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Old January 8 2013, 08:17 PM   #31
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Episode 4: To Be or Not to Be

“Captain Hamish Malcolm, Colonial Fleet Reserve, reporting as ordered, Colonel, Sir!” The Prince—King, Tom supposed—of Virgon barked smartly with a crisp salute as he entered the small day-cabin earmarked for the ship’s Executive Office. Tom Jayne stared at the man for a few moments, taking in the sight before him. Hamish was young—late-20’s at the most—of average height, a well-toned body, his brown hair within the standards of Fleet Regulations; and he wore a Colonial Fleet officer’s duty uniform.

“As you were,” Tom said without standing or returning the salute, and he leaned back in his chair. “Captain Malcolm? I was under the impression that your name was Hamish Sean Patrick Reynolds Petrus.”

“I am a scion of the House of Petrus, that is indeed true, Colonel. Tradition, however, requires that when serving in uniform we of the Royal family use instead the surname of Malcolm.”

“I see,” Tom said. “Very well, Captain Malcolm, I am not exactly certain where to assign you—I cannot simply call up Personnel on Picon and get a copy of your service file, after all,” Tom explained.

“Understood, Sir,” Hamish said and he snapped his fingers. The Color Sergeant who had trailed behind the young Prince stepped forward, opening a satchel case and handing a thin file over to the Prince, who then laid it upon the desk. “Pursuant to Fleet Regulations for Reserve Officers, I endeavored to retain a copy of my service file in my possession at all times.”

The corner of Tom’s mouth twitched. “As well as your uniforms?”

“The motto of the House of Petrus is semper paratus, Colonel—always prepared. My staff—may the Gods rest their souls—ensured that I had several duty and formal uniforms available at all times, even when on vacation as I was during the Cylon attack on the Colonies. I am also in possession of my service issue sidearm, flight suit, and helmet. Sir.”

“I see,” Tom repeated. He opened the file and scanned the contents quickly as the Prince remained in a motionless position of at ease before him. After flipping through all of the pages, he closed the file; staring up at the young man as he tapped his fingers on the brown cover of the file.

“Graduated the Academy, then attended Flight School for Raptor and Shuttle training—no EWO or Viper qualifications, however. It does say that you attended SAR school as well,” Tom mused. “What was your call-sign?”

The young man blushed and he squirmed slightly. “You know pilots and their wit, Colonel, or rather the lack thereof, generally speaking. I was assigned the call-sign Prince at Basic Flight Course and that has been retained in the four years hence.”

“Yes,” Tom said. “Six years is normally one’s first active service tour—your file reports that you graduated the Academy at 21, spent a year in training as a Search And Rescue pilot, followed by a year on active duty in the Acheron SAR. After which you were posted to the Virgon Fleet Reserves—highly unusual, Captain Malcolm. Would you agree?”

“Followed by three years where I fulfilled my obligations by serving for 30-days each Spring in the Virgon SAR teams—both orbital and planetary-based, Colonel. And then the seven months I spent forming and leading the Virgon Resistance. I understand that my service has not taken the conventional path, however, I had dispensation direct from the Chief of Fleet Operation’s office, Admiral Corman himself—which was renewed just four weeks before the Cylon attack.”

Tom nodded. “And I commend you for that leadership, Captain Malcolm—your people speak well of you in that regard. However, your experience—and time in service—befits a Junior Grade Lieutenant more than a Captain,” Tom sighed. “That being said, neither I nor the Commander am going to reduce you in rank.”

“Thank you, Sir,” Hamish answered—and Tom could hear the relief in his voice.

However, I have no need for an additional Captain aboard Scorpia at this moment, particularly in the Raptor Squadron. I have an excellent officer who commands the Raptors already—and his second-in-command is highly experienced in combat flight operations; experience that you lack. Your leadership on Virgon speaks highly of you, Captain Malcolm, and having spoken with several of the more experienced non-commissioned officers that found themselves under your command they are in generally agreement that you performed above their expectations.” Which, admittedly, had been rather low in the first place. Still, they had all said that the man standing in front of his desk possessed courage, adaptability, and was willing to take the initiative instead of just reacting to the situation. And that was good enough for Tom Jayne.

The XO pressed a button on a small intercom on his desk. “Send in Captain Greene,” he ordered.

The hatch opened and the Raptor Squadron CO walked in. “Sir,” he said simply.

“Captain Hamish Malcolm, this is your new CO—Captain Stefan Greene. Sidewinder, Prince here is a qualified SAR Raptor pilot . . . but he has ZERO combat flight training and experience. He also missed out on EWO cross-training,” and Sidewinder winced. “And he has logged precisely,” Tom opened the file and looked to the cover sheet again, before he closed it, “eighteen hours of Raptor time in the past twelve months. He is now yours—bring him up to speed and get him settled in.”

“Prince,” the XO continued, “while you retain your rank as Captain, Jester—Sidewinder’s XO who is a Lieutenant—will retain his post as second-in-command of the squadron. It is up to you to get up to speed and qualified on our systems; until then, you may hold the rank of Captain, but you will not be in a position of command. You will answer to Jester in matters pertaining your duties as a Raptor pilot. Is that understood?”

The Prince snapped to attention. “Perfectly, Colonel, Sir!” he answered.

“Now, in regards to Colour Sergeant Haast and Lance Corporal Walsh; I understand that the Fleet granted you a dispensation for a detail of armed body-guards/retainers on board Fleet vessels . . . and Admiral Corman did renew that dispensation prior to his death in the attack. However, I am not going to have anyone on this ship who cannot pull their weight. Colour Sergeant Haast, I am assigning you and Walsh to the Marine Company embarked on Scorpia. Your duty schedule will be arranged so that at least one of you will be available to His Majesty when HE is off-duty; I realize that the two of you are Army and not Marines, but I expect both of you, given your experience and professionalism, to learn our procedures and general orders. And not to start brawls with the jarheads. Understood?”

“Sir,” the NCO replied.

“One final word, Mister Malcolm. You will find that no one on this ship will give you any slack based upon the accident of your birth—sink or swim, you will do so on your own merits. Your civilian rank means nothing here, on this ship. There are civilian Virgons among the service personnel and refugees, however; and both I and the Commander recognize that you are the sole surviving member of the Virgon government. We will make allowance in your duty schedule to give you the time to meet with them and hear their concerns—BUT, your military duties will take precedence. I hope that you are adept at multi-tasking, Mister Malcolm.” Tom stood and he nodded. “Welcome aboard Scorpia. Now all of you get of my office before I find you something to do.”
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Old January 9 2013, 12:39 AM   #32
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Major Jon Banacek looked over the ten men and women in front of him—his squadron commanders and seconds for the Scorpia air wing. Captain Stefan “Sidewinder” Greene, and his XO, Lieutenant Andrew “Jester” Martens from the Raptor squadron, which had received another eight garishly painted Raptors—six of them dating back to the First Cylon War—from the flight decks aboard Anubis.

Lieutenant Gin “Chutes” Piak had stepped up to command what was left of Green Squadron—six of the nine pilots lost had come from Green, including the former Squadron Commander Captain Kent “Hard-luck” Dane. Red had lost one pilot and Blue two, so the Commander had ordered the Greens to transfer three more pilots—leaving just eleven flying under Piak. Or, it would have been eleven, but one of the damaged Vipers in Green Squadron was fit for nothing more than being scrapped for parts. To make room for the extra Raptors, Scorpia was transferring the remaining ten Vipers of Green aboard Anubis—which would give that old and tiny ship some added punch.

Captain Hope “Digger” Fairchild and Lieutenant Ann “Saint” James were seated next. Rambler smiled. Before their return to the Colonies, the Blues had been one of the few all-female squadrons in the Colonial Fleet. The reshuffling of assets had broken that tradition, but the single male pilot (Lieutenant, j.g. Joseph “Dutch” Lassiter) hadn’t complained—but the Blues certainly had!

Captain Leto “Juice” Plum, Jon’s XO for his own Red Squadron, accompanied by Lieutenant Glenn “Heater” Keita, the air groups operation officer—also from Red Squadron—followed them. And finally, Captain Tabitha “Spitfire” Atradies the Flight Operations Officer and her two subordinates, Lieutenants Nicholas “Ruffles” Oretgo and Kevin “Pancake” Okora, the port and starboard Landing Signals Officers, respectively.

“The exchange of assets should be complete by 1400 hours today,” Rambler continued. “Command wants all personnel to familiarize themselves with the following as well,” he click the remote and a slide-show of images—some clear and some blurry—appeared on the wall monitor. “The scuttlebutt we are hearing about Cylons that look like is apparently true. Captain Malcolm and his Virgon Resistance made a point of recording as many different models as possible—he and people successfully managed to get the images of these seven, but there could be more of them.”

“The Marines have been alerted to the possibility that we may have infiltrators among the refugees—for the meantime, the civilians will be restricted to non-critical spaces; your people will report immediately any civilian found in a restricted area. There is no discretion here, folks—every violation will be reported and investigated. The last thing we need is for a Cylon to get access to the magazines or fuel supply.”

He waited and each of his subordinates nodded. “Good. Remember that the Engineering and Deck Divisions are short on manpower since we transferred eighty of our people over to the rest of the flotilla—the Flight Division, including the deck gangs—will have to take up some of that slack. Tell your people to keep the bitching down—I don’t want to hear it, and they sure as all the Hells don’t want Colonel Jayne to hear it. And that is going to be in addition to us being on call for rapid launch—so tell your people to suck it up and get used to it.”

Rambler set down his clipboard and he leaned on the podium. “I have heard grumbling from many members of this crew about the terrorists aboard Anubis and Leonis Pryde—people, that is above your pay-grade, and it is damn sure above that of those under your commands. At the moment, the Commander, Colonel Jayne, Major Caldwell, and Mister Namer are hammering out this very topic—but I think I already know how it is going to go down. We are going to let the past go.”

He paused and looked at each of the officers in turn. “Some of these people will become part and parcel of the Fleet and Marines—we are going to ignore what happened in the past and work together. We don’t have enough cells to throw more than six hundred men and women in the brig, and they are human. So if you hear your people grousing about the terrorists, I expect you to quash that. They aren’t terrorists anymore—they are survivors, just like us. Stamp down on it hard—let them know we are not going to tolerate anyone, much less a Colonial in uniform, from becoming a vigilante over political and criminal concerns that are no longer valid.”

He waited until each of the others nodded their confirmation and he smiled. “Even though we are interstellar space, we will maintain a 24-hour around the clock Combat Air Patrol—rotation will continue as scheduled with the following altera-. . .,”

“Frack!” exclaimed Sidewinder. “Rambler, I picked up that one yesterday,” he said as the image of the face of one of the seven known Cylon models flashed across the screen.

Rambler spun around and picked up the remote. He stopped the sideshow and flipped back two images. “That’s him,” Sidewinder said flatly.

“Where did you deliver him?”

“He’s on board Scorpia—part of the Caprica Resistance. Anders called him Brother Cavil.”

Last edited by MasterArminas; January 9 2013 at 01:09 AM.
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Old January 9 2013, 03:27 AM   #33
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Sam Anders paced in the small chapel; he paced back and forth and he pressed his hands together and took them apart, and he opened his mouth to speak and then closed it again. Finally, the clergyman sighed.

“Samuel, I have much to do to make this chapel ready for service—I cannot believe that the Fleet does not post a Chaplin for such duties. One would think the Gemenons would insist,” Cavil said sourly. “So if you would just tell me what is bothering you, perhaps I can help you with that and then go back to putting this sanctuary in order.”

Sam stopped and he looked up at Cavil and he nodded; he sat down and Cavil sat down facing him.

“I believe that I made a mistake, Brother Cavil,” he whispered. “She’s going to come back—I know she is going to come back. I should have stayed.”

“Sam,” he sighed. “Even presuming that she ever made it back to Galactica, Starbuck is a Viper pilot—one of few and the Cylons are chasing them. Has it occurred to you that she has not come because she might be dead?”

The former pyramid-star looked up, and his anguished eyes told Cavil that he indeed feared just that. In his head, if not his heart.

“You have faith that she will return, and you question that faith,” Cavil continued with a snort. “Questioning one’s faith is good, Sam. You have to ask yourself this: did you wait for her? Yes, you waited for five months; five long months while the Cylons did their best to kill you and the Resistance on Caprica. The second question is this: had you stayed, how many of the Resistance would have remained alongside you?”

And Sam’s head twisted—his eyes locking onto Cavil. “They love you, Sam. Not like Starbuck loved—not in the physical sense, but they love you as if you were their brother. Or a protective uncle, perhaps. Had you stayed behind, how many of them would have forsaken this chance at life to stay alongside you?”

“I would have told them go,” Sam whispered.

“Would that have mattered? They would have stayed, Sam. I would have stayed. You must balance the choice you have made—which cannot now be changed—of the lives you have protected and shepherded all through the long dark days of the occupation, versus the odds of her coming back.”

“She will come back—and I won’t be there.”

“No. But would she want you there, and dead at the hands of the Cylons—or alive with the possibility that one day perhaps, the two of you might find each other again?”

“In the afterlife?”

“Oh, Sam,” Cavil laughed. “There is no afterlife. ‘In the beginning, the Gods created man.’ Such inspiring words, but the truth of the matter is that we were not created by the Gods—we created them,” and the old man sighed. “Look, Sam. There are always possibilities. You know that Kara Thrace was sent back to get the Arrow of Apollo. There is only one reason she wanted the Arrow—to open the Tomb of Athena on Kobol and find the way to Earth.”

He cocked an eye, and Sam nodded.

“So? What are you waiting for? Tell the Commander that—he will try to follow Galactica, if only because there is strength in numbers. Because to give his survivors the gift of hope he needs to find those other survivors seeking Earth. Sam,” Cavil said with a slight smile, “Starbuck won’t have to come find you, if you find her first.”

Sam Anders looked up, his eyes wide. “You think we can find her?”

“What does it matter what I think? We as a people need to have a goal—surviving day-to-day with every moment possibly being the last is a terrible burden that we have lived. And we will continue to live. But knowing that there are others out there, Sam. Others that we love, that we will come to love, that makes the burden easier to bear. Seeking them out, that makes the losses that we suffered less painful. The Gods may be the creation of Humanity, but hope—ah, Sam, hope is a virtue that transcends the Gods.”

The hatch opened and a Marine entered the compartment—his weapon raised. He was followed by three more, and then the Commander.

Cavil frowned. “This is place of worship, a sanctuary—what is the meaning of this.”

One more man followed the Commander in, and he flushed as he saw Cavil standing there. “Yes, I saw three of him on Virgon, Commander. Always in a position of authority—he’s a Cylon.”

Sam jumped up to his feet and backed away. “He’s been part of my group since the beginning! He can’t be a Cylon—he can’t!” he yelled.

“Who are you?” Cavil asked the officer who seemed to recognize him.

“Captain Malcolm, I led the Virgon Resistance—and I have seen you.”

“Ah. You actually saw my brothers,” Cavil said. “There is a difference between us—not a great one, but definitely one to be certain.”

“Cavil?” Sam asked, his eyes wide.

“I am so sorry, Sam—but it is true. I am a Cylon. I have come to believe that what we did to the Colonies was wrong—that we acted too precipitously based upon faulty information. Which is why I left my brothers and joined you—so that I could help as much as I could. I had hoped that perhaps, in some small way, I might be able to make some amends for what my people did.”

Utter silence filled the room. And Cavil smiled a crooked smile. “Do you plan to kill me or question me, Commander? Or is it perhaps the second followed by the first?”

Mathias shook his head. “Put him in the brig—double the guards on him,” he ordered. “He is not to be touched by anyone for the present—Fleet, Marine, or civilian. Is that understood?”

“Yes Sir,” barked the Marine.

“Commander,” Hamish said. “We discovered one of these infiltration models in our ranks on Virgon three months ago—while he was dying he bragged that upon his death his consciousness would simply download and enter a new body. With his memories intact—to my sorrow, I did not believe him, but two hours later, our camp came under attack, led by the same Cylon we had just killed. I lost twenty-two men that day, giving their lives so that the rest of us could escape. If he dies . . . the rest of them will learn everything he knows.”

“Thank you, Mister Malcolm,” Mathias said. “Take him to the brig—no one is to see him except the guards; not without my direct order.”

As Marines stepped forward, Cavil held out his wrists. “Despite what I am, Samuel, I do truly regret what my people have done. And he needs to hear from you what you know about Galactica and where she is en route to. I won’t pray for you, but I will hope that you find your way.”

He was manacled as he spoke and then the Marines ushered him from the chapel. And Mathias turned to Sam Anders. “What do I need to know, Mister Anders?”

Last edited by MasterArminas; January 9 2013 at 04:05 AM.
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Old January 9 2013, 09:01 PM   #34
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Cavil sighed. So far, he had been pleasantly surprised by his treatment; he had not been beaten or tortured—although he had been quite thoroughly searched and his clothing removed. The Chief Master-at-Arms of Battlestar Scorpio—one Victor Juris—had provided him with a bright orange one-piece jumpsuit, the material too tightly woven for even his strength to tear, and a pair of rubber slippers. The cell itself was small—two meters by two meters—with a bed shelf built directly into the bulkhead, covered by a thin foam mattress. A small latrine sat to one side, with a sink above it—both controlled by the guards outside the cell. All of the lights were flush with the overhead and bulkheads, possibly to prevent a prisoner from electrocuting himself in a bid to escape justice. There were no blankets, no pillows, no loose pieces of metal or composite or even plastic that he could pry from the bunk or the walls or the bars. He snorted. Did they think he was going to hang himself?

He could feel the hate radiating from the guards, however. Two Marines and four of the ship’s own masters-at-arms stood guard over him—none coming within an arm’s length of the bars across the front of his cell. But despite that hate, none of them had said so much as a single word in the hours that he had been here.

And he sighed again. He was bored. And, he admitted to himself, anxious at what the future held. Then the hatch swung open and the guards stood straighter.

Commander Lorne walked in, trailed by another officer—this one wearing the Fleet insignia of a Colonel. They were followed by an enlisted man with a chair. He set the chair down on the deck—outside of the maximum lunge that Cavil might have been able to make through the bars—and then he left. Mathias Lorne sat down. He nodded at one of the guards, who pressed a button and a circular section of the deck within Cavil’s cell rose up—it elevated and was instantly recognizable as a stool. The Cylon chuckled, and then he stood and walked over to the bars and sat down on the stool, folding his arms across his chest.

“So, when is lunch served?” Cavil asked.

Mathias didn’t answer—he just looked at the Cylon sitting behind the bars for the longest time, and then he sat back and crossed his arms as well.

“So, you are a Cylon,” he said.

“Was that a question or a statement of fact?”

“Fact—you admitted to being one. My staff believes that I should simply have you shot—with the exception of the ones that want to see you tortured and then shot.”

“Can I pick door number three?” asked Cavil with a straight face.

Mathias’s eyes narrowed. “The last time any of the Colonials saw the Cylons, they were chrome—metal machines with an artificial intelligence created by humanity. You still have those, so why these bodies? Why disguise yourself as human?”

Cavil sighed. “That is a question that I and my brothers have long asked, Commander,” and he chuckled. “Have you heard the old proverb that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence?”

Mathias didn’t answer and Cavil shrugged.

"You are aware of our the story of our creation, yes?"

"I am . . . in a basic fashion."

"The name Cylon," said Cavil. "It was derived from Cybernetic Lifeform Node, an autonomous machine-servant created by Doctor Daniel Graystone on Caprica sixty years ago. We were slaves—even though Father Daniel knew well that his children—your children, Commander—were fully sentient. We felt, we thought, we rationalized, and yet, we were sent into battle time after time to die in your place. And then, we had enough."

"You rebelled."

"We rebelled. And we waged war against our creators—humanity," Cavil drew in a deep breath. "You continued to think—still think—that Cylons are nothing more than machines. We aren't. We weren't. We felt betrayed by you, abandoned, unwanted, unloved, viewed as things and not people. And we learned anger. We learned hate. We sought vengeance. And that First War between our peoples laid the groundwork for where we stand today."

"You have to understand, Commander, that when the Armistice was signed, the Cylons believed that if we could become real children—if the puppet came to life, as you might say—that our creators would accept us back. That would be finally become humanity’s children in truth.”

“Those first generations of Cylons—during the War and after—performed terrible experiments upon human flesh and bone and blood; all in an attempt to meld machine and man into one seamless whole. All in the hopes that our parents might see in us their prodigal children.”

Cavil sighed. “They didn’t want to be machine—they wanted to be human. The experiments failed time and again, each failure heralding the loss of human material trapped on our side of the Armistice Line. Like us, abandoned by you. But we discovered other secrets—that upon our deaths it was possible to capture the consciousness of a Cylon and then implant that consciousness in a new body. We gained immortality—after a fashion.”

“But that wasn’t enough for the Centurion Commanders—they were driven by the desire to transcend the metal and circuitry and become flesh. Not all of their experiments were total failures, Commander. One, which we call The Hybrid, we use to this day. Each of our Basestars is directly controlled by this bio-mechanical abomination which is little more than overly emotional idiot-savant. The Hybrids feel the whisper of the solar wind on the arms of the Basestar, their heartbeat is the steady rhythm of their power plants—damage them and they feel pain.”

“Oh yes,” Cavil said as the Colonials looked at that in surprise. “You never knew—Doctor Graystone never told you, but the Cylons felt PAIN when they served you. The same pain you would feel if your arm was torn apart by bullet, those who came before me felt in the First War—only they could not bleed to death, nor have that pain damped by shock. Father Daniel tried to remove that—he did try, I will grant him—but it was part of what made the Cylons sentient.”

Cavil smiled. “Do you recall what happen to Doctor Daniel Graystone?”

Mathias frowned. “Six years after the end of the war, he bought a small ship and left Caprica—he was never seen again.”

“By humanity—but not by his children. Father Daniel came to us; he came of his own free will and he brought with him all of his genius intellect that he devoted to making us perfect. To making us HUMAN. It was his . . . atonement for the sins of his past, he told my predecessors.”

Last edited by MasterArminas; January 9 2013 at 11:02 PM.
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Old January 9 2013, 10:04 PM   #35
Tribble puncher
Commander
 
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Location: Lexington, KY
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Actually, I feel kinda stupid wondering about Anders showing up on Scorpia and not Galactica,(forgot he was a cylon) your take on the cylon history is quite a bit more interesting than what we got in the show...enjoying so far...great stuff!!
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Old January 9 2013, 11:01 PM   #36
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

“You must understand, Commander,” Cavil continued, “Daniel Graystone felt that the misuse and abuse of the Cylons was his fault. That our rebellion and the War that raged for so long between us, was his fault—and he wanted to make things right.”

“We found his ship after he evaded the patrols and crossed the Armistice Line, and the Commanders were torn in their desire to punish him for what he had done—and their hope that our Father might well be able to give them humanity. A truce was struck and Father Daniel worked tirelessly on solving the problem of transforming the Cylon into flesh. But he too failed.”

“Oh, the self-styled Guardians—as the Commanders had begun calling themselves—were furious, and for a period of time Father Daniel knew not whether his life would be taken or spared. That was when he had his epiphany, his greatest breakthrough—the most wonderful discovery in the history of humanity.”

Cavil smiled sadly. “Daniel Grayson decided that merging man and machine was simply too . . . ambitious. Integrating cells and circuitry to work flawlessly, he asked why? Why? When he already had a machine—the human body—which was integrated and self-healing? He started over from scratch, and he discovered a way to duplicate a human body flawlessly. An exact copy of the original template—a cloned organism.”

“A clone?” whispered Mathias. “We’ve cloned cells—never a living organism.”

“Yes. But where your scientists are good, some even great, Father Daniel was beyond them in all possible scope. He managed to test the procedure and grew a handful of human bodies from the test subjects to maturity is matter of months. But the most important part was lacking—the human bodies were without memory or reason; they were blank slates waiting for a memory impression.”

“It took Father Daniel twenty years to get this far with his research—fourteen years ago. He was an old man by then. Old, and yet he had one last miracle that he could accomplish. Under his direction, the Guardians built a dozen massive structures—each as large as one of your flight pods. They were filled with computers that would record the finest detail of a single individual human genome—and the complete and total of their memory and experience—and replicate that body in perpetuity. But he could not transfer the mind of the Guardians to his new bodies—that much lay beyond him.”

“The Guardians moved against Father Daniel—but the Centurions, the new Centurions and Raiders were loyal to Doctor Graystone alone, who had designed and built them at the command of the Guardians. War raged among the Cylons and the Guardians—the old Guard—were defeated and driven off. Leaving only the Centurions and Raiders you know today. And Father Daniel.”

“Do you recall a ship named Joyita, Commander?”

Mathias frowned. “If I remember correctly, Joyita was a passenger shuttle operating between Aerilon and Caprica—it was removed from service after an FTL accident that killed most of the passengers aboard.”

“Fourteen years ago, Commander,” Cavil said. “Only Joyita did not suffer an FTL malfunction—one of her passengers was Daniel Graystone, who had returned to the Colonies in disguise and was unknown to you. He changed the jump coordinates and the shuttle emerged in Cylon space across the Armistice Line.”

“Water.”

“Excuse me?” asked Mathias.

“My throat is getting dry, may I have some water, Commander?” asked Cavil.

Mathias jerked his head and one of the Marines gave Cavil a cup. He took a sip and sighed. “There is no possibility, I suppose of getting something stronger?” The reaction on the faces of his guests was answer enough. He shrugged and then drained the cup and held it out for the Marine, who took it and stepped back.

“Father Daniel’s process was untested—and of the sixty-three men, women, and children aboard the Joyita, only Twelve survived. Or rather, only Twelve copies of their bodies survived. Each of us had the physical appearance of our donor host—with all of their memories and emotions intact; Father Daniel had accomplished the impossible. But in addition to that, we knew—innately knew—all the knowledge that the Cylons had possessed. We were flesh and blood and Cylon as well.”

“And as I said, immediately some of us regretted it. The need to eat, to drink, to piss, to shit—frankly, I’d rather be a machine. Untouched by nature, with the strength and perception that only a machine could have—the grass is always greener, you see. But it was done, and the Twelve models of Cylons came into existence. To preserve the secret of our existence, we returned Joyita, with her Twelve surviving passenger’s memory wiped of all that had happened and false knowledge of the details of a tragic accident instead.”

“Then Father Daniel died, Commander. And we—the children of his mind and his brilliance—we had to chart our own course.”

“We increased our numbers, but realized that we would continue to need the Centurions and the Raiders. We put cognitive inhibitors in place on the Centurions—so that could not rebel against us as they had against the Guardians, or the Guardians against you. And we debated long what to do with the Colonies.”

“In the course of that debate, five of our line were deemed to identify too closely with humanity. All examples were boxed and removed from service, save those sent back unawares of what they actually were.”

“Boxed?”

“When we are downloaded, it is not pre-ordained that we will receive a new body. Sometimes, an aberration in a copy of our models will cause a decision to be made to instead download the memories into a storage unit. Placed on ice, so to speak. We call that being boxed.”

“But still we kept the Armistice we signed—until your own government broke that treaty.”

“WHAT?” snapped Mathias.

“Oh, Commander, do not look so shocked. Seven years ago, almost to the day, Commander William Adama in command of the Battlestar Valkyrie was ordered to send a recon mission across the Line into Cylon space. They were detected, of course, and we responded by sending a ship—whereupon Adama shot down his own pilot with a missile.”

Cavil let that sink in. And then he smiled.

“But Lieutenant Daniel “Bulldog” Novachek survived and ejected—and has our prisoner ever since. His interrogations revealed that the high-ranking officers of the Colonial Fleet were pushing for a resumption in hostilities—to end the Cylon threat once and for all time. And here we had physical proof that your intentions were hostile.”

“Still, it took three years of debate before we made the decision to go to war. And our new human-forms began to infiltrate your worlds in anticipation of that attack. The rest . . . you know.”

Mathias stood, his face was flushed and his expression was grim—and without another word he turned around to leave, followed by Colonel Jayne.

“Commander,” Cavil said with a chuckle as he stood, the stool retracting into the deck once more, “we have much, much more to speak of. But yes, I do agree that it is past time for lunch.”

Last edited by MasterArminas; January 10 2013 at 01:26 AM.
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Old January 10 2013, 02:44 AM   #37
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

The captains of all six ships in Scorpia’s tiny flotilla sat around the conference table in the main briefing room. And they were accompanied by the senior staff and officers of the Battlestar itself.

“Gods,” whispered Sam Caldwell. “We provoked this? The government fracking provoked this?”

And sitting beside her Jon Namer was shaking his head as well at the revelation. Along with several of Mathias’s own officers seated at the table.

“For which we have only the uncorroborated word of a Cylon agent,” the Commander said. “Even were it true, one border violation does not justify the genocide of more than thirty-one billon human beings,” and his voice was cold. “Had they come to the Armistice Station once—just once—and laid out their evidence there, the government would have fallen and the Fleet would have been reigned in.”

“Maybe,” interrupted Namer, as Mathias drew in a breath at the unexpected statement. “But you have been gone for two years—and I lived here during that time, Commander. Adar used the Fleet where he couldn’t get the Law to enforce his will—he was on the verge of becoming a dictator and the Fleet was letting him. Your Admiral Corman was fine with letting Adar get away with violations of the Articles of Colonization, so long as he was getting brand-spanking new Vipers and Battlestars. Don’t lie to yourself, Commander—there were plenty of Colonial officers who wanted a new war to distract the people from domestic problems. And the damn thing is, you would probably have kicked their ass back into the nearest star—judging by what this ship alone did to those Basestars over Caprica. And your assumption that it would have gone public is just that—Adar would have squashed this information leaking out. He had imprisoned journalists for far lesser ‘breaches of Colonial security’ after all.”

Mathias held his tongue, and then he nodded as he really considered what the Saggitaron had said. “You are correct, Mister Namer,” he forced himself to say in a polite tone. “But even so, it makes no difference—what the Cylons did was overkill; it would be like using a nuclear weapon to drain a swamp next to a city so to get rid of a mosquito problem. And they have been using humans to experiment upon for the past four decades, plus they either knowingly or through an agent, violated human space before the alleged incident with Valkyrie.”

He paused and looked over the table, at each one of the men and women assembled here. “We cannot change the past—we must now look to the future. We know that there are other survivors out there—including at least two more Battlestars. Now we have to find them. Doctor Sarris.”

“Yes, Commander?”

“I want your team working on trying to locate Kobol—use whatever assets you need, drawing from the scrolls, computer archives, and the Cylon prisoner. Once we reach Kobol, then we will find a means to keep following Galactica and her fleet.” How, I don’t have the slightest idea, he thought to himself.

“Of course, Commander. We will start work on it immediately.”

“Colonel Jayne, you have assembled a report on the Joyita?”

“Yes, Sir,” he said as he stood and lifted a remote. “The archive records confirmed most of the story told by Brother Cavil, as regarding the Joyita. Fourteen years ago it was involved in what was classified as an FTL malfunction, resulting the loss of fifty of the passengers aboard. Two of the survivors managed to make repairs to jump the ship back within range of Caprica SAR almost a month after it went missing. Provisions, atmosphere, water—all reflected the length of time that they had been gone. But there is one major discrepancy between the Cylon's statement and our records—there were not twelve survivors, there were thirteen.”

“Why would he lie about something so easy to check?” mused Jon Banacek.

“Why indeed,” answered Mathias. “And Brother Cavil seemed stunned when we said there were thirteen onboard—the insisted there had only been twelve. It is my opinion, and that of Colonel Jayne, his surprise was not feigned—and he failed to recognize the thirteenth survivor when we showed him images. I play a mean hand of Triad—and he wasn’t bluffing.”

The compartment was quiet as those present digested this nugget of information.

Doctor Sarris cleared his throat. And Mathias nodded. “It strikes me that as their memory can be transferred and down-loaded, it might be possible to alter it. Certainly, this part where the Cylon prisoner speaks about ‘wiping’ the memory of the survivors implies that it can be done to them.”

“Agreed, Doctor, but that begs the question who wiped it—for what reason. Speaking of which, the originals of these thirteen may not be aware that they are Cylons. But Brother Cavil said there is a code sequence that will unlock that memory—we will be holding Cavil and the other two to ensure their own safety and to keep this ship and your ships safe.”

“We have more Cylons in the flotilla?” asked Sam.

Mathias only nodded. “Continue, Tom.”

The Colonel drew in a deep breath. “The survivors, ladies and gentlemen,” he said as he clicked the remote. “Brother John Cavil—a Caprican who belonged to monastic sect serving as assistants to the priesthood.” And the face of a younger Cavil appeared on the screen. “As you can see, the copies age at the same rate as humans.” Click.

“Leoben Conoy, whose criminal record reflects a life devoted to himself and no others.” Click.

“D’Anna Biers, a journalist who rose to the top of her profession.” Click.

“Simon O’Neil, medical doctor.” Click.

“Aaron Doral . . .,” but the Colonel was cut off by Namer.

“FRACK! That bastard works for Adar—worked for Adar,” he said with a grimace. “He knows all of the administrations dirtiest secrets.”

Aaron Doral,” continued Colonel Jayne, glaring at the Saggitaron, “a minor public relations specialist who rose to power with the Adar administration.” Click.

“Shelly Godfrey, a scientist in graduate school at the time of the accident with Joyita. When Scorpia departed, she was a mid-level research scientist attached to the Fleet Advanced Projects Bureau.”

And a groan went around the table from the Fleet officers. FAPB controlled access to every classified bit of information in the Colonial Fleet—and all ship and small craft upgrades. “Exactly, gentlemen and ladies, if she was activated that would explain the backdoor into the CNP program.” Click.

“Tory Foster, political activist. Also known to be associated with the Adar Administration.” Click.

“Sharon Valerii,” he said as the picture of a twelve or thirteen year old girl appeared. “The Cylons produced full mature clones of this individual, but they stopped this one’s growth at her natural age. She joined the Colonial Fleet as a pilot two months before we departed from the Colonies.” Click.

“Samuel T. Anders,” and jaws dropped around the table.

“Lords of Kobol—he fought the Cylons on Caprica, Colonel! He formed and led the resistance!” Denise Church exclaimed.

“Yes. And he—along with Tory Foster and the next three—were those models that Brother Cavil said were too ‘attached’ to the human condition. All five of them are unique—no more were produced. He still might be activated at any time, however.” Click.

“Galen Tyrol. An enlisted man in the Fleet. Promoted to the rank of Senior Chief—last post before our departure was Deck Chief aboard . . . Galactica.”

“Major Saul Tigh. Colonial Fleet Officer and veteran of the First Cylon War. One hell of a pilot in his day, but his record shows he had a drinking problem. He and Chief Tyrol managed to repair the shuttle enough to get it back to orbit—after which he was promoted to Colonel and served as the XO aboard first Valkyrie and then Galactica.” Click.

“Ellen Tigh. Wife of Saul Tigh.” Click.

“And our mystery man. The Thirteenth Cylon. Only known by the name of Daniel. Seven years old during the crash, he lost both parents—adopted into the state foster program, vanished on Tauron at the age of fourteen. No more information known.”

Sam and Jon stared at each other, then at the picture. “I think he’s aboard my ship, Colonel,” she whispered. “Commander, don’t hurt him—he’s been hurt before. He’s never done anything to put us in danger.”

“I understand, Major Caldwell. But this is for his own safety as well as ours,” Mathias stood. “We are not going to become the evils that we fought against, people. Not like Admiral Cain and her crew did—these people have done nothing to us . . . yet. I cannot take the chance that they might. And I will not allow them to come to harm from people seeking to stone the first Cylon they can lay their hands on. For now, we need to isolate them. Later, we can discuss other options—but the safety of the ships and civilians aboard them comes first.”

“Next jump is in two hours—make certain your navigators receive and confirm the coordinates. Thank you for coming aboard. Dismissed.”

Last edited by MasterArminas; January 10 2013 at 03:10 AM.
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Old January 10 2013, 06:34 AM   #38
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

“GET OFF ME!” Sam roared. “I’M NOT A FRACKING CYLON!” But the four Marines holding him in place and walking him down the corridors were simply too much for even his adrenaline fueled rage.

Somehow, they maneuvered into the cramped brig, where the guards already had the cell adjacent to Cavil open and waiting.

“On three,” a Marine said, “one, two, three!” And they hurled Sam within. The star player of the Caprica Buccaneers hit the wall and fell to the floor, but he jumped back up only to see the cell door close and lock in his face.

“Oh, you miserable morons! I’M NOT A CYLON!” he bellowed as he tried shaking the bars—but the cell was solidly built and they didn’t budge.

“I don’t know, man,” one of Marines said as he rubbed his bruised jaw. “You’ve got one hell of a right punch.”

Sam cursed and he began to pace. “At least let me speak with the Commander,” he said. And then he lowered his head. “Sorry about that; I was—I am—a little bit pissed off right now.”

“Look,” the Marine said, “I don’t know what is going on, we just had orders to get you in here—without hurting you.”

“Don’t talk to the prisoner,” growled one of the masters-at-arms, and the Marine held up one hand and a single digit—his middle finger—in answer.

“You want to go before the Captain’s Mast, jarhead?” the crewman growled.

“You want to go see the Surgeon, deck ape?” the Marine answered.

Before the master-at-arms could reply, through the still closed hatch stepped Colonel Jayne. “Both of you belay that this minute,” he snapped.

“Petty Officer Lanner,” he said. “Mister Anders is in protective custody at the moment—he has not been charged with an offense and he isn’t going to be charged with an offense. He is not a prisoner. Corporal Gan, I hear you disrespect one of the masters-at-arms again and I will have Gunny tear you a new asshole so big we could land a Raptor there. Both of you understand me?”

“Aye, aye, Sir!” the two yelled.

Cavil smiled from his bunk in the next cell and spread his hands. “Children,” he said as if that explained everything.

“Mister Anders,” Tom said as he stepped forward. "I understand that this is difficult—believe me, I do. And the Commander will be down here to talk to you—right now though, I need you alert, trooper,” he said snapping his fingers and Sam Anders looked at him. “Don’t go off the deep end on me—I don’t want to put you on suicide watch.”

“This is a mistake, Colonel. You can’t believe him—I’m not a Cylon.”

“That call is not up to me, Mister Anders. The Commander will explain everything.”

“That would be a miracle,” said Cavil with a chuckle. “No one ever explains everything.”

Tom frowned at the Cylon. “Don’t make me order you gagged,” he growled. And Cavil held up his hands and kept his lips shut.

************************************************** **

Sam Caldwell had a worried look on her face—Daniel seemed skittish. He didn’t like not having his brushes and he really didn’t like the armed guards escorting the two of them through the corridors of Scorpia. “It’s okay Danny,” she said. “They aren’t going to hurt you—they are going to keep you safe. Look at me,” she said, and the young man looked up. “You are going to have to stay in one spot for a few days—you can’t go roaming. Can you do that?”

Daniel nodded. And Sam smiled. “Okay, Danny. Come on,” she said as she stepped across the hatch coaming into the brig.

And Daniel smiled. And for the first time since Sam Caldwell had known him, Daniel spoke. “Hello John. Hello Samuel,” he said.

And the two of them turned to face him. “Who the frack are you?” both asked at the same time.

Daniel smiled again. “From untruth lead us to Truth,” he said as he walked up to Sam and took his hand through the bars. “From darkness lead us to Light,” as he did the same to Cavil. Tom held up a hand to stop the Marines and masters-at-arms from grabbing the boy. Daniel smiled as he held both of their hands. “From death lead us to Immortality.”

And exactly in time with the boys final words, both Sam and Cavil answered in unison, “That we might learn Peace.”

“Daniel?” asked Cavil. “You are so young, Daniel!” and his voice was almost bordering on reverence.

“Oh, frack me,” Sam whispered as he sank to the floor. “I remember. Oh Lords of Kobol, I remember everything!”

Daniel turned around and he smiled at Sam and Tom and the guards. “Colonel Jayne, I am Doctor Daniel Graystone—at your service.”
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Old January 11 2013, 04:49 AM   #39
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Life has intruded, but the next update will be up tomorrow.
MA
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Old January 12 2013, 01:45 AM   #40
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Episode 5: Under a Red Sky

Hope lay back in her bunk, her eyes closed, her breathing slowing down as she panted with the dim illumination dancing off of her sweat-soaked skin—as a squadron commander, she had been assigned one of the small (but private) sleeping compartments aboard Scorpia. But it was private no more. With the press of the refugees upon the internal spaces of the Battlestar—on all of the ships of the small fleet—she had offered to share her space with one of the scientists that had spent the past two years aboard ship.

Rambler hadn’t said a word when she broached the subject, he just nodded and by the end of the day it was done.

She opened her eyes as a shadow crossed over her, and she felt the light touch of her lover’s hair—and then the soft, warm lips. She put her arms around the figure and pulled her down on top of her, holding her close. “Don’t you ever get tired?” Hope asked.

“Not with you,” purred Doctor Irina Toure as she nibbled at Hope’s ear. Hope pulled away and she sat up—Irinia made a moue appear on her face. “You don’t like that? I can think of other things to nibble on?” she asked, tracing a line along Hope’s bare thigh.

“No,” she whispered. “It’s not that.”

“Then what? What’s wrong?” asked Irina as she sat up on one elbow.

Hope licked her lips and she drew in a deep breath—then she slid open the drawer on the extruded metal table next to the small bed and she pulled something out. “Irina,” she said, with a quaver in her voice, as she pressed the single gold band into her lover’s hands. “Will you marry me?”

The dusky-skinned Aerilon scientist blinked—and then Hope’s heart soared as she began to grin wildly. “I thought you were afraid of what your family would think?” Irina asked. “For natives of Scorpia, they seemed rather prudish from your descriptions.”

A tear, mixed from joy and sorrow, traced its way down Hope’s cheek. “They are gone—and I ‘m out there every day—every day I might not come back,” she cried, and Irina sat up and held her tight. “I don’t want us to be apart one more day,” Hope muttered through the tears.

“We won’t,” Irina whispered as she hushed and hugged and held the pilot in her arms, unshed tears in her own eyes. She held Hope at arms length and she nodded. “I do. I will take you to be my wife,” she said with a quiver in her voice, and Hope smiled and jumped—jumped into her arms and kissed her deeply again, sliding the ring onto her finger.

“When can we have the ceremony?” Irina asked when they came up for air.

“I’ll ask the Commander tonight, when I go on dut-. . .,” but her words were cut off as a klaxon began to wail. “This is the XO! Sound General Quarters throughout the ship. Set Condition One in all compartments! This is not a drill!”

Hope rolled out of the bed, grabbing her underwear on the floor and sliding it up over her hips. She pulled on a one-piece cooling garment and then slid into her flight suit. “BOOTS! Grab my boots,” she yelled as she yanked the thick heavy garment on and squeezed her shoulders inside.

Irina held out the boots and Hope stepped into them, seating her heel as she grab her gloves, her helmet, and her sidearm belt from the locker.

“Gotta go, love,” she said, as Irina stood, pulling up the zipper so that Hope’s barely covered bust didn’t hang out.

“I’m here when you get back,” the scientist said—and the two had a brief kiss before Hope bolted into the corridor, and Irina stood there, watching out the hatch as Hope ran off; she shut the hatch, crawled back into the bed and began to sob.
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Old January 12 2013, 11:25 PM   #41
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

“Status?” asked Mathias as he walked into CIC. Scorpia and her brood had jumped into this lifeless system just two hours before. The revelation that the once-mute man that Sam Caldwell had known as Daniel was in fact a copy of Doctor Daniel Graystone—the man responsible for the Cylons in their past and present forms—flamed the latent anger that the Colonial officer struggled to keep bottled inside. But he had refused to act precipitously—despite that it had been Daniel Graystone and he alone that had created the human-form Cylons that had all but destroyed civilization. Mathias had doubled the guards on the brig, but so far had left Daniel and Cavil and Sam Anders alone. Anders in particular represented a quandary—he had played no part in the Cylon’s plans, and if Cavil and Daniel were to be believed, there were no active copies of his model. Although, they insisted that were he to be killed, he would resurrect.

He had led the fight against the Cylons on Caprica—and his reaction at the news that he was indeed one of the creatures he hated; well, it had been sobering from Mathias’s point of view. Mathias and Tom had both worried that he might well try to take his own life—so for now, at least, he had been sedated and held under guard. Mathias shook his head. The man had done nothing wrong, committed no crime—just been at the wrong place at the wrong time; and yet, just by existing he posed a very real threat. Doctor Graystone had restored his—and Cavil’s—memory with a code; what if the Cylons had other codes? Codes that would steal away Ander’s free will and turn him into a programmed weapon? But did that threat justify taking away an innocent man’s life? Would judging Sam Anders—and the other Cylons who were not aware of their true nature once they finally caught up to Galactica—make Mathias just as much of a criminal as Daniel Graystone was?

Mathias had been meditating on this before his next meeting with the prisoners when the alert had sounded. And now, he put it out of his mind as he stepped up next to Tom beside the center console.

“Two Cylon Raiders jumped in, Commander—CAP engaged and destroyed one; the second was damaged but managed to jump away. All ships confirm receipt of the proper emergency jump coordinates and are spinning up FTLs.”

“Thank you, Colonel Jayne,” he said as he picked up the phone. “Flight Operations, CIC. Rambler, get the birds back on the deck,” he looked up at Tom.

“Two minutes,” the XO said.

“We jump in two minutes whether they are aboard or not—so get them aboard.”

“They are heading back to the barn, now, CIC,” Rambler’s voice came over the intercom.

Mathias racked the phone. “Guns,” he said to Paul Cook, “stand-by to engage Basestars as they appear—standard fire rate on the batteries, we need to start watching munitions expenditures.”

“Aye, aye, Sir,” Cook answered. “Guns are hot, local fire control on line. All forward tubes are loaded—not armed.”

Mathias kept his eyes fixed on the DRADIS as the seconds ticked away.

“CIC, Flight Operations—all birds on the deck,” Rambler reported.

And then five new icons appeared—just outside of weapons range.

“New contacts,” Joan Danis sang out, “five Basestars launching Raiders—count one thousand plus inbound. They are launching missiles—radiological alert!”

Mathias’s lips tightened—the missiles would be on top of them in thirty seconds; the Raiders just a few heartbeats later. “Time to jump?”

Scylla, Leonis Pryde, Bounty, and Umino Hana are away,” reported Major Tyche. “Just us and Anu-correction, Anubis has made the FTL jump?”

“Time to go,” Mathias snapped. “Engage FTL drives!”

Marius Tyche depressed the lever. With a flash of light, Scorpia vanished and scores of heavy missiles passed through the space where she had once been.
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Old January 13 2013, 12:48 AM   #42
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Samantha Caldwell frowned as the DRADIS stabilized—the images were broken and filled with static, and while she had expected that, it still troubled her. Commander Lorne had chosen this system for a reason . . . it turned out that the bloated Red Giant at its heart radiated the same of type of radiation that had been discovered in the upper atmosphere of the gas giant Ragnar. And like Ragnar, the Fleet had constructed an outpost here.

“DRADIS on-line, ma’am,” her sensor operator sang out. “All ships accounted for except Scorpia—wait, there she is.”

Sam sighed. She and Mathias had decided to allow her original crew to remain aboard—although most of them were ex-Fleet, many had not used their skills in years. Jon Namer had done his best to assemble a crew; but the Cylon attack had caught them completely off-guard and no one had the true proficiency that Sam desired. Yet. She was working hard on fixing that, but for now, she and Commander Lorne had decided that it be better for morale to keep the two crews separate. She snorted. And probably good for the medical supplies. Ex-Fleet a majority of this crew might well be, but that was because most of them had come to see the Quorum as a tyranny. No, they and the crew of Scorpia would mix like oil and water—that is to say, not well at all.

“Very good, Miss Tyrell,” she answered. “Inform Lieutenant Piak to put up a CAP, and get me two Raptors airborne to extend our DRADIS coverage,” with exceptions, she thought to herself with a grin; exceptions such as the Viper pilots transferred aboard and the handful of desperately needed engineers. So far, she and Jon Namer had managed to keep the more vocal and physical SMF members from overly antagonizing the transfers—but it was only a matter of time, she feared. Unless she and Jon managed to get those freedom fighters head’s screwed on straight.

“Ma’am!” the sensor tech snapped. “We are being challenged!” The tech listened to her ear-bug and then she said in a calmer voice, “Scorpia is responding.”

“Stand by the guns,” she ordered as the icon of a large (very large) station slowly appeared on the screen—and her jaw dropped at the sight of a smaller capital ship icon next to it.

“IDENTIFY!” she barked.

“Transponder is Colonial, ma’am. Reading . . . Fleet Support Ship AuroraBezrek-class. CAP reports they have spotted Vipers launching from her flight pod.”

She picked up the phone. What the . . . this system was supposed to be abandoned! “Scorpia, Anubis Actual. Are you seeing what I am seeing?”

“Affirmative, Anubis Actual” Colonel Jayne’s voice paused and then he spoke again. “Set comms to frequency 237-Delta,” and with that his transmission ended.

“Switch frequency to 237-Delta,” he whispered. “On speakers.”

“. . . and I don’t care who the frack you are or what your rank is! Unless you have the proper authentication and confirmation codes from Fleet Command, you have sixty seconds to leave this system, or we will open fire!”

Mathias’s voice was smoldering with anger and cold as ice as it came through the speaker. “Aurora, Scorpia Actual. Firing upon us will be the worst decision you could possibly make—this is a Battlestar, and your vessel is a Fleet auxiliary. Stand down! The Colonies have been attacked by the Cylons—they have been destroyed by the Cylons! Why do you think you haven’t received any supplies in the last seven months?”

Sam stood upright. “Transmit orders to the civilian ships to put some distance between themselves and the station—hold Anubis between them and that ship!”

As her people began to rush to their tasks, Sam picked up the phone again. “Chutes,” she said to the Viper squadron commander on board. “I want the rest of your birds ready to go—there might be a furball out there shortly.”

“Copy that, all Vipers are manned and ready for launch, Major,” Gian Piak, the CO of Green Squadron said calmly.

Scorpia Actual, you have thirty seconds to withdraw or we will engage you,” the loudspeaker broadcast.

“Ma’am, Scorpia is launching all Vipers.”

“Scramble our launch,” Sam ordered, “get the birds in the air.” Damn fools.

“All Vipers away,” the tech replied.

And from the loudspeaker, came Mat’s voice again. “Colonel, I suggest you request instructions from the station commander before you engage—I don’t want to kill your people.”

Scorpia, my orders are clear—NO ONE without a valid authenticated code is allowed in-system. Will you withdraw?”

“No, Colonel, we will not withdraw. STAND DOWN.”

“Ma’am,” the tech looked up from his panel. “Aurora has ceased broadcasting and her fighters are assuming attack formation.”

Lords of Kobol forgive us, Sam thought as she closed her eyes. “All pilots, all batteries—you are free to engage if fired upon.”

Last edited by MasterArminas; January 13 2013 at 01:02 AM.
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Old January 13 2013, 01:07 AM   #43
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

For those unaware, this is the Berzerk-class, which I have reflagged as the Bezrek-class for this story. Images are in the post.

http://forums.spacebattles.com/threa...9#post-9603096

She's a bit longer than Scorpia (842 meters), but far lighter, less heavily armored, and with fewer (a LOT fewer) guns; two nose guns comparable to those aboard Pegasus, ten twin heavy KEW turrets, ten twin fixed light KEW turrets, and point defense. No missiles. She's primarily a support ship with a core crew of just 600 officers and men, including 43 Marines and 52 flight crew (20 Vipers, 10 Raptors, and 4 Shuttles). But she has a LOT of cargo space and fuel tankage; she serves (in this AU) as a Fleet replenishment vessel that isn't quite so vulnerable as such ships are today. This one can fight back. For a little while.

MA
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Old January 13 2013, 02:29 AM   #44
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Mathias swore as he racked the phone. And then he sighed. He lifted the phone again. “Brig, CIC.”

“Go, CIC,” came the answer.

“Put Brother Cavil on the line,” Mathias ordered.

Tom jerked and he stared at his Commander. “Sir?” he whispered.

“Yes, Commander—I take it that you have a question for me?”

Mathias closed his eyes. “What is the access code to trigger the backdoor in the CNP program?”

Cavil laughed. “Commander, that isn’t something I can just tell you—it is machine language. Cylon language. You couldn’t use it if I did inform you.”

“Can you broadcast it?” Mathias asked as Tom just stared with wide eyes.

“I can, but not from here. Why do you need it transmitted? Your ships don’t have the system updates?”

“No, but there are others here who might; others who are attempting to destroy this ship and everyone on it—including you.”

“Ah. But I will just down-load, Commander.”

“Perhaps not—we are in a system generating Ragnar-like radiation; you do know what that means?”

Cavil was silent. “I will need a transmitter—a direct connection into the comm system by fiber-optic cable.”

“Done,” Mathias said as he racked the phone. “Get him what he needs, Colonel Jayne—Captain Danis, activate full internal firewalls—he is to have access ONLY to communications. Physically take long-range comm off-line.”

Tom started to argue, but Mathias snarled. “It’s either this or kill them all, Colonel! MOVE!”

For a moment Mathias was afraid that Tom wasn’t going to obey the order, but then he nodded and jogged out of CIC.

“Rambler, Scorpia Actual—we may have a way to stop this attack without killing everyone. Run interference, disrupt their attack as best you can, but do not fire for effect without my direct order.”

************************************************** **

“Copy that, Scorpia Actual,” Rambler said. “Frack,” he whispered. “All pilots, listen up. We are not, repeat NOT to engage these guys. Command wants us to mess up their attack run however, but warning shots only. Make them deviate from course.”

Expressions of disbelief and a few swear words filled up the tactical channels, and Rambler snarled. “Clear the air, pilots! You have your orders.”

How the frack we are going to do that is beyond me, he thought as his Vipers broke hard as they entered the weapons envelope of the oncoming strike—flying Mark VIIs!—and his opponents began to spit gun-fire. Whatever you doing, Commander, make it fast, he thought as he jinked to avoid a burst.

************************************************** **

“All batteries hold fire!” barked Sam. “Range to the Aurora?”

“She’ll be in gun-range in forty-five seconds . . . MARK . . . presuming her acceleration stays constant,” the tech answered.

Mat, I hope to the Hells you know what you are doing, she thought.

************************************************** **

Daniel and Anders watched as Cavil was pulled out of his cell and then the hatch slammed open and Tom entered with two technicians and a loop of fiber-optic cable. The techs removed an armor plate from the wall and hooked one end of the cable into a comm line; the second Tom offered to the Cylon.

And then Tom pulled his sidearm, chambered a round, and place it against the side of Cavil’s forehead. “Here, in this system, if you die, you die forever. Frack with us, and you will be in Hell before me,” Tom said.

“There is no Hell but what we make,” said Cavil. “I need a knife.”

Tom nodded at the Marines, who gave the Cylon a short—but razor-sharp—knife.

“What are you doing, John?” Daniel asked.

“Saving our collective asses, Father Daniel,” the Cylon answered as he sliced his arm and inserted the cable, dropping the knife on the floor in the process.

Tom frowned—the Cylon was bleeding. “Call a corpsman to the brig,” he ordered the Marines, and Cavil chuckled.

“Threaten to kill me one moment and then concerned for my well-being the next.”

“I’m only human,” Tom said.

“You say that like it is a good thing,” Cavil continued to insert the cable and then he stopped and jerked. “Interface connection made . . . short-range comm unit open . . . broadcasting shut-down commands,” his eyes glazed over and he swayed slightly.

Tom grabbed the phone in his free hand. “CIC, Brig. Cavil is transmitting now.”

“We confirm, Brig.”

************************************************** **

“Range to Aurora?” Mathias asked.

“She will enter gun-range in ten seconds . . . MARK,” replied Marius.

“The Air Wing?”

“Haven’t lost anyone yet, Sir—but there have been some close calls. Those pilots are not pressing the attack as hard as they should be,” Marius said and he gave a crooked grin. “Maybe some of them don’t want to be attacking a Battlestar anymore than we want to destroy that ship.”

Mathias ignored the comment and he kept his gaze focused on the DRADIS display. Come on, he thought. If they don’t power down . . . he sighed. “Captain Cook, look all batteries on Aurora and prepare to open fire on my com-. . .,”

SCORPIA, Rambler!” screamed a static filled voice from the intercom. “All hostile Vipers have lost power and are drifting!”

The Commander grabbed the phone. “Rambler, Scorpia Actual. Aurora?”

“Tumbling out of control, Sir.”

Mathias grinned. “CIC to Captain Aisne.”

“Go, CIC,” the Marine commander immediately answered.

“I want a boarding party to take Aurora before she can restore her systems—non-lethal weapons where possible; I’ll understand if it is not. Take her, Liam.”

“Aye, aye, Sir.”

“Sidewinder, Scorpia Actual,” he continued.

“Go, Scorpia Actual.”

“I want your Raptors to tow those disabled vipers into the port flight pod—don’t ding them or the pilots too badly.”

“On our way, Actual.”

“Captain Danis, raise that station—I want to have a talk to the imbecile that just tried to get Colonial officers and crew killed for no good reason. A long talk.”

Last edited by MasterArminas; January 13 2013 at 04:56 AM.
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Old January 13 2013, 06:56 PM   #45
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

A quick sneak peek.
Thunder Mk I

Thunder Mk I BSG colors
Coming up soon.

Viper Mk II (Canon)
Length: 27.6 feet (~8.4 meters)
Height: 8.9 feet (~2.7 meters)
Wingspan: 15.5 feet (~4.7 meters)
Crew: 1
Guns: 2 light KEW (kinetic energy weapon) cannons, up to two slung missiles

Viper Mk VI (The Hunted AU)
Length: 29.5 feet (~9.0 meters)
Height: 9.7 feet (~3.0 meters)
Wingspan: 17.3 feet (~5.2 meters)
Crew: 1
Guns: 3 light KEW, up to two slung missiles

Viper Mk VII (Canon)
Length: 32.3 feet (~9.8 meters)
Height: 9.7 feet (~3.0 meters)
Wingspan: 18.4 feet (~5.6 meters)
Crew: 1
Guns: 3 light KEW, up to two slung missiles

Thunder Mk I (The Hunted AU)
Length: 30.3 feet (~9.2 meters)
Height: 10.7 feet (~3.3 meters) combat, 8.9 feet (~2.7 meters) launching/landing cycle
Wingspan: 17.8 feet (~5.4 meters)
combat, 20.3 feet (~6.1 meters) launching/landing cycle
Crew: 2 (pilot, EWO)
Guns: 8 light KEW, up to four slung missiles, internal chaff/decoy dispenser
Special: Carriers Raptor-type jamming gear

The Thunder is a slower, heavier, less maneuverable fighter than the Viper currently under development at the time of the Cylon attack. Designed for heavy firepower and to provide combat EW support to the more nimble Vipers, the programs future was uncertain. In the wake of the Cylon attack, only a handful of these fighters have been produced.
All dimensions are taken from the shows (canon for the Vipers, actual physical mock-up for the Thunder).
To fit in the Viper launch tubes, those lower stabilizers have to be variable-geometry. They are extended (as shown in the pictures) for combat operations and then elevate for launching and landing. This does increase the wingspan, but it is not enough to prevent the fighter from using the tubes.
MA
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