Disclaimer – I own neither BSG(03) or The Culture. They are the property of their respective copyright holders. I am merely borrowing them for a brief time. I am making no monetary gain from this story.

A Day in the Life

BSG(03)/Iain M Banks Culture novels – The Cylons planned to destroy humanity in a day. But something gets in their way. And a new day dawns for the Twelve Colonies.

A/N: For those of you not familiar with The Culture:

The Culture is a vast galaxy spanning civilization around 10,000 years old made up of multiple (mostly humanoid) species and sentient machines. The vast majority of the Culture's citizens live in Orbitals (smaller versions of Larry Niven's Ringworld) or mobile asteroids (called Rocks) or on huge starships (called General System Vehicles (GSV)) that are over 200 km in size. Each starship and Orbital is controlled by a Mind, an enormously powerful sentient machine that is to us, as far as intellect is concerned, what we are to ants (or maybe lint).

The Culture is incredibly advanced and can be described as a 'post scarcity' society where any citizen's material needs or desires can be met with ease at virtually no cost (money does not exist). The average Culture citizen lives a life of comfort and pleasure pursuing whatever interest strikes their fancy at any given time.

For info on the Culture I heartily recommend Banks' novels, they are excellent (Player of Games and Look to Windward are my favorites with Excession following close behind). The books are largely stand alone and can be read in any order. For a quick primer refer to Wikipedia and type 'The Culture' into the search box. I'd give you a direct link but the upload program does not seem to like HTML tags.


BSG: The beginning of the Miniseries then seriously AU

Culture: A century or two post 'Look to Windward'. It doesn't really matter though.

For the purposes of this story the Cylons are numbered as follows:

One – Unnamed (I have to have some surprises)
Two – Leoben
Three - Biers
Four - Simon
Five - Doral
Six - Gina/Shelly/Caprica Six
Seven - Cavil
Eight – Boomer
Nine - Anders
Ten - Tory
Eleven – Tyrol
Twelve - Tigh

Chapter One

Present Day


That summed up Major Tony Nelson's feelings quite nicely. Consigned to spend the next few hours stuck on the Armistice Station waiting for a Cylon envoy who would never come. Forty years since the end of hostilities and not a sound from the machines.

For the first few years after the war prestigious politicians, diplomats and high ranking military officers argued vehemently for the right to sit at this table. But year after year after year of no contact from the Cylons made the task into something of a waste. Colonial military command pushed the assignment down the ladder and the 'honor' of representing the Twelve Colonies of Kobol gradually came to be seen as a punishment handed down by Command or worse, a joke, often assigned through some random game.

That was how Nelson got stuck with it this year. Three senior Admirals were trying to decide who got the job and having a difficult time of it (each one possessing a loooonnng list of junior officers who had annoyed them at some point in the previous few months). The argument went nowhere and carried over into lunch, which the Admirals decided to take in the Officer's Mess. During lunch, with no resolution in sight, one of the Admirals suggested that the job should be given to the seventh Major to enter the Officer's Mess. The others agreed and sent an aide to watch the door.

Exactly eleven minutes later Major Tony Nelson entered the mess three steps behind Major Roger Healy. Thirty seconds after that he was being asked by an aide to dine with three senior Admirals. Seven minutes later Nelson learned he was going to be leaving for the Armistice Station in six days.

Nelson placed pictures of his wife (Jeannie) and child on the desk, quickly glanced through the briefing packet (unchanged in 37 years) and proceeded to fall asleep.

A few minutes later Nelson woke with a start. He swore he heard something. He looked around trying to localize the sound that woke him but nothing registered on his senses.

Finally after a couple minutes Nelson decided that he imaged the noise and slowly drifted back to sleep.

Still bored.

Three light hours away a single Basestar floated through the void. Its Hybrid controller and crew desperately trying to compensate for the sudden and unexpected mass of EM interference that prevented the ship or its Raiders from using their FTL drives and blocked all long range communications.

Their chance to strike the first blow in the destruction humanity passed.

28 years ago (Colonial Reckoning)

-- To - GSV (General Systems Vehicle) – Tripping Through the Stars
-- From – GCU (General Contact Unit) – Dancing on Pinheads

Detected patterned transmissions (location appended). Indication of previously unknown intelligent civilization. Altering course to investigate.

It's about time something happened. It took months just to reach this cloud.

-- To – GCU – Dancing on Pinheads
-- From – GSV – Tripping Through the Stars

Understood. Note – Previous survey of cloud by GCU – Outback in Front 7,935 years ago showed no signs of either sentient or proto-sentient life forms in that cloud (report of Outback in Front appended).

Recommend caution.

-- To - GSV – Tripping Through the Stars
-- From – GCU – Dancing on Pinheads

Ah yes, that old Eccentric who decided to spend three centuries touring the galaxy. Doesn't look like it did anything more than make a high speed run through the outer reaches of the cloud before looping back to the main galaxy.

-- To – GCU – Dancing on Pinheads
-- From – GSV – Tripping Through the Stars

It was a little sloppy or at least it acted like it was. Completely missed the Morthanveld the first time it passed near their sector.

-- To - GSV – Tripping Through the Stars
-- From – GCU – Dancing on Pinheads

True, always good for a laugh though. Except when it nearly got us into a war with the Homomda …

Hold on I think I've got something.

Yep. Anomaly detected. Local star system altered (location appended). Original survey report and current charts show a blue dwarf star. Current survey showing as a G class star.

Can you do a full survey of this cloud and tell me what you see?

-- To – GCU – Dancing on Pinheads
-- From – GSV – Tripping Through the Stars

I'm working on it now.

At this range (17 kilo years from your position) I still show a blue dwarf. Everything else in the cluster matches with current records.

I'm querying other Culture units now to run checks from their viewpoints.

-- To - GSV – Tripping Through the Stars
-- From – GCU – Dancing on Pinheads

I've got it now. The change occurred over a period of less than one month, 6,534 years ago. No clear indication of how it was done.

I also show 26 planetary bodies in system. Previous survey showed only 18 planets. Orbital patterns of seven of the planets altered. Four moved to orbits within the modified star's water zone. The eight new planets are also orbiting within the water zone. The five gas giants retained their previous orbits but they are missing nine moons. I also register a .08265 percent decrease of the mass in the system's Oort Cloud, too high for natural erosion. I speculate that this mass was used in the fabrication of the new planets and possibly used in the modification of the stellar primary. The changes and the new planet's appearance occurred 6,527 years ago.

Looks like somebody's been playing around here.

-- To – GCU – Dancing on Pinheads
-- From – GSV – Tripping Through the Stars

Any idea who? I don't know anybody who's modified an entire star system like that. There are a couple of Involveds (including us) who have the capability but nobody's actually gone and done it. What a waste, you get more usable space from a single Orbital than all twelve of those planets combined (assuming they are habitable) at a fraction of the energy cost.

Contact and Special Circumstances reports say no other current Involved civilization has any interests out that far.

We don't have any records of one of the Elder races operating in that sector.

-- To - GSV – Tripping Through the Stars
-- From – GCU – Dancing on Pinheads

Like any of the Elders tell us what they've been up to.

I'm not detecting any traces of a known Involved or other intelligence anywhere around here (beyond, you know, somebody modifying an entire star system!). Analysis of the previously detected signal showed it was a low band EM transmission, late stage three-early stage four technology. The signal's been heavily degraded.

It came from a different star system. 2,727 years from the modified system. Survey shows one planet in the water zone and data matches with existing charts.

I've modified my course for close flyby (25 years) of the modified star system. If nothing bites I'll do a spiral inwards to a range of 100 hours then pull back to 25 years.

At current range and speed I'll make the initial flyby in 12.7 days.

I'll let you know what I find. After that we can figure out what to do.

-- To – GCU – Dancing on Pinheads
-- From – GSV – Tripping Through the Stars

Understood. Be careful. We're probably dealing with an Elder Artifact. Most likely abandoned but you never know with those guys.

I'll call up gang and let them know you found something interesting.