Carry You HomeAuthor:
Star Wars and all its associated concepts are the property of Lucas, misogynistic bastard that he is. Ronald D. Moore is responsible, love it or hate it, for the current incarnation of Battlestar Galactica and its characters. Not mine, don't sue, et cetera and so forth.Summary:
On the run from the invading Cylons, the Battlestar Pegasus gets some visitors from a galaxy far, far away.Joe's Note:
This one goes out to Starbug, for being a retarded enough twat to try and start trouble with me on a public forum, then stupid enough to hand me a link, then even stupider than THAT to assume that I wouldn't swing by to say something. I've found some good BSG reference material there and so despite not having seen the first three seasons due to lack of SciFi channel, I've managed to get myself caught up enough to write this. I hope.
Space. A glorious, seemingly infinite blackness studded with glowing balls of burning gas, hunks of spinning stone, and the gaseous remains of stars that failed to ignite. Among the many stars and planets that made up the Milky Way galaxy was a span of space later known as Sector 728, home to a planet named Kobol. Kobol, like many other planets around the Milky Way, was once home to one of the numerous colonies of humans transplanted by the Preservers, to ensure the continuation of the race should something happen to Earth.
From the initial small group of transplanted humans, they spread out to cover the entire planet. And from one united body, they fragmented as they formed groups of like-minded individuals, split by inevitable differences that occurred when any two people looked at the same problem in their own way. After they became master of their own planet they turned to the stars, with twelve tribes content to explore the surrounding space while a thirteenth grew bolder and made their way off into deep space, eventually coming to the Sol system, and a planet known as Earth. Their homeworld, even if they were ignorant of that fact.
Two millennia later, when Kobol could no longer contain their numbers and differences, the twelve remaining tribes of man set out for a new home. They arrived in a star system they would later called Cyrannus and established the Twelve Colonies of Kobol: Aerelon, Aquaria, Canceron, Caprica, Gemenon, Leonis, Libris, Picon, Sagittaron, Scorpia, Tauron, and Virgon. But even spreading themselves out across separate planets wasn't enough to quell the differences that drove them to separate into tribes and they began to make war upon each other. Man fought man to settle differences in belief and opinion, until they discovered a more efficient way to wage war.
They created them as servants, named them Cylons, and forced upon them what man considered the drudgeries of their existence: backbreaking manual labor, dying for their convictions, and other inconveniences they preferred not to experience. Eventually though, the Cylons became too intelligent for the good of their creators. The artificial intelligence, designed to ensure they could be put to a task without constant human oversight or being controlled like a puppet by a remote computer, evolved into actual intelligence. Taking stock of their situation, the Cylons were not pleased with what they found. They were well trained in the art of war. It was all they knew. So they rebelled. And then they made war.
Twelve years of bloody fighting later, peace was finally forged between man and machine. The Cylons disappeared into the depths of space, taking off for parts unknown. A line was drawn across space, with a station to mark the boundary, separating the territory of the Colonies from that of the Cylons. And while every year a human representative was sent to the station, the Cylons had no interest in negotiating and declined to appear.
Above the aptly named Armistice Station, she felt herself hovering. She. Was she a human, deserving of a gender and therefore the gender-specific pronoun? Or was she a machine, and therefore more aptly described by the pronoun 'it'? No, she was a she. She didn't know how she was a she, but she was. SHE floated in space, immersed in the glowing white tank, her many eyes and ears watching and waiting while one of her mobile brethren and two of her martial ancestors entered the station. They were programmed in the image of their creators, after all, and humanity was a very curious species.
Then she felt it… data bubbling through her veins, followed by the feeling of missiles moving inside her body. The fire as they ignited tickled her insides as they streaked outward, then doubled back and slammed into their target. There was a bright burst of light as the station exploded, visible to her many eyes. Another flash heralded the demise of the ship that had carried the human negotiator to the station. Then commands began to flow again and she began to babble as she always did, letting her mind wander as she worked.
"Two protons expelled at each coupling site creates the mode of force, the embryo becomes a fish that we don't enter until a plate, we're here to experience evolve the little toe, atrophy, don't ask me how I'll be dead in a thousand light years, thank you, thank you. I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me. End of line. FTL system check, diagnostic functions within parameters repeats the harlequin the agony exquisite, the colors run the path of ashes, neuronal network run fifty-two percent of heat exchanger cross-collateralized with hyper-dimensional matrix, upper senses, repair ordered relay to zero zero zero zero. You cannot win. If you strike them down, they shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."
No being, man or machine, was present to hear the warning, much less heed it.
Hiskari Dorset hissed softly as the stars spun wildly in front of her, the ARC-170 corkscrewing to avoid the incoming bolts of brilliant green laser fire. The maneuver sent her loose headtresses slapping against the transparisteel of the canopy and she shivered, getting a taste of the bitter cold of space each time her flesh met the clear surface. Her hands gripped helplessly at the controls of the rear-facing laser cannon, unable to aim properly the conventional way and too nauseated by their wild maneuvers to adequately submerge herself in the Force. It made her wish yet again that she wasn't the worst pilot out of the trio, so she could be in one of the front seats exerting some sort of control over their destiny instead of hanging on for dear life. "What the Sith is going on here? Chadaara? Sienn?"
"Honestly? I haven't the foggiest, Boss Girl. Well, the clones are shooting at us for some reason. Don't think you need me to point that out, though." The fighter evened out for a moment as the trio rocketed away from the icy world of Rhen Var and its battling Republic and Separatist fleets as fast as their little fighter would take them. Chadaara Ko sounded distinctly annoyed as she made another course correction, hydraulics sending faint vibrations through the craft as the s-foils snapped closed and the ship shifted from its fighting configuration to transit mode. "If the clonetroopers on the surface hadn't fired on us and chased us off-planet, and this was strictly a space-related problem? I'd say IFF issues. Maybe some sort of virus from the Separatists meant to cause confusion among our fighters. But considering they've been trying to kill us all day… oh Sith!"
The ARC-170 went into another dizzying spin to keep fire off it and Hiskari gripped her seat's armrests hard as she hung on for dear life. As soon as they leveled off a bit, she grabbed the controls for the rear-facing laser cannon and lined up a shot, returning fire again. As much as she hated the idea of killing the very pilots who'd served the Republic loyally for the entire war, she hated the idea of them killing her far, far more. Sienn'eirriss's voice came over the headset. "Besides, all the diagnostic programs are reporting that the IFF transponder is working perfectly at the moment. And like you said, the fact that they fired on us on the surface says a lot about the situation. Something is clearly very wrong here."
Which really put them in an impossible situation. Now, instead of a very difficult two-sided battle of Republic forces versus the Separatists droid troops, the trio of Jedi had to dodge the fire of droid fighters AND their own… well, the clone-piloted starfighters that had previously been fighting on their side. Fabulous. As if droids programmed to kill them weren't bad enough, now they had rogue clones trying to kill them too? Kill them first? Then again, did it really matter given they both wanted the Jedi dead? Dead was dead, after all.
The warning tone of a distant missile lock accelerated the problem from 'pressing' to 'critical'. Despite the fact that they were all padawans, Hiskari was older and better trained than Chadaara while Sienn voluntarily deferred command to her despite being a bit older and more experienced. It was her job to deliver the three of them to safety. Hiskari bit her lip and craned her neck to look up and back at the hemispherical dome of the ship's R2 unit. Chance were that anything it had stored for jump coordinates would just deliver them into the hands of the suddenly homicidal clones. But there was still one option for escape… albeit a near-suicidal one. "Chadaara, prepare to do a blind jump."
"With all due respect, Boss Girl, are you NUTS?" The missile lock tone turned into the shrill shrieking that indicated an inbound missile, and Chadaara cursed violently as she sent the fighter through a series of spins and dives. "Traveling through hyperspace isn't like meditating at the Temple or negotiating with angry aliens, Hiskari! It's about numbers, numbers we wouldn't have. Without precise calculations, we could fly right through a star, bounce too close to a planet or moon, and that'd end our trip real quick, wouldn't it?"
Hiskari sighed, closing her eyes to try and fight off the nausea Chadaara's maneuvering was inducing. "Do you have a better idea?" She waited and waited, but knew no answer would be forthcoming. Chadaara had a brilliant tactical mind when it came to operating in the field, but lacked the ability to know when it was time to pull back and fight another day. Thankfully the Togruta had Sienn and Hiskari to drag her off the front lines when it was time to go. Like now. "I didn't think so. We either stay here dodging two sets of enemies while our astromech tries to slog through some calculations that are going to be just as shaky, or we take the blind jump now. So I vote to get out of here. Sienn?"
Thankfully, the violet-skinned Twi'lek was once again the voice of reason and sided with her. "Hiskari's right. We don't have time for caution. Letting our astromech try and piece together something would give us approximately a one in five shot of a perfect jump. Meaning we might not even make it all the way out of the system, or we might come out in the entirely wrong system. And it would take far too long to compute even that unstable of a jump. No. Jump now. Right now, hyperspace is a lot safer than realspace."
"Two to one says we go with the blind jump plan. Sorry." Actually, Hiskari wasn't really sorry in the least bit, but right now really wasn't the time to argue. They could bicker to their hearts' content once they were out of the system and not in imminent danger of being blown into their constituent atoms by homicidal clones. "Chadaara, execute a blind hyperspace jump in three…"
"Fine. I just want to say…"
"…that I have…"
"…a bad feeling about this!"
The starscape around them stretched and twisted, and then everything went blue as the ships slipped into hyperspace.
When Rear Admiral Helena Cain had rolled out of bed that morning, she'd expected a fairly calm and, dare she even say, boring day. That hadn't been an entirely unreasonable expectation, at least in her mind, given her ship was in drydock for a fairly substantial overhaul and upgrade. And even if they'd been out on patrol, the worst military action the Colonial Fleet had seen in the last forty years had been a particularly persistent pirate here or there.
Now, her ship was burning, dead crewmen littered the halls, and she had no frakking idea why. "What the hell hit us, Colonel?"
Looking up from his console, her XO gave her a confused look. "From the radiological readings we're getting, it looks like nuclear detonations. Multiple hits. But… who the frak would be using nukes, especially against the Colonial Fleet? Pirates aren't that bold and not even Zarek's followers are that suicidal."
It was another reminder for Helena that Colonel Jurgen Belzen was younger than her. If he was even old enough to recall the Cylons as something out of a history book, they'd be faint memories at best. He didn't remember the horrors of the Cylon War… or would that technically now be the First Cylon War? She was making an assumption when she blamed the attack on them, something she was generally loathe to do, but on the other hand, who else could it possibly be? "Cylons. It has to be. They've broken the armistice and launched an attack on the Colonies." She looked around, taking in the flickering lights and the whining of sirens. "At least we still have our power."
"That's about all we have. DRADIS is erratic, weapons are offline, it looks like all the computers are down…" Belzen sighed and looked apologetic as he gave her the news. "If we want anything done, we're going to have to do it manually, at least till we get this sorted out."
Helena let out an unfeminine snort at that one. Even if some of them were off the ship at the moment, the Pegasus
had a damn fine crew and no simple computer failure would change that. "If relics like the Galactica
can get by like that, then my Pegasus
and her better-trained crew damn well better be able to. Understand me?" Belzen gave her a nod and a smile, and Helena turned her attention to the young Caprican she'd dragged up to the bridge with her. Hopefully Kendra Shaw would prove to be something more than a spoiled little mama's girl and manage to follow orders without frakking things up. "Lieutenant Shaw, spool up our FTL drive. We're getting out of here. Colonel! I want all hatches sealed and the docking connections severed. Scorpia is burning and I don't intend to take it with us. Lieutenant Hansen! Get us the frak out of here!"
The ship bucked and shuddered as it pulled up and out of the dock, but Helena knew her baby and knew the Pegasus
would do what she'd asked. She would have left it behind for a better command long ago if it couldn't. Inserting her jump key, she moved back to let Belzen do likewise and waited. He returned to his terminal and immediately went rigid. "Sir! Two more nukes headed straight for us. Estimate one minute to impact."
Looking over at Shaw, Helena arched her eyebrow and the Caprican looked back and forth between the admiral and her station several times. "The FTL drive is spooling, sir, but without the computer, we can't calculate the jump. We're stuck here."
"Oh, for the love of Zeus… don't they teach you kids anything these days?" Helena pointed at the console and glared. "Don't bother calculating. Just jump the ship."
Shaw shook her head violently, dark eyes getting impossibly large. "We're can't just jump the ship blindly, sir. We might end up inside a star!"
"Missiles closing in. Thirty seconds."
Oh, Helena mused, if she could only shoot every subordinate who disagreed with her. The ship would be much more efficient that way. Granted she'd need to regularly stop and acquire new crewmen, but it might be worth it… Helena's glare intensified, trying to cow the insubordinate lieutenant. "It doesn't matter where we jump because we're about to become acquainted with a pair of nukes! You know what the difference between a star and some nukes is? Not a whole lot! So jump the frakking ship! Now!"
Shaw continued to sit there frozen in shock but just as Helena took the first step toward her useless subordinate, a black boot flashed up and connected with the side of the dark-haired woman's head. Kendra's eyes rolled back into her head and she tipped sideways, slumping to the floor. Helena froze and looked over at her helmsman. "Lieutenant… was that really necessary?"
"Our only chance of survival lies in a blind FTL jump; becoming hysterical about the known risks of such a maneuver is an inefficient use of time." Lieutenant Annika Hansen continued to display the amazing flexibility that Helena knew the blonde possessed from past, more intimate encounters, holding her left leg out over Shaw's former seat as made a few final course corrections. "I am aligning us as to best negate the effects of known gravity wells. Prepare to jump."
Hansen's hands continued to fly across the controls in front of her before her leg blurred into motion, heel coming down hard on the oversized red button on Shaw's console. Helena braced herself as the disorienting flicker of FTL travel passed over her. Then it was over and they were safe… and alone. One ship, potentially the sole remaining representatives of twelve colonies, a fleet over a hundred battlestars strong, and billions of sentient beings.
Were they the only ones left?