Chapter 19

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Important Notice RE: Canon Timelines

I have tweaked the Stargate timeline (very slightly) to have the Antarctic Stargate remain in situ slightly longer than in Canon.

Last Time:

Adama nodded, that was exactly as he expected given that he had come up with the plan being enacted. "And the Cylon element?"

"They are holding their positions, we are getting a request for instructions from them now," reported Dualla.

"Tell them to hold for now, what about the newcomer, could it be Cylon?" asked Adama.

"Not unless they have totally new technologies," replied Gaeta.

"Sir we have a wireless broadcast from the unknown," announced Dualla at communications.

"Put it on speakers," ordered Adama.

"Galactica this is Apollo on Atlantis."

oOoOo

Raptor 38

"It is beautiful…and Gods it is huge!" said Margaret "Racetrack" Edmondson as she studied the newly arrived flying city-ship.

Her ECO, Hamish "Skulls" McCall whistled as he studied his instruments, "There are some huge power readings…I mean off the fraking scale Racetrack. It is like looking at Caprica."

"Hey, Racetrack you seeing this?" asked Theo "Dash" Oberon, the Viper pilot flying CAP with them.

"Sure am Dash. Skulls…what are the Cylons doing?" asked Racetrack.

"Nothing at all, just sitting there," replied Skulls.

"We need to keep an eye on them," added Dash.

"Hard to believe humans built something like that," said Racetrack as she brought her Raptor closer to the City-Ship.

"Colonial Raptor this is Apollo be aware the city is protected by shields. Your CAP will need to keep your distance until we drop them."

Racetrack grinned at the familiar voice of her superior, "It's Racetrack, nice find Apollo, but shields, really?"

"Racetrack you haven't seen anything yet."

Racetrack shook her head, "Frak, I don't think he's joking."

oOoOo

Heavy Raider

Three stared open mouthed at the huge flying city. It just wouldn't process…how had it been built? How was the behemoth powered?

"Impressive isn't it?" said Two as he took a seat beside her.

"Human's built this?" asked Three.

"Very advanced Humans if what we know turns out to be true. I suspect we'll find out more when we next meet with the Colonials."

"If its weapons are as impressive…this ship…city could wipe out our entire fleet," said Three.

Two nodded absently.

"Two?" prompted Three.

Two shook his head and turned to Three, "Just thinking, if we hadn't found out about One's betrayal. We might have found ourselves facing off against that. I was contemplating the mysterious ways of God. Allowing us this chance for redemption and in choosing this path we unknowingly avoided our destruction."

Three started laughing, eventually shaking her head as her laughter trailed off, "Sorry, not laughing at you Two, but I just realised that One has no idea just how fraked he is."

Two blinked and then started to laugh.

Three grinned and took control of the Heavy Raider and turned it back toward the Graystone Industries ship, "Come on I really want to talk to the others."

oOoOo

Atlantis

The Raptor settled with a thump that brought a smile to Lee Adama's face. Boomer was an excellent pilot but had a well-earned reputation for denting the deck. Just behind the first Raptor a second set down, far more gently.

After receiving Apollo's initial report, it had taken nearly two hours to decide who was going to be a part of the first group to board Atlantis. In the end, according to Tigh, his father had put his foot down.

Lee just had time to walk over when the hatch opened, and his father led a procession of people out. President Roslin led her aide Tory and a nervous looking Hermione Granger.

Lee's observation was interrupted by his father stepping up to him. He saluted, which was returned by his father, while the President nodded.

"Permission to come aboard," asked Adama formally.

"Of course Sir," replied Lee.

The corners of Adama's mouth turned up for a moment before his stern visage reappeared, "It looks like you had an interesting mission Apollo."

"I lived it Sir, and I still can't believe parts of it," replied the younger Adama. As he watched, the squad of Marines from the second Raptor began hauling gear out onto the ground.

Seeing where Apollo was looking Adama attempted to reassure his son, "They're here to reinforce your people and make sure nobody gets into their head to try and land a ship here."

"The Cylons?" asked Apollo, remembering the unexpected presence of the Heavy Raiders when they had returned to the fleet.

Adama tried, unsuccessfully, to hide a grimace, "I wish, that would be a lot simpler. The Quorum has been pushing for elections for a vice president. They've just announced it and already it's a mess. Tom Zarek has been making noises."

Apollo could understand the grimace, "But he's a terrorist."

"He's a colossal pain in the fraking ass, but a small number of vocal idiots are listening. Now, you mentioned that this Aressa was willing to help us, but your initial report didn't really explain her origins. Is she one of Harry & Hermione's people?"

Apollo hesitated, "Sir, maybe that is best answered in a more…ah, secure and private location."

Adama didn't hesitate, "Very well, I assume there is a meeting room or something nearby?"

oOoOo

"Alright Lee, what's going on?" Adama asked his son.

"We found another Ancient outpost, like the one on Kobol…"

Apollo told the Admiral and the President of the discovery of the Ancient's research outpost and the ascended ancient Tobin. He went on to explain the events around the rescue of Aressa and how she was the key to the City Ship of Atlantis thanks to the genetic encoding of the ancients technology.

"So if someone has this gene they can use, at least in part, the ancient's technology like Harry and Hermione did on Kobol?" asked Roslin.

"Yes, and if Aressa is right, then even if some of our people have the gene they have minimal control compared to Aressa, Harry and Hermione," confirmed Lee.

"Are you sure she's telling the truth?" asked Roslin.

Apollo shrugged, "I think so, she's been nothing but up front with us as far as I can tell. And I'm pretty sure she's not a plant…both Gunny Mathias and Harry confirmed she was frozen in a couple of million years worth of ice when they rescued her."

Roslin shuddered, "I can't imagine anything mortal surviving something like that. Even with Harry's abilities it just seems fantastical."

"And has Aressa confirmed what was revealed on Kobol about these Ancients?" asked Adama.

"As far as I know, yes she has," replied Apollo. "We probably need to talk to Harry as well. He's been helping her with the flight operations."

Adama and Roslin exchanged a concerned look.

"Why is that a problem?" asked Apollo.

Roslin sighed, "Because there have been a few incidents, most tied to hard-line religious groups within the fleet. A revelation that Aressa, Harry and Hermione are direct descendants of our gods…I, we fear that we'll have every zealot in the fleet fighting."

Adama grimaced, "Just when things were looking up."

"So what do we do?" asked Apollo.

"For now we keep it quiet. I shudder to think what someone like Zarek would stir up," replied Roslin. "Then we get the leaders of each group in and we talk about where we go from here."

oOoOo

Harry smiled as Hermione engulfed in a rib-bruising hug.

"Sorry I missed you arriving," apologised Harry.

"I missed you," admitted Hermione as she released him. "I wasn't sure I'd make the first group coming over."

Harry kissed her and then took her hand, "Come on, there's someone I want you to meet. I suspect that we've got a few minutes before the official meetings begin."

Harry took her hand and led her into an alcove, "It's a transporter."

There was a flash, and they reappeared in a room where a woman sat in a chair that reminded Hermione of the chair they had discovered on Kobol. "Another control chair, it looks a bit different."

"It functions the same way," replied Harry. "Hermione, this is Aressa."

"Hello Aressa, it's a pleasure to meet you," said Hermione as she smiled at the redhead.

Aressa smiled back at Hermione and Harry from the control chair, "A pleasure to meet you, Hermione. Please excuse me, I'm just sealing off some parts of the city that it might be dangerous to others…there done."

Rising from the chair, she walked forward and took Hermione's hand, "Harry has talked about you a great deal. It is nice to finally meet you."

Harry cleared his throat, "Hermione, Aressa is an Alteran we rescued from…well, she was in stasis, frozen in ice."

Hermione looked interested and about to launch into a storm of questions, but Aressa got in first, "We will have to speak later. You, Harry and I have lots to discuss."

Hermione frowned, "Wait, is this about the fact we are from Earth?"

Harry shook his head, "Oh no it's bigger than that. The whole Magical world is made up of people with a strong genetic link to the Alterans, the ancients. They were on Earth Hermione, millions of years ago they were the first evolution of humans."

"That's interesting but…" Hermione trailed off. "Where did you rescue her from Harry?"

"Earth," replied Harry.

Hermione opened her mouth, closed it and did something Harry would never have expected.

"Well, Fuck."

oOoOo

Adama was somewhat surprised by the normality of the meeting room. It looked like a regular meeting room. Although, he had to admit that he didn't really know what he had expected. The members of the team that had left to find the lost city were looking proud, as they should be considering their success. No doubt Roslin was already planning a press conference. Finally, Potter, Granger and the mysterious Aressa arrived, taking their seats beside his son.

Roslin leant forward, a smile on her face, "Before we begin let me just say how proud I am of you all. This was not only a mission to find the lost city but also an opportunity to prove that our new alliances might have a chance to succeed. By working together, by saving each others lives, by each bringing something to this mission you went far beyond anything we could have expected."

Apollo nodded, "Thank you Madam President."

Adama cleared his throat and then addressed the room, "A sentiment I agree with, you did well people. I've read the initial report and saw the Lost…Atlantis. I think a full report would help clarify the situation."

Apollo stood, "I've prepared a full written report, but I agree that it would help if we explained in more detail. Our first find was a group of buildings…"

Apollo walked his audience through the mission. Roslin and Adama listened intently as Tory took notes. They let him get through his briefing before asking questions. Harry was quite impressed that Hermione was able to get through Apollo's briefing without asking any of the myriad questions she was jotting down as she listened.

Roslin shook her head, "Miss Aressa, your people's technology is…well, it is beyond amazing. Your survival, this ship…it shows clearly just how far beyond our own it is. I admit that a part of me is pinching myself. I won't ask any technical questions, I'm sure Doctor Baltar is already working on understanding it, but if you would can you tell us more about your people. Given our own records, there have been questions about how our histories fit together."

"Aressa will be fine Madam President," replied Aressa with a gentle smile. "While it is true that my people once lived here, in this galaxy, I was not one of them. Atlantis has some records of their lives here, but I have not yet had the time to study them in detail. I'd be happy to allow access to the historical records. For now, I may be able to answer some of your questions. My people, the Altera, evolved tens of millions of years ago in another Galaxy. For millions of years we lived in peace, but then there was a schism. The Alterans split into two separate groups. I was a descendant of the Alterans who left our home galaxy rather than fight a war with those who now called themselves the Ori.

Eventually, we came to a Galaxy where we settled. There we began seeding new life among the stars. We joined in an alliance with three other advanced species, and for a long time, we were content to guide and help. Then there was a plague, we were ravaged by it, and despite our abilities, we couldn't find a cure. Eventually, we were reduced from a galaxy wide population of billions o to less than a million on a handful of worlds. To try and escape any further loses my people took Atlantis and fled to this galaxy."

Roslin looked fascinated, "I don't know what to say…a moving story and one we can relate to considering our own recent events. Aressa, I have to ask, were your people our gods?"

Aressa shook her head, "I don't know, not for sure. If it was Alterans, then the worst-case scenario is that they were renegades. Who may have used your mythology and religion to exploit you. That was the path the Ori were taking when our people separated." Seeing the look on Roslin's face, she quickly continued. "That is only one hypothesis. So far the only records I have found that may reference your people is the seeding of your quadrant of the Galaxy. That doesn't mean that your faith is any less valid, just that an unscrupulous group used your faith to deceive you. As for proof, perhaps the records held on Atlantis may hold further evidence, but for now, that is the best answer I can give."

"Why were you left behind?" asked Adama as Roslin considered Aressa's response.

"Because I carried the early stages of the plague. Fear not, I am no longer a carrier, but at the time no cure was available despite my abilities. Luckily, when I was rescued, Harry had the cure and was able to heal me."

Roslin looked thoughtful as she looked around the table, "I look forward to hearing what is uncovered in the records but, for now, I fear the reaction of the fleet. Many of our people are deeply religious, and this may be one shock too many."

"Mister Potter and Miss Granger have already caused quite a stir, and there are some, a minority thankfully, that fear them because of their abilities," Adama raised a hand to halt any comments. "I only say this so that my next suggestion makes sense. I put forward that, for now, we simply state that Aressa shares the same abilities as Harry and Hermione."

Aressa shrugged, "An understandable tactic and one that will be easy to maintain given that I do, in fact, share some of their abilities."

"You would agree to keep to this story?" asked Roslin in mild surprise.

"Of course, in a very broad sense it is true," explained Aressa. "Harry and no doubt Hermione share a lot of Alteran DNA. Logically, their people are the descendants of those of my people that returned to Earth from this Galaxy. They are by my reckoning descendants of my people."

Baltar looked up from his own notes, "Aressa, Atlantis has the space to house the entire fleet. Is such a thing feasible?"

Roslin and Adama stared at Baltar, surprised at the bluntness of the question.

Aressa seemed unconcerned as she nodded, "Even given its current condition, Atlantis can comfortable hold eighty thousand people. Madam President, as we travelled here Lee and the others explained your dire situation. I am more than willing to assist as I can."

"Eighty thousand!" exclaimed Roslin.

"Once fully repaired and operational the city should, at maximum capacity, be able to hold close to a hundred and fifty but that would have to wait," explained Aressa. "I can certainly set up facilities to help produce food, water and medicine. I have access to advanced medical technology so it would make sense that we look at how to move forward."

"Given what I've seen, there is no reason why we couldn't start relocating refugees right away," said Baltar before he winced and glanced at Aressa.

oOoOo

Baltar winced as Six appeared next to him and poked him sharply in the ribs.

"These are God's messengers Gaius, show some respect," warned Six before she froze and locked gazes with Aressa.

"I…ah…I mean no disrespect Aressa."

Aressa gave him an odd look before shrugging, "None taken Doctor Baltar."

oOoOo

Baltar twitched, "I…ah…I mean no disrespect Aressa."

Aressa sensed something, almost like the presence of an ascended being next to Baltar before the feeling vanished. The odd man seemed unaffected, but she made a mental note to check further into what was going on, "None taken Doctor Baltar."

"Aressa this is amazing, I have no idea what to say or where to even begin," said Roslin.

"Perhaps a tour of the city and an explanation of the technology might help us build a plan," replied Aressa. "Unless there are more questions?"

"Actually, I have a few," said Adama. "I hope you will forgive my bluntness, but I am responsible for what is left of our people. I wouldn't be doing my duty if I didn't make sure I understood what you are offering. My first question would be what would you want for letting us use Atlantis?"

"An excellent question Admiral, the short answer is that I require nothing. The reality is that my people are gone. If I am to live in this time than I need to make a life for myself. Helping your people is a chance for me to reconnect. However, while I don't expect reward or payment I will not allow Atlantis to be used as a weapon of conquest," replied Aressa.

Adama frowned but after a moment nodded, "A fair clause, you will allow defence of course?"

"My people might have objected at my interference but given the circumstances, yes Admiral I will help defend you to the best of my abilities."

For a moment Adama looked relieved before he continued, "I've been informed that there are issues with who can control the ship. Again, I only ask because I am concerned that, no matter how skilled you are you need to sleep. No ship can function with one person doing everything."

More than a few of the Colonials in the room exchanged looks.

The moment passed when Aressa laughed, "I don't doubt that you were nervous asking, but I'm totally in agreement. Three people will not make a crew. And Harry has already explained that he and Hermione have other important duties in the fleet."

Roslin frowned, "That makes sense, would you allow us to assign people to work with you?"

Aressa was about to speak before she paused, looking thoughtful.

"I would like to volunteer," injected Apollo. "Atlantis is fascinating, and I've had some experience with the systems as we returned to the fleet."

"I'll take it under consideration, Captain," replied Adama.

"I have no objection to suitable candidates being assigned, but I would like some input into who makes up the command crew," replied Aressa. "I also have a few ideas that might be of benefit to you. Like opening a hospital here on Atlantis to take the pressure off your Doctors."

"Of course," acknowledged Roslin as she shot Adama a relieved look. Colonial's being present among the command structure would be something that would help placate the Quorum. And the suggestion of a hospital was something that most would like. Gods, she'd like to see exactly how advanced. Perhaps…no, she wouldn't do this to herself. Her hope now was for her people as opposed to herself.

oOoOo

Aressa sighed as she sat on the bed in her cabin, "That went well, I think."

Harry shrugged from where he sat next to Hermione on a small lounge, "Maybe, I'm still not sure I trust the Colonials fully. Here's hoping their sense of self-preservation will stop them doing anything stupid."

"I could sense that neither the Admiral or the President were lying about their plans," mused Aressa.

Harry muttered something under his breath, and then grimaced as Hermione elbowed him.

"I know you don't fully trust them, neither do I but right now they need our help," argued Hermione.

"We could just leave," replied Harry. "There's a Stargate here, on the ship."

"And then what?" asked Hermione before she answered her own question. "The Cylons under One attack the fleet, they run out of food or fuel? I don't want all these lives on my conscience. Not when we can help them."

Harry looked like he was going to argue then he shrugged, "Fine, it's just…well, I don't trust most of them. But, you are right; I don't know what that on my conscience either. So my question is, how do we do this? Do we take them back to Earth?"

Hermione frowned as she considered Harry's question, "I don't know about Earth. What about other worlds?"

"There are countless others here in this Galaxy. However, they all face the threat of the Wraith. From what little I discovered regarding them and seeing the Colonials technology, I cannot see the Colonials being victorious. A safer destination would be your home Galaxy, but that choice brings its own risks. Not the least being that the Colonials display a worrying level of paranoia and borderline xenophobia. I am unsure what would happen should we take them to Earth," said Aressa.

"So we settle them on a planet in the Milky Way and then what?" asked Harry.

"In your mind Harry I saw your people's abilities both your magic and Earth's technology. Perhaps we could aid them in their recovery. Let them rebuild until they are ready to join other sentient races," offered Aressa.

Harry considered what he knew, "Hang on if there is a Stargate on Earth buried somewhere in the ice, could we return to Earth and by supplies and equipment from the Wizarding world. Who'd know?"

"Given that the gate is buried in the ice I would say it has likely been that way for quite some time," mused Aressa. "It would be relatively easy to set up a secure base, and we do have the power to spare."

"I would like to let my parents know that I'm alive and well," added Hermione.

"Would more of your people be willing to help?" asked Aressa.

"Maybe, although I don't really trust most of the Wizarding world's politicians at best they are insular at worst " replied Hermione. "I'm not sure who we would even speak to in the non-magical world. The Prime Minister…maybe the Secretary-General of the United Nations?"

Harry frowned, "Actually that's a good point. We might need to think this through. We don't have any idea how news of all this would be received. Hell, we could be looked up as lunatics. Maybe there are other races we could contact, more advanced ones?"

"Perhaps," replied Aressa. "The problem is that any data we have access to is, at best, dangerously outdated. My people have passed, I have no idea what has happened to the rest of the Alliance."

"Is it possible to send them a message?" asked Harry.

"Perhaps, I will need to think about it," said Aressa.

oOoOo

Guest Quarters - Atlantis

Laura Roslin examined herself in the mirror above the sink and resisted the urge to cry at her exhausted appearance. Her illness left her looking tired and to be honest, rather sickly. Tory had been recommending that she ask Harry, Hermione or even Aressa for help. Perhaps they could help her…but something held her back. If she was honest with herself, she knew that the root of it was fear of a negative answer.

Cancer…how well she fit the role of the dying leader.

She quickly washed her face and looked down, breaking eye contact with her mirror self. Right now such thoughts were not helpful. There was far too much to do. Tomorrow's meeting with the Quorum and the Cylons would likely be difficult but hopefully it would allow them all to begin planning.

It would be so much easier if she didn't constantly feel like she had a bad dose of the flu.

A knock at the door interrupted her, it was most likely Tory with her notes.

However, it was not her aide.

"May I come in?" asked Aressa.

Roslin stepped back and to the side, "Please, come in."

"Thank you."

Roslin was about to ask how she could help when she realised that Aressa was studying her intently.

"Atlantis has Biometric health monitors Madam President. The automated systems noted that your reading was abnormal when you came aboard. Usually, such things would prompt the system to notify you. However, given your sensitivity to automated systems, I felt I should come myself. How long have you been ill?" asked Aressa.

Roslin hesitated, "A few months, breast cancer."

"May I?" asked Aressa.

Unsure as to what she was asking, Roslin paused for a moment before nodding.

Aressa reached out as if to touch her but her hand stopped short. Roslin nearly gasped as warmth filled her chest cavity. For a long endless moment, she could feel a sense of connection, contentment and then it slowly faded.

"What…what was that?" asked Roslin.

Aressa smiled and then collapsed to the floor.

oOoOo

Doctors Cottle and Jackson, followed by Hermione emerged from the infirmary on Atlantis and immediately went to where Harry, Roslin and Asama stood waiting

"Exhaustion, she was awake for a few minutes, and she's resting comfortably now," said Jackson.

"And you'll be pleased to know that there is no sign of any contagion or anything that could be considered a problem," added Cottle. "Miss Granger has seen something like this before with healers who have overdone it with patients."

"She cured me, is that even possible?" whispered Roslin.

"Aressa is a healer, a very skilled one. When we arrived, Atlantis scanned us all for any contagions or infections we might be bringing on-board. Aressa checked the data last night and noticed that your readings were flagged. I hadn't expected her to simply walk up and heal you," explained Hermione.

"Simply amazing," said Cottle with a broad smile. "I'll have to confirm of course, but Aressa sounds very confident that she was able to wipe the cancer from your body."

"I…I…my Gods what should I do?" asked Roslin as she tried to process what had happened.

"I doubt she did it for a reward, I'd just thank her after she gets some sleep," suggested Jackson.

"Oh I will Doctor," promised Roslin.

"Do you want me to push the meetings back a day or two Madam President?" asked Adama.

"No, they are too important for that. We need to move quickly before things get a chance to get more complicated. I can process all this and have a breakdown later," said Roslin with a smile.

oOoOo

Tom Zarek was a gifted actor. On Sagittaron, he had been a political agitator and one of the leaders of the S.F.M (Sagititaron Freedom Movement). His 'freedom fighters' were more than happy using violence to achieve their goal of freedom. After all, terrorism was just another facet of political agitation.

When the refugee fleet had fled the Colonies, he had been a prisoner. And yet he had still seen the opportunity. The fleet had needed labour to mine and refine fuel. Dangerous work, that he had seen as a bargaining tool to secure a path to power. At first, it had worked but then the world had changed.

He was outside the inner circle now. But there were some that remembered his 'principled' stand against the Government. Some that thought he might know a way forward.

So he had begun whispering to those he knew…word spread and soon he…ah assumed leadership of a group of rather well-connected dissidents. Admittedly their first operation was a disaster, a man lost and the witch still lived.

He had begun to worry until he was introduced to the disgruntled Galactica officer who sat opposite him venting his displeasure.

Perhaps he wasn't as far out of the game as he had feared.

oOoOo

Galactica – Briefing Room

Adama looked around the room, trying to judge the mood of those sitting around the large table. The senior military officers of the fleet all looked slightly nervous…all except Captain Aaron Kelly, Tigh's acting XO. There was something about Kelly that had begun to bother him, a distance that had not been there in their past interactions. It was something he'd have to discuss with Saul.

A grinning Commander Swift leant forward, "With all due respect Sir, don't keep us waiting."

Adama rolled his eyes, trust Jonathon to take the edge off the nervous tension.

"Well, we wouldn't want to keep you waiting Commander," replied Adama.

There were a few stifled laughs as Adama arranged his notes, "All right people, let's focus. I don't doubt that you've seen our new arrival. Our mission to find the lost city was successful but there have been a few complications. The mission discovered an ancient outpost. Much smaller, but similar to the technology we found on Kobol. There they found another messenger that led them to a living being called Aressa."

"An Alien?" asked an incredulous Commander Shelton.

Adama nodded, "Yes, an alien but not in the way we use the word. Aressa is the member of a race known as Alterans. Their race is old, so old that they pre-date our civilisation. They were the first evolution of humanity."

There was silence for a few moments.

"The first evolution?" asked Commander Brack. "What does that mean?"

"The first evolution, according to Aressa. Was when her people helped spread humanity throughout not just this Galaxy but through several others," explained Adama.

"Through several…wait you mean there are humans elsewhere, were not alone?" asked Colonel Sparta.

"That's right Colonel."

Sparta looked like he was about to speak again and then froze, looking shocked. "Gods, Hermione and Harry are from another Galaxy!"

Adama nodded, "We now believe that to be correct."

"Gods…that's incredible. It changes everything we thought we knew about humanity!" exclaimed Major Peter Travia, Jonathon Swift's XO.

David Shelton's XO, Lucy Kelly cleared her throat, "I'm not particularly pious but won't this revelation cause a few problems?"

"We fear it might, which is why we'll be keeping a lot of the more…contentious information under wraps for now," explained Adama. "The President is going to brief the civilian leadership and the Cylons tomorrow. We've got a lot to think about, not the least how we staff a ship the size of a small city."

"Will this Aressa allow us to crew it?" asked Brack.

Adama nodded, "She all but requested it. Evidently, only those that share similar DNA can operate many of the critical systems. So far that's Aressa, Harry or Hermione. However, to quote Aressa, three people do not make a crew. Atlantis has advanced technology that can help us. Not to mention the fact that even before repairs the city can support more people than we have in the fleet. To make that work we need people on board, getting everything ready to go. Atlantis is in marvellous shape, but even with automated repairs, it has sat preserved but unused since before we left Kobol. To put it bluntly, it needs to be given a decent inspection."

"So we can relocate civilians to Atlantis?" asked Emma Boyd.

"Yes, we can. According to Captain Adama, the city has the capacity to dock with a Battlestar and act as a maintenance yard," replied Adama.

Tigh shook his head, "And what does this Aressa want?"

Adama didn't blink, after all, he had asked Tigh to ask the question in the first place. "A fresh start, as far as she can determine the Alterans are gone from this Galaxy, and most likely gone for good. She views Potter and Granger as her direct descendants, but she also see's our people as her responsibility as well. She won't use Atlantis as a weapon, but she will use it to defend us. Frankly, people, this is a gift from the Gods."

Sparta shook his head, "It's hard to believe the sequence of events, but the facts remain the same. Granger and Potter gave us the tools to survive, and now this Aressa has given us real hope for a future. I'm halfway to believing they are the children of Gods myself."

Captain Kelly shot Adama a look that had several others in the room bristling as he stood, "This is blasphemy! How can mortals be Gods?"

Tigh, looking like he was about to blow a blood vessel shot to his feet, "Belay that Captain and get a hold of yourself man."

Kelly sneered at Tigh and turned back to Adama, "I won't stay silent…Zarek is right, you're not fit to be in command if you are allowing this to go on."

By now the other officers were starting to stand, realising that a confrontation was developing.

"Be careful Captain, you're walking dangerously close to mutiny," said Adama, his voice cold.

"I won't let you doom us all," yelled Kelly as he reached into his jacket and produced a small handgun.

Before Kelly could raise the gun, he stumbled forward as Tigh slammed into him, knocking him forward and into a crushing uppercut from Commander Brack.

The larger man hit the table, hard and slumped to the floor with a cursing Tigh landing on top of him.

Shelton pulled the hatch open and called for the two Marine's outside, Adama pulled a wincing Tigh to his feet.

"You good Saul?" asked Adama.

"Frak no, think I dislocated my damn shoulder. Been a long fraking time since I played Pyramid," complained Tigh.

Two marines burst into the room to be intercepted by Sparta. A moment later the grim-faced marines knelt down to check the unmoving Kelly.

"Sir," called one of the Marines.

Nearly the entire room turned, and the Marine gestured at Kelly, "He's out cold sir but we need everyone out of here now. He's wearing some sort of device."

oOoOo

An hour later, Sargent Hadrian was in Adama's office.

"It was a bomb vest, Sir," reported Hadrian. "He had it rigged with a trigger, but I think Commander Tigh broke it when he hit him."

"Any clue as to what the frak he thought he was doing?" asked Tigh from where he stood against the bulkhead.

"We searched his quarters, besides a lot of religious paraphernalia it looked pretty normal," replied Hadrian. "Nothing else that looked relevant. I left two men outside to keep watch and ordered another two outside medical."

"What do you think Sargent?" asked Adama.

Hadrian paused for a moment before answering, "I don't think anything yet Sir. We need to do a proper investigation."

Adama had been expecting that answer, "Very well, begin it ASAP Sargent."

Hadrian saluted and left.

Adama sank back into his seat and turned to look at Tigh, "You saved my life, Saul."

"Damn straight, you owe me a drink," replied Tigh with a smirk.

"What do we do now?" asked Adama.

"I don't like this Bill, Kelly is a senior officer. The fact he could be got to…"

"You think it was Zarek?" asked Adama.

"His words Bill, not mine," replied Tigh.

Adama took a deep breath, "We'll need more than that Saul."

"Then we lean on Kelly when he wakes up," replied Saul.

oOoOo

Dr Cottle's Office – Galactica

Cottle looked up as his Paramedic/Nurse Layne Ishay burst in without knocking, "Sir, I think you need to look at this right away."

Cottle bit back an acerbic response as he took in the worried expression, "Okay Layne, what is it?"

"It's Kelly Doctor, I don't like his latest EEG," explained Layne as she passed Cottle the chart.

Cottle studied the chart and frowned, "Your right it looks like... "

He was cut-off as Kelly began seizing.

"We need five ml of Polizene, and I'll need theatre prepped, " ordered Cottle. "And someone see if they can locate Miss Granger."

oOoOo

In the end, it didn't matter.

Captain Aaron Kelly died of a massive cerebral haemorrhage as he was being prepped for surgery, having never regained consciousness.

oOoOo

Atlantis

Harry gently brushed Hermione's hair off her face as she lay sleeping. She was beautiful…so exquisite. How he had never seen it when he was younger was a mystery. He would love to be here, watching her sleep but he needed to relieve Aressa. He carefully slid out from their bunk and over to the shower.

He had been somewhat amazed that the bathrooms on Atlantis weren't sci-fi weird. In fact, they were pretty basic. Although they did work well.

Feeling a lot more human he pulled on clean underwear and socks. Then selected a pair of Alteran overalls made of an odd, silky but clearly artificial material. After pulling on his boots and attaching his wand holster, he checked the sleeping Hermione once more before exiting.

At the end of the corridor, he found Gunny Mathias talking to a Marine Sargent, he didn't know. Both gave him a nod, he waved back and made his way to the nearest transporter.

As he had expected Aressa was sitting in the control chair with several screens open around her.

"Good Morning Harry."

"Morning Aressa, anything interesting?"

Aressa gestured toward one of the screens, and it doubled in size, "I'm just running a diagnostic on the arboretum and hydroponics lab systems. If I can get it operational, we may well be able to get some crops growing."

"Hmm, sounds like something worthwhile. Any luck?'

"It's operational, but sensors are out in that section. I'm putting it on the repair list. We need internal sensors up as soon as possible if we are going to be having more people on board."

Harry nodded to Apollo as he walked in, "Any word from the President or the Admiral?"

Apollo shrugged as he shook his head, "I assume you mean about the meeting? Then no, nothing yet. I did, however, get the jump co-ordinates for the next jump. Actually, it looks like a sequence of jumps. Will Atlantis be able to do these?"

Apollo handed the print out to Aressa who studied it for a second before nodding, "This shouldn't be a problem, Lee."

"Great," Apollo turned to a control panel and opened a channel to Galactica. "Galactica this is Apollo."

"Galactica Control, go ahead Apollo," instructed Gaeta from the CIC on Galactica.

"We are a go on the Jump coordinates," advised Apollo.

"Acknowledged Atlantis."

"I need to eat Harry, can you take over?" asked Aressa as Apollo began what appeared to be a lengthy conversation with Galactica regarding fleet logistics.

"Sure," replied Harry as Aressa stood and stretched.

Harry settled in to the control chair and began by looking at the diagnostic data, just as Aressa had taught him. As he looked over the data, he was aware of several people arriving and moving around the control room but kept his attention focused on the screens. Eventually, he closed down the screen and looked around to see Doctor Baltar sitting at one of the consoles near the control chair.

"Good Morning Doctor," offered Harry.

"Ah, sorry Harry, I didn't mean to disturb you…a fascinating device this control chair."

Harry nodded and smiled at the odd scientist, "It's amazing alright, although at the moment I'm only just touching at the edges of what it can do."

"Hmm, I'd love the chance to pull it apart," Baltar smiled ruefully. "Maybe one day. Anyway, I have received a request from the President for an update."

"About?" asked Harry.

"The situation, I think she is trying to work out where we go from here. With the assistance given by yourself and Miss Granger, we've been able to, for the moment, replenish supplies and get ahead of both repairs and maintenance. The question, I believe is how we move forward from here."

Harry remembered seeing Aressa's diagnostic of the hydroponics lab, "It's a fair question. I'll talk to Hermione and Aressa. Maybe schedule a meeting once we decide on what's happening with Atlantis."

"Thank you, Harry," replied Baltar. "I'll let the President know."

Apollo, who was still talking to Galactica rolled his eyes as the twitchy scientist left. Harry grinned in return and brought up the diagnostic view when a new arrival called his name.

"Harry."

Harry turned to see the Three, Valeria, approaching him.

"Good Morning Valeria."

Valeria smiled, "It is, isn't it? I was wondering if I could use your communications equipment to contact my people in the fleet. At least to tell them I'm safe."

Valeria couldn't see Apollo's wince, but Harry noted it. As far as he knew, there was no request to stop Valeria contacting the "friendly" Cylons in the fleet.

"I can open a channel for you, or transport you if you wish."

Valeria frowned and glanced over at Apollo, wondering if the Colonial officer would protest. When he shrugged, she turned back to Harry.

"Just a channel will do," said Valeria.

Harry gestured, and a control panel on the wall opposite Apollo lit up, "That should work."

Valeria walked over to the panel seeing a simple selection of frequencies, "Thank you."

"Not a problem."

As Valeria opened a channel to one of the Heavy Raiders, Harry turned his attention back to the repair and maintenance lists.

oOoOo

Cloud 9 – Quorum meeting

Roslin gestured, and an image of Atlantis appeared on the screen behind her.

"This is Atlantis, a city-ship built by a race called the Alterans. Thanks to the work of a lot of people and to the bravery of the mixed Human and Cylon crew we managed to uncover its whereabouts and recover it. Thankfully, we were also able to recover a living Alteran from a form of cryosleep. This means not only do we have the ship, but we have an ally to help us understand the advanced technology used by her people.

Atlantis could solve our overcrowding issues and help ensure our survival. Thanks to Aressa, the Alteran, we have been given the opportunity to begin moving people over to Atlantis."

Sarah Porter was the first to react as Roslin sat, "You expect us to believe that there is an Alien on that ship?"

"Yes I do, as it is the truth," replied Roslin.

"And where did this supposed Alien come from?" demanded Porter, her tone was one of disbelief and contempt.

"The same place as Miss Granger and Mister Potter," replied Roslin. "She shares many of the same abilities they do. Aressa is primarily a healer, but she is also a scientist. It's also worth noting that, as we currently understand things, Aressa's people, the Alterans may have had contact with their people."

"What does that mean for us?" asked Alisander Asiel, the Aerilon delegate.

"It means that we now have three gifted allies to help us. I don't think anyone here can dispute how valuable Granger and Potter's assistance has been," pointed out Roslin. "Now we have a city to resettle. We can get our ships repaired, and we can start planning for the future."

"So this alien, is turning the city over to us?" said Eladio Puasha of Scorpia."We are all just going to live there now?"

Roslin shook her head, "She's an ally, and as part of our alliance, she is offering to deal with one of the main issues in the fleet, overcrowding. Aressa will maintain overall control of Atlantis. As for living there, that's going to be what we need to decide. When we left the colonies, we had over 50,000 people in the fleet. Now it's closer to 70,000. Before I walked in here, I did some math. If we count every ship in the fleet, we have proper berths for 48,543…that's quite a difference, isn't it?"

Porter studied the image, "It would solve the overcrowding issue and allow people to resume something like a normal life. My only issue is that it is under the control of an unknown and two figures we know next to nothing about." She held up a hand to forestall anyone interjecting, "And yes, I acknowledge that they have done nothing but help us. I think we need to meet this Aressa for ourselves, if she is, as you claim then I believe we can begin working with her."

Roslin resisted the urge to stare at Porter. She may be difficult, but she was not as closed-minded as she had feared. "I think that can be arranged. If you wish, I can also arrange for Harry and Hermione to be present. We've all heard a lot about them, I think it's important that you get to meet them."

Porter nodded and sat back in her seat.

Unfortunately, the next person to speak was not as willing to understand.

"That is unacceptable," complained Puasha. "You've already entered us into an unholy alliance with the Cylons now you are leaving our future in the hands of aliens."

Roslin glanced over to where a silent Admiral Adama sat against the wall. He was doing a good job of hiding his feelings, but Roslin could see his frustration. Adama caught her gaze for a moment before he cleared his throat, "Actually, Aressa has been in consultation with my staff regarding posting Colonial officers onboard."

Puasha nodded, looking around the table, "Good work Admiral, I'm not a fan of the military being involved in politics but having people, our people, onboard strengthens our control."

'Look how petty they are," said Six as she ran her fingers through Baltar's hair. 'They think they now hold more power in their grasp. How long before they are demanding Atlantis?'

Baltar twitched as he sat forward, "Yes, yes right…I mean Atlantis is a technological marvel. But we need Aressa, Harry and Hermione to be able to operate more than the most basic functions. So an alliance is the…ah, smart move."

Roslin would have been happier had Baltar not blurted that out.

"Is it armed?" asked Porter. "Does it potentially pose a danger to the fleet?"

"Atlantis has a strong defensive capability, probably on par with a Battlestar," replied Adama. It sounded true, and most of the Quorum members should accept that definition.

Roslin jumped in as the murmur of whispered conversations began, "Given that we have now got a ship capable of comfortably accommodating at least half the fleet, perhaps we should be discussing how best to distribute the population."

"Or perhaps after the tour of this marvel would be better, so that we can understand the implications of a city-sized ship," suggested Alisander Asiel in a reasonable tone of voice. "After all, we have already had some misunderstandings with the aliens being harboured in the fleet. Not to mention the Cylon refugees. So having a ship that is at the least equal to a Battlestar, a ship we have to rely on others to operate is something that should give everyone pause."

"As I said a tour will be arranged," replied Roslin as she studied Asiel. "However, I think it's worthwhile pointing out, once again, that the Quorum is well aware just how much Miss Granger and Mister Potter have contributed."

Porter frowned, "As you say, there is no argument, but there has also been very little discussion. Their miraculous abilities have led to many proclaiming them as being semi-divine. I'm not saying I accept that argument, but I do understand it given what we've heard."

Puasha sneered at Porter, "This isn't about these so-called faith healers. This is about leadership and doing the right thing. There have been far too many compromises. The Cylons, these aliens…where will it end?"

Wallace Gray, President Roslin's senior economic advisor, leant forward and spoke quietly to her, "He's trying to establish a party line. Hoping the fearful will fall in behind. Instant voting block."

Roslin nodded without turning, "Look at their faces, he might pull it off."

"Then we need to make sure we cut him off at the knees," said Gray. "But not directly, we need to show the others that these alliances are not only needed but beneficial."

"As Representative Porter suggested, perhaps we should reconvene after the tour to discuss our options," suggested Roslin.

oOoOo

Despite having to wait for the fleet to jump before she could catch a Raptor back to Triton, Hermione was still in a buoyant mood when she walked into Lifestations to start her shift with Doctor Jackson.

The Doctor was just walking out of his office as Hermione entered.

"Ah Hermione, you are back, excellent," said Jackson as he passed her a pile of charts. "We've got a busy morning. First off is someone you might know." Jackson pulled aside a curtain to reveal Jo Pakitos.

"Hello Hermione," said Jo with a smile.

Hermione walked forward and took Jo's hand, "Jo, it's so good to see you."

"Thanks to you both, I was healed up and back in my own bed far quicker than I thought possible," said Jo with a smile. "I'm just back for a check up."

Jackson smiled as he put a bag on the bed, "Your Scrubs, Nurse. As soon as you feel up to it, you are welcome back Jo."

"As soon as you pass me for duty Doctor," replied Jo. Seeing the look of concern on Hermione's face, she explained further. "It's not the first time a patient in the ER has been violent. I was stabbed once by a drug addict."

Hermione looked horrified, but Jackson simply nodded, "I did my rotation in ER, it can get pretty exciting. Right, well let's give you a look over so we can get you back to work…"

oOoOo

Harry was relieved by Aressa and managed to eat a quick meal before he was tracked down.

"Harry, Aressa said you might be here," said Apollo as he entered the area they had dubbed the crew mess. "I'm sorry to ask considering you're on a break, but the President called. Apparently, there have been some developments with the Quorum meeting."

Harry picked up his empty plate and carried it over to the recycler before turning back to Apollo, "It's fine Lee, how can I help?"

"There was some pushback from the Quorum," explained Apollo. "Apparently a few of the representatives are starting to show their unhappiness with our alliance with the Cylons. She wants to push the benefits as they tour Atlantis."

Harry nodded, unsure why Apollo was bringing this to him.

"Well, the President is going to offer up a tour and then a televised meeting with the Cylons. She would like you and Hermione to be there as well," Apollo, perhaps picking up on Harry's ambivalence about being put on show, quickly continued. "It's not just a publicity stunt. Some members of the Quorum have been making noises about not having been allowed to meet you and Hermione."

Harry frowned, but nodded, "I can't speak for Hermione, but I'll meet with them."

"I'll check in with her. I know you and Hermione had a bit of a rocky start with the fleet, but I hope you realise just how much good work you've done. You two helped save us all…I know the politics of it all feels a bit…well, sleazy but you really should be getting a lot more recognition," Apollo gestured toward the door. "We are here, on Atlantis because of you and Hermione. We've got a real chance of surviving thanks to you."

Apollo nodded respectfully and left leaving a thoughtful Harry sitting at the table.

oOoOo

Lifestations Triton

Hermione started when a gentle hand touched her hand. Opening her eyes, she found herself looking at the smiling faces of Zoe Graystone and Tamara Adama.

"Sorry, I must have drifted off. How can I help you?"

Zoe laughed, "I jut wanted to ask you if you were free to join our discussion group with the Cylons here on Triton. The Two's are keen to renew your discussion about your Church."

Hermione looked up at the clock on the wall, "I finish my shift in twenty minutes."

"That should be all right," replied Zoe.

"Well, unless some emergency crops up I'll see you there," replied Hermione.

oOoOo

Cylon Area – Triton

Hermione almost smiled at the expressions of confusion on the faces of Daniel and the Two sitting with her.

Two looked puzzled, "And these Alteran's are human?"

Hermione shook her head, "Yes and no. Alterans are the first evolution of what we consider humans."

"And they are like you and Harry?" asked Daniel.

"In a way, Aressa's skills are more in line with healing," explained Hermione.

"Amazing," said Two. "Although the words from the Sacred Scrolls and our own religious works remind us that Life began out there. Perhaps it refers to these Alterans."

"That would make sense in some ways," agreed Daniel. "We know that God is the God of everything. Who is to say that he didn't create these Alterans to be his envoys."

Hermione loved Harry to bits but sometimes she really missed these intellectual conversations. Not that Harry was stupid, but these sort of debates were not his thing at all. Settling back into her chair she began composing her next contribution.

oOoOo

Admiral Adama gestured, and his son sat opposite him.

"Thanks for coming so quickly, Lee."

"I needed a change of uniform anyway," replied Apollo with a faint smile.

"I'm sure, how stands Atlantis after the jump?" asked Adama.

"Fine, Aressa reports that that the automated repairs are coming along. There is, of course, a growing list of repairs but nothing that we need to worry about. The main thing she is worried about now is how we would feed anyone moving to the city. She has the technology but lacks the materials," reported Apollo. "Harry and Hermione have managed to stretch our food supply, but that isn't something that can go on forever."

"We have the Seed Bank from Aerilon," Adama told Apollo. "If Atlantis has the facilities, then perhaps we could produce viable crops."

"I'll speak with Aressa," Apollo promised his father.

"Lee, I've been thinking about who will lead the Colonial contingent on Atlantis," began the elder Adama.

"I was wondering if you'd take the job," said Apollo.

Adama shook his head, "Me? No, I may get a room, but for now, I'll keep the Old Girl as my Flagship. I meant you, Captain."

"Me?" asked Apollo.

"Yes you," replied Adama with a grin. "You've done a great job taking a mixed team and making it work. Lee for all the changes in the last few weeks none has been more fragile than this peace between the renegade Cylons and us. I don't doubt that half the Quorum will already be thinking of using Atlantis against the Cylon fleet. You heard about Captain Kelly?"

Apollo shook his head.

"He walked into a meeting about Atlantis wearing a bomb vest," explained Adama.

Apollo looked shocked, he knew Kelly quite well, "What the frak happened?"

Adama explained.

"You think Zarek had been in his ear?" asked Apollo.

Adama shrugged, "Maybe, the problem is proving it."

"Well that's a worry, but it doesn't explain why you want me on Atlantis."

Adama shrugged, "Why, well most importantly, you're familiar with the city. You have shown, repeatedly that you can lead. Leading a mixed team on a risky mission is no small thing, Lee. You also get on with Aressa and Potter, and you are level headed enough to not abuse the position. What me to go on?"

Apollo held up his hands, "All that aside, there are officers with far more seniority."

"Who I need on their ships, you are an excellent CAG, but I need you on Atlantis Lee. In part because of everything I've already said, but also because I don't trust half the Quorum and if they try something I want a man onboard who is ethical enough to both do his duty and question his orders. As far as I am concerned, that's you…congratulations Commander."

oOoOo

The newly promoted Commander Adama made his way to his cabin on Galactica to grab what he needed for his newly minted command posting. All the while trying to process what had just happened.

"Hey Apollo, you back?" asked Starbuck as she sauntered out of the pilot's ready room holding a steaming mug and a ridiculously overstuffed bread roll.

"No, the old man just posted me to Atlantis," replied Apollo.

Starbuck looked puzzled, "As CAG? They got Vipers?"

Apollo reached into his pocket and pulled out the Commanders rank insignia, tossing it to Starbuck.

Starbuck caught them and did a double take, "No fraking way, really?"

"Just grabbing my things," replied Apollo.

"Who you taking as XO?" asked Starbuck.

Apollo grinned, "You want the job?"

"Frak no," replied Starbuck. "Actually, what are the bunks like?"

"Pretty good," replied Apollo with a smirk. "Springy."

Starbuck raised an eyebrow in an unspoken reply.

"Hey Apollo," called out Margaret "Racetrack" Edmondson as she appeared from within the pilot's ready room with her ECO, Hamish "Skulls" McCall trailing along behind her as he finished stuffing a bread roll in his mouth.

"..Mphh Mapollo mir," was all Skulls could manage.

Before Apollo could reply a half dozen more pilots and backseaters walked out and stopped, joining the growing group around their former CAG.

Holding up a hand Apollo gestured back into the ready room, "Alright, let's not block thing up. I'll tell you what I can. There's going to be a press conference, and I need to get going."

"Back to his new command," added Starbuck with a smirk.

Racetrack blinked and then turned back to Apollo, "No way!"

"What?" asked one of the newer pilots.

"You've been given the Lost City?" asked Racetrack, ignoring the others.

Apollo nodded, "Admiral just pulled me in to tell me."

"Captain to Commander, frak you missed a few steps on the way there Apollo," said Racetrack with a broad smile. "Your new command looks pretty roomy. Hey, you looking for an XO?"

oOoOo

Cloud 9 – Conference Room

A long wide table had been set up with a simple white cloth. Arrayed along one side were the Colonial Quorum and Military leadership. On the other Rand, Graystone and the Cylons. At one end of the table, Aressa sat flanked by Hermione and Harry.

In front of them were many of the leaders among the fleet, ship Captains, religious figures and their support staff.

"You ready for this?" asked Harry as everyone began to take their seats.

Aressa smiled wryly, "As ready as I can be."

oOoOo

Roslin looked around the table and waited a few moments for those present to fall silent. "Before we begin I wanted to thank and acknowledge those that risked their lives to find and recover the City Ship Atlantis."

The President started applauding and was soon joined by the majority of people around the table.

Roslin let the comments and applause die down before she spoke again.

"The mission to find the lost city will have an enormous impact on us all. Atlantis offers us the chance to bring to an end many of the problems in the fleet. Overcrowding, food production, medical resources are all things we can now look at getting a handle on. We now have four fully operational Battlestars and Atlantis, which is more than capable of defending itself. Which is a fantastic result but it still leaves us with some critical issues to decide on."

"Why are the Cylons here?" demanded Puasha.

Roslin hid her annoyance at the interruption as she turned to look at Puasha, "Because they are stakeholders in what we decide now."

"You have no right to decide that. You think because the others have brought into your lies no one can see through them," Puasha's last words were just short of a scream.

Porter sat forward, a frown on her face, "The President has explained the situation with the Rebel Cylon delegates, extensively and I know you were present Representative Puasha."

"Of course you would side with her, you've been licking her boots since she elevated herself to the office of President," replied Puasha.

Porter's expression darkened as she went to stand, but the Quorum delegate next to her placed a hand on her shoulder.

"If you can't control yourself then leave," said Alisander Asiel as he put a hand on Sarah Porter's shoulder. "A majority in the Quorum decided to endorse the alliance with the Cylons that desired peace. The revelations that One had engineered the war, the First Hybrid and the return of our citizens has made clear that they are at least willing to cease hostilities. We may never forget what happened, I know I won't, but that does not mean we can't move on."

"Exactly," added Roslin. "As I have said, repeatedly, I am not advocating anything that does not help us survive and rebuild. If we go down the road of trying to destroy the Cylons, we will force a confrontation that may well doom us all. And that serves the purpose of our enemy. Right now, we have an opportunity to set up our future success and survival. We have allies, we have a chance for peace."

"We should be air locking them, and you…you're a fraking traitor," yelled Puasha.

Sarah Porter surged to her feet, "You're an idiot Eladio, but I'd be very interested in hearing who is pulling your strings. When President Roslin informed the Quorum about the Cylon revelations, you celebrated. When she revealed that two powerful priests had found a way to help sustain the fleet, you applauded. Now that this wondrous ship is found…you suddenly object, why?"

"I don't answer to you!" replied Puasha.

"No, you answer to the people you are meant to be representing," replied Porter.

Puasha pushed his shoulders back, "I move for the arrest of Laura Roslin and for immediate elections."

Roslin looked around seeing nobody supporting the vote, "I'd say motion failed due to a lack of support."

Puasha spat on the floor, "You'll pay for your treason bitch. If these cowards don't stand up to you, then I'll call on the people to tear you apart."

Roslin's expression turned cold, "Was that a threat Representative Puasha?"

Puasha gestured, and chaos erupted.

oOoOo

Harry glanced at Hermione who was listening to the heated exchange with a worried expression.

Leaning forward he whispered into her ear, "Are you wearing your portkey?"

Hermione nodded.

"Good, so am I. If this goes bad get out of here."

"I won't run away and leave others to suffer," replied Hermione in a voice barely above a whisper.

"Then we have to be prepared to step in if we need to."

Representative Puasha began arguing with another representative as Harry looked around the room. There were worried expressions both at the table and among those in the room. Harry paused, something was wrong. His Auror training, hell, his finely honed survival instincts were shouting at him. Something was wrong.

The security guards Roslin, and the Quorum used were standing against the walls, looking nervous…not concerned, more agitated than nervous. Then it hit him, they weren't watching the crowd, they were focused on Roslin and Puasha.

As Harry watched, Roslin looked around seeing nobody supporting the vote, "I'd say motion failed due to a lack of support."

Puasha spat on the floor, "You'll pay for your treason bitch. If these cowards don't stand up to you, then I'll call on the people to tear you apart."

Roslin's expression turned cold, "Was that a threat Representative Puasha?"

Puasha gestured, and chaos erupted.

Shots were fired into the air as the Security Force surged forward.

Adama pulled Roslin behind him as his fellow officers stood.

"What, in the name of the Gods are you doing?" demanded Adama.

Puasha stepped forward a malicious smile on his face, "Taking back the government. It's called a fraking coup."

Adama frowned, "How do you expect to get away with this?"

"Once you fraking traitors are dead, along with your Cylon allies we'll go back to the Colonies and take back what is ours," yelled Puasha as a 'Security Officer' passed him a pistol. Flicking the safety off he pointed it at Adama. "We'll elect a new President, Tom Zarek. Someone who hasn't forgotten what the Cylons tried to take from us. Admiral Cain was right we have to fight."

"And how do you propose to do all that?" asked Roslin. "The fleet won't stand for it."

Puasha gestured, and four of his men moved in, ready to seize Roslin and Adama while others moved toward the Cylons.

"They won't have a choice," replied Puasha with a sneer. He looked over to one of his men and gestured toward where Lacy Rand sat with Zoe Graystone and three other humanoid Cylons. "Kill the fraking Cylons."

Before anyone could move there was a right flash of red light and Puasha was blasted off his feet to fall in a heap on the ground at Sarah Porter's feet.

Harry stood, wand raised in his hand, "Right now put your weapons away before Mr Puasha gets some company."

Harry stood, wand pointed at the group near Roslin while Hermione's was pointed toward the Cylons. "Put the damn weapons down," ordered Harry.

"Take them out!" yelled one of the men.

Harry stunned two men in quick succession while Hermione summoned the weapons away from the group surrounding the Cylons.

Seeing the confusion around him, Adama lashed out with a solid punch. Dropping the man closest to him. The other Colonial officers followed his lead, turning on the closest of Puasha's men. Apollo kicked the feet out from under one of the fake security guards and then kicked the man in the head as he tried to get up.

It was chaos in the room as screams started and civilians ducked for whatever protective cover they could find.

A trio of shots sounded as Harry leapt over the table, crashing into one of the armed men even as he stunned a second.

Hermione was methodically stunning any armed man she could see.

Then, suddenly it was over.

"Report," yelled Adama.

"We've got injured here," called out Commander Swift as he knelt down beside a Quorum member that had been shot in the shoulder. Putting pressure on the wound. "We need medics."

"I've got one here too," added a Quorum member. "I think she's been shot."

Apollo ran over to the Wireless phone mounted on the wall calling out as he went, "I'll call it in and get Marines down here."

"Good job Lee, the rest of you gather up those Firearms," ordered Adama. "We have no idea if we got them all."

Commander Brack cursed as he checked a fallen man, "I've got another here…he's in a bad way."

Aressa hurried over, "Hermione, help me here."

Aressa walked over to Commander Brack, "I will be able to help."

As she knelt beside the injured man, her hands began to glow.

oOoOo

Things were gradually coming under control as Marines poured into the room followed by medics and Doctor Cottle.

"I want Tom Zarek found and detained," ordered Roslin. "He has quite a few questions to answer."

"Yes, Ma'am," replied the Senior Marine with a glance to Adama who nodded.

"Are you alright Madam President?" asked Doctor Cottle.

"Sorry?" asked Roslin.

"You have blood on your sleeve Ma'am," replied the Doctor, pointing at the blood on her sleeve.

Roslin looked at her sleeve in surprise, "Um…I don't think it's mine."

Cottle nodded, "Still, I'd feel better if I checked."

More Marines arrived, this time led by Tigh. The Commander of Galactica was followed by Boomer and Racetrack, all three of them were wearing body armour and wearing pistols.

"Sir, you alright?" asked Tigh as he saluted Adama.

"I'm fine Saul," replied Adama as he rubbed his bleeding, split knuckle.

Tigh raised an eyebrow as he looked down at his friends bloodied fist.

"I punched one of them," explained Adama. "It felt good at the time, not so much now."

"Right, orders Sir?"

"Secure the room Commander, I want to know exactly what happened here and who helped them pull this off."

Adama paused as Harry walked over followed by Apollo. He straightened as Harry approached, "Thank you for your help Mister Potter."

Harry nodded, looking somewhat warily at the armed men in the room, "Doing what I could Admiral. I would suggest that somebody ties them up pretty soon. The stun effect should last a while, but it's better to be safe than sorry."

Apollo cleared his throat, "I'll let the Marines know."

Before Adama could say anything else, Roslin, Porter, Aressa and Hermione walked over., followed by Doctor Cottle. He noted that both Aressa and Hermione were wiping their hands on towels.

Roslin looked more serious than anything else as she walked over to Adama, "Thank you, Admiral, for seeing to my safety, you too Mister Potter. The Quorum and I will thank you officially later, but for now, I think we need to move the conference venue. It worries me that a plan such as this could be pulled off even with our security being a priority."

"I agree Madam President. Perhaps Atlantis might serve as a venue," suggested Adama. "If that is possible Aressa."

Aressa nodded, "Of course Admiral."

Tigh gestured to where Lacy Rand was leading the Cylon delegates toward them, "Cylons incoming."

Adama resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the wording, "Let's hope they are in an understanding mood."

oOoOo

Fleet Wireless Network

"…Once again there is breaking news live from Cloud Nine where there has been an apparent terrorist incident. Playa Palacios was covering the conference and has just now, been allowed to transmit a report, Playa?"

"Thank you, James, I am reporting tonight from the function room aboard the Cloud Nine. As we reported earlier, the Quorum was meeting to discuss what the arrival of Atlantis. There was a heated debate among the Quorum members and then Representative Puasha attempted what could only be called an armed coup. There was…well, there was an incident. Luckily, the cameras were rolling, and we caught most of the confrontation," explained Playa. "When you see the footage I think you'll agree that we have never seen anything like it James, ever."

McManus cleared his throat, "We'll we shall be playing the footage shortly. Playa, you were present today when the media were given a tour of Atlantis. As we understand things, the Quorum were also given a private tour. Do you believe that there is any sort of connection given the rumours regarding this so called alien Aressa?"

"Actually I met her today as a part of Doctor Baltar's tour," replied Playa Palacios. "And while I certainly can't dispute the reports of technology that's radically different from ours or indeed anything we've heard about from the Cylons, Aressa looks perfectly human to me."

"There have been persistent rumours of a ship on the Triton that the best fleet engineers have been unable to understand," injected McManus. "And while such secrecy is precisely what I'd expect from this administration I will admit they have been relatively open with the information about Atlantis. Which makes me want to ask why this other ship has not been officially revealed or displayed."

"Are you saying that these Alterans contacted us earlier than the President has revealed?" asked Palacios. "Are you implying there is some sort of cover-up, that these Alterans have some sort of hidden agenda?"

"I don't know that I'd go that far, but it doesn't take an oracle to join the dot's here. Unknown spaceship, Priests who have abilities we've never heard of and now a city built by who, ancient humans?"

"Well, those are questions many of us will be looking to get answers to. I…ah yes the footage is now ready, For those listening on the audio only channel. Channel four will now be showing the full report."

"Before we begin I wanted to thank and acknowledge those that risked their lives to find and recover the City Ship Atlantis."

oOoOo

The Colonial fleet's response to the failed coup was divided into several camps. The majority were frightened by the display of what they saw as senseless violence. They had been the majority that had been feeling more secure thanks to the changing fortunes of the Colonial fleet. They had seen the truce with the Cylons as a hopeful sign and the arrival of Atlantis as a gift from the Gods. The thought that it might be snatched away was a terrifying potential outcome.

The second camp were the opponents of Roslin, those that hated her politics or disliked her personally. They saw the need but disagreed with how the President was leading the people. Mostly they were shocked when presented with Puasha's actions. Politically they wanted Roslin gone but most certainly not at the hands of a bloody coup. Such transitions had never ended well in the past.

The third camp was made up of those who were pleased to see someone taking back their peoples future. They wanted the Cylons to pay, for Roslin to pay for betraying them and most of all they wanted to return and retake the colonies. Though by far the fewest in number they were, in some ways the best organised. Tom Zarek had been busy, approaching those that his 'network' identified as potential allies. In particular, he had put feelers out for those with military training.

When the footage had played, naming Zarek as a person of interest, he was spirited aboard the Sagittaron crewed ship, the Praxis. He was once again in hiding, even though he had made sure that no direct evidence linked him to the coup, the fact that Puasha had named him was enough.

oOoOo

While the drama unfolded elsewhere in the fleet, Harry, Hermione and Aressa were holding a meeting in the Control room of Atlantis while they waited for Lee Adama and Gaius Baltar.

"I'm not sure where we go from here," said Harry. "Despite everything we've explained we are still stuck dealing with this rubbish."

Aressa lips twitched and when she spoke there was poorly hidden amusement in her voice, "Come now Harry, from what I saw in your memories the wizarding world wasn't any better."

"I…oh bloody hell, alright it's as bad as a bad system. That's nothing to be celebrating," complained Harry.

"They are trying. When we first joined the Triton, they were all pretty grim, understandable considering the circumstances. I think things have improved and that they are trying to make things work," said Hermione.

Harry loved Hermione and her optimism but sometimes he could see the echoes of her S.P.E.W days. "We just had to help stop a coup."

"Granted, the political situation is a bit iffy but be fair, they've just had their lives torn apart, and now we are turning their view of the universe on its ear."

"Like any society undergoing change they are being forced to change and grow. Never a comfortable thing for many people. I understand your reservations, I share some of them but what choice do we have that we could live with?" asked Aressa.

'We could leave through the Stargate,' thought Harry. Although, if he were honest with himself he probably wouldn't. Despite the idiocy of some of the Colonials, there were far too many innocent people at risk. "Then I guess we are staying, any thoughts on how to proceed?"

Aressa turned and manipulated a screen, which lit up with the residential, medical and production centres of the city. "I still think that the plan to use Atlantis as a refuge is the best way forward. The city has the facilities and infrastructure to allow people to rebuild. They can dock nearly all their ships which will also help conserve their supplies."

As Aressa finished Apollo and Baltar walked in, "Sorry we're late," apologised Baltar. "It's a bit tricky getting a Raptor to transfer over."

"The fallout from the failed coup is still pretty bad," agreed Apollo. "Non-essential flights have been put on hold for now. I heard what you said just now, and I think you'll be pleased to hear that the President pretty much agrees with that as an idea to put to the Quorum and the people."

Baltar nodded, "Quite true, I believe the coup may have had the opposite effect to what they no doubt hoped. With the Cylon threat much reduced, food, water and fuel under control…well, it is going to be difficult to argue that President has led poorly."

"And with Zarek gone to ground we have the chance to get the leaders in the fleet thinking clearly," added Apollo.

"What about the ownership and control of Atlantis?" asked Hermione.

"My father has always been in favour of Aressa retaining control. The fact that only you three can fully control all of Atlantis makes any other arrangement pretty pointless," explained Apollo.

Baltar glanced at the operations console, running his eyes over the readings before clearing his throat, "I suspect that the President will be making sure that the Quorum understands."

Apollo hoped Baltar was right, "By being named Commander and liaison he's given the Quorum the word that I'm in the command structure."

"You are Lee," Aressa reassured him. "Atlantis will need someone to lead the military units. In reality, it's just a continuation of what we've been doing."

"Except that without Alteran genes, we can't operate most of the technology."

"That's not an insurmountable problem. It shouldn't take me long to set up testing, and if needed I can manipulate the genes of those needing to use the technology. It's a relatively simple procedure to activate a dormant genetic…" Aressa trailed off as she realised that only Baltar and perhaps Hermione was following her explanation. "Suffice to say it can be done."

Apollo looked pleased as he gave Aressa a nod, "Thank you, well that makes the issue of getting some officers here to help run the city a bit less problematic."

Harry wasn't quite sure how he felt about this turn of events. Their control of Atlantis had not been about power, but rather, protecting and safeguarding the Stargate. Hermione might have made her peace with the Colonials, but he still had reservations. Serious revelations. Lee Adama seemed a decent sort, and he had worked well with the mixed team. A plus alright, but that didn't mean he would go against his orders should he be told to take complete control of Atlantis.

So he sat and listened as they discussed possible recruits and just how to handle the Quorum and the other parties when they arrived tomorrow.

oOoOo

Galactica Pilot Briefing room

"What do you think this is all this about?" asked Starbuck as she looked around the crowded room.

Racetrack shrugged her shoulders and looked around for herself, "No idea, lot's of Senior knuckledraggers here, though. Maybe they're briefing us, all at once?"

"Tigh looks like he's constipated," offered Starbuck.

Racetrack nudged Starbuck, "Here comes the old man, hey Apollo's with him."

Starbuck studied her friend, noting that he was in uniform, rather than a flight suit, and he had his new Commander's insignia on his collar.

"Alright people, let's settle down," ordered Tigh as he glared at those gathered until they quietened down.

Adama stood and surveyed the room for a moment before beginning, "Tomorrow the President will be announcing that Atlantis will be a part of the fleet. As part of that deal, we need volunteers to join the military detachment." Adama paused to let the surprised whispers die down before continuing. "This detachment will consist of deck crew, pilots and marines. The detachments responsibility will be the defence of Atlantis and the non-combatants living there. Commander Tigh and the other Battlestar commanders will be opening a list. Anyone who wants to put their name down or the name of a direct report that they feel would be suitable is welcome to do so. Now that's out of the way, are there any questions?"

Starbuck raised her hand, "Will we be flying Vipers or whatever the city has?"

Adama looked over at his son, who stepped forward.

"We are still looking at how we will work that," explained Apollo. "We don't have launch tubes, so just Raptors for now. On the plus side, the Alteran ships mightn't look like much, but they pack a punch."

Starbuck wrinkled her nose and shook her head. Flying bricks like the Raptor were not her thing. Still, she'd check them out. Lee had been a decent pilot and CAG, and while she wasn't all that interested, she was sure quite a few of the Raptor Pilots, EWO's and knuckledraggers would be. Considering the two, or was it now three priests? Seemed to now be living on Atlantis the food, at least would be good.

She sat back and let the questions flow around her. She already knew she'd be staying on Galactica. After all the old man wouldn't let his best pilot transfer, would he?

oOoOo

Harry stepped out of the shower, drying off as he considered the day ahead. In the aftermath of the attempted coup Roslin and Adama had put forward that Atlantis would be an ideal venue to restart the discussions. It would also be an opportunity to clearly show the Quorum and the Cylons exactly what they might gain by an alliance with Aressa.

"Harry, Aressa is here," announced Hermione.

"Give me a sec," replied Harry as he began pulling on clean clothes.

A few minutes later he walked out to see Aressa and Hermione dressed in white and tan outfits.

"Um, matching clothes?" asked Harry.

Aressa smiled and gestured toward the bed where another uniform lay, "Alteran military uniforms from when my people lived on Atlantis. I thought that we might as well present a united front."

Harry shrugged, "Fair enough, you two look good in them. I'm not sure I'll do them justice."

Aressa smiled, "Well I'm sure you'll look fine."

Harry wasn't joking about the uniforms looking good. Both Hermione and Aressa looked great in the fitted uniforms.

"Aressa thinks that we can head off some of the questions by presenting ourselves as a united team," added Hermione.

"Do you think there will be trouble?" Harry asked Aressa as he picked up the uniform.

"No, I don't, but the situation is somewhat unpredictable. We should be prepared to defend ourselves as required."

oOoOo

The tour of Atlantis, while short, was a success as it clearly outlined the vast differences in technology. Doctor Baltar made it very clear that Atlantis was not built along either Colonial or Cylon technical lines. While most lacked the technical knowledge to fully understand the Scientists point, there were enough on the Council that did, and they were soon in agreement with the Doctor.

Roslin let them eat lunch before she stood to address those in the room. The President looked around the room at the humans and Cylons with a serious, professional demeanour.

"I propose that Atlantis be declared neutral. It will be controlled by a ruling council made up of representatives of those that will live and work in the city. This council will be headed by Aressa. She is uniquely suited to the position as she is one of only three people that can fully operate the technology. As Chairperson she will be assisted by Commander Leland Adama. He will control the Military forces protecting Atlantis as well as being the liaison with the Colonial Fleet. The other positions will be decided on once we have an agreement, here in the Quorum."

oOoOo

Commander Tigh's Cabin – Battlestar Galactica

"Well, we won the fraking vote," grumbled Adama as he gestured toward the replay of the Presidents Atlantis speech.

Tigh switched the wireless off and sat down beside his old friend, "Well we knew common sense would win out…at some fraking point. Or was it self-preservation?"

Adama rubbed his temples, "I know, its just so fraking frustrating. I hate politics."

Tigh smirked as he poured two drinks, "We're both off duty, have a drink."

Adama raised an eyebrow but took the drink.

"What's Roslin going to do about Zarek and the rest of his conspirators?" asked Tigh.

"Try to manage the information. Zarek's clearly got friends in the fleet because the bastard has gone to ground somewhere. As for Atlantis, who would have thought that we'd be sitting here trying to decide how we tell the fleet that we've met a woman who is, apparently quite a bit older than our Gods. That the Priests that helped save us come from a different Galaxy, oh and all this on top of the news that the Cylons are poor deluded bastards, who helped save us from the other Cylons. I think she's worried that there would be rioting."

Tigh sipped at his drink and stared at the bulkhead, "Would there?"

Adama paused, "What do you mean?"

"Did you know Rand held a religious ceremony on Triton?"

Adama nodded, "Sparta reported it. I didn't get a chance to look into it too much before this happened."

"I was talking to Emma, Brack's XO. She attended along with some Marines just in case anyone objected. Almost three dozen non-Cylons attended. Some medical staff, the Granger woman and Simon the Cylon medic's wife and child. The thing is Bill, nothing happened, no protests, no complaints…nothing. Rand's almost popular, Daniel and Granger are the face of the rebel good Cylons. The word is that people outside medical and the Politicians know about the pregnant Eight. What I'm saying is this won't stay hidden. It will come out, maybe it's better if it comes out officially."

Adama sat thinking while Tigh sipped his drink. Eventually, he sighed, "You may be right, but I think it'll still be messy. Even if it does cut away at any support that snake Zarek still has in the fleet."

"What choice do we really have? Even with the Cylon's a non-threat at the moment, we have these Wraith creatures to deal with. If Lee, Aressa and the others are telling the truth, they aren't the only ones out there. We need the fleet able to do its job, not as shelters but as Battlestars. We need Atlantis to be a city because we can protect a city far better that a fleet or unarmed ships."

Adama studied his old friend, surprised at his vehemence as much as he was at his friend's opinions, "You sound like you've given this a bit of thought."

Tigh shrugged, "Strange I know, I could have crawled back into a bottle but…well it seems we are needed now."

A knock at the door interrupted Adama's reply. Tigh shrugged and pulled it open to find a Marine and a person, whose appearance rocked him to his core.

"Ellen?"

Adama seeing Tigh freeze, stood just as his friend called out his wife's name.

"Gods Ellen, it's you…how?" asked a stunned looking Tigh.

"I woke up in a medical unit," explained Ellen Tigh. "They had no idea who I was."

Adama was a spectator to the tableau before him, "That will be all Corporal."

The Marine, sensing the tension left as quickly as possible.

"William," said Ellen Tigh, her voice neutral.

"Ellen," replied Adama, "I think I'll leave you two to…catch up. Unless you want me to stay Saul?"

Tigh shook his head, his eyes never leaving his wife, "I'll be fine."

oOoOo

Atlantis Control Room

While in the Command Chair, Hermione found it easy to ignore the others moving around the control room. Instead, she focused on the diagnostics and reports being performed by the city's systems.

It truly was fascinating, and as Aressa had said, she needed to get used to using the chair, just in case she ever needed to use it in more life threatening situations.

She was about to begin reviewing historical files when sensors forwarded her an anomaly. She touched the highlighted file, and it expanded, filling the holographic screen in front of her.

The anomaly was a brief, less than a second, contact between the computer on Atlantis and something. It certainly wasn't Cylon, and it was far enough away that the anomaly itself wasn't detected. She read through the report and then had Atlantis list possibilities. Was it a Wraith ship, an abandoned Alteran satellite?

A moment later a single possibility, based on the data collected during the interrupted connection was presented.

It was an Alteran ship.

oOoOo