening evidence of this. They may be dangerous neighbours but I am convinced that they do not intentionally wish us harm."
"But they have harmed us in ways I can not even begin to comprehend, Ruffet countered. "They have made us look at ourselves and we are weakened by our observations. How can we remain what we were? Their presence ruins everything. They are like the stars above. I do not recognize any of them. Instead of holding comfort, they hold uncertainty."
"I agree. I can not disagree with your words. These events have opened our eye-turrets. We can not hide within our egg shells as we would like. We must force ourselves to face the future."
"But the future is uncertain. There is no stability, too much has changed."
"I fear that, too. But there were other things that I feared even more than that. The colonists will come here in a month to make a life and the males of a soldier's time who are here will welcome them. We will make a home here so far sway from home. We will make sure that the Tosevites and the Tosevite Cylons will be treated with respect while they remain on Home II."
"But we will not be in control," the male answered not liking the words. "We will have to treat the savages as equals."
"These 'savages' gave us Home II when they could have destroyed us," Atvar countered. "They are our equals and more. We will honor them and in turn they will honor us. And we will get to know one another. The Emperor has isolated Home from the rest of the Tau'ri until a decision is made. The communications satellite, by order of the Emperor, will be used only to relay data concerning the development of the colony and how our relationship proceeds. Those messages will serve to help the Emperor formulate suitable response to these Tosevites. We have no choice but to obey." He focused on the 'stargate' as the Tosevite called it. "I do not believe that it will be that bad."
"How do you know?"
Atvar had no answer to that.
"And what about that thing?" Ruffet asked point at the stargate. "When will we know about that?"
Atvar laughed. "When the Emperor tells us it is time to."
There was nothing more to be said for now. Both lizardians lowered their eye-turrets and went their own way. There was a lot of work to do before the ships landed on their new home.
American Tau'ri spaceships
2. Prometheus (upgraded with Asgard tech)
3. Odyssey (Daedalus class) at Home of the Race
4. Ajax (Prometheus class) heading to Pegasus on standard run.
5. Phoenix (Daedalus class) at Pegasus permanent station
6. Apollo (Daedalus class) deep space mission tracking Goa'uld
7. Hammond (Daedalus class newly commissioned) With Race col fleet
8. Achilles (Daedalus class) with Hammond with Race's Col fleet
9. Korolev (Daedalus class) at Pegasus permanent station
10. Bedovy (Prometheus II)
11. Thunderer Prometheus I scheduled to be upgraded.
12. Resolution (Prometheus II class) tracking Goa'uld ships
13. Sun Tzu (Prometheus class first Chinese built ship
14. Toshkan: a Prometheus design but more missile oriented ship. Just starting tests.
15. Bonvet (Prometheus class) stealth at colonial systems
16. F Condorcet (Daedalus class)