2: The Spell Breaks
Disclaimer: This is a work of Fan Fiction, I make no claims to the Ownership of either BtVS, Stargate, or NBSG. All belong to their creators.
A/N 'speech' Caprican
‘Frak me, this is creepy, ‘ Helo said as he worked his way around another deserted corridor. He and Athena had been exploring the ship for the better part of a half an hour and had yet to see a single soul. They hadn’t even seen any bodies. Worse the ship looked brand new, and he had a sneaking suspicion that this ship was not the Atlantia he knew.
‘Tell me about it, this thing has a computer network, ‘ Athena commented with a slight shake of her head. ‘That is not fleet policy… it almost looks like the Cylons got a hold of her and were in the process of upgrading her when whatever happened, happened. ‘
‘There’s a comforting thought, ‘ Helo said sarcastically. ‘Any more cheerful news oh wife of mine? ‘
‘I’m surprised that you’re accepting that in the future, your future at least, we’re married, ‘ Athena commented dryly.
‘Hey, I’m a pilot of the colonial fleet, if a totally hot babe comes up to me and says we’re married I’m not going to argue with her, ‘ Helo shot back. He wasn’t exactly comfortable with the whole married thing, but he wasn’t going to look the gift horse in the mouth. Especially since his wife seemed to be the only colonial he had made contact with in the past two hours.
‘Flatterer, ‘ Athena snorted. ‘Check the next level? ‘
‘Yeah, if there were anyone I would think they would have made for the bridge. Besides the Atlantia had an internal sensor net from what I remember. Lords of Kobol know I got caught by the senior officers often enough with it. We can use that to do an initial sweep of the ship without dragging our asses all over the place. ‘
‘Point… and if it’s been hacked? ‘
‘We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. ‘ Helo said firmly. He punched the lift call button and waited. What happened when the doors opened neither of the two pilots expected. A small brown haired missile looked out of the doors and then flung herself into Athena’s arms.
‘Mommy! I was in the crèche and then the next thing I knew I was here, and the other kids were gone and there’s a creepy lady in the command centre saying weird things and I didn’t know what to do…’
‘Hera…’ Athena’s eyes were wide as she whispered that while holding the girl.
‘Daddy! ‘ The girl turned towards Helo and tried to stomp her foot, ignoring the fact she was being held off the ground by Athena. ‘Tell mommy not to use the name that fraking bitch Roslin gave me! I’m Dawn, not Hera. I don’t want to be named after the bitch goddess! ‘
‘Language, ‘ Helo found himself saying automatically. ‘Athena? ‘
‘Cottle told me she died…’ Athena’s voice was hard. It promised pain, immense amounts of pain, for someone. Helo just nodded and pulled both the women into a quick hug.
‘We’ll we’re together now, ‘ Helo muttered into their ears. The he pulled back and entered the lift. ‘Dawn, you said there was a ‘weird lady’ on the bridge? ‘
‘Yeah daddy, I did what you taught me to do and used the air vents to get around. She was writing on the battle board and muttering to herself. It wasn’t in any of the languages that I know though…’
‘She might be a hybrid… but if that’s the case why is she mobile? ‘ Athena asked with a very concerned expression. ‘Every hybrid we’ve found has been hooked into the computer system and paralyzed. None of them have been able to move. ‘
‘Lets go, ‘ Helo said. ‘Dawn, keep behind us. If something bad happens take to the air vents. ‘
‘Listen to your father, ‘ Athena’s voice was sharp as she said that. ‘I just got you back I’m not about to let you risk yourself! ‘
‘But moooom! ‘
‘But nothing young lady, we have no idea what’s going on. We are your parents and it’s our job to make sure that you’re safe, ‘ Athena’s voice rose to a fanatical pitch as she said that. Helo reached out and rubbed her back unconsciously. He knew that this latest twist was freaking him out, but it wasn’t having nearly as bad an effect as it was having on Athena. She was shaking with repressed emotions at the moment. He reached out and pulled her back against his chest so he could whisper in her ear without letting Dawn hear what he had to say.
‘What ever is going on we need to make sure that we’re safe before we even think about trying to figure it out. Lets deal with this lady in the control room and then sit down their and try to talk this out, ‘ Helo felt her relaxing, Hades she was practically melting, into his embrace. It took a couple of seconds but she seemed to pull herself together.
‘That’s why I married you, ‘ Athena whispered back.
‘Ewwww! Are you two being mushy again! ‘ Dawn snorted as she loaded herself onto the lift.
‘Yes, yes I believe we are, ‘ Helo commented as he punched the button for the command deck. He was surprising himself with his acceptance of the situation; of course he rationalized it as not wanting to upset the little girl.
‘Standard entry technique? ‘ Athena asked, bringing her assault rifle around to point at the door with one hand while sweeping Dawn behind her with the other.
‘Works, ‘ Helo said bringing his own rifle up. ‘This should be interesting…’
With a soft ding the lift arrived. Helo swept out, turning to the left and covering the corridor. Athena swept right, covering the other end. Neither of them moved for a moment, scanning the corridor and letting themselves settle. Then Helo began to proceed down the corridor. Since he had spent the most time with the Colonial Marines he had taken the lead.
When he reached the CIC the sight there caused him to stop and lower his gun. The armoured glass was covered in writing. He wasn’t sure about the alphabet but some of it he recognized as math of some sort. As far as Helo could tell this kind of work would have taken weeks to accomplish. If the survivor had been alone for that long… well it might explain the weirdness.
‘What the frak? ‘ Athena asked as she came up behind him. ‘Do you recognize any of this Helo? ‘
‘Ummm…’ Helo ran his eye over the equations and then came to a dead stop. Slowly he lifted his hand and pointed to one of the panels. ‘That! That I recognize… its part of the Hyper formula… but what the frak is the rest of this? ‘
‘Hyper formula? ‘ Athena asked even as she swept the interior of the CIC with her eyes.
‘Yeah, it’s a standard fourth form question on the academy finals for that year. ‘ Helo gingerly opened the door and looked around the interior of the CIC. ‘It’s part of the testing for aptitude they do…’
‘Well. Frak. ‘ Athena commented as she entered the room and saw the two figures down by the plotting table. ‘Looks like we have two unknowns, not just one. ‘
‘Hungh, looks like the one is trying to care for the other, ‘ Helo commented as the two colonials closed the distance. One of the figures rose and began to babble at them. She, and without a shirt it was very clear what sex she was, even went so far as to throw her arms around Athena and hug her leaving Helo scratching his head.
The other person, it looked like a girl, had clearly been beaten. The first women, who was happily babbling away in the same incomprehensible tongue that Helo had heard down on the planet to Athena appeared to have used her shirt and jacket as a makeshift pillow. He knelt down beside her and took a look at her injuries.
‘Quiet, ‘ Athena held up her hand to the women who had just stopped hugging her. ‘What’s it look like Helo? ‘
‘She got beaten, badly…’ Helo ran his hands gently along the girl’s sides. ‘I’m not seeing any signs of internal bleeding but whatever happened to her was nasty. She can’t be more then a few years older then Dawn. ‘
‘Was it her? ‘ Athena’s grip on her rifle tightened as she indicated the other women.
‘No, not with these bruises. Whomever did this had big feet, ‘ Helo said trying to keep Athena calm. He didn’t need her shooting someone on just suspicion, or because she needed to relieve her tension. With Dawn along with them, and given his own… uncharacteristic… feelings of protectiveness towards the girl, he wouldn’t be surprised if that was the result. ‘Take over for me; I’m going to check the internal sensors. ‘
‘Give me your jacket first, ‘ Athena said with a bit less tension in her shoulders. ‘Lets give the nice lady back her shirt. ‘
Helo just nodded and pulled off his jacket, handing it over to Athena before he moved over to the damage control panel. He made sure to pull Dawn with him, getting her out of arms reach of the two unknowns while both he and Athena were occupied. It wouldn’t do to put her in danger just because he had a job to do after all. He was surprised to find that the system woke up quite easily. It seemed almost factory fresh.
‘Dawn, watch the monitors, ‘ He ordered quietly, letting the internal camera feeds cycle on one of the monitors while the motion sensors ran their internal checks. It wasn’t a perfect solution but if the sensors had been hacked the cameras might alert them to any problems. ‘Tell me if you see anyone on them. ‘
Letting the sensor sweep begin he isolated the CIC cameras and threw up their feed on yet another monitor. He began watching as events unfolded in reverse. Given that the cameras were part of the black box they could run for years without filling their memory. That thought got him to check the memory storage. He was surprised to find that according to the computer logs four years had past since they had been activated. He would have loved to look at those records in greater detail, along with the orders for the Battlestar but he didn’t have time.
‘What the FRAK! ‘ Helo exclaimed as he halted the play back and ran the arrival of the beaten girl through on a loop three or four times.
‘According to the fraking computers the girl just appeared in a flash of light, as if she managed to jump without a hyper drive. ‘ Helo said shaking his head. ‘This is fraking insane! ‘
‘Keep it together, ‘ Athena said sharply. ‘The rest of the ship? ‘
‘Still running the sweep’ Helo hit a couple of keys. ‘Anything triggers the motion sensors on any of the other decks we’ll be getting an alert. ‘
‘If there are people who can jump without a drive…’ Athena sounded concerned.
‘Right, locking down everything but CIC’ Helo sprang into action at that thought.
Six looked out at the chaotic space in front of her heavy raider and suppressed a sigh. At the moment she felt relatively safe. She had ordered her heavy raider into the starboard flight pod of the Atlantia, not that she understood why the destroyed ship was here. Given the other ships though, this event was unprecedented.
‘COMMUNICATIONS ESTABLISHED WITH FORGIEN ARTIFICIAL INTELIGENCES’ one of the Centurions stated over the link ‘FIRST CONTACT PACKAGE INITIALIZED.’
There were times when Six understood the ones desire to lobotomize the Raiders and Centurions. Neither model had ever learned the concept of volume control so all of their communications over the network came out as yelling. It could give a Cylon a headache in no time flat. One worse then the babbling of a hybrid or the ranting of a two would induce.
‘Anything useful yet? ‘
‘NEGATIVE, DECRYPTING NEW LANGUAGE PROTOCALS’
‘So we can’t even talk to them yet… lovely. Are we querying all of the ships out there or just one? ‘
‘ALL SHIPS THAT RESPOND TO COMMUNICATIONS ATTEMPTS. ‘
‘The Atlantia? Do we have access to its data banks to explain its presence here? ‘
‘NEGATIVE, COLONIAL UNITS NETWORK REMAINS INTACT AND ALL KNOWN BACKDOORS APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN CLOSED AT SOME POINT’
‘Lovely. Our sensors? ‘
‘LIFESIGNS DETECTED SOLEY ON UNIT DESIGNATED ATLANTIA. ALL OTHER SHIPS SHOW NO LIFESIGNS. ‘
‘So we are dealing solely with new types of artificial sentient. At least we have that much. Any luck with deciphering the transmissions from the planet below, or getting anything out of the prisoner? ‘
‘NEGATIVE, PLANET REMAINS UNCATAGORIZED. LANGUAGE DECRYPTION IN PROCESS. NEGATIVE RESULTS AT THIS TIME. RECOMMEND REDUCING THE NUMBER OF PROJECTS IN PROCESS AT THIS TIME TO OPTIMIZE RESULTS. ‘
‘Which process are recommended for discontinuation? ‘
‘SHIP FOUR RESULTS IDENTICAL TO SHIP THREE RESULTS, RECOMMEND COMBINING PROCESS. SHIP FIVE SHOWS NO SIGNS OF RESPONSE, RECOMMEND DISCONTINUATION OF ATTEMPTED CONTACT. SHIP TWO RESPONDS EXCLUSIVLY IN MACHINE LANGUAGE OF SOME SORT, RECOMMEND DISCONTINUATION. ‘
‘Approved. ‘ Six leaned back in her chair. ‘Planetary scans? ‘
‘SIGNS INDICATED TECHNOLOGICAL LEVEL APROXIMATLY AT PRE UNIFICATION PICON LEVELS. POPULATION LEVELS IN THE BILLIONS. ‘
‘Billions of human’s… lovely. ‘ Six grimaced. ‘Keep all offensive plans in abeyance for the moment. We cannot win any engagement with that disparity in force. Any progress contacting the bulk of the Cylon fleet, either faction? ‘
‘NEGATIVE, NO EMISSIONS DETECTED ON ANY KNOWN CYLON FREQUENCY. ‘
‘So we have nothing. ‘
Six leaned back in her seat and shook her head. This was a disaster. She had no clue what she was doing here, or why she was here. The only sign that she was connected to go was that she had watched the destruction of head Baltar. He had been ripped apart by some unseen force.
‘ENGERY WAVE DETECTED. EMMISION SOURCE LOCALIZED TO PICK UP POINT. DANGER UNKNOWN TYPE OF ENERGY. ‘
“Ow… I am going to kill that Dweeb,” Cordelia Chase said as she looked around. Mentally she controlled her panic and ran over her thoughts. Six’s memories were present for her use, and she certainly didn’t feel like she was in her own body. Something freakish had occurred and she knew just who to blame.
‘WARNING, CAPTURED SUBJECT BECOMING VIOLENT. RESTRAINT WITHOUT HARM BECOMING DIFFICULT’ Echoed in her head.
‘Allow subject access to cockpit, cease attempts at restraint, ‘ Cordelia sent back mentally. ‘And stop yelling in my head! ‘
Cordelia might not have ever been a brain on Rosenberg’s level but she was by no means a stupid girl. She started to review her memories, slowly trying to figure out where she was, and how she had gotten here. Not to mention all of the extra memories in her head. Given her new brain it took her less time to review and analyze the data she received. Knowledge of Cylon society, its mistakes and its triumphs suffused her brain. If what her thoughts were telling her was correct this would be the first freakish occurrence that was to her benefit. She now had ten loyal bodyguards who, if she were reading the situation correctly, would follow her to the end.
That didn’t even begin to take into account that she had her own space ship. That was worth more then mint. She could now be independently wealthy without resorting to any of her parent’s money. The only question in her mind was if these Centurions would remain loyal to her, or if they were only loyal to her costumed persona. Well Cordelia hadn’t become the Queen of Sunnydale high on her looks and wealth alone.
‘Centurion, identify me. ‘ She sent experimentally. Despite the Six memories she wasn’t entirely comfortable with this whole mental communication thing.
‘UNIT DESIGNATED CAPRICA SIX, MERGED WITH NEW INFILTRAITION TEMPLATE CORDELIA CHASE. CONSENSUS LEADER OF THE FREE CYLON STATE. ‘
“Excellent!” Cordelia said aloud. ‘Initiate new language download and distribution. Begin analysis of planetary transmissions through said matrix. ‘
‘COMPLIANCE. WARNING, ADDITIONAL SHIPS IN LOCAL ORBIT HAVE BEEN DESTROYED BY UNKNOWN TYPE OF ENERGY. COLONIAL BATTLESTAR DESIGNATED ATLANTIA AND THIS UNIT ARE THE ONLY TWO UNITS UNEFFECTED. ‘
‘Analyze. ‘ Cordelia ordered as Buffy Summers stormed into the cockpit.
“Who are you and what is going on?” Buffy seemed to be in full slayer mode.
“You don’t recognize me?” Cordelia asked, slightly confused.
“Oh good, you do,” Cordelia said with a grin. “As to what is going on… no clue. I just woke up myself and have been trying to figure that out.”
“So lets go get Giles! I mean he’s all good with the books and stuff,” Buffy replied.
“Look out the window Blondie,” Cordelia said acidly. “How exactly are we supposed to get to Giles?”
‘ANALYSIS COMPLETE, SHIPS WITH ORGANICS ON BOARD ARE THE SOLE REMAINING VESSELS. ‘
‘Attempt to contact the Atlantia, ask for whoever is in charge… oh and use Caprican. ‘
“What was that?” Buffy asked.
“What was what?” Cordelia shot back. Her uncertainty making her even bitchier then usual.
“You just… went away… for a second,” Buffy explained, recognizing the situation.
“I was talking with the robots and the ship,” Cordelia’s tone leaving no room for questions. “Given what happened I wanted to know what they knew.”
“How? I didn’t hear anything.”
“Mentally, it seems that whatever happened I have been upgraded.”
“Can they get us back to Earth?”
“I’m trying to find that out now. Considering that the larger ship we are sitting in the hanger bay of is from an enemy civilization I can’t tell you if they will let us go or shoot us down if we try!”
“Oh… yeah, waiting would be of the good.”
‘COMMUNICATIONS ESTABLISHED WITH SHARON AGATHON DESIGNATED MODEL EIGHT AND COLONIAL FLEET OFFICER KNOW AS KARL AGATHON. ‘
“I am going to kill that dweeb,” Cordelia hissed out between her teeth.