This is a short chapter being used as a place holder as I switch this story to the crossover's section. It is called 'Disclosure'
Also there will be a correction in the overall story. G. Baltar in this time line is dead...killed by terrorists. He did learn the language of the Race but he never had the opportunity to make it to Home. BTW I am working on ATV-and actually making progress, hard to believe.
Five days post relocation
"We interrupt our normal broadcast to bring you a CBN special report. I'm Sharon Frona along with Antany Efthalia and the rest of our on the spot crew. In a few moments, President Goesel will step to the podium to deliver an unscheduled speech. The office has been very tight-lipped about this speech tonight. No copies have been given out to the press in advance and as you might imagine the rumors throughout the government of the Twelve Colonies have ranged from the Colonies uniting with the Thirteenth tribe to a declaration of war with an alien race."
"That's right, Sharon. This is something that is highly unusual. We don't know what the president will address in this upcoming speech but already the opposition is readying rebuttals. Unsurprisingly, we've seen that the most prevalent rumors have to do with the Apellai and their continued refusal to begin talks uniting with their brethren. That continuing refusal has to be damaging to Earth both economically as well as politically. We've had unconfirmed reports, and I stress unconfirmed here, of rioting on Earth as millions of people flood the streets in protest of their governments refusal to begin the long arduous process of uniting our people."
Earth's economic stability being hurt does contain some elements of truth. One lone isolated colony can't sustain itself indefinitely even if it has some degree of independence. We've seen that with Picon when that colony was an independent. Civil war broke out thousands were killed before we all united under a central government. The pressures on the Apellai have to be enormous despite their superior advances in some areas of technology. So if the rumors are true that the Thirteenth has a form of totalitarian government in control of their world, then the question becomes, do we want to unite with them, or will we have to push them towards a more democratic approach similar to the Colonies before we can embrace them?"
"That could be difficult. If the people are used to a more authoritarian form of government then they may not be ready to join us. Being forced into such a radical change might, from a political point of view, destabilize the entire planet. Also consider that we don't know the extent of technological advancements. If they are as advanced as rumored then the government may have total control over the people. They may not even understand the concept of freedom as we define it. Then, if Earth is truly as monotheistic as the rumors say then that creates an entirely new set of problems. It may also explain why they sided with the cylons. We all know that those machines were monotheistic."
"That's true as evidenced by the war," said Sharon. "We all saw the images of them calling out to their god before they were destroyed. But it begs the question that we've so far been unable to answer. How can machines believe in anything? But, let's get back to your point about, Earth, Antany. What we know about Earth are just that; unsubstantiated rumors. No matter how much we think we know about them, the reality is that the information we have on Earth is sparse. For security reasons, our own government has kept a tight lid on any information getting out. For all we know, they may be as democratic as we are."
"Maybe, but getting back to their technology base," Antany continued. "Why is it so advanced as compared to our own? They effectively defeated the CDF with minimal losses in return. Remember in those days after we were made aware of the defeat we now call 'the Great Calamity,' the call for war was repeatedly ignored. Our military leaders either wouldn't comment about it, or stated that it wasn't in our interest to fight our brothers and sisters. Instead of pushing for war as the people were all but demanding at the time, Admiral Nagala wouldn't even speak to the press about it."
"Most experts believe that he was frightened we might lose if we provoked the Thirteenth tribe," Sharon answered. "That was obvious as President Adar and President Goesel vetoed any bills advocating war or sanctions of any kind against the Thirteeners. Both presidents are war birds, particularly Adar as was evidenced in the last cylon war."
"Are you suggesting that the full might of the Colonial Defense Forces might not be enough to stop an aggressive Earth force?"
"That's highly doubtful. But the cost of that war might have been prohibited, far too high to be worth the victory. Besides, they are our brothers and what would we look like if we wiped Earth off the map? They're a year away by jump drive, hardly a threat to us. We outnumber them by a significant margin in terms of ships and materiel, plus the military has been steadily building up these last few years in preparation to protect the new colonies. These new ships and weapons technology make the older models look impotent, so Earth won't stand a chance against an all-out assault. But that may be the point. In not pushing for war, our leaders were showing restraint towards a more technologically advanced, but socially immature and isolated society."
Ladies and gentlemen, we will have to continue this conversation another time," Antany whispered. "The President of the Colonies of Kobol is making his way towards the podium. He's heading towards the podium. The quorum is greeting him, shaking his hands; there's a lot of small talk. I can see even from this distance, he looks strained.
"I agree, Antany. He does look strained. You can see how the office is aging him. A quick glance at his face and from his body language, it's obvious that the news doesn't seem good."
"You may be right about that. Whatever he has to say seems to be weighing heavily on him. The rumors we've been hearing may have some elements of truth to them. We may…"
"Sorry to interrupt. The President is about to begin."
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of Colonies of Kobol."
"As you can hear, the President is receiving a strong round of applause. I can see the opposition clapping almost wildly in support. He's at the podium now and everyone is quieting down as he is about to begin."
"To my esteemed colleges, to the Vice-President, the esteemed members of the Quorum, to the quorum minor house, to the people of the Twelve Worlds of Kobol, and to our two newest, youngest colonies, I bring you my heartfelt greetings in the names of all of the gods we hold dear. I am speaking to you about the somber events that have occurred beyond our farthest borders. In the past few days, we as a people have been tested as never before.
Six days ago, Colonial forces located in previously unexplored, deep regions of space experienced a disastrous First Contact with elements of what we believe to be a splinter group of the Thirteenth Tribe. This splinter group were likely remnants of refugees that were ether lost or separated from the main pioneers of the Thirteenth's exodus and forced to fend for themselves. They are called the Tollanians. As of yet, we know very little details of their history but what we do know is that the Tollanian's home world was destroyed in a natural cataclysm; a super volcano eruption that rendered their world unable to support life.
Having an original population of nearly three hundred million, most of their people, died during the initial stages of the eruption, before the survivors were able to escape off world. The survivors were able to colonize another world less than twenty years ago. That thriving civilization was attacked and destroyed by an enemy known as the Goa'uld. The few survivors launched a rag-tag fleet hoping to find a green world known to them as Earth, also known to us as well as the world of the Apellai. Our information is incomplete however we do know that they were continually attacked by pirates we now know to be a group of allied worlds named the Lucian Alliance. Many more of their people were lost before the Apellai found them. Now, our expeditionary fleet was unaware that we had intruded into their space. There were no identifiable markers or warning beacons detected. Isolated and alone for many, many generations, and treated harshly by enemy forces, the Tollanians responded harshly against our supposed intrusion upon their territory.
Before I continued I want to be perfectly clear. The Tollanians are allied with the Apellai, but they are an independent government that does not answer to Earth government. The Apellai were unaware of the attack by the Tollanians until we informed them. They had nothing to do with the incident and have offered their condolences for the loss of our men and women. They also offered to act as mediators between the Colonies and Tollanians until we can come to an independent agreement with them in order to avoid such loss of life again, and lessen the possibility of war with our brethren.
In the Kimtesh star system, as we have named it, our forces found a mostly desert-like but habitable planet we intended to use as base of operations, and as a potentially new colony. When the Tollanian ship entered the system, it did not identify itself, but headed directly towards the planet and our warships. The unknown was challenged. There was no response. Repeated communications were continually ignored. Our military ships fired in order to disable the unknown and prevent any closer approach."
President Goesel sight heavily. "During the engagement, the battlestars Hade's Arrow, the Severus, the Kaberoi and Tityos were destroyed with the loss of all hands onboard. The Galactica and Tiryns were damaged however most of their crews did survive the engagement. At that point hostilities ceased and the Tollanian warship then opened communications and demanded that we leave the system. In order to avoid more loss of life, the Admiral in charge complied with their request. We have since learned that the Tollanians have identified this and several other star systems as their own. We have complied with their wishes and have since moved away from the claimed systems. Our diplomatic envoys being sent to Earth will act as intermediaries to both Earth and the Tollanians. These intermediaries will include President Adar who has agreed to participate in this most delicate of missions. Despite the loss of so many men and women of our military personnel and ships we, are confident that when the lines of communications are opened, we can avoid any more loss of life between our newfound brethren. Our forward star station Base Makaria, will remain in its position thirty-six light years from Earth. It will be used as a way station for both Earth and our people so that we will to be able to meet to discuss our differences without resorting to the use of military conflict. It will also provide support and protection to our two newest colonies. Earth has promised that they will not violate territories where those civilian colonies are located and they will aid in their protection if outside forces threaten them. Despite the differences between us that is welcomed news.
However, because of this incident, I now have a responsibility to reveal to you certain truths that we have kept from the people of the Colonies for your own protection and peace of mind. I have struggled with this for almost two years as I have tried to protect our people from the threats from beyond the known stars we now know to exist. It is my sad duty to report to you that the galaxy is not as desolate as we have believed it to be. There are alien forces out there that are sworn enemies of humankind and will not rest until we are subdued or destroyed. The parasitic aliens known as the Goa'uld are just one of the aggressive and dangerous species that we have encountered. At one time these aliens controlled large portions of our galaxy, and it is by or because of the will of the gods we didn't encounter them sooner. One of our newest colonies was once territory of a Goa'uld system lord. Our forces defeated him and liberated the humans on that planet which has become our first outward bound colony. Those people were treated as the lowest of slaves since they were abducted from the Earth many, many generations ago. They were even forbidden upon sentence of death to learn how to read or write by the parasites so that these aliens would maintain their control.
Our isolation has protected us, but no longer can we continue to rely on this isolation to keep us from harm. Civilizations far more advanced than ours have fallen to these parasites. It is because of these aliens that the Tollanians responded in such a hostile and aggressive manner towards our forces. There are others out there that would wish us only harm. The Lucian Alliance, the Free Jaffa Confederation of Ardros, and both the Ashtaroth and remaining Goa'uld System Lords are just some of the additional threats that we will have to prepare to protect ourselves from. The time is coming when we will have to face them with all of our resolve and power.
Once, the cylons and what they represented was the greatest threat that we feared. We resisted and conquered our enemies and in doing so, we discovered the Thirteenth Colony. As with First Contact with the Tollanians, it did not go as well as we wished. However we can learn from our mistakes and instead of hostility and anger, I will extend the hands of friendship to our brethren the Apellai and the Tollanians. We now know that there are other groups of humans located on other worlds, so many that we can't imagine and it is my dream to unite us all as the brothers and sisters of Kobol.
In the coming days I will make several more press releases and speeches concerning Earth, the Tollanians and other worlds with human populations. I will also brief you on our enemies that I've just mentioned. Despite the dangers, remember that we are not alone; however, we must be united or we shall fall to the forces intending to enslave or destroy us. Because of the magnitude of the threats I shall redouble my efforts to bring Earth and Colonies into mutual agreement. I have stretched out my hands to them once and I will do so again and again until we can stand straight and tall as a united people ready to defend against the enemies that threaten to destroy us. Thank you."
"We've just heard the conclusion of the President's speech and it was a real eye-opener. I confess that this was the last thing I expected to hear," said a stunned Sharon. "Alien parasites? Another thirteenth tribe breakaway?"
"It was certainly unexpected," replied an equally shocked Antany. "We knew that the first outward bound colony had suffered a military conflict but the reports have never been opened to the public. We here at CBN have always speculated that the incident involved the Apellai and our forces but apparently we were wrong. There was so much information given and did you notice how he went out of his way to absolve the Thirteenth from any involvement?"
"Yes, I noticed. There are a lot of unanswered questions and to recap, the president said this is only the first of several speeches and press conferences in the coming days. We need to know how many of our brave military offices and crew were killed in the First Contact. How can we protect our worlds and colonies if the military can't even protect itself? We're already experiencing the highest tax increases in ten years with most of it going to military expenditures. Will those taxes be increase again for ships and weapons that are apparently ineffective against our enemies? What repercussions will this bring about?"
"It's obvious the defense forces couldn't handle one Tollanian warship. What if they or an aggressive Apellai decide to attack our worlds or colonies? And, I'm curious to find out about the star system that we – supposedly – violated. What was there that was so important that this new group felt it necessary to attack and kill thousands of men and women without even communicating first? To me, that's an act of war and it's something we can't ignore. "
"You heard the same thing that I did. What if the Apellai put the Tollanians up to this as a way to hurt our forces without being held directly responsible? That's something the president seems to want to avoid at all costs and that's disturbing in and of itself. No one should be allowed to do something like that without suffering some type repercussion. But we've not been told the whole story."
"What about the escaped cylons? Will they be returned to us for judgment? That was one of the President's promises. So many questions; but right now, we're going to our round table discussion with the CBN crew as they take up where we are leaving off. Please stay tuned as we go into an in-depth analysis of what was said, and not said by the president and what it means for the colonies, the Apellai and now the Tollanians. Who are these new adversaries and what were we going to do about them? How will this affect his presidency in the next two years until the election? The pressure is going to be enormous on him and the Quorum to do something."
"It should be very interesting how the president's critics will respond. The rebuttals are coming up and the conservatives in the Quorum minor house will have a lot to say about this situation we find ourselves in."
"We'll return in a moment after these messages…"
After several hours of being besieged by the Quorum, President Goesel found himself with almost fifteen minutes of free time to reflect in everything that had occurred in the last twelve hours. It was enough time for a sandwich and some headache medicine.
Upon receiving the briefings, both the Quorum and the minor house had gone ballistic. More than a third of the members wanted to declare a state of war against both the Tollanians and Earth. He spent time ruthlessly crushing the firebrands screaming for another conflict. There was no way he would endorse any kind of war against that kind of firepower. Reiterating to them that it had taken only one Tollanian warship to decimate a small Colonial fleet without trying or being damaged in return, had the desired effect of calming down some of the members long enough for their brains to catch up with their mouths. Some of the more rational members of the Quorum were quick to recognize the danger. However other, more boisterous ones were bound to cause trouble for everyone in the long term, something he would have to deal with post haste. Several members had accused Earth – and rightly so, the President believed – of having something to do with the attack on the Lizard system. Oh, there was no proof but he knew that Hayes and his people had somehow instigated the Tollanian reaction and were directly responsible for getting so many people killed and evicting the Colonials off their property. His suspicions and that of his inner circle would remain secret in the interests of trying to broker a better peace between his people and Earth's. But, he wouldn't forget.
Not surprisingly, three members of the quorum had openly considered surrendering to Earth and throwing the Colonial people to their mercy in the pursuits of peace. Instant polls reported that about seventeen percent of those polled immediately after those comments were aired had agreed with the unsanctioned proposal.
It was enough to make one curse. Goesel would have preferred to make peace with the Cylons more than with the Earthers at this point. They were arrogant almost beyond belief and worse, they had the power to back it up. The Kimtesh star system had been lost he was forced gravel to the Apellai, and now the Tollanians in order to keep more Colonial men and women from going to the slaughter. Then there was the real danger of outside forces finding the Colonials before they were ready and without assistance from the Apellai and exploration to find useful technology, it would take years if not decades to close the gap. No, he would have to swallow his pride and grovel to a single world.
Earth had listening devices all over the system and had no doubt heard his speech to the people and the responses by everyone with a microphone espousing blasting their idiocy across the airwaves.
That disturbed and alarmed him more than anything else. Who knew what the Earthers thought and how they might react with his government screaming for war? The president could only hope that they had listen to what he hadn't said and could read between the lines.
"Why them?" Goesel asked himself and once more, he wondered why the gods had chosen one insignificant, isolated colony to reap the blessings of everything around them.
Caprica City- Lurie district
Location of Terran Embassy
Six days since the 'Tollanian' incident in the Kimtesh star system (as the Colonial government called the Race's star system) and in the last four days an unprecedented number of meetings at the embassy had been attended including this evening's. Quietly and without fanfare, the most important meeting was about to begin as the Terran ambassador and the Colonial emissary faced one another
Ambassador Frederick Hamilton smiled graciously as the three Colonial representatives sat in front of him trying to do the same.
Several Terran pastries and Earth coffee was offered and quickly accepted. Interestingly, the coffee and chocolate trade agreements were finally making progress after almost three years of haggling and delays perpetrated by both sides. It was a fact that the Colonials loved the exotic coffees and powdered chocolate blends from Earth, and the few Terrans that had tasted the Kobollian counterparts were just as enamored. Blends from both the Colonies and Earth were different enough to promote what some were calling the promise of a very brisk trade; but as usual, politics had gotten in the way. The Trade Quorum faction had pushed for tariffs and exorbitant taxes that would have guaranteed huge profits for the Colonies and very little for Earth. It was standard practice among the United Trade Quorum when dealing with some of the poorer colonies. Like some of their governmental counterparts, the Trade Quorum hadn't gotten the message Earth was having none of that. It was quickly discovered that Earth businessmen were tough when it came to negotiating. Trade talks slowed to a crawl.
Four days ago, things changed. The Colonials had come, hat in hand, with new contract proposals much more beneficial for both sides and the amounts they were suggesting were impressive to say the least. It was likely that Earth would have to greatly expand its newest space station it was building to accommodate larger freighters and transports. And wonder of wonders, established trade routes were being proposed and that both Terran and Colonial way-stations be built to ensure the safety of the transports. Logically security for both the way-stations and freighter and transport ships would potentially be provided by both sides.
Amazing what a few well-placed threats could do to one's attitude.
As was his habit, Hamilton silently thanked the Asgard for their replicator technology. Those devices made building everything so much easier and frankly Earth needed the stations and the ships if they were going to survive the war everyone knew was coming. Some of the non-Human aliens knew this and were also trading heavily with Earth. Weapons-grade naquada as a trading material was really helping Earth in its build up and some of the resulting alliances were already reaping benefits.
The proposals were interesting, worth considering, and would be very profitable given time if both sides could ease the tensions. Of course, the bottleneck would come from the Colonial side as it would take more than a year for transports to travel from the Colonies to Earth. However there were workarounds that could solve those problems. Earth was not about to give their FLT technology to the Colonials.
The downside was that he and his staff were most disappointed that they could not acquire one of those small replicators installed for the embassy. The temptation to the Colonials would have been far too great if they even had a hint that such technology was in the Terran Embassy. They were already being spied on by a number of agencies, a lot of them hostile to the Terran presence. A food replicator could easily have half the CDF overrunning the place and having running gunfights in the hallways with each other trying to get their hands on it.
But not having one wasn't a problem only an inconvenience. Terran transportation was fast. In this case, it was the warship Andromeda that made the run from Earth to the edge of Colonial systems in less than three hours in slow cruise mode. Like their Colonial counterparts a small carrier was then allowed to land on Caprica and its crew and supplies were transported by Colonial services to the Embassy. The shuttle carried everything that Terrans needed as well as transporting diplomatic pouches and other sensitive materials.
Today's meeting consisted of the trade talks but the reason why Ambassador Richard Adar had come along was obvious.
"I will relay the message to my government who in turn will relay your proposal to the Tollanians. I'm afraid that that is all I can do."
"If we can establish an embassy here on Caprica and on Tollania, it would go a long way in establishing a peaceful and lasting relationship between our people," Ambassador Adar said. "We're aware that they have a small population, but we can provide them with supplies, manufactured goods and materiel's to help them and their people. They don't have to be alone."
The Terran Ambassador took a sip of coffee before continuing. "The Tollanians are self-sufficient and somewhat isolationists. On Tollana before they were forced to evacuate, contact with Earth was kept at a bare minimum," Hamilton told the Colonial ambassador. "We weren't considered advanced enough for them to establish any sort of real relationship. The fact is that before the Tollans evacuated their home world they had little or nothing to do with any other human population. They weren't inclined to associate or help anyone considered less advanced. If there were any more advanced societies out there, then the Tollans felt those societies didn't need the help in the first place. Only due to the events that almost destroyed their society did they reconsider some of their views. They renamed their people to the Tollanian to reflect their change in status and attitude. The status between my people and the Tollanians has improved because it was forced to. But they are still isolationists and they may never imitate any contact with your people. They have a different set of priorities and trust comes with a high price. Your actions on Home, and on the other two worlds has done nothing to promote that trust. I believe that they consider you to be nothing more than savage barbarians," the Terran said coolly, impressed by the fact that he could say that without cracking a smile.
Inwardly, Adar sighed. They had a long way to go for any type of real trust could be achieved.
"But you're in good company. They considered us the same – once."
"Nevertheless, my government wishes make the attempt to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with the Tollanians, and the people of Earth. Our ships will be near your sector and we shall most certainly be establishing new colonies. We don't want to establish some sort of dividing zone, nor do we wish a repeat of hostilities. We could rather establish treaties in which all of us can protect the space lanes and Colonial, Apellai and Tollanian colonies."
"Calling us by our proper name would be a good first step. Our world wishes to be called Terra, not Apellai. Another step would be some provide some form of recompense to the worlds that you tried to take over."
"Your first request can be easily done," Adar said diplomatically. He had no problem with that. It was easy. The second… "I'm not sure if my government would be willing to do so. The inhabitants are reptiles, not humans and as such there will be no compensation."
"How many members of the Race did you injure or kill? How much property was destroyed when you invaded their worlds?"
"First, we were unaware of the Tollanian's claim on the system. Second, if, and I stress the word if here, we were to recompense anyone, it would be them, not the creatures inhabiting that world. Third, since the Tollanian were the ones who attack us and killed thousands of our people, without communicating first or having some sort of identification marker identifying their territory, the families of all of our dead should be the ones who are compensated."
Hamilton could see read anger in Adar as he continued. "It's crystal clear to us that the Tollanians killed thousands of our people just to keep us from encroaching too close to your territories."
"As I've told your president, Earth had nothing to do with the Tollanian action. What was done was by their own initiative. We didn't condone that act. What my superiors did was to make our position clear to your government. The Tollanians actions were their own and we have discussed these actions with their ambassador."
"Which is something that my government hopes to address when I speak to them."
"I will pass that request along to their embassy. However that still does not address the fact that the actions of your invasion force killed thousands of the Race."
"I'll not compare the life of some animal to a human being. Ambassador Hamilton, your message was received loud and clear so let me be equally clear on my government's position on this matter. We will not approach your territory without authorization but we will not compensate animals either. My government has given me permission to say that we believe that the Terran government was somehow involved in the deaths of the Colonials of the exploration fleet, but we're willing to put that aside for the greater good. Ultimately, we both want what is best for our people and that is peace and protection from our enemies. We're willing to take the first steps and offer our friendship despite the strains on both of our people. The request to the Tollanians and the proposals before you are our first steps towards that goal."
"In the interests of peace, I do hope we can work together."
"That's mine's as well," said Adar. "As events have proven so eloquently, there are threats out there that would destroy both our people given the chance. There's no need for us to start killing each other."
"You're right Ambassador. But there are more than just humans out there. There are other species who might well become your friends. However, your attitude and actions towards the Race may well hurt your standing with them now that some of them know that you exist. They're not animals and they have every right to exist in freedom. The sooner you realize this, the better you'll be in the long run. There is so much life out there. Be careful how you treat it."
Hamilton was somewhat surprised by the thoughtful look on Adar's face. The fact was that there were other non-humanoid life forms out there and sooner or later the Colonials would encounter them, just as the Terrans had.
Earth explorers had made hundreds of mistakes but had learned from them. Most of them were hard-earned lessons. The Colonials would make mistakes as well but placing religion and humanity first was a sure recipe for disaster, which was why when the next topic was answered quickly and with finality."
"Will you help us with our stargate?"
"No," he answered. "In the future, we may reconsider," he added laying a hint of hope for the future. "But for right now, it could well do far more harm than good." Talk about irony he mused. We were very lucky when we first began using the gate. In the process we encountered hostile aliens who are now deadly enemies. We made friends. We encountered natural disasters and once we nearly tore our planet apart connecting to a gate in a star system that just turned into a black hole." He shook his head. "As I said, we were lucky. However, because of our luck and surviving our mistakes, the galaxy at large knows who we are. If you choose to use the stargate then you may discover yourselves in the middle of a war. If the goa'uld are allowed to get a foothold on your world, if the insects on that one planet whose designation I can't think of offhand, winds up on one of your worlds and begins to use your people for incubators and food, you could well lose everything. We gave you a list of addresses to avoid as they represent a clear and present danger, but that is up to you whether you will heed the advice or not. We have the experience traveling through the gate. You don't. My advice is that you use the gate carefully. As of now you have three addresses. If you discover another one contact us and see if we have any information on it to see if it will be of use to you. Then it's your decision. There are worlds out there that are waiting for someone like you to make contact. In spite of the strain between our people we Terrans have no wish to have your colonies harmed."
"Thank you for your concern. But, I think that tensions could lessen between our two peoples considerably if you remove your offensive satellites from our territories."
"When our trust has improved, we will consider it," Hamilton responded diplomatically, effectively answering that question.