Bonds of Brotherhood

A Zoids/Earthsiege 2/Battlestar Galactica/Firefly Crossover Fanfiction Story,

Sequel to 'Reuniting the Tribes'

A continuation of the story started in 'Ancient Legacies'

Chapter 1: Looking Towards Home

On the planet Zi, far from the star system that contained the planet called 'Earth', a gathering of men and women relaxed in the rooftop garden of a large home. The sky overhead was dark as night had fallen, but the open air garden, actually on the buildings second floor, was lit warmly by the soft glow of 'fire' lamps. A barbeque threw out warmth along with a soft red glow, and the large pool that resided in the centre of the garden played host to a number of floating candles.

Raised up above the others, Malcolm Reynolds stood silently, one foot resting on the raised lip while holding a bottle in one hand. The lights softly lit his weather beaten face, throwing his strong nose into relief. A slight smile lurked at the corners of his mouth.

He watched as the Blitz team, the most famous team of Zoid Warriors on the planet, laughed and relaxed together, along with his own crew and a number of the Colonials. He could see Bit and Leena, right in the centre of the fold, with their almost two month old son Jason between them. He was not the only new born in the gathering either. One month old Amy Hunter lay peacefully in her mother Naomi's arms, while slightly apart from the others Sheba was sat beaming, the barely three weeks old Hera in her own arms. Apollo still had a stunned look on his face when he looked at his daughter.

Only a couple weeks older than the new Colonial, George and Nathan Tam filled Kaylee's arms. No one, not even the good doc Simon, had expected twins, yet that is what those two got. The look on Simon's face when he had discovered that he now had two sons of his own had been priceless.

Mal's eyes wandered over to where Zoe was sat, and to her swollen belly. She was coming up to nine months along, and everyone had learned to stay well out her way ever since she and her resurrected husband had finally emerged from the hotel where they had celebrated the victory over the Cylons. It had led to them finally getting four solid months of work for the crew of Serenity. It had been nice to settle down for a bit, but Mal had been getting edgy and so the return to the black had been more than welcome.

Ever since the battle things had eased back, but a lot had been done. The Colonials had taken the breather and gone over each and every one of their ships. Many had been scraped, but the military ships had slowly been torn apart and put back together, until now Mal reckoned that the original builders wouldn't even recognise them. Outposts had been set up on many of the moons in the system, prospecting for ores and the precious Tylium that powered the mighty ships.

Mal wasn't afraid to admit that the Colonials wielded awesome power. Even ten months after the initial sharing of technology, they still maintained a significant advantage over the other powers. But no one on the planet cared.

Mal looked upwards, to a new set of stars in the night sky. The ancient colony ship drives-turned space station had officially gone online two months ago, and already it had become the hub for all interplanetary activity. The Colonials had been using it for some time before hand, but now it had all the amenities and luxuries that paying customers wanted.

The greatest change in everything was the formation of a World Government. The five factions - the Helic Republic, the Guylos Empire, the Zoid Battle Commission, the Ancient City and the Colonials - had all drafted a charter for mutual defence, trade and law enforcement. It acted a lot like the United Nations only with less red tape, at least according to Christian Masters. Mal took his word for it. Already the various moons were being earmarked and claimed, and the World Council ensure that the whole process was conducted smoothly and with as little conflict as possible.

For those few months, Mal and his ship Serenity had flown from one ball of rock to another, landing survey teams and other equipment. The Colonials had proven their word, and one of the first things upgraded on the old Firefly transport had been her engines, allowing her to keep pace with the sleek, lethal but graceful Colonial vessels. Now that the crew was landlocked for a stretch, the next series of upgrades were going in.

Mal's smile widened a little as he watched as River danced happily as Jayne plunked a tune on that old guitar of his, Miranda Schubaltz with her. Around the two young women the others laughed or smiled, clapping in time with the music. It still took him by surprise sometimes how much she had changed since they had unexpectedly arrived here. Gone was the haunted, lost little girl with horrendous images burned into her mind, totally at the mercy of her emotions, and those of the people around her. Now thanks to the medical knowledge that had long been lost in their home system, she could not only control her emotions, she no longer read others without wanting to. She could laugh and play just like any other young woman did, pushing the weapon that had been built into her to the darkest corners of her mind. Mal knew, just like everyone else, that it was still there. That buried within her was a terrible weapon, just waiting to be unleashed. But now River had sole control on it, and no one spoke about it.

Mal looked up once more, looking out to the stars. Lately he had found his mind drifting away from this warm, happy and open circle of family and friends, back to his true home. Zi and the Blitz were very welcoming and hospitable, but Mal still felt a tug towards the system where he had grown up. Where his crew had grown up.

He found himself wondering just what was going on out there, across the stars. He knew that the Alliance would only increase it's strangle hold on the system, imposing more and more control from those in power. And Mal just knew that those people would not be satisfied until they ruled every star in the sky. They had already once tried to make people 'better'. It still left a sour taste in his mouth when he thought about what he had seen and learned.

She hadn't mentioned it, but he had seen in Kaylee's eyes that she had wanted to have her folks there for her wedding, though it was quite a bit more fanciful that Mal expected of them. She had gone for the whole nine yards, complete with white wedding dress and huge reception. It seemed like half the gorram planet had been there!

In contrast the wedding of Apollo and Sheba had been small, quiet like. Most of those who attended had been the close friends or relatives of the two. Mal had been surprised at the sheer number of candles though. Where on Earth did they get so many? And more importantly, why?

Still, he had to admit it had the two of them look even better in the glow from all those flames. Sheba had truly looked like a goddess. Inara had finally clued him into the ancient figure who had held that name, back on Earth-That-Was. Though Mal had begun to wonder just what the condition of Earth actually was. An awful lot of holes in history had been filled in for him. Mal was grateful however that certain sections had been lost before the rise of the Alliance. He shuddered at the thought of what the Alliance could have done had they had access to the technology of the Cybrids. Fragments had survived, such as the basic laser systems, but Mal considered it extremely fortunate that the secrets of shields and such advanced AI's did not.

Mal hated to admit it, but a small part of him longed to once more walk the streets of Persephone, to wander the expansive fields of Shadow, the planet he had been raised on before going to war. Oh, he knew that going back held all kinds of risks, not least of which was the Alliance, but he'd seen the look in the eyes of his entire crew. They all at least wondered what was going on back there.

"Something on your mind Captain?" Mal turned his head to regard Colonel Achilles. The Colonial had taken a long time to recover from his injuries sustained during the battle. His ship Thunderchild had come within an inch of destruction, but the two of them had refused to die. Now he once more stood tall and proud, his ship ready to slip her moorings in the space station where she had laid for almost seven months being completely rebuilt. In a couple of days she'd begin trials of all the new systems that had been developed from the integration of technology from the Colonies, the Cybrids and the Zoids.

"Just thinking about my home, that's all." Mal answered, taking a swig from his bottle before he continued. "I mean, I like it here. This world is nice and open, but…"

Achilles nodded. "I understand Mal. All of us feel the same way about our homes." A dark look entered the warriors eyes, and Mal winced in sympathy. The Twelve Colonies were gone, bombed back into the Stone Age by the Cylons. Their centurions, sliver plated killing machines, had swept the cities clear of all life, while the disk shaped base ships had hung in orbit, erasing any hint of resistance with their lethal lasers. Or obliterating whole cities with their mega-puslars. No, those twelve worlds were now nothing more than lifeless balls of blasted rock.

Achilles looked down at the party before speaking again. "I think you should know, I got a call from Kane the other day." Mal looked up, his interest piqued. Richter Kane was the head of one of the three largest corporations on the planet, and the owner of the largest set of research facilities ever seen. The man had his fingers in all kinds of high-tech projects, and his company had worked closely with the Colonials with their upgrades. Even Serenity now had several components built into her that had been produced by Ultima Industries.

"He's been looking closely at the… event, that brought you here."

Mal considered the word 'event' to be a serious understatement.

"He thinks, and I stress thinks, than he's discovered a way to reopen that wormhole, and allow you to return home."

Mal stared at the Colonial, his mind frozen. Go back? He'd never actually thought he could…

"I assume you want to test this first before sending someone through?"

Achilles nodded. "What you and your crew told us about this ' Alliance' has us worried."

"This coming from the people with them." He jerked his head towards the two bright points on the sky that marked the two massive battlestars Galatica and Pegasus. "Just one of those ships could easily take on the whole Alliance fleet and walk away without a scratch, even before you began to tinker with them."

Achilles smirked slightly. "Yes well, it's not us we're concerned about. It's the people under their rule. At the very least, we are duty bound to warn them about the Cylon threat." It was another thing that no one really talked about, but it was widely understood that someday the Cylons would return. They may have stopped them this time, but who was to say that they would the next?

"You do realise that they'll demand that you turn over everything you have, your ships, weapons, laws and free will, to them?"

Achilles nodded, this time a confident smile on his lips. "Let them try and enforce that."

Mal felt a chuckle in his throat at that. Two years ago, maybe less, had anyone said that to him he would have figured that they were both foolish and stupidly overconfident. But he had seen the Colonial Fleet in action.

The Alliance wouldn't stand a chance.

"Well, if we can help in any way, let me know."

Achilles smiled. "I was kind of hoping you'd say that. Since if we can go through, and do so, we'll need some one to guide us and let us know where everything is." He glanced at Mal. "Interested?"

Mal though for only a second. "Count us in. Assuming that River's got my boat back together."

X-X-X-X-X-X

"Stand by to release the moorings."

Achilles stood before his chair, at the heart of his bridge. Today was the day when his ship would once more sail free amongst the stars. The last items of work were done, and the dock crews were all off ship and back on the station. Now they could see just what the revamped battlecruiser could do. Around him the bridge was a bustle of noise and activity.

"Energisers one and two at stand by level, all systems green."

"All weapon systems powered down. Energy shield generators at stand by."

"All external hatches sealed, airlocks secured."

"Docking Control handing over control of moorings."

He knew that on board the station, indeed around the planet, people were watching the launch. Thunderchild had become a symbol of the ability of man to bounce back after any disaster. And she would be the first ship to finish the new refits and test the new systems.

The voices around him faded, and Achilles knew they were waiting for his command. "Here we go… Release all moorings. Helm, fire docking thrusters and move us clear of the station."

Aye sir, moorings disengaging." Several faint 'clunk's could be heard as each of the heavy duty magnetic claps that had held the ship in place for seven months came loose. Small bursts of ion emissions pushed the ship sideways, away from the arms of the slipway.

"We have cleared the slipway sir."

"Very good." Achilles nodded as he leaned on the railing before him. "Bring the Energisers to full power, and kick start the engines. Let's see what she's got now…" Many of the bridge officers smiled at the anticipation in the Colonel's voice. For they felt it as well.

Near the back of the warship the twin Energisers spun up to full power, the reaction of the Tylium pumping out the same amount of power as an equal amount of anti-matter, only far more safely. The array of Ion engines at the rear of the ship, dark for so long, flared blue white as they ignited.

Slowly but with increasing speed, the lean battlecruiser pushed forwards, at last back in her element. All around her smaller ships of the Colonial fleet paced her or danced around, contained within the Guardians that paced their bigger and more modern cousin on each side.

Around the world people cheered at the ship that had almost made the ultimate sacrifice for them surged free and clear once more.

Achilles smiled slightly as the smaller craft began to fall back to their homes. "Major, do you have the trial schedule?"

His XO stepped up to stand besides him. "Right here sir." He answered simply. He held out a slim touch screen pad, used on Zi for several decades now, but still new to the Colonials.

Achilles glanced at it. "So, speed trials first huh… Okay, helm set course for the Alpha Mining base." Alpha Mining base was based in the systems rather thin asteroid belt, and was the first of three such bases built. It was little more than a collection of containers strung together, but it was enough for what was needed. "Ahead full, and I mean full. Push her to the limits."

"Aye sir, coming about."

With the grace of her smaller consorts Thunderchild swung round to point her sharp arrowhead prow towards the depths of space. A surge pulsed through her drives, and she seemed to almost leap forwards as the full fury of her ion drives kicked in. It was as if the ship itself were eager to prove itself once more.