The Ragnor Anchorage was a massive space station, comprised of two wheel shaped segments that shared an axel, it was easily one of the largest constructs to ever be built. The storm that raged around the Anchorage had properties that damaged Cylon technology, the Anchorage was thus touted as a last refuge for resupplying and repairing battlestars. The Anchorage itself, had not been used in almost a decade. Now, it was to be the Colonials last respite before their great exodus from their Home Worlds.
At the heart of the Anchorage, nestled so deep within the super structure that only the utter destruction of the station would affect it, sat the control room. Because of its location, for the most part it had been forgotten, most military vessels chose to use the secondary control rooms near the primary airlocks.
Right now the Battlestar Galactica had birthed with Ragnor, along with almost a hundred smaller civilian ships. The Galactica was rearming its weapon systems, a process that would take several hours to complete, and while he was at it, Admiral Cain had seen fit to leave him in charge of repair operations for the civilian fleet.
Adama had barely docked with Ragnor before he was visited by Aaron by way of the life like holographic projection. The meeting had been short and to the point, Aaron had a plan in place to protect the fleet, but he needed the Anchorage's primary control room sealed off from the general public. Adama had his doubts initially, but eventually agreed with one caveat of his own, he wanted unrestricted access to the control room for himself, and his officers. Aaron had agreed, and vanished as quickly as he had arrived, no sooner had Aaron disappeared, than Adama had decided to head to the Control room himself and see what Aaron was up too.
Kara Thrace, call sign Starbuck, broke formation and sped towards the Alliance vessel. All Colonial military vessels were ordered to remain at least 10,000 km behind the alien ship, but something inside her, drew her towards the vessel.
As she inched ever closer to the vessel, she couldn't help but marvel at its elegance. The ship was small by colonial standards, less than 300 meters in length, its hull made of an unknown metallic alloy with a gloss finish. As she got closer she could see the tell tail signs that this was not a war ship. It's long slender profile revealed rows upon rows of windows, though the windows were tinted black and seemed to blend into the hull, they were undoubtedly structural weak points that no military vessel would ever have.
Kara flipped her viper 180 degrees and allowed it to continue to drift past the Alien ship, giving her a clear view of the front of the vessel. From this angle the ship looked like a predator, though clearly not designed as a war ship, she could tell that the architects had blended structural weakness with predatory grace. The sleek spear tipped head fell back towards a flattened curved rear that gave the ship the grace of a bird.
"Kara, what do you see?" hotdog questioned over the com link between their two vipers. Hotdog had chosen not to break formation and remained with the CAP, patrolling the invisible line the Aaron had designated as the boundary for the safe zone.
"It's beautiful" Kara stammered, her eyes immediately noticing movement across the exposed wings of the vessel. The full length of each wing seemed to split across the center and unfurled upwards exposing an extremely large and well hidden shuttle and launch bay in each wing. Each shuttle bay extended for over 50 meters across each wing, and Kara could see at least 2 cylinder shaped shuttles and 4 incredibly sleek looking predatory craft that were unmistakably fighters in each wing. "Frack hotdog, this thing's got fighters" she finally let out as a dozen cylindrical pods less than a meter in length detached from the shuttle bay floor and sped out of the ship, disappearing in less than a second. The acceleration was faster than anything she had ever seen, though one of the pods seemed to lag behind the rest, and came to a dead stop less than a kilometer behind the Alien vessel.
"You coming in?" A new voice questioned over the radio startling the pair.
"What?" Starbuck replied.
"I've got the doors open, you might as well come on in" The voice replied.
It only took a second for Kara to make up her mind before she stepped on the accelerator and headed towards the left wing. As she approached within 1000 meters of the shuttle bay she cut her primary engines and began reducing speed, however none of thrusters fired and her ship continued to speed towards the shuttle bay at a dangerous velocity.
Barely two seconds past, and Kara thought she was certainly going to die as ship hurtled into the shuttle bay at over five hundred meters per second. However at the very last second all inertia came to a Halt and what looked like a curtain of white light surrounded the viper.
"What the Frack was that" Kara shouted.
A laugh came over the speaker "Gives crash landings new meaning doesn't it" Aaron's voice boomed as the Viper was brought safely to the shuttle bay floor and the tremendous shuttle bay doors sealed shut leaving Kara in room filled with white light surrounded by unfamiliar vessels.
"Aaron I'm going to kill you" Kara laughed back "Now, how in hates to I get out of here"
"Follow the yellow brick road" Aaron quipped as he activated the guide lanes for Kara, showing her a path that would lead to the Bridge.
8 years ago Dianna Biers entire life had changed. For her part in the plan, Dianna had been tasked with infiltrating the Colonial news agency giving her access to the state of Colonial government. However two years into her mission, Dianna had an experience that would change her life forever.
Alone, on Caprica amongst a sea of Colonials, Dianna withdrew into herself, spending more and more time sitting on the banks of the stream and watching the fragments of past, present and future float by. She knew, like every other Cylon, that lingering within the stream was dangerous, that one could lose their mind. In fact, about a fifth of the Cylon race had lost their minds in the stream resulting in the boxing of those individual units.
It was on one of these occasions that Dianna found herself not alone. At first she thought it was another Cylon Model, however without an interface medium, there was no way another Cylon could share her consciousness. That was when the Angel appeared.
It was radiant with beauty beyond comparison and it looked down upon her as she sat at the edge of the stream. The Angels wings were comprised of strands of glowing energy, and these energy strands coalesced into hands that reach down into the flowing fragments. It then raised its cupped hands to Dianna, and Dianna could see the fragment before her. Shocked and Afraid, but not willing to question the will of an Angel, Dianna reached out her hand and touched the fragment.
Immediately her surroundings changed and Dianna found herself on the bridge of a clearly Alien design. It was odd that the others on the bridge were obviously human, however they wore clothing that was clearly not military or even civilian in nature. The clothing was somewhat out of place and extremely form fitting leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination. It appeared to be made up of thousands of interwoven scales that gleamed a brilliant white, very much reflecting the feel of the bridge. On one of the arms of a nearby Alien Dianna could make out a symbol, it was that symbol that changed everything. A triangle with a circle on top, it was the ancient Kobolian symbol of Earth.
Dianna found herself walking up to a crystalline platform and her hands danced across its surface. In response the entire far wall of the bridge changed revealing a map of the galaxy and a clear outline of the vessels course. The image seemed to panic the humans around her, and before she realized it the ship began to shudder. Turning her attention back to the display Dianna understood why, the image had zoomed in to the ships current location and its course outline had turned red as it terminated on what looked like a planet.
In the blink of an eye the display melted away and revealed a full view of the ships exterior, and there was no doubt, the ship was fast approaching a planet. The rate of acceleration towards the planet was unfathomable to Dianna, even though she could feel no acceleration, the planet was growing at a rate that should have smooshed the entire crew into a fine paste, if not ripped apart an entire basestar.
She finally noted a look of despair fall over the nearby humans, and they each walked to the rear of the bridge where a row of a dozen cylindrical chambers stood. Dianna found herself stepping into the chamber and felt a sudden chill as her vision iced over, all the while experiencing the ill-fated crash of the Alien ship before finally returning to the stream.
This single experience had changed Dianna's life, and today would bare the fruit of her arduous journey. For 8 years she had travelled with a small contingent of Basestars and raiders, following what she could remember of the Earth ships path. And now she was on the lifeless planetoid, over 2km beneath its surface where Cylons had spent 6 months excavating the ship.
The ship was a remarkable piece of engineering, its entire hull had remained completely intact during the crash. Isotopic scans put the age of the ship, or at least the age of its surroundings at 197 years. If the humans of Earth could manufacture this level of technology, she shuddered to think what having them as an enemy would be like.
"Well I guess you found your prize" A four shouted sarcastically from behind Dianna.
"I told you it would be worth it" Dianna retorted turning to find her companions, one of each model save the number 1 who had taken his own life 2 years into the expedition out of boredom, while still within range of the resurrection network.
"I always had faith in you" Number five smiled walking up and standing next to Dianna, he was always a suck up.
"Of course you did, and now we can share in the marvel of Earth's technology" Dianna smiled.
"Really?" a number six stepped forward "From my understanding, this ship survived crash landing on this planet's surface without a scratch. The Centurians have been trying to cut their way in using every manner of cutting tool we have available including a laser torch. Something about the hull seems to absorb every form of impact we throw at it"
Dianna knew Six was right, she had read the same reports, but then the most obvious solution presented itself. This was a ship after all, and after all no one could walk through walls, the creators would have needed a docking hatch or door to get in or out. Following this line of reasoning she had the Centurians scan every square inch of the ship, and using a bit of logic she found a clue to the puzzle. It had brought her to this exact location, a location near the top of the forward spear shaped head of the vessel.
Calmly she approached what the Centurian scan's had revealed, a small recess, barely 2 centimeters in diameter but large enough to insert a finger. As she pushed her finger in she felt a physical click, as she withdrew the finger she knew she had triggered something wonderful. Stepping back she watched in earnest as the seamless metal split right down the center of the insert. Whoever had designed this ship had crafted the exterior to look as though it were a single piece of metal, however now that the seam had presented itself, all around the ship similar seams began to appear and the sound of metal retracting began to reverberating across the very thin atmosphere within the excavation dome.
"Battle Armor" Four gasped as the external armor now gave way, revealing a far less streamlined vessel. Without its armor the ship looked somewhat fragile with row after row of windows dotting its hull and even what looked like an observation dome directly atop the bridge.
The exact point where Dianna had placed here finger now resembled an airlock, something which the Cylons were very familiar with. It did not take them much longer to open the outer airlock and finally step into the ship's interior.
Dianna was the first to step into the airlock, and what greeted her was simply amazing. Upon her first step Dianna realized that they had entered through the bridges emergency docking port, and immediately every light on the bridge lit up.
Adama rounded a corner and came up to the last bulkhead that protected the Primary control room. Behind the bulkhead he could hear a high pitch whine that peeked his curiosity. Entering his access codes the bulkhead parted giving way to an unimaginable sight. All around the massive 100 meter circular room, control panels and displays were vanishing in pulses of flash light. Moments later new unfamiliar consoles that gleamed white with crystalline plates replaced them, all the while the screeching high pitched sound permeated the air, complimenting the light.
Adama could only stand in shocked silence for almost 5 minutes before he was interrupted by Lee, his son.
Lee had followed his Father, extremely curious after the meeting with Aaron, when he saw his father round the corner and then just freeze in shock, he didn't know what to think. And now he knew why his father had stopped, the sight of the Control room being pulled apart and reshaped was just stunning. The dome shaped ceiling, where status monitors had hung down, had been completely removed, now replaced with a white solid looking dome. The walls were being replaced with an unfamiliar alloy that radiated a diffused light, and the dozen or so terminals that now encircled the lower tier where the Dradus table would have been, glowed with power. The Dradus table had been replaced with what appeared to be a 10 meter in diameter circular sheet of glass while below the glass thousands of crystal rods protruded, each glowing with a rainbow of different colors.
Kara had been following this "yellow brick road" for several minutes now, all the while she marveled at the sheer size of the ship. From the outside, the ships profile was very thin, giving it the impression of having very small decks, however internally the decks were incredibly spacious, in fact, maybe even a little too spacious. The Ceiling overhead was easily five meters high and the width of the corridors were a far too generous 10 meters wide. Even one of the elevators she was forced to enter, could easily accommodate 15 or more people, and traveled with absolutely no acceleration or even time. No sooner had she entered the elevator, than the door reopened and she found herself facing a completely different corridor from which she had entered.
As she neared the end of her Journey she spotted Aaron in the distance, he had clearly not seen her as he seemed to be standing over some kind of pod nestled at the rear of the bridge.
Aaron could sense Kara's approach, but chose to ignore it, his current thoughts were of David whose slumbering form captivated his entire attention. The pod had done its job, and for the most part had completely regenerated David's body, leaving the impression of a gentle slumber and not the life threatening ordeal he was actually facing.
Kara stepped up beside Aaron and placed a consoling arm around the man "Is he going to be all right?" she questioned.
Aaron shook his head slightly and placed a hand on the pods glass. Immediately the status report projected across the glass, translated into Caprican standard for Kara's benefit. "The damage was more extensive than the initial scans revealed, his chances of recovery are almost zero" Aaron admitted as a tear rolled down his cheek.
Aaron removed his hand from the glass and pushed on another button that caused the life pod to suddenly jerk backwards and then upright before nestling into the wall where it joined the half dozen empty pods that lined the rear of the bridge.
Kara was speechless, David had been one of her closest friends, they had flown together on more missions than she could recount and he always had her back. As she watched the pod join the other pods her eyes grew wide in shock as David's body suddenly became encased in ice. "What are you doing to him?" she questioned as the ice completed its formation leaving behind a frozen Popsicle.
"I've placed him in stasis, maybe by the time we return to Alliance space and find a proper medical facility, they'll have improved neural regeneration technology to the point where he can be saved" Aaron explained "Even if it takes a thousand years, I'll wait for him"
"A thousand years" a voice suddenly questioned from behind the pair, immediately causing Kara and Aaron to turn around. Six had been watching the pair intently and had remained silent this whole time, but the realization had never dawned on Six that a species could live for a thousand years, even an artificial one such as Aaron. "How old are you?"
Aaron was caught a little off guard by the question and took a moment before he replied "By Caprican standard time, which by the way is almost identical to Earth standard, I am Two Hundred and ten years old" he explained.
Kara was completely shocked at this revelation, though she had received a mission briefing from Lee about Aaron being an Alien from some faction called the Alliance, her mind couldn't quite grasp the realization that he was in fact an Alien, and a very Old alien by the sound of it.
"Would my people have life spans as long as yours?" Six questioned, ignoring Kara's perplexed looks.
Aaron stepped forward "Not only your people" he turned then turned to Kara "The Colonial's will have equally long lives" he finished.
"How would that be possible" Kara questioned.
"Two Hundred and eighty-three years ago, the Tau'ri underwent a program called disclosure. At first there were some economic and political fallout which lasted all of 3 years, but Earth emerged united when realization of the threats our Galaxy faced, finally dawned on our civilization. You see human science had evolved on its own, unpolluted by technology of the ancients or Asgard, Goauld or even the lords of Kobol such as your species. We developed lines of biological science and technology that many other races in the galaxy had bypassed entirely because of the technological influence of these races. Because of this, a science known as Telimere rejuvenation had been developed on Earth. After disclosure the science was given a boon by Asgard and Ancient technology and a Telimere regeneration therapy was created that essentially made our people biologically immortal. Unlike the Asgard, we had no need to create new bodies, we could simply stop the bodies we currently have, from aging"
Both women stood speechless before Aaron. Aaron however, did not have much time left. He had already dispatched a stone to each of the ship captains within the fleet and had asked that in 2 minutes, they activate the stones. He had also kept watch on the Anchorage where preparations had been completed. Quickly he turned to Kara and handed her a white stone "put this to your chest in two minutes" he stated and then quickly pushed past six to access the ships primary control console
Aaron arrived in a flash of light, at the heart of the new command center within the Anchorage startling both William and Lee Adama.
The command center was now pure white with light radiating from the walls eliminating any sense of shadow. The center itself was now comprised of tiered circles. The lowest tier was 20 meters in diameter, the central 10 meters of it filled with the glass table surrounded by consoles. The next tier was 2 meters higher than the bottom tier and encircled the lower tier with a radius of 40 meters. The 3rd tier which again rose 2 meters above the second tier had a radius of 60 meters, and finally the last tier where the entrance stood had a radius of 100 meters with a domed ceiling rising high above it and made of the same white light radiating material. Upon each tier stood banks of terminals all facing towards the center, along with what looked like hundreds of chairs all facing the center.
"What is this" Adama questioned, bounding toward Aaron on the lower tier.
"This Admiral, is your new command center" Aaron smiled and placed a hand on a console next to him that caused it to begin projecting holographic windows above the crystal. The text that flowed showed status reports in Caprican standard, and from a glance he could tell it was an inventory report of the Galactica.
Lee pushed past his father and reached out to touch the console, inadvertently brushing Aarons hand in the process, and to his surprise Aarons hand was solid. "You're actually here?" he questioned, not waiting for a response before hugging the man.
"I am" Aaron smiled accepting the hug.
Lee broke away "How's David doing?" he questioned.
Aaron shook his head "there's nothing further I can do, I've placed him in stasis, maybe in time we'll be able to revive him" he said solemnly just as a flash of light deposited two females right behind Aaron, both of whom Lee was familiar with.
"What the FRACK" Kara shouted, she had just placed the stone on her chest when she finally found herself next to Aaron in an amazingly odd room.
Before anyone could reply however Dozens of figures began appear all around the room, many of whom Admiral Adama was familiar with.
The room was in discourse as no one had expected to find themselves in the newly built command center. Several captains had discovered that removing the device on their chest instantly brought them back to their ships, where they later learnt that they had not traveled anywhere.
"Everyone Please Calm down" Aaron's voice boomed across the command center, almost immediately the room went dead silent though Admiral Cain and the President Laura had already made their way down to the group.
"What is this place" Cain questioned as she came to a stop before Aaron with the President shortly behind her.
"This is the Command Center at the heart of the Ragnor Anchorage" Aaron explained, as his words trailed off, the table at the heart of the command center came to life shooting beams of light up into the empty space above, and radiating as far as the curved ceiling. Immediately a holographic image of the Anchorage took shape with every ship in orbit or docked nearby. The view was so massive that it included Aarons ship that sat at the edge of the entrance to the storm. "This place is accessible to all captains via the stones you are wearing. Though you are not physically here, your projection will appear so long as you are within range. Also please remember that everything you say whilst here can be heard by anyone near you on your ships"
Everyone around Aaron had been overcome with shock as their minds tried to process the enormity of what was happening right now. This technology was like nothing anyone could have fathomed, many of the gathered captains and Admirals had taken seats and soon found themselves surrounding with holographic menus and images of their ships.
"This is amazing" Lara gasped taking her eyes from the view above her and looking to Aaron "With this Centre we can coordinate the entire fleets movements"
"There's only one flaw in that" Admiral Cain interrupted "This is a space station, not a starship, and we cannot hide here forever"
Aaron nodded in agreement, his mind instantly linking with the projector and above the Colonials heads the view changed to one of the station. "I've replaced the stations power source, and fitted it with an FTL drive compatible with your method of propulsion. It will be able to jump" he announced bringing some comfort to the president who was already worried about the many civilian ships that were not capable of jumping. "The jump drive is calibrated to carry along anything within 1000 meters of its hull, that however, is a discussion for another time, for now we have a serious problem" Aaron continued causing the map to zoom out to one of the local cluster.
"I am tracking 30 Basestars converging on this point" he announced as 30 very small battlestars highlighted and an overlay showed their Jump trajectory heading straight for the Anchorage.
"You're afraid we won't be able to secure the front?" William questioned.
"No, protecting the entrance will be easy, protecting the incoming civilian armada will be the difficult part" Aaron replied, allowing the hologram to focus on the entrance to the storm and revealing an armada of ships highlighted in green, making their way to the eye. The overlaid trajectory clearly showed an arrival time of 3 hours, and passed right through the estimated arrival locations of the base stars.
"How many ships?" Lara asked.
"432 Civilian ships, 147 military vessels and over 1724 vipers" Aaron reported "Only 20 percent of the civilian ships are capable of jumping which makes them sitting ducks in a Cylon shooting gallery"
"We have 3 battle groups, if we can coordinate with the incoming military ships, we can catch the Cylons in a cross fire" Adama Proposed, his mind absorbing the data.
"That may not be enough" Another captain pointed out, his attention focused on a small holographic window that floated above a nearby console "if this is right, the Cylons are bringing in over a hundred Base stars from across the Colonies. They could easily jump behind and nuke the civilian fleet while we're bogged down in a gun fun"
"First things first, we have to protect the entrance" Helena interrupted, as the commanders of the military ships crowded down towards the lower tier, while the civilian captains remained on the upper tiers yet still within earshot of the deliberations bellow.