Disclaimer: I own neither Battlestar Galactica or Stargate: SG1. I’m playing with them for a little while for pleasure and not for profit; I will return them in good condition when I am done.
Spoilers: Up to ‘Unfinished Business’ in BSG and around mid season 7ish for SG1 (before Death Knell).
Authors Notes: I am a crossover junkie and when I got the idea to cross my latest love with one of my long time loves I couldn’t help myself. Cannon pairings for both but no specific ship focussed on. This story is completed so posting will be regular, I’m just waiting on the last chapter to be betaed. Speaking of betaing, giant thank you to Oparu for doing that for me.
It was getting harder and harder to look forward to anything further away than the morning.
For the three years since New Caprica had been abandoned they had wandered, looking for those elusive co-ordinates that would lead them to Earth.
Some had given up hope of ever finding a new place to call home, Laura Roslin hadn’t and she never would; she knew deep inside of her that they would find Earth. She also knew that she would never see it. It was an accepted fact, her body was still turning against her, they had been fighting the cancer and for a time it seemed that she was winning the fight, but she knew it wouldn’t last long.
Her life expectancy had once again been reduced to weeks, there would be no miracle cure this time; there was no time to be bought. She didn’t want it, she had been given more time than she ever imagined, more time than billions had been granted.
She knew that she was lucky to be surrounded by friends and loved ones in her last weeks. Filling her time with love and laughter; the best memories her chosen family could give her. She couldn’t ask for anything more.
She listened as the FTL jump Klaxon’s rang through Galactica, the CAP would be landing and soon a voice would ring over the speakers with the countdown until the jump. She missed Colonial One but its engines had finally given out several months before. Chief Tyrol had done everything he could, but in the end they had been forced to strip the ship and re-allocate all the survivors to other ships. Due to the space required, she and her personnel had moved over to Galactica. Not that she minded being there most days. It was nice to be able to sit down with Bill whenever she needed to without having to call a shuttle over.
It was nice to be near her best friend and her new family. A day didn’t go by when she wasn’t visited by one of her ‘children’, it always amused Laura that despite choosing never to have children of her own she had gained a larger family than she had ever had on Caprica. It started with Billy and Lee; those first few hours after the attacks had cemented her relationship with Billy and started one with Lee. It took a few weeks to work out that Lee was actually a package deal and with him came Kara Thrace. A very reticent Kara to be certain, the younger woman had been distrustful of her at first but as time went on a grudging respect had emerged only to be torn down again when Laura got near to the end the first time. It would be more than a year before Laura found out why.
A cold damp night on New Caprica with an angry Kara, a lonely Laura, too much alcohol and some of those New Caprican cigarettes Laura made, had both women saying things they normally guarded so closely no-one left alive actually knew these particular secrets. The next morning and the worst hangover she’d had since the groundbreaking ceremony (admittedly only a month before, but the previous one had been several years ago) Kara had jokingly called her Mama Laura. A title Laura had never expected to be bestowed with had nearly bought tears to her eyes; it was times like this she regretted never having children of her own. A title that was only ever used in private and a title that was never explained to anyone, not even Bill and Lee Adama, no matter how often the two of them asked.
Despite the hell they had gone through on New Caprica, she missed the solid ground, the smell of the earth and feel of leaves crunching beneath her feet, she held onto those memories for as long as she could. Laura feared that it was a joy she would never experience again.
New Caprica had brought new relationships as well, despite the volatile relationship she had always had (and probably always would have) with Saul Tigh she trusted him with her life, he was a good man and working with the resistance had created a bond between them that Bill had found tough to understand. In fact, the bond between all of those she had worked with during the resistance was still just a strong as ever, even to the point where Nicky Tyrol had asked if she would be his Grandma. Laura had never seen the Chief so flustered but looking down at the innocent face of his then two and a half year old son she had been unable to refuse and pulled the boy into her lap and said “I’ll be whoever you want me to be Nicky, as long as your parents say that it’s okay”. The Chief had continued to sputter un-intelligibly while his wife looked at Laura and mouthed a teary thankyou. Somehow after that the most of the crews children refused to call her anything but 'Grandma' much to their parents' chagrin and Kara’s amusement.
These last two weeks had been hard, she had spent most of it just sitting at her desk and people came to her. Bill, Tori and Tom all understood they were lucky she had made it this far and did what they could to make things easier, but she could feel it in her bones that it wouldn’t be long until Doc Cottle confined her to life station. As it was, she was falling asleep at her desk more and more often. Getting through an entire day without a nap had been proving an impossible task recently, most of the time she couldn’t be bothered going back to her quarters, so she just ended up dosing wherever she was.
A quiet knock at the hatch interrupted her light snooze and mental meanderings, not bothering to open her eyes, Laura called for them to enter. It was only Bill, Tori and Tom who came directly to her office without announcement these days, considering she had fallen asleep in meetings with all three over that last week or so, Laura wasn’t fussed about being seen napping.
“Madam President?” Admiral William Adama’s deep voice rumbled through the room she had taken over as her office when Colonial One had finally given out and forced her to move to Galactica. “I can come back later”
“No it’s alright Bill, just resting my eyes.”
He nodded and moved further into the room to sit opposite her, his blue eyes watching her as she struggled to sit up properly, bypassing the chair he walked around to her side and gently grasped her elbow and helped her into a comfortable position. Knowing she wouldn’t want to speak about it, in silence he went back and took his seat at the proper place.
“Our scouts have reported finding a planet that supports human life. Scans indicate it’s much like Old Caprica; I was thinking that we stop and recuperate for a while. Not permanent settlement, but have a rest.” He took a deep breath, unsure of how hard he was going to work to sell her on this. “We have children that have never been in the sun and that’s just not right. I’m sending a team to scout the surface but from all indications there is an area north of the equator that is temperate and has fresh water and plenty of wildlife we can hunt, which means fresh meat for a while. I don’t know about you but I could really do with a real steak right about now.”
Laura regarded him with a ghost of a smile on her face; he could tell that she was contemplating the pros and cons of his news.
“That’s the best news I’ve heard in a very long time.”
His face broke into a grin at the return of the sparkle in her eyes. Eyes that had been dull and lacking in life more recently. Bill could see every time he visited her that she was fading just that little bit more. Her smiles were more pained, hands that used to be steady and strong could barely clutch a pen, the voice that had been resonating through the fleet these last few years a voice of hope and guidance, and occasionally the one to say what no-one was willing to hear, had weakened to the point where he was straining to hear her most days.
He had been prepared to loose her years before, when their friendship was still in the fledgling stage. Since then it had deepened more than he would like to think about, he imagined losing her now would be like loosing a limb. While it had never proceeded beyond a platonic relationship there was an intimacy there he had never felt with his wife, never felt with anyone else in fact. He supposed it was a relationship built on necessity, but it was a friendship built on trust.
“I want to see all the information on this planet before we announce anything, and I want it kept as quiet as possible until then. Make sure you brief Tom as well, we’ll sit down and go over everything before a final decision is made.”
Before he could continue, Tory strode through the door her attention focussed on the clipboard in her hands, not noticing that Laura had company.
“Madam President, I am happy to inform you that your day is officially over.” The younger woman made her way through the office to pick up and drop off various things, seemingly ignoring the other two in the room. When she finally looked up she wasn’t surprised to see the Admiral sitting there, it was nothing new. Tory was well aware that the Admiral kept track of the President's schedule and would drop by to check on her when he could.
In fact, Tory was no longer surprised by anything where those two were concerned. Several times in the past, she had arrived early in the morning on Colonial One and found the two of them on chairs in the main section Presidents office asleep. Gaeta had lamented over the number of times he had found the two of them on the Admiral’s couch. It was always the same, President Roslin curled up, legs tucked underneath her and Admiral Adama stretched out with his legs crossed resting on whatever was available. Despite the fact that the President and the Admiral argued like an old married couple, Tory and Gaeta knew that nothing else had ever happened, but just in case, made sure that the overnight visits were kept as quiet as possible.
Ever the gentleman, Bill made his way to the Presidents side and offered his arm, smiling gratefully Laura clasped it and accepted his assistance to rise.
“Thankyou Tory, I’ll see you in the morning.”
With one arm wrapped around her waist and the other clutching her hand tightly he quietly guided her out the side door where her quarters were located. Just as the hatch was closing she could hear him ask.
“Starbuck wants to know when Mama Laura will have time for a visit?”
Tory shook her head. She still had no idea how that nickname had come about.
It was a week later that they finally got down to the surface. Since it had been a good six months since any contact with the Cylons it was decided that they would set down for a month. Allowing people the chance to breathe fresh air and be free before continuing their search for earth.
Despite her arguments Laura had been overruled in her requests to go down to the planet until after Doc Cottle made sure that it wouldn’t adversely affect her health. Her argument that no matter what she did, it would affect her health so they may as well let her go down fell on deaf ears.
On the second day of landing people on the planet Laura was finally cleared to go down to the planet in a Raptor, in the back with her was a marine guard, Doc Cottle and Bill. A second Raptor with three more marines, Tory and Starbuck landed seconds before them.
For the first time in nearly three years, Laura Roslin felt the sun on her face.
Knowing that Doc Cottle wouldn’t tolerate her being down here too long and started insisting she go back up to Galactica, Laura nodded to Tori who quickly grabbed the large bag she had lugged down from Galactica and started to pull items out. The first being a blanket which she spread out on a dry patch of grass, smiling from where Bill and Starbuck were practically holding her upright, Laura moved toward the blanket and allowed them to help her sit down on it.
Without bothering to ask, Starbuck immediately sat down next to her and allowed the President to lean up against her while Doc Cottle got something for Laura to lean against set up.
Several hours and lunch later, all around her saw that Laura was fading fast and they were starting to make preparations to go back up to Galactica when a panic rippled through the thousands of people on the ground.
The screams started and one word was heard above all else.
Immediately all those around Laura sprang into action. The Marines had them boxed in every angle covered, guns pointed outwards, while Tori and Doc Cottle gathered up all the essential supplies and threw them into the Raptors. Having not moved from her spot next to Laura, Starbuck had wrapped an arm around the President and rolled her to the ground so that Kara was kneeling over the Presidents legs gun in hand, eye’s darting back and forth trying to asses the threat. Bill was on the other side of Laura protecting her head. From her position she couldn’t quite see what was happening so she attempted to shuffle round and raise her head to get an idea of what was going on, she was well aware that as soon as they could they would throw her into the nearest Raptor and to be taken back to the Galactica.
All around them the Military members were ushering the civilians back towards the ships, creating a line of defence without any orders having to be given, they all knew what needed to be done.
Get the civilians to safety, take out as many toasters as you can and get the Frak out of there.
All of a sudden at the far end of the field three men and a woman stepped out of the dense brush, obviously curious as to what all the commotion was all about. The second they were in sight every Colonial gun was pointed at them. Instantly two of the men and the women dropped into a defensive stance, covering each other’s backs with their weapons raised.
The third man jumped in between the two groups his arms raised shouting.
“We mean you no harm”
Racetrack, who was one of the closest officers to them, immediately spat back “Bull shit, you frakking toasters will mow down every one of us given half a chance”.
Jack O’Neill was not a happy camper.
The day had started off so well. A simple four day bag and tag with a little bit of recon to see if there was anything stopping them from using this as a back up Delta sight, mission, the UAV had reported no signs of civilization past or present but sometime since they arrived on the planet yesterday a hell of a lot of people had appeared. They had seen the ships descending towards the ground and curiosity had got the better of them, well not that Teal’c would ever admit to being curious but Jack knew he was.
He first realised that things weren’t going to go quite to plan when a scream tore through air; his next indication was when he stepped out of the denser forest to find a whole lot of guns pointed at them.
One of the first things he noticed was that these people were Military. They held their weapons with confidence, they knew how to use them and weren’t afraid to do whatever was necessary to survive. That worried him, people like that were dangerous unless you could find a middle ground.
Scanning the crowd of people while Daniel jumped in the middle of them and started talking, Jack noticed several ships throughout the field with people piling into them, he didn’t even want to hazard a guess on how many ships or people there were.
“Sir?” Sam was waiting for orders.
Half listening to Daniel argue with the angry woman pointing a gun at them over whether they were evil kitchen appliances or not one particular group caught his attention. 100 yards or so from where he stood there were three people huddled on the ground. One, a woman if he wasn’t mistaken, was being protected by the other two and there were four big men with big guns surrounding them, Security Detail?
“Hold, we wait and see” He finally replied to the Major.
Whoever the woman was, she was important and that made her the person Jack wanted to deal with.
The older man kneeling over her keeping her head protected looked towards Jack and made eye contact and held it for several moments, Jack knew they were out numbered and out gunned and whatever it was, these people had a very serious motivation for shooting first and asking questions later.
Daniel was still trying to convince the people right in front of him that they weren’t toasters and they certainly weren’t evil when the older man nodded once – interpreting Jack’s questioning look to mean ‘I drop my gun and you don’t shoot me’, releasing his gun Jack let it dangle off his jacket, and he could hear when Carter and Teal’c followed suit disengaging his staff weapon and laying it on the ground.
Bill watched as the four people stood there holding their weapons up in self-defence, there was something in their stance, the genuine confusion in their faces when Racetrack called them toasters that gave him pause.
Even if a person didn’t know they were a Cylon, they should have known what a Cylon was. Then there was the uniform, they weren’t anything he had ever seen in the Colonies before and he knew that the Cylons didn’t wear uniforms.
If this was a trick it was a very good one.
He saw one of their gazes fall on them, watched as the man took in the security surrounding Laura and how protected she was, Bill knew the moment the man deduced that there was someone very important over here and that he wanted to talk to them and no one else. It unsettled him how quickly this man sized up them and the situation.
He caught the man’s gaze, seeing the understanding of the situation as a whole and a question ‘If I surrender promise you won’t kill us straight away?’ Bill nodded once in agreement. It was obvious then that he was the leader, when he let go of his weapon the other two immediately followed suit, dropping their weapons and holding their hands up in surrender, it took a few moments for the fourth to catch on as he was still quite enamoured with trying to explain something to Racetrack.
“Get her back up to Galactica and then bring Athena down, I’m going to have a chat to our guests.” He muttered to Starbuck.
“I can hear you” an irritated Laura Roslin growled from beneath them “and I’m not going anywhere”
Before Bill could try and reason with her Starbuck jumped in “With all due respect Madam President, you can barely walk, what makes you think I won’t just carry you back to the Raptor.”
Laura gaped up at the two of them but realised that Starbuck was very serious and if she didn’t co-operate she would find herself in the undignified position of being slung over the pilot's shoulder.
Nodding her acquiescence, Laura quickly found herself pulled off the ground by the two of them, Bill beckoned Tori over who immediately wrapped and arm around her waist. When the world began to spin in front of her and she felt her legs start to give out, but Kara and Tory had such a solid grip on her Laura didn’t think her feet actually touched the ground on the way to the Raptor.
Blinking rapidly, Laura resisted the urge to try and shake the fuzziness out of her head; past experience told her that it was a bad idea so she merely tried to breathe through the dizziness.
As Doc Cottle and one of the Marine’s ‘helped’ her up into the Raptor she turned back towards Bill.
“And Admiral” Starbuck echoed the call, making sure his attention was on them “Don’t throw them out an airlock until after I’ve spoken to them myself.”
He chuckled; they both knew it was a distinct possibility that once again Galactica’s airlock would be used in this fashion.
He waited until the President's Raptor was sealed shut and had taken off before turning back to the now unarmed strangers. Kat, Anders and Hotdog stood facing the foursome holding their rifles on them while the Chief was securing their hands behind their backs with Racetrack’s help. It didn’t surprise Bill that his people had forced this strange group to face away from their people and ships still getting up into the air, in fact he was downright pleased that they had done it.
He watched for a few moments just out of their line of sight, wanting to see how they reacted. He found it odd that they weren’t struggling against the bonds, begging to be told what was going on or trying to talk their way out, well the younger of the men was still trying to convince Racetrack that he wasn’t a toaster that he was in fact human, but it wasn’t the speech of a desperate man. In fact, Bill would almost say that this was routine for the man, he was speaking from experience, and the fire in his eyes said that he had been here before had survived and knew what he was doing. Without giving a lot away from their facial expressions, Bill could see that each of them was aware of their surroundings. They were each plotting a way to get out of this, and he would hazard a guess that once they were alone and had a chance to talk, they would have each noticed different strengths and weaknesses about the people who had captured them.
From first glance they didn’t look like a standard Military team, in fact he would say that the man wearing glasses wasn’t even military, but years of being in the Colonial Fleet and especially since the destruction of the Colonies he had come to be highly appreciative of the unique views and talents of different people. Especially when it came to dealing with situations that were not the norm. Bill had no doubt that each of these four people was highly intelligent, talented and motivated.
Closing the final ten meters to them he almost laughed out loud to hear the oldest man demanding of Chief Tyrol.
“Take me to your leader."
Jack’s day was not getting any better.
This was supposed to be an easy mission and this planet was supposed to be person free, but once again he was without his gun and handcuffed.
Out of the corner of his eye he noticed Carter's arms moving slightly, some days his team was wildly predictable. Daniel was still trying to talk them out of this, Carter was trying to pick the locks on her handcuffs and Teal’c would be assessing the danger ready to act on a moments notice.
After dropping his weapon, Jack had time to watch the Woman be practically carried back to one of the spaceships before he was turned around forced onto his knees and handcuffed. None of the other ships had taken off until after her’s, she was definitely someone important.
As his team was already doing what he expected of them Jack decided it was time for him to indulge in his life long love of being a smart arse.
“Take me to your leader.”
Schooling his face into the blank military mask he had perfected over the last 45 odd years Bill stepped into their line of sight.
“You’re in no position to demand anything”
“Ok then,” Jack made a show of thinking hard “Take me to your… Queen?”
Bill blinked in surprise. He could see Racetrack mouthing the word 'queen' in confusion. Luckily she was smart enough not to voice her confusion, but that didn’t stop the younger looking of the three men from voicing his own.
“Queen? Jack? Really I would think you would know by now not to assume that everyone has similar power structures as we do, just because she was more protected than everyone else put together it doesn’t make her a Queen or President or something similar that we would find on Earth. You really need to work on not trying to categorise everything into our neat little earthling boxes,” Daniel said.
Bill felt the blood drain from his face as he processed the words he was hearing.
“Fine” Jack grumbled “Take me to your Grand Pumbah.” He turned to Daniel “Is that better?”
‘Earth… and what the frak was a Grand Pumbah.’ managed to make its way through Bill’s head, luckily he refrained from voicing that particular thought as the younger man groaned.
“Yes Jack, much better” the sarcasm was palpable.
They were from Earth, Bill’s first instinct was to believe them, but common sense told him that it could very well be an elaborate Cylon hoax, it wouldn’t be the first one, but his gut said they couldn’t be lying. The words were used so casually, as a rebuke not to make a point about where they were from. Looking around he knew he wasn’t hearing things, the others gathered around him all had similar stunned looks on their faces.
Grabbing Tyrol by the arm Bill dragged him out of hearing range.
“Call Starbuck. Tell her get back down here with both the President and Athena as soon as frakking possible. Don’t let her question the order, try not to let Cottle override it either” Galen nodded dumbly still trying to comprehend what he’d heard. “Hurry up, go now and don’t tell them what the man said just make sure they come back down and then go and find the Vice President. He needs to be here as well.”
He gave Galen a quick shove to startle the younger man into action. It worked because Galen took off at a sprint to the nearest Raptor to convey The Admiral’s message. Stalking back over to the group he looked over the four of them one more time before ordering the restraints to be removed.
Everyone, including the team that had been captured was surprised by the order, Racetrack was the first to comply, walking over to Carter to undo her cuffs only to find that one of them had already been picked and the blond woman was already unrestrained but hadn’t made any move to free her companions as of yet. Filing that bit of information away she quickly undid the other cuff without alerting the Admiral, Racetrack didn’t think that it was important right now. If it became and necessary to restrain them again she would say something but for now she wanted to give the supposed Earth people the benefit of the doubt.
Once all of the restraints had been removed the Admiral looked them over once more, knowing he could be wrong to allow them to be unrestrained but his gut was telling him that these people were not a threat to them.
“I’m Admiral William Adama of the Colonial Fleet. You speak with me or you speak with no one.”
Jack knew that tone of voice, he’d had that tone directed at him many times before, and it was of someone who was used to being in command and being obeyed.
“Colonel Jack O’Neill, United States Air Force, Major Sam Carter, Dr Daniel Jackson and Teal’c” Jack indicated each team member as he introduced them.
“He,” The Admiral pointed at Daniel, “Said you were from earth?”
“Earth is our planet, the United States is the Country where we, well not Teal’c, were born” Sam spoke up. “It’s just one of many countries, what’s so important about Earth?”
“How did you get here, there is no civilisation on this planet we scanned the whole thing before allowing our people to land, and we would’ve seen your ship.” None of SG1 were surprised that he didn’t answer Sam’s question about their interest in Earth.
Daniel glanced at Jack out of the corner of his eye, when the older man shrugged in resignation Daniel spoke up.
“We came through the Chappa’i.” He was met with blank stares from the Colonials “The Stargate?” he tried again still no recognition “Doorway of the Gods?”
“Stairway to heaven?” Jack tried to help but to no avail, he looked over at Carter giving her permission to explain.
“The Stargate is a piece of technology that creates a stable wormhole allowing instantaneous travel over vast distances between two gates. Each gate has an address correlating to the placement of the planetary body it’s on, so as long as you have the right address you can go anywhere there is an active gate. We’re members of a Military run program called Stargate Command, our team designation is SG1.” Sam knew she could have gone more in depth but then the Colonel would get bored.
The Admiral opened his mouth to reply but was interrupted by Chief Tyrol running up to them.
“Incoming, two base stars just appeared on DRADIS, they’ve launched Raiders. The fleet’s started to jump away to the emergency co-ordinates and alert fighters have been launched.”
“Let’s go people” Bill hollered without hesitation and started to head towards the Raptor’s still parked on the ground around them, turning back to SG1 he motioned them to follow.
“You too, we were looking for Earth in the first place so we can get you home if you have the co-ordinates.”
Taking their weapons back SG1 broke into a run following the Admiral towards the Raptors just as four Raiders flew overhead. When the Colonial’s didn’t stop to fire at them, neither did SG1 until the second pass. As he saw them circling back around Teal’c noticed someone off in the distance launching what he assumed was a small rocket at the Raiders. Stopping for a moment he took careful aim at one of the Raiders visors and fired three rapid shot with his staff weapon. The plasma bolts flew up towards the Raider, the first and third skimming the edges but the middle one found its target. Its brain fried by the staff Weapon shot, the Raider dropped and exploded on impact a few kilometres away.
“Nice” Anders muttered under his breath as he saw the explosion.
The group finally reached the Raptors, and clambered onto whichever one had space available.
The last of the Fleet made their FTL jumps and winked out of sight The Admiral breathed a sigh of relief as he watched the Vipers make their landings on Galactica and the landing bays retract.
“Hold on tight” he advised Jack and Sam who had ended up in the same Raptor.
“Jump in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…”
In that moment Jack would swear his insides had been compressed ripped out his navel, re-arranged and shoved down his throat.
“What the hell was that?” He finally ground out holding his stomach trying not to revisit this morning's breakfast. Glancing over at Carter, the woman was an adrenaline junkie with cast iron stomach after seven years of gate roulette and looked like she was about to throw up, this confirmed his thoughts that what just happened was not natural.
“FTL jump. We can safely jump up to thirty-three light years.” Their pilot, Hotdog, tried not to laugh at their faces, in the back with them Anders didn’t bother to even hide his snigger at their discomfort.
Finally managing to regain his equilibrium Jack looked out the front view port just in time to see Galactica come into view.
“Wouldya look at that” He nudged Carter who leaned forward speechless.
The two of them watched in wonder looking at the various ships surrounding them, not really paying attention to the chatter going on in the cockpit.
“Did you say thirty-three light years per jump?” Carter asked after a few moments of silence.
“That’s where the Red line is. Once you go further than that too much navigational error occurs and you can end up landing anywhere with no idea where you are.” Admiral Adama explained.
Sam stopped for a moment, blue eyes moving back and forth as she went over the calculations in her head.
“Sir that puts us approximately 1256 jumps from Earth.” Her eyebrows knitted together as she continued to think.
“I know, I know, you didn’t want to hear that, I’ll need to have a look at this FTL and its calculations, but we’re either in for a very long trip home or we’ll have to find a closer planet with a gate and work out something from there.”
“We’re on the opposite side of the Galaxy, I can’t change the laws of physics just because you forgot to tape the Simpsons again Sir. I told you I could program it to record automatically but you turned me down, said you could do it just fine for yourself”
Jack clapped his hands over his eyes and rubbed his face in irritation.
“It’s not all about the Simpsons, Carter.”
Running through the known and friendly gate address in her mind Sam continued to calculate distances and jumps in her head.
“Yes Sir, You're right Sir, there is more to life than the Simpsons, and yes I am taping the Blackhawks game.”
Looking over his shoulder, Bill shared a confused glance with Anders, who was just as lost by the conversation held by these supposed Earth people. He thought perhaps these Simpsons were greatly revered spiritual leaders by the Colonel, that could explain his upset at missing him, and the Blackhawks must be very important to their culture for the two of them to be speaking about them at a time like this.
The conversation dropped off as the Raptor entered Galactica’s landing bay, and was brought down into the main hanger.
Jack’s respect for these people went up a notch, despite that fact that they had just desperately fled from P9C-227 all around him the people were getting back to business as usual. He watched as the man who had warned them of the attack jumped out one of the other Raptors already shouting orders, and checking over the ships for any damage. Pilots were speaking to mechanics advising of any problems or glitches they’d come across in the most recent flights and people who weren’t in either of those two groups were very quickly getting out of the way. Among them, Daniel and Teal’c exited the Raptor they had clambered aboard and made their way over to the wall Sam and Jack were currently occupying, a Marine guard nearby trying to be subtle about watching these strangers but not really succeeding.
“That was different” Daniel murmured to his team mates. “So how long until they throw us in the brig?”
“I think we lucked out on this one, Daniel” Sam replied, eyeing one of the Vipers, comparing what she saw with their fighters back home “The moment you said we were from Earth… Did you see the look on the Admiral’s face?”
Eyeing the slightly organised chaos around them Jack thought back on what had happened. “It’s their Holy Grail,” the blond woman who had left the planet with who Jack assumed was their leader, strode up to the Admiral and whispered something in his ear, Jack could see the palpable relief in the Admiral’s entire body, whatever he’d been told was good news “These people are tired, hungry and lost. I don’t know how they found out about Earth; I just hope that they’re not our enemies.”
The blond woman turned towards them as Admiral Adama spoke to her, both with serious looks on their faces. She nodded as they started walking towards him but were stopped when another woman interrupted them, whatever The Admiral and the blond were told they weren’t happy, Jack couldn’t quite make out what was being said but it seemed they were fighting over something.
“But the President wants to meet them now,” Tory hissed as loudly as she dared while trying not to sound like a reticent child.
Bill managed to refrain from rolling his eyes, he hadn’t expected this so soon, he figured Laura would end up falling asleep before he even got back to the ship, giving him a chance to speak to the strangers and find out how dangerous these people were to them. He was not letting them near the President just yet.
“This is a Military matter, I’ll brief the President once we know more about them and then we might arrange for her to meet them, and how did she find out about this already?”
They’d already been over this twice, Tory had known all along what the answer would be and was tempted to not even ask, but Laura Roslin was a teacher in every sense of the word. She always KNEW when things had or hadn’t been done and when someone was lying to her. Tory didn’t know whether it was and innate sixth sense the President had been born with or if it was something all teachers knew.
“I’ll let her know,” Tory sighed, “But she’s not going to be happy”.
“This isn’t about her happiness Tory, it’s about the safety of the Fleet.”
With a smirk, Tory turned to walk away but threw her parting shot over her shoulder, “In case you haven’t noticed the two go hand in hand.”
“She’s got a point,” Starbuck muttered.
“Yeah,” The Admiral agreed, “But we won’t tell them that.”
The two of them stood there for a moment in silence, basking in madness that was the Hanger Deck before turning back to their new arrivals.
“Remember Starbuck, you're just talking. Get their story and give them the basics on how we ended up here, no details that would compromise security and no punching any of them either.”
Kara looked up at him, attempting to give him an innocent look “Would I do that?”
The Admiral had known her to long to buy into it “Yes,” his gruff reply was belied by the grin lurking, “Everyone knows you solve your problems with your fists or your gun, in fact a lot of bets have been lost on the fact you haven’t shot Anders yet.”
They dropped back into silence as they covered the last 10 meters to where SG1 was waiting.
“Colonel O’Neill, Major Carter, Dr Jackson and Teal’c, this is Captain Thrace, I’ve asked her to explain what happened down on the planet today. She’s going to take you to one of our ward rooms; it’s a lot more comfortable than here in Oil-Slick city.”
“Thank you” Jack grinned at the Admiral “but I’d still rather speak with your leader.”
“Jack, please don’t get us thrown into a jail cell.” Daniel muttered under his breath.
“That’s impossible at the moment; both the President and I have issues regarding this afternoon’s incident to attend to. Captain Thrace will be able to assist you with anything you need that doesn’t compromise our security,” Bill held Jack’s gaze unwavering, waiting for his acceptance. At Jack’s nod of consent, Bill continued “Hopefully I won’t be to long, but you may not be able to meet with the President until morning now. If you’d leave your weapons here I’ll make sure that they are stored in a safe place and go with the Captain.”
With the knowledge that they were outnumbered and out gunned the team disarmed themselves, well mostly, Carter conveniently ‘forgot’ about the knife tucked into her boot.
“Follow me” Kara turned and snapped off a sloppy salute to the Admiral before sauntering through the hanger bay with SG1 trailing behind her.
“So what do you think?” Tyrol asked Anders as they watched Kara leave from the other side of the hanger bay.
“If the conversation I heard in the Raptor is anything to go by I don’t know who to feel sorrier for Kara or them.” Anders was grinning appreciatively at the view of his wife walking away from him “The woman is wicked smart, I mean she worked out how many jumps it would take us to get to Earth like that.” He snapped his fingers.
“Beauty and Brains” Galen smirked at Anders, they were both well aware what a dangerous combination that was. “Hey, do you think we could get her and Captain Thrace into the boxing ring one night?”
Very few things about their President surprised Kara these days. The fact that she was waiting for them in the ward room was not one of them, rolling her eyes she grabbed Tory and hauled her out the door slamming it closed leaving the President inside.
“What happened to Military issue, she can talk to them later, after we’ve worked out if they’re dangerous or not.” Kara hissed. “And does Cottle know she’s here?”
“I couldn’t stop her,” Tory rolled her eyes in frustration “You know how she gets when she puts her mind to something, as for Cottle well…”
Tory trailed off as Jack Cottle came storming down the corridor.
“He does now!”
The two of the stepped aside allowing the Doctor entrance to the ward room, they remained there as the hatch slammed shut behind Cottle, not wanting to get caught in between the irate Doctor and the stubborn President.
Even though it was closed and sealed all out in the hall could still hear the Doctor.
“I said rest, not go traipsing all over the ship…”
Meanwhile SG1 were standing there listening to everything that was being said, trying to work out what was going on and how crazy these people really were.
“Problem?” Jack finally broke the silence.
“More like a minor miscommunication, it shouldn’t take long to clear up.” Kara chewed on her bottom lip hoping that Cottle would convince the President that she should be resting but knowing he wouldn’t. Laura Roslin lived by the creed, ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’, and it seemed the sicker she got, the harder she pushed herself.
It wasn’t long before the hatch slammed open again and Jack Cottle strode out defeated, lighting a cigarette.
“How you deal with that all day I have no idea,” he groaned at Tory “Don’t come crying to me when she passes out from exhaustion.”
With a huff he turned and strode back down the hall to Life Station the cigarette smoke floating behind him like a beacon.
“Change of plans,” Kara looked at SG1 and wry grin gracing her features, “Apparently President Roslin is able to meet with you after all.”
Reaching behind her she opened the hatch and ushered the team inside quickly followed by Tory and the two Marines that had been assigned to them.
Jack wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when they finally got into the ward room, he had his suspicions about these people and their leaders. From what he’d seen of the people he guessed that they were refugees of some kind, but from his experience refugees didn’t have Admirals and Presidents, unless it was a civil war. He didn’t like getting involved in civil wars, it was messy and painful and always seemed to end up with one of his team being kidnapped or dying.
Sitting in one of the seats was a woman, he guessed in her mid fifties, pale and thin and very beautiful in a fragile way, but at the moment she was very ill. Jack could see a light sheen of sweat on her forehead, her hands were shaking but her eyes were clear. Her body was wasting away but there was steel beneath the surface, the way she appraised them told him that her mind was still sharp, and he wouldn’t be able to get away with any of the bullshit he normally pulled.
In fact, she reminded him a bit of his seventh grade English teacher.
For the first time Laura got a really good look at the strangers claiming to be from Earth, and while she wasn’t going to dispute their claims out right, she didn’t want to trust them straight away either. She watched them as they looked around the room taking in their surroundings Laura had no doubt about the things that were being noticed.
They took in the entrances and exits, the number of guards, both the marines guarding them and her own security, and weapons in the room; they had already sized up Tory and Kara, and would now be doing the same to her.
This was apparently good strategy when in enemy territory.
Not bothering to rise, Laura knew she’s just end up in a crumpled heap on the floor, she held her hand out to them in greeting curious to see if they would take it or not.
“Laura Roslin, President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol,” Tory made sure to emphasise President, “I’d like to introduce you to our visitors from Earth,” Tory turned to them just realising that she’d never gotten their names.
Putting on his most charming grin, Jack strode up to Laura and grasped her hand gently, out of the corner of his eye he saw every single one of the guards grasp their weapons.
“Jack O’Neill, pleased to meet you.” He re-introduced his team quickly before sitting in the chairs that had been set out for his team a few meters from where President Roslin sat.
“The pleasure is all ours apparently”
“Sir, The Admiral has asked me to give them a basic briefing on this afternoon and our situation or would you rather…”
Sam wasn’t sure what to think about a woman being addressed as ‘Sir’. She’d have to ask someone about it later.
“No no no,” Laura smiled, “Go ahead Starbuck”
‘Starbuck?’ Jack mouthed at Daniel, only getting a shrug in reply.
Not bothering to sit Kara took a deep breath and started to tell their story.
“Many years ago, we were at war with a race called the Cylons. It was long and bloody and ended with an armistice, forty years to the day later they attacked us and wiped out our population. Forty billion people died that day, of our twelve colonies only some fifty thousand survived. That was just under five years ago, since then we have been running, trying to survive, the Cylons are relentless and have been chasing us ever since trying to wipe out the rest of humanity. There are myths about a thirteenth colony on a distant planet called Earth. We’ve been trying to find it, hoping that we can start again and rebuild, hoping if we get far enough away they won’t be able to find us, we hadn’t seen them for six months. We had planned on setting down on the planet for a few weeks, allowing our people to rest and a chance to replenish our supplies but the Cylons managed to find us, we don’t know how yet.”
“If you are truly from Earth the Gods have answered our prayers,” Laura interrupted.
Jack rubbed a hand over his face. He hated being right and he hated what he was about to say but he also knew it was necessary to be upfront with them. He turned his head slightly and caught the Presidents eye.
“Ma’am, we won’t be involved in your war…”
He didn’t get any further and nearly had to look away from the pain and resignation he was seeing in the Presidents face.
“Colonel, we lost the war when that first nuclear warhead hit Caprica.” She closed her eyes at the memory of sending her security code and finding out she was the only member of the Cabinet left alive. “We’re on the run, and we’re just trying to survive. I don’t know if there’s anyone but Starbuck here that actually wants to keep fighting, but then she is a Viper jock and they’re not known for their intelligence”
“All I’d do all day without the Cylon’s is drink, smoke and gamble, all to excess.”
Sam would swear that she heard Tory mutter under her breath, “You do all of that anyway, along with Anders.”
“How did you end up on that planet? There was no ship that we could detect and our scans showed no signs of civilisation.” Laura tried to bring the conversation back on track.
Jack and Daniel shared a look; hopefully Daniel understood that Jack wanted the abridged version told.
“Seventy years ago we discovered an alien device we call a Stargate…”
End Chapter 1.