Going Forward

She looked at the paper work strewn about her desk and sighed. There were times when she missed the day to day drudgery of simply following orders. Things were easier when you were a foot soldier. You did as you were told, and you didn't have to worry about anything but following orders.

The news coming from Starfleet and the Federation was… disquieting. It was made worse knowing that her people had so little voice in the decisions being made. If she had her druthers, the wormhole connecting the Federation to the Gamma Quadrant would be closed and destroyed, if possible. Far too much nastiness seemed to be on the other side and if she had learned anything in the five years she had been a Federation citizen, it was that the Federation had a tendency to stick their noses into places that didn't like be bothered. The Jem'Hader sounded like tough bastards and Starfleet, in their wisdom, just kept poking the Dominion with a stick. She didn't like it. Her people had been through enough. They were finally settling in, feeling safe.

The door slid open. "Commander Six," the Eight, Lt. Amy Eight, said, her voice filled with worry, "We just got a communication from Deep Space Nine. There's an invasion force coming through the wormhole."

Commander Natalie Six rose to her feet in a fluid motion. "Understood. Set condition one in the basestar." As the Eight turned and almost ran out the door, Natalie wondered if the ugly ball of fear in her stomach was how the humans had felt when they had attacked so long ago.

She strode into the control center, taking great care to not look frightened or startled. All models had their weaknesses, and while the Eights preferred military life over colony pursuits, they tended to panic. "I need a sitrep."

"The Cardassians have thrown in with the Dominion," Lt. Eight said. The other Eights nodded, and Three and Leoben nodded.

"We're too close to Bajor," Five said. "It's clear that the Cardassians plan to retake the planet and with the Dominion on their side, it will happen."

"And we're right in the middle," Natalie said, mentally picturing the maps and the Cardassian ships. Cardassians wanted to be major players, they had made overtures when Cylonia was first colonized four years earlier. The Federation had increased patrols for a time, and she knew that the Federation wasn't just watching the Cardassians. Unlike the colonials, who were welcomed into the Federation fold with smiles and supplies, the Cylons were viewed more suspiciously. She didn't blame the Federation for that. There was a lot of ugly history to get over.

"We should call for assistance from Starfleet," Leoben said. Even as he said it, he looked defeated, and Three was shaking her head as well.

"The Federation's first priority will be assisting Bajor," Three said. " They'll want to maintain control of their station and assist their allies. We're a backwater world with low population." She looked grimly at Six. "We can ask for help, there's no reason not to but if this gets as bad as it could, they'll just write us off. Look at the colonies they simply handed to the Cardassians in the name of keeping the peace."

"And there is the FTL drive to consider," Simon said suddenly.

Natalie nodded. The FTL drive was a sore point in their relations with the Federation. The colonials had gotten exclusive research rights. Even though the Cylon FTL was better, the Federation and Starfleet had balked at the idea of having a hybrid control a large ship. It was a form of slavery, never mind that hybrids were bred from the tanks for one purpose only. The Federation allowed the hybrid in the basestar only because, as they put it, the damage was already done, but had no interest in pursuing the technology, not when the colonial version was more aesthetically pleasing to their morals. There were a small group of Cylons at the research facility on New Atlantis and the colony did receive a fair share of the royalties but the main research was being done on New Atlantis with the inferior system. The problem was that Cardassians had a tendency to weaponize anything and the same nanites that allowed them to download their memories and resurrect could be programmed to allow any Cylon to act as a hybrid. And she doubted the Cardassians or the Dominion would have any scruples about enslaving the entire colony into FTL drive computers.

"We can't expect help," she said to the others. "This is an unprecedented situation for the Federation and we are a minor colony. We don't have weapons that can fight the Cardassians with." She took a deep breath. "I want a communication line to the civilian government. We're going to evacuate."

"Evacuate?" That was Cavil and he stepped forward angrily. "You want to evacuate the entire colony? Where will we go?"

She put her hand into the stream of data and brought up the star maps for everyone to look at. "The Cardassians are bypassing us right now because this is a minor colony, but make no mistake, they will come here, and we can't fight them and win. We're human in their eyes, and that makes us next to nothing. They will come here, and they will subjugate us easily. Think about the children. Do you want our children raised as slaves to Cardassians or worse the Dominion?" She straightened her back and removed her hand from the data stream. After a long moment Cavil nodded.

"We can fit everyone on the basestar," he said after a moment of thought. "But the question remains, where will we go?"

"Deeper into Federation territory," Six answered back quickly. "We're Federation citizens and by their standards, we're human. The children certainly are." She shook off her worry in an instant. "I want everyone on board this ship as soon as possible. I want anyone who can fly a heavy raider moving. This needs to be fast. I want all of the planet side computers destroyed and any ship that can't fly needs to be destroyed."

"We still have nukes," Leoben said as the Eight went to the com panel. "Anything left behind could be destroyed."

"Make it ready." To the Eight, she added, "Tell them to leave everything and just get on board the ships. We have replicators." The Eight nodded.

"Ironic, isn't it?" Cavil said suddenly. His eyes twinkled maliciously. "We're running away from our colony with nothing but the shirts on our backs."

"That isn't lost on me," she said curtly. "At least we have somewhere to go, and we can save everyone." And if there was a part of her that wondered if it was their just desserts for the attack on the colonies, she intended to keep that to herself.