CHAPTER 51 OF THE PHOENIX AND THE WOLVERINE.

Hi; I do not own Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica or X-men; I just write this for fun!

Please enjoy!

Lady Q's Forward Operating Base…

Both male Qs said nothing as the Lady told them of her recent findings, at the end of the debriefing the silence only lengthened until General Q finally broke it.

'Well; that puts a new spin on things.'

The younger Q snorted. 'Quite the understatement old chap,' he turned to his worried looking wife.

'I'm surprised you didn't challenge Ares right at that moment when he revealed his stupid plan.'

Lady Q glared at him. 'Something was off about him. Ares didn't feel right and I don't think he was telling the other gods everything about his plan.'

General Q sighed. 'Of course, he wouldn't. Ares may be a buffoon but he's far from a fool; he got to where he is by playing his cards close to his chest. I also agree with you that something doesn't add up. He said his power had grown because of the increased praying of his believers?'

'Yes.' Said Lady Q.

Q looked at the General closely. ' I can hear you thinking old man.'

The General had a troubled expression on his face. 'Bear with me; how many colonials currently remain alive?'

'41375,' answered Lady Q 'why the question?'

The older Q held up a hand. 'And roughly how many of them fervently worship Ares at this moment?'

Lady Q quickly cast her consciousness towards the colonial fleet; it took less than a nanosecond to gather the data she needed. 'Less than one twentieth of the fleet.'

General Q shook his head 'So, let's say roughly less than two thousand souls pray and beseech this God of War and all of a sudden he is a lot more powerful than the other Kobol Lords? Something doesn't add up.'

'Unless he's getting his power from somewhere else,' said Q.

Lady Q and the General stared at him. 'Explain,' they both said at the same time.

Q grimaced. 'I can't because I can't even detect the old bastard to scan him,' he looked at his wife ' why didn't you scan him ?'

'And blow my cover? I went in there as a ghost panther; if I had tried anything they would have known I was there! Aphrodite even made herself scarce as soon as he disappeared; I didn't even have the chance to question her about Ares!'

General Q looked at her. 'Are you scared of him?'

'You're missing the point!' she almost yelled to their amazement.

'We are the Q; so-called guardians and observers of the corners of our cosmos and for some reason we completely missed something going on right under our ascended noses! That and not Ares is what scares the shit outta me!'

Both male Qs held up placating hands. 'Easy…' but she wasn't done.

'And now he knows that our son has lost his abilities!' she glared at General Q who backed away slowly 'what if he goes after him? Will we just stand by and watch?!'

'No, we won't,' said her husband gravely as he also looked solemnly at the General.

The older Q sighed. 'Fine; but we can't restore his abilities just yet.'

Lady Q stared daggers at him. 'Why not?' her tone could have frozen all thirteen levels of Hades twice over.

'Because then Ares would know that we're on to him; since he's being sneaky so should we.

Let us watch and see what he does; it's clear that we can't involve the other Q because that would be the excuse for him to get the other Lords involved.'

'True,' agreed Q.

General Q continued. 'We have a clear objective here my compatriots. Keep the wormhole from stabilizing; protect the Xavier…' Lady Q shared a surprised look with her husband '…and find out where and how Ares got so powerful before we act. Are we in agreement?'

Lady Q and her husband stared at each other for a long moment then turned back to General Q and nodded.

The older Q sighed. 'Thank you for trusting me,' he looked at the Lady Q 'you've had better luck and have led us well from the start. Please do continue.'

She smiled. 'About time you realized my brilliance.' Her husband rolled his eyes.

' I saw that Q.' Lady Q walked back to the map of the cosmos.

'Now boys; let's find out what humans are up to. My gut tells me they are somehow connected to this galactic mess.'

###########

Colonial occupied space; the Xavier, Medbay…

'How many fingers am I holding up?'

Rogers tried not to sigh. 'Four Dr Grey.'

The female mutant smiled gently at him. 'I know this is exhausting but it's important we run through the checks each time.'

'I know Dr Grey,' she made a note on her epadd. Rogers tried to stay still but he felt so nervous and quite frustrated.

Dr Grey kept her eyes on her epadd. 'I sense a question Ensign; by all means ask it.'

Rogers hesitated before blurting out what was on his mind. 'Is something wrong with me?'

Jean went still then looked at him with a concerned expression on her face. 'Why do you ask that?'

'I…I can't seem to be able to control whatever these abilities are. I get a vision and it almost knocks me out. My grandmother seemed so confident in her abilities. What am I doing wrong? Am I a failure?!

Jean was silent for a long moment. 'I found out about my ability when I was ten years old. I thought it was wonderful at first before I realized how scary it was to be the only mutant in my class at school.'

Rogers had a stunned expression on his face; he had the feeling that Jean was speaking to him not as a physician but as a mutant to another mutant.

'Being a telepath as child revealed a lot of things that I would have rather not known and I admit that I reacted to certain people's thoughts by destroying a lot of things. It didn't take long for the other kids to label me as crazy or for the school to start calling my parents on a daily basis.'

Rogers couldn't help but think of when Dr Grey made full grown marine shit their pants when she used her mind to levitate the weapons in the cargo bay. He swallowed nervously.

'As I got older; I learnt a lot from older mutants about controlling my ability,' she took a deep breath as a look of regret and guilt appeared on her face as she looked around the medical bay 'especially from the man that this ship is named after.'

'Charles Xavier,' said Rogers softly.

Jean's eyes looked suspiciously wet. It made Rogers wonder what kind of man Charles had been; he had seen the young version of the professor on the Holodeck but that had been briefly.

'Yeah; the one and the only' Jean put down her epad. 'Professor Xavier was a genius and his dream was to have a world where everyone accepted each other; whether you be a mutant or a non-mutant. His ideals were well ahead of his time. People called him crazy; at one point, I was one of them however one thing he never did was give up on his dream.'

She turned to look at him. ' Right now; I don't have to read your mind to know that you're scared about what you can do and that you're frustrated that you are yet to control it.

This takes time and a lot of practice.'

Rogers stared at her. 'I've only been in the danger room twice…'

'And each time as part of a group. You're going to need one on one teaching.'

How thought Rogers.

Jean nodded as if she heard him. 'We start tomorrow; every morning at 0700hrs; you give me two hours.'

Roger's jaw dropped. 'Wait, what? You'll teach me?'

The female medic raised an eyebrow. 'You had someone else in mind?'

Roger's mind flashed to Oma. ' Em; no! Tomorrow; I'll be there. Should I study up or anything?'

Jean smiled at him. ' Not yet; we'll work on the syllabus as we go along.'

'Thanks, Dr Grey; I really appreciate this.'

'Jean, this is the Bridge; is Rogers with you?' She smiled as she heard Logan's deep voice.

'Yes he is; what's up?'

Rogers blinked; the causal way the crew of the Xavier related with each other never ceased to amaze him.

'Admiral Adama and Co are asking for him. They wanna know what he saw.'

The smile left Jean's face. 'We're on our way.'

##########

Logan turned as the turbolift slid open. Jean and a nervous looking Rogers stepped out.

'Great you're here; your boss wants to speak to you,' the colonial ensign looked up and sure enough Admiral Adama; Colonel Tigh and Commander Adama were staring back at him from the huge view-screen. At one of the consoles Q Junior was silently typing in directives.

'Admiral Adama; Colonel Tigh and Commander Adama; Ensign Rogers reporting for duty.'

'What happened this time Ensign?' demanded Tigh. Logan rolled his eyes not caring if the XO saw him.

Rogers chose his words with care. 'I saw something happening with the cylons sir; they were in some sort of battle.'

On the screen Admiral Adama went still. 'Where and when will they be attacking us?'

Rogers took a deep breath. 'Sir; they were fighting amongst themselves.'

The CAG's eyes narrowed. 'Explain in detail Ensign Rogers.'

Everyone was silent as he relayed his vision; no one spoke for a long moment when he was done then Tigh started laughing.

Logan gave the XO a worried look even both Adamas were staring at the old colonial officer.

'Oh don't you all see the irony in what we've heard ? The cylons are losing the plot! This is the best news I've heard in years!' then his smile vanished ' wait please tell me you haven't told the cylon b…' Jean coughed loudly and Tigh changed his words without missing a beat 'I mean the number Six on board your ship. You haven't told her, have you?'

'Wasn't planning on it,' drawled Logan.

'That's good to know,' said Admiral Adama not bothering to hide his relief 'but I have another question. Who are the leaders of the factions in the cylon civil war?'

Tigh snorted. 'How the frak is that our concern?'

Jean bit her lip to keep herself from swearing at the XO.

'Because we need to know who we'll end up fighting with. The last thing we need is to have two different cylon factions gunning for us.'

Tigh shrugged. 'Then I guess we best pray to the Gods that those bastards decimate each other so much that they cease to be a problem for us and the people of Earth.'

'So, Ensign Rogers did you see who the leaders of the factions are?' asked the CAG.

Rogers shook his head. 'The vision wasn't that clear but whatever it is has happened already, sir'

'How do you know that?' asked Tigh.

'Because I haven't had any flashback so it must have taken place Sir.'

'Huh,' said Tigh in response.

Admiral Adama looked at Logan . 'Captain; we're gonna have to jump soon. Please cease supply redistribution until we reach our new location.'

Logan nodded. 'Sure; I'll be ready when you are.'

The Admiral nodded at him before signing off.

Logan turned to Rogers. ' Good work ensign; you feeling better?'

'Yes sir; my headache's gone.'

'Rogers will be starting pre-cog training tomorrow morning,' announced Jean. The Captain's eyes widened for a brief moment as he looked at her.

She nodded. 'Yup; Phoenix wants to talk to him.'

Rogers saw Logan go still; as he wondered where he had heard that name before.

'Who's Phoenix?' he asked innocently. Jean and Logan shared a quiet look.

'Tomorrow; you'll meet her. Now you need to rest before your first lesson.'

The colonial recognized a polite dismissal and quickly made his escape.

#########

Logan watched the turbolift close before he turned to face Jean.

'You want the Phoenix to teach him? Is that wise?'

Jean opened her mouth to reply but someone got there first.

'Can I watch?'

Both mutants turned to face Q Junior who had an all too innocent expression on his face.

'Why?' asked Jean as she folded her arms.

'Oh, for science,' said Q Junior and he had the nerve to smile.

Jean surprised Logan when she growled at the young Q.

Q Junior held up his hands. 'Okay; okay it was just a suggestion.'

'Actually, it sounds like an awesome idea,' said Logan.

'Oh gosh ; not you too!' exclaimed Jean ' I can do this.'

Logan held up a hand as if placating her. 'And I'm certain you can however Rogers might just faint on meeting the Phoenix and Q Junior would be on hand to revive the poor lad.'

Q Junior glared at Logan. ' Geez thanks Captain.'

Jean sighed. 'You have a point. Phoenix can get really excited at times.'

I heard that! She paid her entity no mind and kept talking.

'Which means after the lesson I get to go to the Galactica or any other colonial ships which need help in treating patients.'

'Make that all the ships,' muttered Q Junior as he turned back to what he was doing.

Logan sighed. 'I gotta admit that getting supplies to everyone is a huge undertaking; we really need to meet up with Starfleet soon.'

'Don't I know it,' added Q Junior.

Jean folded her arms. 'As well as prepare for whatever the cylons are planning. Do you really think there's a civil war brewing amongst them?'

Logan raised an eyebrow. 'You heard the kid; do you think he's mistaken?'

The female mutant shook her head. 'No; his predictions have always been spot on…but this seems really sudden unless the cylons are less united than we suspected. We do have one on board; I would love to ask her about that.'

Q Junior coughed to draw their attention. 'The colonials don't want us telling her.'

'They may have a point there,' agreed Logan 'let's keep this under wraps until we get more information. By the by; once we wrap to the new co-ordinates we need to inform Starfleet.'

'Aye aye captain,' said Q Junior cheekily.

Jean smiled at the scowl on Logan's face. 'I'll see you guys later. I have meds to replicate.'

Logan watched her leave then turned back to the view screen as Q Junior spoke again.

'The Galactica is sending through the new co-ordinates; seems safe sir.'

'Good,' said Logan; even though he didn't see the colonials as the enemy he knew how easy it was for someone to stab him in the back. He didn't want the Xavier to warp into the sun; that thought made him turn towards Q Junior.

'Kiddo; could the Xavier survive a warp into a sun?'

Q Junior froze over his console before turning slowly to face the Captain.

'Well with extra shielding and after imputing several failsafe measures that could be managed for a short time but may I ask what made you think of that?'

'Oh; it was just a random thought that popped into my head.'

'Uh huh' Q Junior didn't sound convinced.

On the screen, the colonial ships started disappearing as they each activated their jump drives.

'Xavier; give me ship wide,' ordered Logan.

'Transmitting Captain.'

'This is Logan speaking; we're about to go to warp; yellow alert protocol is in effect until we reach our new destination. See you on the other side,' he turned to Q Junior 'engage.'

##########

The Almira; cylon basestar…

Natalie Faust and Leoben Conoy stared at the woman before them as she wrung her hands.

'I have been expecting you; I guess you must have a lot of questions.'

Leoben turned to the female Number Six beside him as she kept studying the person who had not long ago destroyed the last two resurrection ships.

After the battle; the basestar 'jumped' at least seventeen times before Engineering department threatened to mutiny. At that point; Nat had decided they were safe enough.

Once the shock settled in there were a lot of angry cylons who came looking for a particular person so she quickly put the woman known as Ellen Tigh under guard. The six centurions outside were all 'independent thinkers' as Leoben liked to call them.

Still that hadn't stopped several cylons from demanding Ellen's head. News sure did travel faster than light when the unthinkable happened.

Finally she spoke. 'Ellen Tight; right outside your door are a lot of cylon brothers and sisters who want your head on a platter; so you bet we have a crap ton of questions to ask you.'

The woman's eyes were red and she gave a hysterical laugh as she sat down. Nat ignored Leoben's worried expression.

'First of all my real name is not Ellen Tigh…it's Hellena Tighris. Ellen was the name Cavil gave me when he wiped my memory; inserted false ones and dumped me on Caprica.'

Nat's eyes narrowed. 'That's what we did to our hidden agents and I don't recall you being one of them.'

Hellena looked up at her and Leoben. 'This is the first time you've accepted I'm a cylon and why is that ? Is it because I was able to trick the resurrection ships into flying into the nearest sun?'

Nat didn't want to admit it but that had been what convinced her. Only a cylon with nothing to lose would have been mad enough to do that but she saw the decision had cost Hellena.

'Why don't we remember you?' blurted Leoben. Nat glared at him; prior to this he had agreed that she would ask all the questions.

'You have to thank Cavil for that,' that reply drew Nat's attention back to her.

'Maybe I best start from the beginning,' she paused as if unsure how to begin 'according to the Holy book of Kobol; several millennia ago there were Thirteen Tribes that lived in peace on Kobol until war broke out.

This angered the Gods and thus the tribes were banished from Kobol; Twelve Tribes chose a solar system that was close to the home of the Gods while one Tribe made their home in another system far, far away.'

'Earth,' said Leoben. Nat didn't even look at him this time; she kept her eyes on Hellena.

'Yes Earth; but thus, began the first lie that led to all other lies. There were only Twelve Tribes at first and then the brightest human minds decided to create a race of disposable slaves which were the first generation of cylons. In the beginning, they weren't very smart but as more were made they became more intelligent to the point that they were tasked with building the next generation of cylons. It didn't take them long to resent their human overlords.

About five thousand years ago the cylons revolted and a bloody war was fought for decades and when both sides had shed so much blood and guts; they decided it was best to live apart.

So, they left Kobol; twelve tribes went one way and the thirteenth left on a very long journey that took more than three hundred years to complete.'

Nat felt herself go numb. 'How did they survive the journey?'

'Resurrection tech; most were put in cryo while those who had to maintain and fly the ships grew old and were resurrected again using this ancient cylon tech.

Finally a planet was found; my ancestors named it Earth . They cannibalized their ships for tech and thus the cylon civilization was born; the resurrection ships were destroyed and the knowledge was almost forgotten because now they could reproduce their young naturally.

For millennia; the cylons thrived until one day they decided they needed a disposable workforce.

So, the brightest cylon minds created the centurions; slaves to do their bidding.'

Nat had a bad feeling where this was going.

'Oh it was a golden age for a while,' Hellena sounded bitter ' until there were rumors of centurions rebelling in small ways or big ways. Those faulty units were found and their lines were destroyed. Meanwhile I and my group of friends who were also scientists were working on reviving the resurrection technology.

At first; I did it for historical purposes. I was trying to recreate how our ancestors survived the Great Exodus,' she sighed 'then the others in my team realized how profitable it would be in the long run if we got it to work.

You see; the Cylon central government was looking into extended space exploration; however, we were yet to invent the jump drive so having resurrection tech on our slow-moving ships would reduce the mortality rate of first world colonists.

My group was eager to win this big government contract so we worked day and night to gather every bit of information and my first successful experiments were on animals.

Once we perfected the technique we were ready to move on to the next stage, so I linked myself and my friend to a space station. I was certain the tech would work; all I needed was permission for the final phase which was human experiments then…' her voice broke 'then the centurions bombed Earth from orbit using our own nuclear planetary defense system.'

Leoben's jaw dropped open as Nat felt her knees go weak.

'We had no warning,' Hellena was openly crying 'one moment I felt my flesh being burned by extreme heat for a few seconds and then I was waking up in a water tank wondering what the frak had happened. That was how we escaped Earth and for weeks we watched the nukes fall on our home.'

She looked at them. 'What has happened before will happen again; we all exist in a Gods-damned cycle.' There was silence as she blew her nose.

'So, any questions?'

Nat had no idea where to start; this was all too much but they needed answers. The male cylon glanced at her with an uncertain expression; she nodded at him.

'How many years has it been since you left Earth?' asked Leoben.

Hellena looked at him. 'Just over a thousand years ago.'

Nat blinked. ' That doesn't make sense; you clearly said that it took the Thirteenth Tribe three hundred years to get to Earth so how did it take you triple that and then some to get back to the Colonies and why did you head for the colonies in the first place?'

Hellena was quiet for a long moment. 'The attack took us unawares; when we downloaded into the space station we had to repair a small shuttle and prepare the engines for a three-hundred-year journey. We built resurrection tanks for if our bodies wore out during the experimental cryo sleep,' she saw the skeptical expression on Nat's face 'yes we had cryogenics but it was still in the infantile stage. The body still aged while we slept but very slowly; relying on that alone would have been suicidal.

So we got ready; said a lot of prayers and climbed into the cryo tubes; but something went wrong along the way. Our ship got stuck in a slipstream in which times moves a lot differently; within the ship we slept for three hundred years while time outside moved at three times the rate; so by the time we reached the colonies a thousand years had passed and the First Cylon War had begun.' Hellena's tone was sad

'That was Sixty years ago,' whispered a stunned Leoben. Hellena nodded.

There was silence for a long moment; Nat was the first to break it.

'A thousand-year journey; that's pretty long. I bet your ship must have been pretty banged up after such a long period in space.'

Hellena smiled sadly. 'Yes ; the old girl was in bad shape; we had to make landfall at one of the old repair bases that was built by our ancestors who were fleeing from this region of space during the Great Exodus.

I was astonished that stuff there still worked. Once we made repairs we set off again for the Twelve colonies.'

'Why the Twelve Colonies?' asked Nat.

'We wanted to warn the humans about the consequences of treating their creations badly but we were too late.

The colonial cylons at the time were actually just centurions like the ones outside the door. They were bigger; heavier and slower but a heck of a lot smarter and angrier than the ones you have now.

When we met them; they greeted us as saviors and thought we had come to bless their war. We told them to stop fighting the humans and they agreed on one condition.'

Hellena wiped tears away. 'That condition was that we create you and that was how Cavil was born.'

'What?' gasped Leoben 'No, no that's not true.'

'So then tell me; how were you born ? Who created you?'

'The…the centurions created us!' shot back Leoben.

Hellena's laugh had no mirth in it. 'How is that possible when they served you all this time ? Does a slave create a master? Come on Leoben you're a lot smarter than that.' She looked at Nat.

'So, what are your thoughts? You've barely said anything.'

Nat had no idea what to say. Part of her believed the 'cylon' before her was start raving mad but her eyes were lucid.

'What happened to the Cylons of sixty years ago ? How come I never saw any of them?'

'I believed Cavil destroyed them all or hid some of them; there is a lot I cannot remember.'

'Cannot or will not remember?' demanded Nat.

Hellena closed her eyes briefly then looked at Nat with such an intense expression of anger that the younger female cylon took a step back. 'Your brother did a number on me and the others. He wiped us several times before installing false memories and dumping us on Caprica but the problem is that no matter how many times you 'wipe' a person; part of their memories remains buried deep inside the subconscious.

The reason I can even recall a fraction of what I lost is because he tried to revive my memories through repetitive electric shock therapy.

Do you have any idea how painful that was?!'

Then she tried to calm down while Nat forced her hand away from the sidearm.

Leoben cleared his throat. 'You keep mentioning 'the others'. Who are they? Are they still alive?'

Nat's eyes narrowed when she saw the closed expression on Hellena's face.

'Why the sudden silence? You've been so eager to tell us what an arsehole Cavil is but now you hesitate at mentioning the names of the remaining Four cylons?'

Hellena looked at her sharply. Nat felt a moment of triumph; so, she had struck a nerve.

'Before D'Anna was boxed she kept mentioning that the Five were on Galactica. Who are they Hellena? Should I start calling out names to see how you react?'

The older female cylon took a deep breath. 'So; what would you do with this information?'

'How is that your concern?' shot back Nat.

Hellan smiled. 'Oh; it's my concern alright. You don't believe all I've said but my friends would be in danger if you had their identities so pardon me while I keep that information close to my chest.'

Leoben glanced at Nat; if looks could kill her expression would have vaporized Hellena on the spot; he decided it was time he changed the topic.

'We found one of your outposts.'

Hellena looked sharply at him. 'Where?'

'Why don't I show you?'

Leoben plugged his epadd to the nearest wall monitor. It only took a few seconds for the large high definition screen to come to light.

Nat instantly recognized the system it showed; it was the planet where the cylons had run into the Xavier for the first time. She had been away on an exploratory mission at the time and had only scanned the highlights of the disastrous First Contact with the ship from Earth.

Hellena gasped in shock when she saw the clearly alien lines of the Xavier. 'Whose ship is that? That's not a colonial vessel.'

'It's not,' agreed Leoben ' that is the Xavier and it's crew is from the Thirteenth Colony.'

Hellena's head snapped back to him. 'You're lying; no one could have survived the bombardment !'

Nat narrowed her eyes; she was beginning to suspect that Hellena really believed that.

'But what if some them were off-world at the time? Maybe they settled elsewhere and thrived while you and your group were rushing back here at snail speed to save the Colonies?'

The older female cylon shook her head. 'We stayed in the space station for weeks and no one answered our hails. No one,' she repeated.

'Surely you had colonies…' began Leoben.'

'Have you not been listening?' cut in Hellena 'we were just starting space exploration so we had no colonies to speak off. The nearest possible habitable world was several light years away. We were trying to rebuild the resurrections tanks so that we could survive that crossing. That ship,' she pointed at the Xavier ' cannot be from Earth.'

'They said they are.' Hellena looked at Nat. 'In fact Cavil believed them so much that he tried to steal the ship from them and when that failed ; he tried to destroy them.'

'And he still failed at that; didn't he?' said Hellena with a smile.

'Indeed he did,' Nat turned to Leoben 'show her the footage of the infiltration of the basestar.'

The male cylon gave Nat a questioning look.

'What infiltration?' asked Hellena.

'Show her Leoben,' insisted Nat.

The Number Two cylon sighed and walked to the epadd. The image on the screen changed to show the crew of the Xavier and two familiar colonial officers clad in futuristic space armor as they battled cylons and centurions on the corridors of the basestar.

'On my Gods,' gasped Hellena when she witnessed a girl-child cut a centurion to pieces before using what looked like a foot claw to slit the throat of a Number four cylon.

Hellena stood up and walked closer to the screen; she seemed stunned as she watched a male teenager use headshots to rapidly down centurions left right and centre. She actually covered her mouth in horror when she witnessed the leader ; a man with dark sideburns and a mess of black hair disembowel some cylons who tried to shoot him.

'That is their leader; he's from Earth and so are the two youngsters fighting alongside him,' remarked Nat as she closely watched Hellena.

'But…but they are so young! They are just children!'

'There's more to come,' said Nat she waited until there was footage showing the male teenager accessing a terminal with his hand then she froze the image.

'It...it can't be!' gasped Hellena.

Nat walked up to the screen. 'This boy is a cylon; he accessed and hacked into our system like it was nothing and used it against us. He is proof that your people didn't die after all so what do you have to say about that?'

Hellena touched the screen as she kept staring at the boy. 'He's he's just a child…he shouldn't have been a part of this mess! '

'I need you to think very hard,' said Nat 'how did your people survive? Where are they now?'

Hellena finally looked at Nat. 'I can't give you Earth's co-ordinates. I didn't do the flying…the others did. I just busied myself with keeping us alive for the long trip,' she paused 'there might be another explanation for some of us surviving.'

'Like what?' asked Leoben.

She was silent a long time. 'One of my majors in university was Historical Myths: Truth or Fiction,' Nat and Leoben shared a what-the-frak glance '…it had to do with proving if certain urban legends were true or false.

One popular one had to do with the 'Doomed Naturalists.'

There was folklore concerning the Great Exodus; it was said that there was a very small group of Naturalists who wanted the refugees escaping from Kobol to settle on a faraway planet and abandon all technology.

They believed if we did this that the Lords of Kobol would welcome us back into their bosom and forgive us all our sins.'

'That's crazy talking,' said Nat.

Hellena nodded. 'I agree; anyway it was said the Naturalists were rooted out, bundled into a few ships and kicked out of the fleet. They were never heard of again.

Most believed it was a myth but I found some old papers that stated it was true.'

'What does this have to do with the Xavier?' asked Leoben.

'Maybe the tales were true and they survived and if that is the case then the crew of the Xavier would be their descendants,' said Hellena.

Nat sighed. 'That's a pretty far-fetched deduction.'

'I know,' said Hellena as she looked at the other female teenager who had bloody claws and a feral light in her eyes. 'I would very much like to speak to them.'

Leoben snorted. 'That's if they don't blow us up to Hades and back first. We're not exactly on speaking terms.'

Hellena kept looking at the screen as if trying to memorize the faces of the three 'aliens'.

'I wonder what their stories are; how did they get this far? And what are they doing here.'

Nat kept her eyes on the older female cylon. She was behaving like a scientist and a historian; her curiosity was almost childlike. Could everything she said be true?

That couldn't be possible.

'You need to rest; we'll leave the epadd with you,' Leoben gave Nat a startled look 'see what you make of their ship. There will be centurions outside your door in case you need anything.'

'I can't leave my quarters, can I?' asked Hellena without turning.

'Do that and you'll most likely end up dead. There are a lot of angry cylons right now; so please stay here if you wish to survive.'

Nat and Leoben left her still staring at the screen.

###########

Personal quarters…

'She's insane; that's the only logical explanation,' said Leoben as Nat poured herself a drink.

'What if she's not?' she gave the Number Two a glass with precious Caprican Ambrosia.

'Then we're screwed six ways from Sunday,' Leoben chugged his drink.

Nat sipped hers slowly. 'Maybe not. There is one way to find out if any of what she said is even remotely true.'

Leoben looked up from his empty glass. 'How?'

'She said their ship needed repairs after travelling for over a thousand years at what had to be sub-light speed and…'

'They landed at one of the old bases,' completed Leoben 'why do I get the feeling that one of those bases is where Six , Boomer, Cavil and D'Anna first met the crew of the Xavier ?'

Nat winced. 'Don't remind me.' She had read the debriefing of that disastrous first encounter. It had just been a series of unfortunate events; first the small group ran into colonials then the ancient temple had been destroyed in the earthquake before Six tried to capture the crew from Earth. It had not ended well.

'So, what if there were other ancient forgotten bases?' continued the female cylon.

'The deciphered passage from the Book of Kobol.'

Nat nodded. 'Once we get the Almira repaired we're heading there. If there are any ruins on that planet; we might just have a chance of getting Earth's co-ordinates before Cavil does.'

'But I gave him fake data!'

Nat gave Leoben a sympathetic smile. 'Cavil is a lot smarter than that; eventually he'll figure it out. We just have to destroy the place once we find what we need.'

She rubbed her forehead wearily; it had been forty-one hours since she had slept.

'Do you think the Adamas are cylons?'

Nat blinked not sure she heard right.

Leoben laughed nervously. 'It's clear Hellena is one; there are four more that we were never aware of ! What if…what if Starbuck is one of them?' He looked at his glass wistfully.

For a moment Nat was at loss for words; it was obvious that the Number Two cylon was fraying at the edges.

'Let's leave that for another day. We both need to rest. Tomorrow morning we'll chat with Hellena again and Leoben..' she waited for his eyes to meet her '…not a word of this to anyone.'

She waited for him to nod then she left while making sure to take the bottle of Ambrosia with her.

##############

The Galactica; the CIC…

Commander Lee Adama studied the readouts; all the refugee ships were accounted for and the Xavier had emerged from 'warp' less than five minutes ago. He still marveled at their method of FTL and hoped to learn the basis of that tech someday.

'Sir,' he turned to see a nervous looking Junior Lieutenant Felix Gaeta.

'Yes; Mr Gaeta?'

'Lieutenant Ann Lackey found another odd passage in the Book sir.'

Lee was about to ask him what book but then noticed how the junior officer laid emphasis on the last few words. There was only one tome he could be talking about.

'Come with me.'

################

Lee watched in silence as his father listened to Gaeta and Lackey explain their findings. He could tell the news troubled the old man.

Especially on how Lackey got the co-ordinates with the help of a dream.

Lee couldn't help but raise his eyebrow at that one; Admiral Adama had kept his face passive.

He's had probably heard one to many fantastic things lately.

After getting the co-ordinates from the two junior officers; the Admiral dismissed them with warning to keep mum about their findings and to get some rest.

'What now Sir?' asked Lee when he and the Admiral were alone.

Adama senior sighed. 'To be honest I'm not sure what to do with this information. We're currently on track to meet up with Starfleet in less than three months I am reluctant to deviate from this course. The last time we went to one of those ruins we ran into the cylons.'

'As well as the Xavier; if we hadn't we would have missed them completely,' added Lee.

'You're right about that,' the Admiral was silent for a long moment. 'I need to discuss this with the Xavier crew; maybe Q Junior may know about this place and if it's a black ops site.'

Lee nodded gravely. He still thought the ruins on Hera's planet had been destroyed by the Xavier crew to prevent its data falling into the hands of the cylons or the colonials. He didn't begrudge them for doing such as he would have done the exact same thing in their shoes.

'And if he denies it belongs to Earth or Starfleet?'

Admiral Adama smiled coldly. 'Then we suggest paying those ruins a passing visit.'

####################

The Xavier; personal quarters…

'Are you ready to begin?'

Laura tried to ignore the dampness of her palms while attempting to reply as calmly as possible. Give her ten rampaging centurions and a boarding party of crazy cylons and that would be a walk in a park but this first educational session in Starfleet Charter Articles was a nightmare!

'Yes ma'am.'

Admiral Janeway smiled kindly at her and asked the first question.

'General Order one; explain.'

'No starship may interfere with the normal development of any alien life or society. This is the Prime Directive and thus supersedes all other laws and directives with the exception of the Omega Directive.'

'Why is General Order One important?'

Laura just managed not to roll her eyes; she had just explained it!

'Permission to speak frankly ma'am?'

Janeway raised an eyebrow. 'Go on.'

'The law is important because no matter how far ahead we've come; humans and other sentient beings who think like us are prone to mess things up beyond recognition.'

Something told her using more explicit language wouldn't fly with the Admiral on her screen.

'Some rules are crap but some are important. The General Order One was created when members of the early members of Starfleet looked to their individual planet histories and saw lot of mistakes their ancestors made.

One example is Earth's Second Indochina War also known as the Vietnam War that started in 1955 and ended on 30th April 1975. A war that was fought by more than ten countries on the doorstep of Vietnam; some of those countries supported one ideology while their opposition followed another. In the end, the loss of life was substantial and all the countries involved continued to feel the effects decades after the war was over.

General Order One does not mean that one stands back when there are dire circumstances like natural disasters or injustice or blatant cruelty but that one looks at all angles before you leap into a mess from which you may only come back as a body bag.

This order also prevents governments from invading underdeveloped planets under the guise of 'helping them'; prime examples being the widespread colonization of the African, American and Asia continents by the former Spanish and British Empires.

They came under the guise of missionaries; explorers and even as humanitarians and thus robbed the continents of their people and their resources. Don't get me wrong; they weren't the only ones playing this game. We have the Roman Empire centuries before them or the conquests of Alexander the Great and even the spread of the Ottoman Empire.

The list goes on and on; if Earth's history could be categorized into soap operas; you would see the show known as 'Invade and Conquer' making up over 75 percent of what was being repeatedly shown on television or whatever you call it nowadays.

The sad truth is that it took Earth more than three millennia to get pass that stage; frankly it's amazing we're not extinct.'

Janeway nodded silently; Laura got the feeling that she was a bit impressed.

'So how does the General Order One relate to Xavier's current involvement with the Colonial refugee fleet? Has it been broken?'

Laura thought carefully before answering. 'Oh no; it's intact. This current mess landed in our laps. We sure as heck didn't ask or go looking for it; but we'll do what we can with what we're got and then hopefully; soon we're get to hand this mess over to someone else who is more qualified before more people get shot.'

Janeway blinked at her with a bit of alarm on her face; she obviously had not been expecting that. Then the Admiral smiled.

'Cadet Kinney; I see you having a future in the Starfleet Diplomatic Corps.'

Laura snorted in disbelief; the smile disappeared as Janeway gave her the Stare and the teenager winced.

'Ma'am with all due respect. I'm not known to be a peacemaker.'

The Admiral chuckled. 'Give it time; you might surprise yourself. Now, explain General Order Two.'

Laura suppressed a frustrated growl and tried to answer the question

##################

Jean looked up at the doors of the medical bay slid open. She frowned at the sullen expression on Laura's face.

'Why so glum?'

Laura sighed. 'I just finished my first session with Admiral Janeway.'

'Oh; how did it go?'

'It was all about diplomatic stuff; I answered her questions the best way I could but then she gave me more assignments and more historical stuff to read up on!'

Jean tried not to grin; Laura just sounded like the typical teenager who was complaining about the amount of homework she got from school that day. To her as a medic and mutant; that was a good thing. Laura had never known what it was to be a 'normal child' and she wondered if Janeway realized that.

'Is this what Starfleet is all about? Diplomatic hi-jinks?'

Jean cleared her throat. 'Well at least we're in the right place to apply those teachings so I think you should learn all you can.'

Laura rolled her eyes. 'Yeah; whatevers.' The teenager took a look at small medical bag that Jean was packing.

'So what's up?'

'Oma is flying me to the Galactica to see some patients; wanna come?'

Jean caught the stunned expression on the younger mutant's face before it was replaced by a relieved smile. 'Heck yeah!'

'And whilst you're there; you could put to use your new diplomatic skills.'

Laura groaned as Jean laughed.

#################

The Galactica; medical bay…

She smelt the medical ward way before they reached it. Disease; decay and even blood.

Laura kept her face neutral and her eyes opened as she walked beside Jean; she continued scanning both sides of the bay as she and the medic walked into it.

They had an escort of four colonial marines but Laura didn't trust them in protecting Jean. She could take them down easily which meant that someone else could do so as well.

There were more people in the ward than last time and already a line had been forming for the patients to be seen. It was going to be a very long day.

'Good morning Dr Grey,' hailed Dr Cottle with a dry smile.

Laura tried not to wrinkle her nose. She wondered how many packets of cigarettes the old man smoked a day. By the by; this was a refugee fleet , where the hell was he getting the cigarettes from?

He looked behind them. 'Where's Ensign Kadretti?'

'She's distributing supplies on the Galactica flight deck.' Answered Jean ' how are things?'

'So and so ; anyways I'm glad you're here today but before you start I need your opinion on an old case of mine.'

Jean smiled. 'Certainly; what did you have in mind?'

'Let's talk in my office please.'

Laura's eyes narrowed when she picked up another familiar scent; but she kept silent as they walked into Dr Cottles office without the guards who stayed outside.

But the office was already occupied by a pale looking President Laura Roslin.

Both mutants stared at the leader of the Colonials as Dr Cottle began to explain.

'Actually; she's the case I was talking about.'

No shit thought Laura; the smell of sickness was stronger this time around the President and the older woman looked like she had lost weight since she saw her a week ago.

Jean recovered quickly. 'I see.' She looked at Laura. 'Can you wait outside?'

Laura knew that it must have taken a lot for Roslin to agree to this but at least give some warning first! Also; there was no way in hell she was leaving Jean alone with the President.

'Please Laura; for me.'

After a long moment; Laura nodded and left Cottle's office.

###############

Roslin watched the Earth teenager leave before she turned to face Dr Grey.

It was clear that the female medic hadn't expected her; of that she was glad because it meant that the mutant was not all knowing or all seeing like what one would expect from The Oracle.

Hmmm; you sure about that?

Roslin froze at the brief dark feminine whisper in her mind; she quickly looked at Jean who was talking briefly with Cottle.

No; they hadn't heard that voice; she must be hearing things probably because she hadn't slept for the past 48 hours.

The president waited and thought she heard faint amused laughter.

Was she going insane?

'President Roslin; are you alright?'

She suddenly realized that Dr Grey had asked her a question.

'Emm…I'm fine; just a bit exhausted from lack of sleep.'

Jean and Cottle shared a worried look.

'What…what were you saying?'

'I said I understand how hard this must be for you to talk about your condition. I am ready to help you anyhow I can but there are a few things I must make clear from the beginning.'

Now Roslin was concerned. 'Like what?'

Jean took a deep breath. 'I'm from a time when the cure for all types breast cancer was still out of reach; however thanks to the medical breakthroughs of the past three hundred years breast cancer on Earth and among humans is a thing of the past.

In order for you to undergo the full treatment I will need the assistance of Q Junior; he knows more of the new treatments than I do.'

Roslin began to shake her head as she opened her mouth to speak.

'Oh snap out of it Roslin!' Both women turned to Cottle.

'You are dying; right next door in the Xavier is the solution to all your problems. So, what if Q Junior is a sentient hologram? Is your pride so important that you would willingly relinquish your leadership to Zarek or the mindless Quorum? Because that's what will happen when you eventually lose the battle against this cancer.

Do you hate your people that much ? The same people that have been fed and treated with the supplies that Q Junior replicated on the Xavier?

Because if that is your attitude Roslin then you might as well get the Hades out of my office.

Do not waste our time.'

To say Roslin and Jean were taken aback by Cottle's words would have been an understatement.

There was silence for a long moment before the President of the Refugee fleet found the words.

'For a long time; I was certain this cancer would kill me and even though I have seen a few of the wonders of Starfleet technology I still believe I will die from this disease.

And there lies the problem; I'm this close to giving up but my work is not done,' she sighed 'I'll agree to the treatment from both Dr Grey and…and Q Junior.'

Cottle and Jean didn't bother hiding their relief.

'...but on a few conditions. I must know every part of my treatment and I refuse to have extensive invasive surgery or be knocked out for any part of the treatment.'

Jean frowned. 'What of minimally invasive procedures without general anesthesia? There are a few treatments which need to get to the root of the cancer and kill all the cells.'

Cottle looked very interested. 'Can I be present for that treatment?'

'I believe so,' said Jean ' you are her doctor.'

'All treatment will be done on the Galactica,' added Roslin.

Jean and Cottle shared a glance before the female medic turned back to the president.

'I'll need to discuss this with my crew; however it could be arranged.'

Roslin let out a sigh of relief. 'Well that's settled then; so what now?'

Jean smiled as she took out her epadd. 'Now; I take your history. Ready?'

Roslin braced herself. 'Ready.'

#################

Laura glanced at the door behind her. At least 25 minutes had passed since she had been told to leave Cottle's office. She hoped Roslin wasn't giving Jean a hard time but she wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.

She turned back to face the ward when she heard steps approaching her position; she went still when she saw two familiar colonial officers.

Admiral Adama and his son; the CAG.

What the heck did these two want now?

The two senior officers conversed briefly with one of the colonial marines then approached Laura when the marine pointed in her direction.

The Admiral gave her a fatherly smile. 'Cadet Kinney; how are you this morning?'

'I'm fine; what do you want?' asked Laura with a neutral expression. She caught Lee Adama trying to hide a smile; so the CAG found her amusing ? For some reason that pissed her off however she kept her expression calm.

The Admiral kept smiling. 'I need to speak to Dr Grey; it's very important but I can wait if she is busy at the moment.'

I bet it is thought Laura. Part of her wanted to tell him to wait but she felt Jean had been in there for too long. Time to crash the consultation.

'Okay; let's go.' She turned from their stunned expressions and rapped her knuckles loudly on the door.

A few moments passed before Cottle poked his head out the door. 'What now?' he asked in a grumpy voice.

Laura had to hide her smile. The grouchy doctor was actually growing on her.

'These two wanna see Jean; they say it's important.'

Behind her father and son exchanged amused looks; Laura Kinney definitely didn't care on how she addressed them.

Cottle grinned at her then scowled at the two colonial senior officers.

'And this cannot wait?'

The Admiral sighed. 'I'm afraid it can't.'

Cottle sighed. ' Give me a sec.' He ducked back in and after a long moment he opened the door.

'Get in; they will see you.'

Laura walked in first; there was no way she was missing whatever was about to be discussed.

The two Adamas were a bit stunned to see Roslin in the office sitting next to Dr Grey.

'Is this a meeting ? Why were we not informed ?' asked a suspicious looking Lee Adama.

Roslin rolled her eyes. 'Yes Lee, it's a meeting about how my cancer is killing me and that is why you weren't informed.'

Dumbass, thought Laura with a grin as she observed the embarrassed expression on Lee Adama's face.

Admiral Adama recovered quickly. 'Please forgive the intrusion but what we need to discuss could not wait.'

Roslin frowned. 'What is it?'

The Admiral spoke carefully as he kept his eyes on Dr Grey . 'We found new co-ordinates in the book of Kobol; we think it's another base of the Thirteenth Tribe.'

Laura straightened at those words and realized that Lee Adama was also gauging her reaction.

Jean looked worried. 'What are the co-ordinates?'

The Admiral causally pulled out a piece of paper from his breast pocket and gave it to Jean. She studied it for a long time.

'I have no idea where this is; I will need to show this to my crew.'

'I would appreciate that,' said Adama ' because we want to check that place out.'

'And why is that?' everyone turned to face Laura.

'Because we got it from the Book of Kobol and the cylons also have a copy. They found the first base moments after we did; they could be at this place already. If not then we really cannot afford to let them get their first.'

'You're worried this base has the location of Earth aren't you?' asked female teenage mutant.

Lee Adama smiled grimly. ' Exactly.'

##################

USS Dunkirk; temporary Admiral's ready room…

Janeway sipped her lemon infusion tea as she went over the recent reports from the Xavier.

It looked like Q Junior had received a lot of advice from both Chief Engineers of the USS Dunkirk and USS Prometheus on how to maximize his time replicating supplies; but the fact remained that the Xavier was just one ship.

'Hang on we'll be there soon,' she looked at the countdown clock on her see-through desk ; two months two weeks three days and fourteen hours until they reached the Xavier and the colonial refugee ship.

That is provided nothing delayed both parties and a lot could go wrong in two months.

She frowned as she read the reports of the political game that the Colonial Quorum had started. It had the potential to turn into something catastrophic which was the last thing the colonial needed while fleeing from the cylons.

'I hate politics.'

Her train of thought was interrupted when her com-badge went off.

'Admiral to the bridge; incoming priority one message from the Xavier.'

She was quickly out of her seat as she hit her com-badge. 'On my way.'

################

Once she exited the hololift the first thing she saw was Captain Logan and Dr Grey's images on the viewscreen. They looked tense and worried.

'Admiral,' greeted Captain Singh. She also noted Lieutenant Harrison was already on the bridge.

'Captain Logan; Dr Grey what's going on?'

'The colonials found another set of co-ordinates; apparently they believe it's one of the bases of the Thirteenth Tribe. Sending them now.'

Janeway waited until the navigator got the co-ordinates and cross referenced it with the extensive list of all Starfleet bases.

'Captain Singh; it's not one of ours.'

'Didn't think it would be; Q ran a check and he doesn't even know what is in that section of space,' said Logan 'the colonials are hell bent on exploring that place with or without us. How do you want us to do this?'

Janeway thought carefully and looked at Singh who appeared to be waiting for her input. The Admiral turned to Harrison; he had a neutral expression on his face.

She wondered if the co-ordinates could be a secret Starfleet Intelligence base; considering all the hi-jinks that department was usually up to, it wouldn't come as a surprise.

'It's not one of ours either,' said Harrison as if he read her mind. For a brief but telling moment she felt his sincerity before he clamped down on his mental shields.

She knew that peek at his emotions had not been an accident; he had done that deliberately so she would know he was telling the truth.

'Thank you, Lieutenant,' said Janeway before turning to the screen.

'The last base you were at was destroyed while you were in it; and we're yet to ascertain if it was bobby trapped or just a natural disaster that coincided with your arrival.'

A feminine snort off screen made Logan glare at someone out of sight.

Janeway had one guess who was the originator of that sound of disbelief.

'So; it's a high probability that if you go to this new set of co-ordinates you might be walking into another trap,' continued the female Admiral.

Logan nodded. 'My thoughts exactly but...' he paused 'that place may hold a lot of answers about how the colonials got to this sector of space. Also if we try to dissuade them from going they will be certain that this unknown base belongs to Starfleet.

And if there is a nasty surprise waiting for them; whoever goes will not survive.'

'What is your decision?' asked Captain Singh.

Logan was silent for a long moment. 'We'll go with the colonials.'

Janeway raised and eyebrow she had not been expecting that. We'll make a Starfleet officer of you yet Captain thought the admiral.

'What?! You have got to be kidding!' exclaimed Laura off screen.

The captain of the Xavier looked at her . 'And if that place does have the location of our Earth? What then ? We all know that there were two Earths ; one that was destroyed in the war between the cylons and their creation and ours what if the survivors kept both locations in their data base. We know the two Earths were not that far apart. We cannot afford to ignore this new base.'

Harrison chose that moment to clear his throat. 'There is something that you should know.' Everyone looked at him; even Laura and Q Junior came into view to stare at the intelligence officer.

'In 2152 Captain Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise discovered a planet, twenty-five light years from Earth; there were no signs of life but there was a tremendous amount of radiation on the surface and crumbling ruins of a dead civilization.

The destruction on the surface was so absolute and the levels of radiation were so high that they could not linger for long and thus were unable to ascertain the species that lived on that planet. From their calculations of the degradation of the radiation they surmised that the nuclear destruction took place approximately a millennium ago.'

'You're talking about Planet X1; the X designation was created by Starfleet Records for planets where extinction of the entire species was brought on by degradation of society via wars and weapons of mass destruction,' added Janeway.

Harrison nodded. 'At the time of discovering X1; Archer and his crew were ordered to keep it a secret. The reason being that finding a dead planet on Earth's first exploratory voyage would be viewed as a bad omen by the general public. It was only after a hundred years after the Federation was formed that this knowledge was made part of the Starfleet Educational curriculum.'

'Interesting,' said Laura ' so; Dead Planet X1 could be the original Thirteenth Colony?

Oh, if I was you at this point in time; I wouldn't make that information available to the colonials. In case you didn't know they do tend to overreact.'

Logan sighed wearily. 'Thank you; Laura.'

'You're welcome,' said the teenager with an airy tone. Janeway saw an amused smile on Q Junior's face as he turned back to his console.

Harrison continued. 'Bear in mind that there are several Planet Xs that were found over the centuries but Planet X1 is the closet one to our Earth.

We are still reviewing records to be certain that Planet X1 is the former Thirteenth Colony,' he looked at Singh and Janeway ' I have spoken to my superiors and they have agreed to send a ship to explore Planet X1; with our advancements in suits and thanks to the passage of time; the radiation on the surface may be better tolerated.'

Janeway found herself feeling more suspicious as Harrison spoke; why was he now being so helpful ? What had changed ?

'We'll be looking forward to the report,' said Captain Singh even as Janeway could discern his skepticism.

'One more thing, Ensign Rogers had another vision; it looks like the cylons are fighting amongst themselves.'

Janeway shared a puzzled look with Captain Singh.

'Do we have any idea on who makes up the factions.'

Logan shook his head. 'Not a clue; the colonial command is ecstatic about it but it does seem rather odd. He's had no more visions and believes whatever conflict was to occur has taken place. He can't tell if this would affect us in the long run or not.

Well on to more immediate matters; we'll leave for the site in twelve hours,' said Logan 'we may have to go dark once we get closer however we'll endeavor to keep you apprised as much as we can.'

'Noted,' said Janeway ' and Captain?' The captain of the Xavier looked at her.

'Stay safe and all of you; come back alive.'

Logan nodded before he sighed off.

#################

The Almira; personal quarters…

Nat washed her face then looked at the mirror for several moments.

So, it had come to this.

Several of the Eights were now calling for some form of election to decide who would be the leader of this 'little' rebellion and Nat had opposition in the form of Sylvia.

It was to be expected; already the Number Six was getting some very hostile looks and her model was vastly outnumbered only a handful of Sixes and Twos had made it to the Almira.

And let's not forget a certain newly confirmed cylon known as Ellen Tigh; she had been moved three times in the last six hours in order to keep her safe.

One thing was clear they had to decide on a leader before they jumped anywhere before internal strife tore this basestar apart.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Lords of Kobol give me strength that is if any of you ever really existed.

Nat was not religious; she left that to Caprica Six and D'Anna. She believed in being realistic and right now she doubted that the Gods or the One True God gave a damn about their current situation.

A chime at her doorstep interrupted her thoughts.

She looked at the holographic monitor that popped up on her bathroom mirror. It showed an anxious Leoben and beside him stood a Number Eight who had her head down.

Was that Sylvia ? What the frak did she want?

'Enter,' said Nat softly knowing the door was keyed to her voice and would let her visitors in.

She still tucked her hand piece into the waistband at the small of her back before she went to meet her guests.

Leoben was the first one in and he was already talking at a fast rate.

'Before you start; I had no idea she was on board…' but Nat was no longer paying attention to him.

'You?!' there was so much venom in that word that Leoben winced.

The Number Eight known as Boomer sighed wearily. ' Hello Nat; long time no see.'

##################

Nat was solely tempted in putting a bullet through the agent's head but something held her back.

She thought this particular Number Eight had still on board Cavil's ship; so what was she doing here?

'You must be wondering how I crashed your rebellion.'

Nat tried to keep her tone civil. 'Please enlighten us.'

Boomer chose her words with care as if knowing she was on trial. 'When Cavil started rounding up the Number Threes I came over to the Almira to warn my sisters to watch their step because Cavil was on the warpath. Then you and your…freed centurions fled to this basestar and I ended up being stuck with you. I knew you would react badly so I kept my head down and decided to seek you out at this point in time.'

'A likely story,' said Nat with a sneer.

Boomer's eyes narrowed .'Oh really ? And whose fault is it that the Threes were boxed ?'

Leoben raised a hand in a cautious motion. 'I would be very careful in answering that question Boomer. In fact, do you even know what led us down this path?'

Both cylons kept quiet and waited for her to reply.

'Cavil said D'Anna was becoming undone…'

'And you believed him,' cut in Nat ' I was there the day he blew her brains out and boxed her. She was about to tell us about the other five cylons that none of us knew about.'

Boomer looked stunned. 'That's absurd ; there have only been Eight models and the Number seven model was defective and thus never came on line…'

'There are five more Boomer; we found one of them in his lab, he was about to perform brain surgery on her without anesthesia,' said Leoben 'infact I'm surprised that you haven't heard of her , the Gods know that most of your sisters have been Hades bent on holding her accountable for what happened to the last two resurrection ships.'

Boomer was silent for a long moment. ' I heard you used a colonial to destroy the resurrections ships.'

Nat opened her mouth but someone beat her to it.

'You heard wrong.'

All three colonials turned to face Ellen Tigh who had emerged silently from the guest room that Nat had hidden her in.

Boomer's eyes widened and Nat was forced to admit that her Number's Eight's reaction looked genuine.

'Ellen Tigh? But you're …you're dead. I saw your body on New Caprica.'

The older women smiled sadly. 'Yes you did and I resurrected like you and everyone one else in this room has done in a pod linked to resurrection technology. Nat is right; D'Anna was killed because she knew about me and the other four cylons, a truth that Cavil kept hidden from you for so long.'

Boomer looked bewildered and hurt. ' But why?'

'For control and because he hated us for wanting peace with the humans. He wanted this war and he dragged you all into it and he will do anything to keep you from the truth.'

'The Truth?' asked Boomer.

'Yes; the truth of where you really came from and why the Eight models were created,' Ellen saw the indecision on her face 'there is proof but it is at the new location that Nat and Leoben got from the Book of Kobol. We just need to go there.'

The Number Eight cylon stared at Ellen for a long moment the turned to Nat and Leoben who were watching her closely.

'Why are you in my quarters Boomer; I'm certain you just didn't come by to say hello.'

Boomer rubbed her face. 'I was here to tell you I would run against you and Sylvia for leadership of the Almira but with this new information...' she stopped as if unable to go on.

Nat folded her arms; this was the Boomer that she knew. 'But what?'

The Number Eight laughed nervously. 'But I have no frakking clue as to what to do now!

You just told me that she is a cylon! Part of me is finding this hard to believe but Six, Leoben, D'Anna ,Simon and I saw her body where the colonials dumped her ! It was a message to us ! Of course, I'm forced to accept that she is one of us!

But how in the names of the Lords is this possible !?'

Nat sighed. 'Join the frakking club; well sadly we do not have the time to have a collective meltdown as we have Cavil on our tail and he also has a copy of the Books of Kobol so we need to get this election over and done with so we can find a way to survive.

So, I have one question. Boomer; do I have your support?'

'Wait, what?'

Nat looked at her watch. ' You have less than thirty minutes to make up your mind Boomer.

So; think fast; me or Sylvia?'

####################

The conference room was packed and not only with cylons. A large group of centurions were present and they kept to themselves while being surrounding by the previous masters who looked very nervous.

Yet none of the cylons was stupid enough to order the centurions to leave.

It hadn't taken long for the cylons to realize that these 'centurions' took orders from no one apart from the golden centurion they called Red One was present as well.

Red One listened as the cylons talked amongst themselves; there were exactly 295 cylons and 489 centurions on the Almira. If it came down to a collective vote Red knew the centurions would vote for Natalie; the centurion chuckled to itself as it wondered if the cylons were aware of the fact that they were outnumbered.

The talking gradually ceased as Natalie Faust; Leoben, Boomer and Ellen Tigh walked into the room escorted by six centurions. The guard dispersed as the small group walked to the middle of the room.

'Are we ready to begin?' asked Natalie as Boomer walked over to small group of Eights.

'Why is she not in the brig?' demanded Sylvia as she pointed at Ellen Tigh.

'On what charge should she be arrested?' asked Leoben

'She destroyed the last two resurrection ships!' countered the livid Number Eight cylon.

'And that act saved our lives' everyone turned to Boomer. Sylvia stared at her in shock.

'You're taking their side!?'

'Yes, because what Cavil did to D'anna and her sisters would have been done to us eventually. I would rather die than be boxed; to be in that state is a living nightmare and we all know how terrifying that is.

Also; let me make it clear that I throw my support behind Natalie Faust.'

Her words were met with stunned murmurs from the other gathered cylons.

'And what of it?' snapped Sylvia when she recovered 'Boomer has no standing here ; for years she has been a doormat to Cavil and his group and now she transfers her allegiance to another dictator of the Number Six line! Boomer has never been one of us; has never looked out for us ! Whoever she stands with is no friend of ours!

We; the Eights have no need of her!'

Some of the Number Eights clapped in agreement.

Natalie had a calm expression on her face. 'So; now that you've got that off your chest; how about we talk about what really matters right now ? Like our survival.'

'We go back,' shouted a number Eight.

Sylvia nodded. 'Yes sister; we go back and explain to the other models and I'm certain they will understand…'

'You'll die or suffer worse if you go back,' cut in Natalie in a cold calm tone.

'Cavil boxed D'anna because she knew the truth about Ellen Tigh,' she pointed at the silent older female cylon 'she knew that Ellen was a cylon, the first before us and that there were four more cylon models hidden in the last place we would expect…among the colonial refugees.'

Cylons looked at each other in shock; even the centurions were fidgeting at the news.

'That's impossible,' hissed Sylvia.

'Many of you were there when Ellen ordered the resurrection ships into the sun; she was able to do that not just because she is a cylon but because she built them!'

'What?' gasped Sylvia and she looked at Ellen who nodded slowly.

'Yes; that is why Cavil kept her locked up; because of her secrets!'

'Then…then we can build a new one and thus we will have leverage' said of the Sixes in a hopeful voice.

Nat shook her head to their amazement. 'No; first of all, what will we rebuild with when the Almira is still undergoing repairs?

We can't even stay in one place for long because then he will find out and kill us all. What we need to do is head for one of the old bases of the Thirteenth Tribe and hopefully whilst there we will find out more about Earth's location and also gather supplies…'

'You will have us chase useless dreams?' cut in Sylvia 'my sisters and brothers; Nat is lying to you ! This is all fake; Ellen Tigh is not a ….'

'Mother of one mother of all is Ellen Tigh; first to wake last to die….' Ellen's face went white with terror.

What the frak? Thought Natalie as the Hybrid's voice filled the entire chamber. Everyone looked at each other in fear. The Hybrids hardly spoke but when they did everyone listened.

'….time flows as worlds die, mother has lived and perished countless times. As it was, so shall it be once more, the cycle continues and the Phoenix; the Wolves; the Oma and the Q shall stand in the path of Ares.

To do otherwise is doom for all. Hear this or hear not what shall be shall come.'

Nat and Leoben shared a what-the-frak-was-that look.

'The Hybrid has spoken,' everyone looked at Boomer who was the first to recover ' and if my ears deceive me she just threw her support behind Ellen Tigh. Are you going to ignore that Sylvia?'

The addressed Number Eight cylon looked shaken. 'But…but it doesn't make sense…'

'She's not supposed to make sense or even speak,' said one of the Sixes loudly 'but when she does both we would be fools to ignore it. Nat believes that Ellen is a cylon and so do I .

Nat has proved beyond a doubt that Cavil was on a destructive path that would have annihilated us all. So; I stand with Nat.'

'As do I,' said a Number Two cylon.

'So say I!' And that was how the voting started.

By the time it was done; 285 cylons voted for Natalie to be the leader of the Almira; the centurions just politely clapped when the results were read out.

Nat hid her relief when Sylvia shakenly stated she would abide by the decision of the majority. The Number Six had no idea what had made the Hybrid wake up and speak but she was grateful for it.

Maybe the Gods did give a damn after all.

'Thank you for choosing me; first order of business is jump to the new co-ordinates we got from the Book of Kobol. However, we have no idea what we will see there so everyone; cylons and centurions needs to be armed and ready to engage in combat at a moment's notice.'

Everyone nodded silently.

Nat looked at them; she suspected a good number of them were as terrified as she was; but she could not let them see that.

'Good; then let's prepare to jump.'

##############

Unknown location…

Ares; the God of War laughed long and hard.

Oh, everything was falling in place, soon he would have what he had worked for so long.

'And you my dear made it possible,' he turned to the golden glowing object floating in the air before him. As he touched the surface he absorbed a bit of its energy and almost felt dizzy at the power the object contained.

'Not too much now; not yet.' He closed his eyes and sighed happily. ' Soon; I will be the God of Gods.'

The mad deity laughed to himself.

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