Chapter 58 End and New Beginning
It has been almost ten months since their arrival on Eden Prim and so far it had been a rocky road for former President Laura Roslin and the other colonials however it has been getting better as time went on. When they arrived on the southern most land mass of the blue and green planet, they were greeted with large open fields under a warm sun. It was all that they could wish for however somewhere not pleased with the fact that the land was already populated by System Alliance civilians. She still remembered how some of the local farmers had walked up to them and then in prefect colonial greeted them. Turned out that the area was populated mostly from people from Greece and a nearby place called Italy.
Laura Roslin opened her eyes to see rays from the golden sun shining through the window in the city that they had built over the months. She stretched a bit as she headed toward the shower, ever since she had moved into her apartment she had always taken hot showers since she did not have hot water on New Caprica.
She walked into the kitchen to find former Admiral Adama now turned military advisor sitting at the table with a small computer tablet in his hand. She knew he was reading the newspaper which was now came in the form of an email message which opened into a full paper. Since Galactica was currently being prepared to be a museum and since there was no colonial military Bill Adama was now a military advisor to the system alliance, it was more of an honorable position than anything else. Not that it mattered much to him, this was his retirement and after everything he went through carrying the weight of the fleet on his shoulders, it was needed.
"So your heading to the capital today correct?" asked Bill as Laura moved to the fridge and got out some fresh orange juice, a year ago orange juice was something she could only have dreamed about now it was a short walk away.
"Yes, I am the congress member for this district in the planetary congress," explained Roslin as she sat down across from him. "Anything interesting taking place?"
"I just finished the local news and apart from protests from some people about the educational requirement's in the schools everything seams normal." Reported Bill as Roslin nodded her head, she knew that many people were upset that the System Alliance was mandating education that some found to be against the Lords of Kobol. It was the same sort of subjects that caused multiple problems back in the colonies such of evolution and removing religion from school however with the added fact that some didn't want their children to learn about Earth based religions and the other beliefs across the galaxy. They feared that children would turn against the Lords of Kobol and that the faith would die out.
"I'll take people outside the school with signs then being under Cylon controlled." Reported Laura as Bill nodded in agreement. "Any word from your son?"
"Not since he joined the system alliance military." Explained Bill, he had tried to keep in contact with all the men and women who where once under his command but his only living son was sometimes hard to keep in contact with since he was on Earth at the moment. Lee had had a few rough months with the loss of the Pegasus and his marriage ending "He is likely studying his fraken ass off for all the tests he has to take to enter the officer core."
"Well let's hope he does good, any other news?" asked Roslin not wanting to add that there was little chance that Lee would get back to a matching rank in the System Alliance Military, all his experience in the colonial military meant next to nothing now.
"Starbucks is in the brig for buzzing the tower with one of those system alliance fighters," reported Bill before turning back to the newspaper "Again."
Light years away from Eden Prime in the Far Rim former President of the 12 colonies of Kobol Baltar stood with a shovel in hand and the heat of two small suns beating down on him. He stood on dark brown almost black soil with a strange sapling tree with pure red bark and white leaves. He had been planting trees all day so his white prisoner uniform was covered with dirt. Baltar found himself not for the first nor the last time in a place he would never had believed possible, he was in a central courtyard with Cylon Centurions, Geth and a handful of Quarian walking around him. He had been assigned the job of planting the trees which would grace the public courtyard of the new city that the Centurions where building. As he dug another hole he had to stop and get his breath, the atmosphere on this planet had less oxygen so it felt as if he was working in higher altitude. It was not bad enough for any real harm but it took a lot to get used to and he still was not. As he prepared to drop, the tree into its new home a woman dressed in matching prisoner uniform walked up.
"So Caprica how did your hearing go?" inquired Baltar as he looked at Caprica Six.
"I got five years," reported Caprica Six as the humanoid Cylon who had once wore the finniest cocktail dresses put on some work gloves and picked up her own shovel.
"That is lowest of any of the humanoid models." expressed Baltar knowing that he had gotten the same prison term from the tribunal of centurions. The system alliance and the Citadel council had handed them over to the judgment of the centurions, most of the humanoid models had been given at least fifteen years, and the Ones had been given thirty-five years.
"I know, they say since I had pushed for surrender and that since I never abused the centurions like other models I would be treated differently." explained Caprica Six "Any idea of what you are going to do after this all is done?"
"I am not sure; I studied some of the books and their high school level text books brush over information which was only theoretical back in the colonies." Expressed Baltar "It would take years to learn everything I would need to know. Maybe it would be for best if I find a different job then research scientist."
"Like what?" asked Caprica Six
"My father was a farmer and there is no shortage of land at the moment." Explained Baltar "And on a farm would be the last place any angry colonial would look for me."
"A farmer's wife that should be interesting," expressed Caprica Six with a loving smile "But I do think it would be for the best if you change your name."
"And you can't go by Caprica Six either, so both of us better start thinking of new names." laughed Baltar knowing that they had five years until they could do anything.
On a different planet on the other side of the galaxy from Caprica Six and Baltar a lone man held an ax over his head. Then with one swift move, he brought it down in a deadly swing as the sound of splitting wood filled the air. The former Lance Corporal of the Colonial Battlestar Galactica Eduardo Maldonaldo stood beside a small cabin that he had built in the woods of Edin Prime far away from any alien. The only luxuries he had was a solar panel for power and natural gas for heating. Even with the power and gas he was still cutting the logs for extra firewood.
"I hope that the Lords of Kobol punish those frakers." cursed Eduardo to himself as he split his firewood, he had tried to nuke the Normandy when it arrived but failed. Luckily, the Lords of Kobol had protected him from being discovered even as five men under him were tried and imprisoned, by the final order of President Roslin. "Maybe the Lords have protected me so that I could try something again, but what?"
Eduardo near had a chance to finish his thought as something hit his ankle and as a blinding pain fill his body as he fell to the ground.
"FRAK!" cursed Eduardo as he looked at the bloody stump which was once his lower leg, he reacted quickly he crawled into his log cabin where his gun was. However, he never had a chance to pull it because as he pulled himself across the wooden floor he was stepped on.
"Lance Corporal Eduardo Maldonaldo." said a female voice as he was kicked over so that he looked up toward the ceiling. Standing over him dressed in red battle armor with an assault rifle in her hand and a sniper rifle across her back was Jenny Shepard. "Did you think we had forgotten about the nuke you launched against the Normandy? It's time for you to pay the piper."
"I remember something about you doing the same thing." Spat Eduardo as Jenny shrugged.
"Yes, it's kind of hypocritical but the key difference between you and me is who I am related to." Explained Jenny "And here I am doing the dirty work of the System Alliance and the Citadel council, work my brother wouldn't do. He would give you a chance to explain yourself me, I don't care that much."
"If you knew about me what took you so long?" inquired Eduardo
"You colonials have a persecution complex and if we arrested you then we may have a riot on our hands, so the council decided to send me." Explained Jenny wondering why she was even talking to him instead of just killing him.
"And how would they look at a shooting." spat Eduardo "You made me a symbol for our freedom from you Godsless scum."
"Maybe you would be right if you died in a shooting." explained Jenny with a smile as she walked over toward the oven and turned on the gas. Within moments, the smell of gas filled the air as Jenny placed a small case on the ground "But you will die in a terrible accident, nothing more. See this is a flame bomb and when I send the order it will blow and combined with your lovely gas system it will turn this place into an inferno."
"You fraken bitch!" spat Eduardo as Jenny shot him one more time in his good leg before turning toward the door.
"Now I better get going I have a wedding to get to." reported Jenny as she left the cabin, Eduardo turned his gaze toward the bomb he closed his eyes for a moment of prayer before the bomb went off and he was engulfed in flames.
Trillions of Light years away from the end of the Milky Way Galaxy the humanoid Cylon Cavil was screaming in pain in an operational room. He was deep in the heart of the Reaper central base of operation in one of the countless research rooms. Cavil was strapped face down on a medical table with a strange creature over him. The creature had four arms and as many legs and moved almost like a spider across the ground. Coming out of the skin were metal pieces and some of its multiple eyes had been replaced with metal parts. He had never seen any creature like it before not even in the information that the System Alliance had given the Cylons when they still held new Caprica; however he had heard that these Reapers held multiple galaxies for millions of years.
The creature showed to interest in Cavil's pain as it used a laser medical tool to cut open the skin revealing the bare boon back. Cavil released a blood-curdling scream as the creature used his multiple arms to pull the skin back giving it a clear view of the white bone.
"Have you uncovered anything new?" asked a new voice Cavil knew as to well as the leader of the Reaper, the Catalyst.
"I believe I have found the path to synthesis." Reported the creature, at first Cavil believed that the Reaper forces where like the centurions but he was not totally right. A select handful had kept at least some of their freedom however it seemed like they were used only for research. "However to test my theory it I will need to harvest this subject's spinal column while he is alive."
"Will the subject live?" inquired the Catalyst
"Yes, I will put him on life support while I remove the column and then feed him some bone growing protein from the race 106 from galaxy 138." Reported the creature, all the races harvested by the Reapers where assigned numbers and sorted by their home galaxy. "He will be in horrible amount of pain but he will live. In fact I may need to harvest his spine multiple times as it grows back to get what I need."
"Proceed then." ordered the Catalyst
Just over a week, later back in the Milky Way Galaxy Commander John Shepard stood in a wine cellar inside the rebuilt California winery dating back to 1901. All around him stood giant oaken barrels full of aging wines; a few of them had even made it through the Reaper war when the whole area was turned into a battlefield as millions fled from the major cities on the California coast. The sign of battle could still be seen with bullet holes in the cobblestone walls, John had no idea who fought here and the history books will record it mostly as the place where he and Ask became man and wife. He was dressed in his best dress blue uniform, which included an officer ceremonial sword as he looked into the full size mirror, which had been set up for him.
"Can I ask why we are having the wedding at a somewhat rebuilt vineyard?" asked Garrus as he stood dressed in brand new navy blue and black armor. It was tradition amongst the Turian wedding ceremony for the wedding party to come armored and armed in case of being attacked. It was a tradition that dated back thousands of years to when Turian clans would seal any peace after a war with marriage, more than a few times these marriages would be in fact a trap. Shepard had allowed it even though he did not like it however considering among their friends and family where among the most powerful people in the galaxy maybe it was for the best to have extra protection around.
"Ash's parents got married here." Answered John
"What is this?" asked Grunt as he and Wrex both of whom were also dressed in shinny brand new battle armor and weapons because of a slimier traditional reason as Garrus however in a Krogan wedding ambushes where still common. The two Krogans where standing by a long wooden table covered with food for the groom and the groomsmen to eat while they waited.
"Ghost peppers I wouldn't recommend them." said Shepard as Grunt picked up a large handful of the third hottest pepper type on Earth and shoved them into his mouth at once.
"Ok, but it needs what you humans call heat." said Grunt as Shepard laughed.
"Well next Grunt will be downing hot sauce next," laughed Joker as he sat down with a bottle of water in his hand.
"Is this ceremony really needed?" inquired Javik as he stood by one of the wine cases. This had been the first time Javik had left the Prothean new home world for months, he had been appointed to be the new leader of the Prothean Empire which currently compressed of two decent size cities on a single planet. "During my time a wedding ceremony took five minutes."
"In your time the Reapers where attacking and people could die at any moment that made sense." Explained James as he held a plate of food, he chewed a bit on some cheese before speaking again. "We don't have that so it is time for a show and the whole Galaxy is watching.
"Don't remind me," complained John as he looked again into the mirror, both the Citadel Council wanted a ceremony on the Citadel and the System Alliance government wanted it in a major city at least. However they had never gone up against Ash when she wanted something and they had finally given in with an understanding that the ceremony would be broadcasted live across the galaxy.
"You have the same look on your face that you had before we went to Earth to take on the Reapers and end the war." Noted James
"He is going to war." Commented Garrus with a small laugh
"It's time." Came a new voice as John turned to see his sister who had been given the honor to be one of the bridesmaids along with two of Ash's three sisters and Laura with Tali as the maid of honor. Jenny Shepard who was more often seen either in her combat armor or her uniform was now dressed in a flowing red dress which was tight down to the waist before flowing down to her high heeled shoes. Her hair was pulled back into a stylized ponytail.
Shepard took a deep breath as the groomsman formed a line with him at base of the staircase which lead up and out to the outdoor venue where the wedding would take place. Jenny had disappeared by then to rejoin the rest of the bridesmaids.
"Ready." Offered Garrus as he placed his hand on Shepard's shoulder as the music began.
"As ready as I am going to be." Confirmed Shepard as Garrus chuckled a bit, as James lead them up. First went Wrex followed by Javik, James, Grunt, Joker before finally coming to Garrus and himself. Shepard walked up the wooden steps and into the beautiful tended garden that sat behind the main building of the Vineyard. Hundreds of chairs had been set up and almost every one of them was full with family, friends and important envoys from every race in the galaxy. Only a few places in the front row were left open where photos of a few they had lost sat, Ash's father, Admiral Anderson, Kaidan, Mortin and Legion. Standing in the ally with weapons at the ready stood an honor guard from every Citadel race military with some of their oldest traditional weapons out. Weapons which would have no place on any modern battlefield, weapons like swords, Axes, war hammers, strange spears and old fashion bolt action rifles complete with bayonets where out. This had been another demand of the council since this was a marriage of two of the most heroic figures of the galaxy the Galaxy had to be seen.
Shepard took a breath knowing that all the eyes where currently one him with the floating robotic cameras drones filming him. Shepard scanned the crowed as he saw Samara, EDI, Miranda, Jacob, Kasumi and the Normandy crew where all dressed in their best cloths in the front row. They had an even better view then the Citadel Council members who had been invited. Finally, the live music stopped for a moment before coming alive again with the march.
"Company present arms." ordered Zaeed as he stood by the front in his combat armor on his new mechanical legs. At once, all the honor guards, which stood in the walkway, raised their weapons and formed a steeple of weapons high enough for everyone to walk under.
Shepard heart was in beating faster than it even did in combat as he watched Ash's first sister walked down toward the altar where the Priest was standing as Javik moved out to meet her and guild her to her place. Next came Jenny who was escorted by James, then Grunt and Liara who was dressed in the same red dress as the rest of the bridesmaid. Next came Ash's second oldest sister who had to meet Joker nearer to the alter because he could not move as fast. Finally, Garrus left to meet Tali who was dressed in her normal suit only it had been painted to match the color of the bridesmaids dresses.
"Your next Shepard." Whispered Garrus as he moved back to his position beside Shepard as Ash's youngest sister helped lead her small three-year-old daughter down the walkway tossing flowers from a basket larger then she was. Ash's mother came down after her granddaughter. Finally, the bridal march started as Ash walked out in a flowing white wedding dress which was simple as it was elegant. It was tight around the top with a single strap over her right shoulder, which was held together by a siliver broach in the shape of the Normandy. The bottom was lose as she held onto Admiral Hackett's arm. Since Ash's father had passed away it was decided that Hackett would have the honor of giving away the bride. Shepard's heart was in his chest as Ash came closer to him, as she passed by the honor guard the different races lowered their weapons before snapping toward the front to watch. Finally the moment came as John walked forward and took Ash from Hackett's arm and took her toward the alter. Shepard wasn't even sure if he heard the words the priest said as he performed the rights of Ash's faith.
"Do you John Shepard take Ashley Ann Williams as your wife, to have and to hold in sickness and in heath for as long as you live?" Asked the Priest
"I do." answered John firmly as the Priest nodded his head before turning to Ash.
"And do you Ashley Ann Williams take John Shepard to be your husband, to have and to hold in sickness and in heath for as long as you live?" asked the Priest
"I do." answered Ash
"Then by the power vested in me, I hereby pronounced you man and wife." answered the Priest "You may kiss the bride."
Slowly John lifted the veil, which covered Ash's face ever so much and kissed her for the first time as a married couple. Everyone around them clapped as the rest of the galaxy looked on.
"It is with great honor that I announced for the first time Commander John Shepard and Lt. Commander Ashly Williams Shepard." announced the priest as Ash and John began their new life together.
Well this is the official end of this story, I hope you enjoyed it. It was hard to see this one go but I believe I wrapped up almost all the details and now I would like to thank everyone who reviewed. Thanks Wilkins75