Happy New Year Everyone!
Whew! This is it. The last chapter. My thanks go out to all who have read and reviewed. You guys are all awesome. I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate all the support.
Ari989: Short? It's been more than two years. The Cylons left Cyrannus after the first year. The Colonials arrived at the Thirteenth Tribe's Earth two or three years later.
UVlite: Thanks for the info. Jackson probably did, but it's not like he's gonna drown the Colonials in all the details. He's just pointing out human cultures everywhere have commonalities despite distance.
Guest: Of course we know Athena is hiding on Earth. So does the SGC. But they're not gonna assume that just because Athena figures prominently in Kobolian mythology, it's automatically the same Athena they know.
As always, neither Stargate:SG1 nor Battlestar Galactica are mine. If they were, we'd know what class of ship the Valkyrie actually was. And we'd see more of them!
Captain Grant fought the urge to fidget as he followed his marine escort down the rear ramp of the puddlejumper. Clad in Dress Blue Number 3C, he had considered wearing the more formal Number 1, but eventually decided against it as the Stargate Command had already established the tradition of making contact in the largely functional combat dress. A decision that was vindicated(to his relief) by the Colonial Officers' own duty blues. He would have been mortified if anybody turned up in formal grays. Stopping at the edge of the ramp, he stood at attention.
"Request permission to come aboard."
It was gratifying to know that some traditions were universal.
"Granted," came the reply at which point he then stepped over the threshold and held up his hand. The ranking officer, a Colonel, he judged by the red and silver piping, stepped forward and met his gesture, enthusiastically grasping his forearm before motioning at the two men and one woman with him.
"Welcome aboard. I'm Colonel Renard Thule of the Orion class ship Talos, Senior surviving officer of the Colonial Defense Force. Loren Gallath is the elected administrator in the Helios Alpha drift colony. Julian Hekaton is his counterpart in Helios Gamma, while Gianne Argyre is the deputy standing in for the administrator of Helios Delta, who is currently indisposed."
"Pleasure to meet you all."
"You're really from Earth." Julius Centannus seemed ecstatic. "Praise the Lords, you've come to take us all home."
He had been warned multiple times that some Colonials might have near religious reverence at the idea of Earth. That had apparently not been enough to prepare him for when he encountered the sentiment. Fortunately Colonel Thule noticed his discomfort and with a slight wince and a glare at the older man quickly moved the conversation along.
"We've prepared a conference room where we can discuss all the issues at hand."
"Lead the way." Captain Grant smiled.
"Nice setup you have here." The Englishman commented as he walked alongside the Colonial officer.
"Front half of a Jupiter Class battlestar." Colonel Thule replied. "Cylons caught her flatfooted and just blasted her into two pieces. We towed the front part here because it had most of everything we needed. Fuel tanks, water, protein sequencers, even still has the number one FTL drive core. Cleaning out the dead bodies was a bitch, though. And we had to jury-rig a new power supply. The fusion arrays were in the rear section. Finally we just stripped another derelict down and towed her into the starboard flight pod... And here we are."
As they all took seats around the table, Captain Grant began the small conference.
"First off, I'm sorry to say that taking you all to Earth is beyond my mandate. However, before continue further on what it is I can do, I would like some more information. How are you all doing? How long has it been like this? Any other issues aside from the obvious?"
"Well," Colonel Thule replied, casting glances at the others. "As you can probably tell, there was a war. Four years ago the Cylons attacked in force. They sabotaged the fleet and proceeded to bombard the Colonies, which they then subsequently inhabited. In space their fleet was the dominant power and the CDF was scattered."
"That first year, we survived mostly by scavenging supplies off of wrecks like this one." He waved his hand around, indicating their current location. "We kept moving, kept our heads down. Then after a year, the Cylons just up and left. We're not sure why, but it took months for us to even begin to hope they'd been gone for good. And by then we had problems of our own."
"See, we survived by staying in our ships. That first year, as long as you had a ship that could jump you had a chance. Well guess who else had jump capable ships? Pirates. In the short interim after the Cylons disappeared they wasted no time setting up their own pirate kingdoms. That was just in space. On the ground, the damage had been massive, but not total. dozens of resistance groups were eking out a living in hidden bases and on stockpiled supplies and after more than a year were literally on their last legs."
"That's why we refurbished this station. It allowed us safe harbor where we could relocate the ones we rescued from the ground and where the pirates could not threaten them. It served us as base of operations while we dismantled the more morally bankrupt of the pirate kingdoms. Its protein resequencers allowed us to establish a monopoly on food supplies."
"I see, and your current status?" Captain Grant prompted. "I notice there isn't a representative from Helios Beta?"
"Virgon and Leonis were among the most developed worlds even before Unification. Destruction was near total. Much of the orbital infrastructure fell down to the planet surface. The two planets are almost completely uninhabitable. There were so few survivors that we just dispersed them between the other drift colonies instead. We're alive, and relatively at peace, but the Cyrannus cluster is for all intents and purposes dead. We subsist on resequenced tree bark harvested from higher altitudes where the rad content is lower. The planets have no ability to support crops or livestock to any sufficient degree. In a few years even the tree bark will run out."
"In a way, the poorer worlds got off lucky. Less infrastructure, less targets for the Cylons to nuke. They actually harvested the crops from Aerilon. But on the other hand, the lack of infrastructure also impacted the people's ability to survive after the cataclysm struck." The woman, Gianne spoke for the first time.
"Quite." Captain Grant nodded in understanding. "Very well, as I was saying, taking you all to Earth is not an option. There isn't any place to put you in in any case. The planet has problems of its own. There is however another option. There is a planet nearby where we are assisting in establishing a new colony. A colony to be inhabited by other survivors from the Second Cylon War."
"These wouldn't happen to be ones led by Commander Adama or President Roslin, would it?" Colonel Thule asked gently.
"Why yes, as a matter of fact these are led by both Commander Adama, he's Admiral now, and President Roslin together, though the President has been delegating more and more to Lee Adama, due to her illness. It was in fact, our association with them that led us to investigate this cluster. Is that going to be a problem?"
"Problem?" Julian Hekaton's aged face was now a mask of fury. "They left us here to die! They told us to rally at Ragnar but didn't even bother to wait. When we got there, the place was empty! They ran with their tails between their legs thinking only of themselves!"
"That's enough, Julian." Colonel Thule cut him off quietly, then waited a moment before addressing Captain Grant once more. "Personally, I have nothing against them. They must have had their reasons, particularly if they have enough people that you would actually invest in the effort of helping them set up a new colony. But as you can see some of us have some rather hard feelings about them."
"That's unfortunate." Captain Grant answered sadly. "But it won't change our decision to assist them in setting up the new colony. Nor would it necessarily convince us that there could be any other place for you. I understand what you have here is hard. But you've not seen hide nor hair of the Cylons for going on three years. You've had peace. For a given definition of peace. Admiral Adama and President Roslin and the fleet they gathered, they've traveled almost a thousand lightyears. Harried by Cylons every step of the way."
"And they suddenly decided to put down roots? Is that safe?"
"Should be , the war's over." Captain Grant smiled at the gathered Colonials.
The silence that followed his remark was palpable.
"How?" Colonel Thule could barely form sentences out of shock.
"The Cylons splintered and began quarreling among themselves. One faction wanted to keep hunting Admiral Adama's fleet and finish the job, while the other had had enough and just wanted to find Earth. The genocidal faction led the other into an ambush and the survivors of that ambush negotiated an alliance with the Colonials. To make a long story short, the alliance discovered the location of the Cylon's base and moved to attack it. And so ended the war."
"So you're saying there are still Cylons around?" Colonel Thule clarified.
"Yes, the fleet currently includes two of the modern Basestars, in addition to some recently acquired older ones. They've kept to themselves for the most part, but I have it on good authority that relations are improving."
"You said Lee Adama has been taking up more of the slack for President Roslin?" The young woman, standing out among the group of gentlemen, spoke out once more.
"Yes, he is the representative of the Capricans in the fleet. Did you know him? Fairly capable young man. A widower, I'm told."
"I... I might have." Gianne hesitated. "Or it might have been a different Lee Adama. The planet. Could you tell us more about it?"
"Fairly temperate world, with a wide variation in terrains and climates. Gravity, solar radiation, rotation and revolution are fairly close to what you're accustomed to."
"Despite all the hard feelings, I doubt many will actually object to being resettled." Julian Hekaton spoke once more, having regained himself. "Having clean air to breath and a planet without lethal radiation makes for a compelling argument. That will then pose the problem of how to transport the almost two hundred thousand people on the three drift colonies."
"Shouldn't be a problem." Captain Grant replied. "As I said, Admiral Adama's people did make off with some booty from the Cylon base. Some old basestars from the First Cylon War, should be enough capacity to bring everyone."
"From the First Cylon War?" Colonel Thule echoed. "They'd have to be very old. Still... those things were frakking huge."
"A lot of people aren't going to like being in one of those." Loren Gallath muttered.
"I'm sure we can come up with alternatives if that becomes the case." Captain Grant smiled.
"Admiral, Vice President, you're just in time." Gaius Baltar smiled at the two men, while an attendant handed them eye protectors.
"Thank you for having us." Tom Zarek smiled as the younger man led them to the testing area. "Why don't you tell us a bit more about what we're doing here?"
'Here' happened to be an unused launch bay aboard the Cylon War Era Basestar they had christened Requiem. More specifically the overlooking flight operations center. Below them was the actual bay being used as test area.
"As you all know," Baltar began, "both the Earthers and the Lucian Alliance ships we engaged over the Thirteenth Tribe's homeworld used protective energy shields. This leads to the uncomfortable conclusion that it is a common technology among spacefaring races in this part of the galaxy. Perhaps the entire galaxy, even. That would leave us behind the curve technologically. Fortunately, due to some creative bargaining on the part of the Admiral, we have managed to acquire working samples of the most common model of energy shield currently in use as well as technical assistance in refurbishing and understanding it."
The scientist paused before continuing.
"Of course, this is likely a few generations behind what the Earthers themselves use, and in the interest of good relations, I would really rather not have to press them to share more technology like that with us. But it does provide us with a starting point. Something we can study at our own leisure and understand and attempt to duplicate or even improve upon. Which leads to this. Our first, homegrown, built with original Colonial and Cylon components, energy shield!"
Pausing once more, the scientist glanced at an attendant, a Cylon model Eight with close cropped hair, who nodded in response.
"So, without further ado. We shall commence the test." He remarked, motioning the others to put on their eye protectors and then signalling the other project staff. "Commence Phase One."
On the flight deck below them, below two thick columns, a wall of yellow energy sprang into existence. It flickered a bit, before settling into an even yellow glow.
Baltar turned to the short-haired Eight once more, who then read off what their testing and measuring equipment were telling them.
"Input power is stable, field strength is stable, all other test parameters are nominal." The Eight looked back at Baltar before continuing. "I can recommend proceeding to Phase Two."
"Proceed, then," Baltar replied.
Immediately a remote controlled platform wheeled into position in front of the energy shield. On it were various hand weapons. Each of which was fired several times. From pistols, to submachine guns, all the way to rifles and HE rounds. Baltar carefully watched the readings while each weapon was fired, nodding in satisfaction as the energy field held.
"We're seeing a minor reduction in field strength, almost negligible, it quickly climbed back up to desired levels."
"That's well within projected results." Baltar nodded in satisfaction. "Continue to Phase Three."
Below them, the platform moved out of the way, to be replaced by another platform. This one with much larger weapons mounted on it.
"First, try the viper cannons." Baltar instructed, and the two long barrels mounted onto the platform began to spew forth kinetic energy penetrators, along with the occasional tracer round.
"Dropped more quickly than before, but its now climbing back up." The Eight announced once the test firing concluded.
"Good, let it climb back up to nominal, then give the rest of the armaments a try." Baltar replied, referring to the disassembled weapons that usually made up a Raptor's gunship upgrade kit. When the test continued, the shield held against the automatic cannons, started flickering as the onslaught continued with the rockets, and buckled completely after two missiles.
"Well then, that was pretty much as we expected." Baltar smiled self-deprecatingly as the third missile, now without a shield to impede it, continued out past the open bay doors to remote detonate outside.
"Forgive me if I seem underwhelmed, but as I understood it, the Earther shields could hold up under repeated bombardment from capital scale cannons. How is this supposed to compare?" Tom Zarek spoke up.
"It's not supposed to." Baltar conceded. "We must bear in mind, the shields mounted on Earther ships are a mature design. With a much larger power supply behind it. By comparison this was powered off of the Tylium energizer of a Cylon War Era Raider. Frankly, I'm surprised it held up as well as it did, or was as efficient. As we continue to refine the design, we can eventually expect to be able build ones powerful enough for use on our ships."
"How long?" Admiral Adama asked.
"I can't tell. We're only at the prototype phase. A proof of concept, if you will. Eventually, I intend to build a larger design to be powered off the equivalent of a Battlestar's fusion arrays, though I admit I have no idea how effective that would be. Earther power cores provide far more power than our own fusion arrays. Worse comes to worst, we may have to experiment on building generators based on that Naquada material the Earthers use."
"Try to prioritize this, if you can." The Admiral urged.
As the two walked out of the flight operations center, they were met at the door by a smartly dressed Major, who stood at attention.
"Walk with us Major. You came at the behest of Colonel Thule all the way from the Cyrannus cluster. Got a name?"
"Major Victor Ormens, sir. Colonel Thule sent me to brief you personally on the state of all fleet assets in the Cyrannus cluster, along with a plan to rebuild new Battlestars."
That stopped Admiral Adama short. It had been a bare three weeks since contact with the survivors in the Cyrannus cluster had been reestablished. Three weeks since he had learned he had a grandchild. Colonel Thule had done an admirable job and he was in the process of cutting the orders to promote him to full Commander. He did not expect the younger officer to plan that far ahead.
"New battlestars? I was under the impression we had no shipyards to build them?"
"Well, yes sir. Building new battlestars from the ground up will require a full on shipyard. This is clearly beyond our current capabilities, even after all the work converting some of the Basestars into mobile docks."
"The Colonel obviously has an idea." Tom Zarek smiled. "Why don't you let the nice young man explain?"
Admiral Adama cast Zarek a look, then nodded at Major Ormens.
"As you know sir, the Valkyrie type battlestars were designed to be modular. Replaceable forward sections, flight pods, engine pods, and the like. As long as the major sections are available, they can be put together at a far simpler dock facility than one required to build them from the ground up. Colonel Thule believes the work can be done at the converted Basestars."
"And I suppose he's gone ahead and identified wreckage where we can salvage the intact sections?"
"Yes sir. Initial projections are, that there should be enough for up to five battlestars."
Tom Zarek whistled, earning him another look from Admiral Adama.
"I would think you'd want to get Baltar in on this." Zarek grinned when he realized he had the Admiral's attention. "If we want to go ahead and build them, we might as well check into what sort of new technologies we can incorporate."
Adama was well aware of the new Valkyries' modular design, having commanded the last vessel to hold that name himself when it came straight off the yards almost two decades ago. While superficially resembling an older design of the same name that had served in the war, it was an entirely new ship, built from the ground up with state of the art technologies and shipbuilding techniques.
"Provisionally I will approve it." Admiral Adama spoke again. "Though I will not allow any work to begin without first consulting with Fleet R&D."
"Understood, sir." The younger officer replied.
"That was fast. Are we even gonna have enough people? I was under the impression we'd soon be in the unenviable position of having more warships than we can crew." Zarek thought out loud.
"Not really. These old antiques, including the Galactica herself are fairly crew intensive. I could probably crew all five Valkyries with just the standard complement of the Old Girl alone. She's not really going anywhere anyway. Not that I have that many to begin with, but of course, there are still other fleet personnel in the Cyrannus cluster. I'd have to shuffle people around and promote a few, but all in all it's not gonna be a bad investment."
"Valkyries may seem small, but they're of comparable size to a Ha'tak, and still larger than anything the Earthers build themselves. Despite that, one of them still has greater combat capability than this Basestar. Which is just as well since we do have plans for these monstrosities, mostly involving the civilian sector. Two are already serving as combination mobile docks and spaceborne habitats. One will do nicely as a mobile headquarters for when we resume mining operations, this particular one we're standing on has become the center of R&D and I believe the Cylons have ceded one of their newer Basestars to the remaining Centurions."
"I still think that's a bad idea." Zarek interjected.
"So do I, but the decision was theirs to make. There's even a precedent from when the various navies were consolidated into the CDF. Fortunately they agreed to have a locator beacon planted on their ship."
"How did we manage that?" Zarek queried.
"Under the rationale that anything they ran into that they couldn't handle could also be a potential threat to us, and that it only makes sense for us to know where they encountered the threat. Though it will primarily be the Earthers that will be doing the tracking for us since they're the ones with the sensor range."
"Glad that worked."
"Indeed," Adama grunted before turning back to the younger officer. "Now... You had other things to report on?"
Felix Gaeta grunted as he pulled himself over the last boulder. Almost two months of rehabilitation had him walking as if his leg had never been shot. Good enough to backpack through these woods on his weekend off. He smiled, resolving to thank the enterprising individual who had discovered this mountain ledge and blazed the trail to it as he took in the breath taking view.
New Kobol was the fourth planet orbiting the star they had named Helios Epsilon. One of many the Tau'ri - the Earthers had surveyed and offered to them as unclaimed, it had no Tylium, nor any of the valuable minerals the Earthers used for their ships. What it had instead was location, location, location. It was situated almost midway between two of the Earthers' major allies, the advanced Pangarans and the alien Hebridians. It was far from any known Lucian Alliance controlled routes, and only a jump or two away from locations that could be mined for the aforementioned minerals.
Not that they would need to for the short term. They still had quite the stock of raw Tylium ore, which had been augmented by the Cylons own reserves stored on support ships seized along with the old Baseships, and the stockpile the Drift Colonies had salvaged. With the ships finally able to afford drydock time, consumption was at an all time low. They had more than enough to last them until the necessary mining and refinery ships had been completely refitted and brought up to standards.
New Kobol was a beautiful world, almost three fourths water with varied terrains distributed over a handful of major continents lining the equator and the poles. Right now he was about halfway up Mount Pollux. One of the Gemenon mountains so named for the twin peaks rising high above the Aerilon plains upon which they had built their primary settlements. Far to his left on the coast of a natural harbor warding away the giant waves of the Picon Sea, at the mouth of what had been named the Scorpia river, New Kobol City was taking shape at breakneck pace under the skilled hands of the Tau'ri Red Horse engineers. He had been told a horse was some sort of wingless pegasus, if one could imagine such a creature. He was less sure why someone would name a military unit, particularly one of engineers after such a beast.
He could not deny they were good, though. As part of the agreement, they had taken in interested Colonials, New Kobolians he amended to himself, as apprentices and foremen so that they would be able to build things on their own once all the work was done and they had left.
Just upriver from the city was a patch of arable land. Declared to be so by no less than Doctor Baltar himself. How he came to know so much of agriculture he would not tell. But the advice he gave in establishing it was solid, as attested to by the Aerilons on the fleet themselves.
Closer to his position on the right and almost at the foot of the mountain he was on was the future starport and main Colonial Defense Force, New Kobol Defense Force he amended once more, planetside installation. Bordered by two rocky hills and the same river that eventually wound its way to the city, it was serving at the moment as a temporary residence for those of his people who preferred to stay on the planet.
The words temporary residence did not quite convey what it looked like. It looked nothing like New Caprica. The tents, called deployable shelters by the Earthers that supplied them, were massive, boasting environmental controls, internal partitions for privacy, gods blessed latrines, the works. It was the lap of luxury for one who had been on New Caprica, or even, from what he had heard, the drift colonies. And they housed more than just people. Some of the largest served as hangars for the few spacecraft they had on the ground.
Very few of the spacecraft stayed planetside. Most had instead been docked at the Baseships where engineers could go through them with a fine tooth comb. A sizable chunk of the civilian population had opted to stay in space as well. Some still did not really believe it was over, and had in fact consented to be housed on the Baseships with far less complaint than he had thought. Though the far more ample space available onboard, not to mention the better protected hulls, likely had something to do with it as well.
The base housed the Stargate as well, fenced in and guarded day and night by the marines. It activated just as he was looking at it. The telltale flash visible even from the extreme distance. Curious, he raised a pair of binoculars to his eyes, just in time to see a young blonde woman with a child in her arms step out of the event horizon and into Lee Adama's arms.
Felix Gaeta smiled, lowering himself down to sit and leaning back to cast his eyes skyward. Up where the New Kobolian space fleet held its silent vigil. Yes, he could feel it in his bones. They were finally home.
So we've had lots of cameos all over the series. I promised a full list and here it is. Give yourself a cookie if you got them all:
Captain Ron Hunter is from the film Crimson Tide and played by Denzel Washington
Rear Admiral Mike Metcalf is from the film Top Gun and played by Tom Skerritt
Commander Tom 'Iceman' Kazansky is also from the film Top Gun, played by Val Kilmer
Commander Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell again from Top Gun is played of course by Tom Cruise
Commander William Hawk is from the film Goodbye America and is played by John Haymes Newton
Yuri is from the film No Way Out, played by Kevin Costner
First Sergeant Jeff Sanderson is from Black Hawk Down, played by William Fichtner
Master Sergeant Matt Eversmann is also from Black Hawk Down, played by Josh Hartnett
Tim Wilkinson(mentioned) is from Black Hawk Down, played by Ty Burrell
Paul Kay and Delta are two aliases used by Jason Bourne from the Bourne Series, played of course by Matt Damon
Colonel Yuri Lebanov is from Iron Eagle II, played by Colm Feore