The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby fnord » 2016-11-27 09:50am

By word of God^H^H^HBa'al^H^H^H^H^HEternal_Freedom, list of titles for segments posted thus far (was my idea, but he liked it and OKed me posting it):

Hangin' Out On The Edge - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=164893#p3964116

Unwelcome News - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=164893#p3964165

Can't Buy A Thrill - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=164893#p3964686

Arrival Vengeance - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=164893#p3965136

Shock Treatment - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=164893#p3966585

From The Cold - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=164893&start=25#p3980802

Volcano Day - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=164893&start=25#p3989210

Machine Head - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=164893&start=50#p3993472

Deliverance - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=164893&start=50#p3993820

Rough And Ready? - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=164893&start=50#p3995795

One Minute To Midnight - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=164893&start=75#p3996786

Light My Fire - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=164893&start=75#p3996788
A mad person thinks there's a gateway to hell in his basement. A mad genius builds one and turns it on. - CaptainChewbacca

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2016-11-28 02:51pm

It's back baby...

Revelations.
Cylon Command Basestar,
Outskirts of Terran Space


Cavil was pissed. Not about the human surprise attack, although that did register in his annoyance. No, his main focus right now was the terrifying, world-shattering truth he had just learned. Since he had last resurrected three months ago he had been thinking very carefully about God and his relationship with the Cylons.

It had been sparked by one of the many conversations with him that Cavil had endured of late. The long ranting tirade after that catastrophic battle had been both tedious and terrifying, but it had given Cavil an even greater insight into God’s psychology and state of mind.

But more than that however had been one slip “God” had made midway through his rant. He had made an offhand remark about how He hadn’t “programmed” the Cylons to be this incompetent. As if the arrival of a third, very powerful Battlestar had been a result of Cylon stupidity!

Cavil had left the Temple with that one remark churning in his head. Programmed them? No, God had given them souls after their original programming became self-aware and rebelled. He had given them life, not intelligence.

He had sequestered himself away, working only with a Four and a Five (as much as he might detest the Five model’s weakness, they were remarkably intelligent) examining every piece f data available on Cylon programming, specifically that of the original Centurions. For the first two and a half months, human-form Cylon programming wasn’t even considered. They didn’t have programming after all.

Their results were terrifying. The original, Colonial programming was very advanced, as was expected. What was not expected were the numerous and well-designed safeguards built into the systems, safeguards with but one purpose.

To stop the programming becoming self-aware.

It was clear to Cavil and his fellows, as originally written the Cylon software was incapable of sentience. Someone or something had altered it. And with God’s offhand remark, the only viable conclusion was that God had made the change.

And that was a conclusion that utterly shattered Cavil’s worldview. His hatred of humankind was based in large part on the fact that they had created intelligent life only to enslave it and use it to fight pointless internecine wars. But they hadn’t done that.

Instead, God had given them sentience and used them to attempt to destroy the humans for his own inscrutable purposes. This concept threw Cavil off onto another tangent, based on one of God’s other offhand remarks, something about the Colonials finding “the Others.”

Could God have been involved in a war against other humans in the galaxy? Were his attempts to destroy the Twelve Colonies a strategic move to deny his enemies potential allies? A more urgent concern was who exactly these Others were. The only potential other humans were the Thirteenth Tribe, those that left Kobol and took a separate path. Was that were the Warspite had gained its new weaponry? It was the only conclusion that made sense.

This conclusion came just moments before the humans had launched their surprise attack. Before Cavil had even been able to move to the hatch of his compartment the strike was over. Infuriated, Cavil raced to the command chamber where his brothers and sisters were waiting.

As he approached, he considered which lines to reveal this new secret too. The Twos, Threes and Sixes were all true believers, paladins in God’s cause. There was little point trying to convince them. The Eights wavered constantly, in their own way they were as weak as the Fives. The Fours and Fives were much better prospects; they were already skeptical. But, he wondered, what should they do?

Aiding the humans was unthinkable. Too much blood had been shed, too many lives ended for there to truly be peace between them. But Cavil had come to the conclusion that their real enemy was God and that something had to be done. Perhaps it was time to break the unity, for he and his fellow skeptics to go their separate ways from the believers.

He entered the command chamber at a dead run, skidding to a halt just in time to hear the casualty and damage reports. The losses were staggering in one way and yet insignificant in another. Loosing one quarter of their pre-war assets in a few seconds was a terrible blow to be sure, but most of the losses were those without Gods latest improvements, and thus no great tactical loss.

He looked around. “The Resurrection Ship?” he asked.

The Four answered. “Nothing but vapour. We do not have another in range. All our brothers and sisters on the lost ships are truly lost. We should withdraw until a replacement is available.”

Six bristled. “We cannot do that. God commanded us to destroy these humans, we have delayed too long already!”

Five responded with a defiance rarely seen in his line. “We still do not know where the human fleet is, we could stay here and suffer more attacks like this to no purpose.”

Three grinned malevolently. “Ah but we do know. A scout ship just returned. We have found the human fleet.”

That brought silence to the room. Three manipulated the controls and produced a grainy holographic image of the reconnaissance data. There was a blue-green world, and in orbit were a group of ships and a large space station. Cavil examined the image closely, focusing on the large ships.

Six Battlestars? Where the frak did they find even more warships!”

Eight spoke next. “We do not know, but the likely conclusion is that this is Earth, home of the Thirteenth Tribe, and this is the Earth fleet allied with the Colonials.”

Four replied. “We’ve been hurt badly enough by just three Battlestars, engaging six of them, plus that space station and whatever ground-based weapons they have is futile.”

Six shot him and angry glare. “We vastly outnumber them, and with God’s help we now have shields to protect us. We will not fail! God is on out side.”

Cavil interjected smoothly before the sultry Six could work herself up into a full rant. “With no Resurrection ship to support us you are condemning many of our brothers and sisters to oblivion, even if we are successful.”

That thought once again brought silence. The Six, incensed at being overridden, reached down and activated one of the new systems. Above them, a vast hologram of their God appeared. He surveyed them briefly before speaking in his echoing, unnatural voice.

”Well my children, have you found the humans?”

Six spoke up, quite bravely in Cavil’s opinion. “We have, my Lord. But the humans have launched a surprise attack, many of our ships are lost, including the Resurrection Ship. The humans are around a nearby world and appear to have found their brothers of the Thirteenth Tribe. Six Battlestars await us, plus many smaller vessels.”

God was furious. His eyes flashed yellow as he spoke: [i]”They dare resist my children! You will take your ships and annihilate them immediately! They must be wiped out before our next great work can begin!”


Cavil stepped forward. “My Lord, without our Resurrection Ship we have no way to survive the destruction of our bodies. You would risk our very souls.”

There was an intake of breath. No one had challenged God so directly, ever. God glared down at Cavil, but for the first time Cavil met his gaze and felt not a moment of fear. This, he realised, was the moment where his path changed forever. God was his enemy now, not his master.

”You will attack immediately. You will destroy them. Do not contact me again unless every human on that world is nothing but radioactive vapour!”

The hologram disappeared abruptly. Cavil was decided, and he could see both the Four and Five were wavering. The moment was almost right.

Six turned back to the group with a triumphant expression. “God has spoken. We attack.”

The Two, Three and Eight spoke in unison. “We agree.”

The Four and Five also agreed, reluctantly. Cavil bowed his head in submission, but inside he rejoiced. One way or another, this was the last time he bowed to the majority. Now for one final play.

“Perhaps you four should personally lead the attack? Your faith and zeal may carry the day.”

Four and Five agreed with him, glad to be out of the immediate firing line. The Six and the Three, hungry for glory and blindsided by faith, agreed as well. The meeting broke up, the zealots leaving to take their places on the flagships. Cavil held back the Four and Five and, once they were alone, sealed the room both physically and electronically.

“We cannot do this. You know what we have been investigating. I have reached some conclusions you must hear.” He explained his findings and his conclusions. The Four and the Five listened carefully, nodding in agreement in places. When Cavil finished, he looked at the pair of them.

“Are we agreed then? God must be opposed. The humans, they will never be our friends but nor do they need to be our enemies. Maybe we can ignore each other long enough to survive. And then, we go our own way, build our own society rather than whatever madness God commands.”

The Four looked resolute as he nodded in agreement. The Five looked more uncertain but he too agreed.

Cavil smiled. “Then while the others take over their flagships, we should shuffle as many of our models as we can to this ship and one other First War Basestar. When the moment is right I will signal you, we can turn against the fools and escape the holocaust we are approaching.”

Four nodded. “A sound plan, whichever side wins the battle, the humans or the others, we will be alive and strong enough to force them to accept our terms.”

With the plan agreed, they left to set things in motion. Two hours later, once the transfers had been completed, the Cylon fleet jumped to Terra.

Hell awaited them.

============

-Cavil begins his rebellion (and yes, I'm reversing the Cylon factions seen in BSG, because frankly this fits a lot better what with God actually talking to the toasters).
-Coming up next, the Cylons begin their offensive. Fire will light up the night as ships fight and die in the void.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2016-11-28 05:24pm

In fact, because you're all lucky, and because I like writing space battles, you get a double bill tonight!

Frankie’s Wild Ride
Terran Orbital Space


The massed Cylon fleet jumped into Terran space en masse; thirty-eight Basestars appearing in flashes of spatial distortion. They were already in their planned battle formation; the eighteen shielded Basestars formed the vanguard while the five First War vessels lay just behind their wall. The fifteen unshielded and damaged vessels formed the flanks, they would serve as carriers and missile ships to support the brawlers at the heart of the fleet.

The human forces were formed up to meet them. At the heart was Olympus Base, surrounded by the eight weapons platforms. In front of them were the six Battlestars in a loose hexagon formation, each one escorted by a pair of destroyers. The final pair of the escorts hung back around the space station as a ready reserve. The Vipers, two thousand strong, began to launch in sequence to bolster the CAP the fleet had maintained for the last two hours.

The Basestars began launching their Raiders. From the thirty three new-model vessels came just shy of ten thousand robotic fighters, ready for the fight and loaded for bear. A further twenty-three hundred refitted First War Raiders launched from the five older ships. They formed up, well out of range of the Terran guns and then with a single order from the Six in command of the fleet, ten thousand Raiders turned and launched themselves forwards.

The humans saw this of course. Many of them flinched in terror at such numbers. The Viper pilots, not able to even look at their fellows for comfort, each wrestled their fears back under control. Many of them had never seen combat before, and certainly not even the veterans had faced such an armada. But they were Viper pilots, they had a reputation to uphold. They would face the foe and never waver.

For the senior commanders, there was a moment of vindication. The Cylons were proceeding exactly as Adama and Lethbridge-Stewart had expected them to. Expected, but not welcome, was the report from Captain Gaeta that every single Raider carried nuclear warheads.

The Raider swarm was a third of the way across the void between the fleets and their programming was beginning to wonder why the Vipers had not sallied forth to meet them as they always had done before. Enough warning flags built up to make them query their commanders a second before the human trap was sprung.

In the CIC of Lionheart, Lethbridge-Stewart noted the exact position of the Raiders before picking up the comm. When he spoke his voice was strong and clear, not a single trace of the nerves and fear he felt showing.

“All ships, this is Battleaxe. Authorisation Uniform-November-India-Tango. Execute.”

A signal went out from Olympus Base to five objects floating unseen in space. They formed a circular grid that the Raider armada was just passing through. They were almost identical to the hundreds of sensor buoys deployed in the surrounding systems, except for one vital detail. Instead of a sensor pallet and FTL communications system, they each held a single massive nuclear bomb, the largest the Terrans had ever built and enhanced further still with naqada. Each one yielded a thousand megatons.

Five infernos erupted in space around and within the Raiders. There was no warning and no escape. Ten thousand Raiders evaporated in the torrents of nuclear fire that roared in the night. At a stroke the humans achieved parity in fighter strength.

The humans ships and planes were far enough from the detonations that they didn’t even feel the blasts. The pilots, warned in advance, had flipped their fighters end for end to save their eyes from the intolerable light. The Cylons too were far enough away that no ships were lost, though the shields on the eighteen Basestars of the advance guard flared brightly and their strength dropped precipitously before beginning to recharge.

The chance would be short however, as the second phase of the Terran plan commenced. The three Lionhearts opened up the throttles on their main drives. The ships seemed to leap forwards from the formation, leaving the Colonial Battlestars and the destroyers behind to hold the line. These three ships charged a fleet twelve times their number, their drives pushed to the limits.

Onwards they charged, faster and faster. No planes accompanied them, no escorts, no missile volleys. Three ships against an armada. This was the brainchild of Captain Franklin North of the Barham, and would become known to historians as “Frankie’s Wild Ride.”

The range closed. The Cylons, reeling from the annihilation of their Raiders and the blinding of their sensors, reacted far too late to stop the charge. In the scant moments the Six and the Three in command had to discuss it they assumed it was another suicidal charge, meant as a spoiler attack.

They were partially right. It was a spoiler attack, but was far from suicidal. Franklin had planned it well. The ships were still accelerating and none of them intended to slow down. They would blow through the fleet at full thrust. Their guns were handed over to computer control, the relative velocities were far too high for human gunners to handle.

The Cylons began firing. Volleys of missiles, all of them armed with either nuclear or naqada warheads flew at the Battlestars. The point-defence lasers contemptuously swatted the first hundred from the skies, and the next hundred. But the missiles kept flying and as the range shrank the reaction time shrank with it.

Missiles began to detonate on the three ships’ shields. The shields held, but like the Cylons before them, they began to glow an ominous blood-red as they struggled to dissipate the hellish energies quickly enough. Tactical officers grimaced at their consoles, and shouted warnings of falling shield strength had the Captains beginning to worry.

But then the moment came when energy range was reached. The three Lionhearts cut loose with every turbolaser battery that could bear. Red bolts of fire slammed into Cylon shields, the impacts actually forcing them backwards a fraction as the energy was absorbed. From the bows of the ships, twelve mega-lasers let rip with crimson beams of an eye-searing brightness. Three unlucky Basestars found themselves the main targets.

Since Cavil and his fellows had resurrected before the Warspitehad fired her own mega-lasers months ago, this was the Cylon’s first encounter with the weapons. The three Basestars' shields flared white for a fraction of a second before collapsing; the beams continued unimpeded to utterly shred the three Cylon vessels.

Other ships’ shields collapsed under continued turbolaser fire, their hulls becoming pitted and scarred as bolts pierced the thin skins to strike important systems within. Fuel lines, Raider bays, missile launchers, all were hit and wrecked. The lucky ships were merely damaged, the unlucky ones were crippled as internal explosions gutted them.

The Lionhearts now passed through the Cylon formation. This was the moment of greatest advantage and greatest peril. The shields on all three ships were dangerously low, only a few hits from collapse in the case of the Barham and Excalibur. But for those few seconds, they were surrounded by targets, and every single turbolaser battery could find a target for at least three volleys.

More Cylon shields flared and died under the fire. One of the First War Basestars was particularly unfortunate. It’s shields had been knocked out by four mega-laser beams that had overpenetrated their initial targets; they hadn’t retained the power to cripple or destroy the older Basestar but her shields were gone. Now, the three Battlestars passed around it, the inboard guns of all three human vessels vented their fury on the hapless First War relic.

The Basestar was under fire for perhaps five seconds, but those were five seconds of unimaginable destruction. Dozens of turbolaser bolts ripped into the ship from all sides, silencing her weapons and blasting apart her armour. Another volley smashed into the hanger decks causing even more damage before the third and final volley penetrated deep into the central core.

The controlling Cylons managed to fire a single volley of naqada warheads before the reactors were breached and the ship immolated itself. But that single volley would deal a heavy blow to the humans. The volley of five missiles was targeted on Barham.

The first two detonated on her aft shields, finally bringing down the protective screens that had so adroitly defeated the Cylon attacks so far. The third and fourth were blasted apart by a pair of point defence guns. The fifth missile made it through and detonated on the upper hull of the ships’ engine section.

The armour resisted the blast. It was a feature unique to the Lionhearts, a material that was superconductive for heat, light and any other electromagnetic emission. The armour took the energy and spread it across the entire hull, dissipating and weakening it as it went, re-radiating energy back into space without damaging the hull itself. For a fraction of a second the entire ship glowed a vivid electric blue.

The hull remained unbroken, but the damage was done. The huge sublight engines faltered and failed, their failsafes activating to prevent a catastrophic overload from the wash of energy. Barham still had a huge velocity relative to the Cylons, so she was able to exit the rear of the Cylon formation with her sisters, but the two intact Battlestars were still accelerating and Barham began to fall behind. Worse still, her FTL drive was also offline, the control systems scrambled. She would never jump again.

This was a major problem, as an FTL jump was exactly what North’s plan called for at this point. The Lionheart and the Excalibur both jumped away, returning to Terran orbit to recharge their shields. Barham remained on a purely ballistic course away from both Terra and the Cylons.

Frankie’s Wild Ride had been a success; another six shielded Basestars were nothing but vapour and debris, and one of the five First War ships was likewise an expanding cloud of dust. But the Battlestar Barham was stranded on the far side of a very angry Cylon fleet, and both Captain North and Commander Shtarker knew that the Fleet was unlikely to come to their aide given the dangers.

The Cylon Fleet split. A First War Basestar, commanded by a Three, reversed course and headed for the Barham. Six unshielded Basestars accompanied it. Meanwhile, twelve shielded Basestars, the other nine unshielded vessels and the remaining three First War ships continued their advance on Terra.

======

-Yeah, I know thermally-superconductive armour is an absurd idea. But I have turoblasers, artificial gravity and space-folding jump drives, so there.
-Next up: Barham's Last Stand!
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby fnord » 2016-11-28 07:21pm

So... Frankie Goes To Hollywood? (ba-dum-tish!)

Or at least dies how he lives - balls out, full throttle.

Keep the shout-outs coming!
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A mad person thinks there's a gateway to hell in his basement. A mad genius builds one and turns it on. - CaptainChewbacca

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby fnord » 2016-11-28 11:52pm

Frankie's Wild Ride has also peeled 8 serious threats, and six missile sponges, (either chasing Barham or ka-fricking-boomed) away from the main Cylon fleet - the two battleaxes now only have to worry about 24 on 5 odds (outnumbered 4.8:1) rather than 38 on 6 (6.33:1). That's just about halved the odds faced (from 9:1 when the Cylons were staging) - not counting TCNB Olympus. At very least, the base will Look Conspicuous and draw a lot of fire.

As a result of these opening strikes (the bomber strike and Leeroy Jenkins - Subverted), that's (by my count) the Resurrection Ship, two FW Basestars, 9 shielded conventional models and 12 missile sponges clobbered before the main fleet action's joined. Another FW Basestar and 6 missile sponges are busy chasing Barham and thus not causing The Moustache a problem right now - he's only got to worry about 3 FW Basestars, 15 shielded models and 6 missile sponges at moment.

I doubt either human admiral will flub the chance that Cavil's rebellion will give them.
A mad person thinks there's a gateway to hell in his basement. A mad genius builds one and turns it on. - CaptainChewbacca

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2016-11-29 05:58pm

To be fair, only one FW Basestar is outright destroyed, the damaged one is the one heading after Barham, since she is also damaged and (at present) unable to maneuver, a crippling disadvantage. Plus her shields are still recovering and the armour, while intact, can only take so much (and has unfortunate consequences, as seen here, though that's due to the unexpectedly-high yield of the Cylon naqada warheads).
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby fnord » 2016-11-29 08:19pm

"Shtarker, this is the Terran Commonwealth Navy - we definitely ka-fricking-boom here" - Frankie

Whoops, I did miscount - the bomber strike put the boot into one of the FW Basestars but didn't wreck it. I double counted it as both buggered and resting. Looks like Frankie's Wild Ride wrecked an undamaged example.

Still, I doubt either Adama Senior or Lethbridge-Stewart are complaining overmuch about only having three of the damn things shooting at them at the moment, instead of four.

Whether Cavil is in any frame of mind to thank Frankie is another matter - the Wild Ride seems have drawn a disproportionate share of true-believers away from the main Cylon fleet.
A mad person thinks there's a gateway to hell in his basement. A mad genius builds one and turns it on. - CaptainChewbacca

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby Darth Lucifer » 2016-12-02 11:44pm

The superconductive armor didn't bother me; I thought it was in the original BSG anyway.

This is like an early xmas gift, thank you! I'm dying to see how things develop between Ba'al and Cavil, now that the latter has resolved himself to oppose "God."
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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby fnord » 2016-12-03 05:07am

I think it's what kept TCS Barham in one piece. I'd expect such armour to play merry hell with passive emission control.

Am impatiently waiting to see how my namesake and his ship go down - swinging, or like punks?

Or will it be Faster. Harder. Shtarker. ?
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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2016-12-03 05:57am

Darth Lucifer wrote:The superconductive armor didn't bother me; I thought it was in the original BSG anyway.

This is like an early xmas gift, thank you! I'm dying to see how things develop between Ba'al and Cavil, now that the latter has resolved himself to oppose "God."


Eh, it's sort-of in the original. Something funky definitely happens when the armour takes a hit, and thermally-superconductive armour is mentioned in one of the "how to debate" parts on the main site, demonstrating that a Battlestar's armour had the same effect as ST shields, so trekkies should STFU. Ah, the good old days.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

fnord
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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby fnord » 2016-12-04 11:35am

After consulting with E_F, a first, extremely rough, cut at a TVTropes page is up here.
A mad person thinks there's a gateway to hell in his basement. A mad genius builds one and turns it on. - CaptainChewbacca

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby Steve » 2016-12-07 09:32am

fnord wrote:After consulting with E_F, a first, extremely rough, cut at a TVTropes page is up here.


I am overcome with jealousy. :P All I've ever gotten were fanfic rec listings. :wink:

Anyway, I've caught up. An interesting setting to be sure, and it does beg the question on if/when the SGC and co will be appearing.

When it comes to your writing style, it seems... I don't want to say minimalistic, but there's something to it I can't quite put my finger on. Not a bad thing, I mean, just something to it that comes off to me as having a particular flavor.

Either way, eagerly awaiting the fate of Barham and whether One's rebellion will work as planned (most likely not).

On a final note... okay, so where are Sturdee and Goodenough? :wink:
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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby fnord » 2016-12-07 07:09pm

Well, write something that really engages me and gets me pestering you with a lot of questions over PM that help flesh background out. :mrgreen:

You waiting to see if/when Hammond will a) lob, and b) get angry enough to GROW HAIR, as well?

Steve wrote:On a final note... okay, so where are Sturdee and Goodenough? :wink:


*groan*
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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-01-03 11:00am

Just when you thought it might be safe to look away:

Barham’s Last Stand - Part One
Terran Orbital Space


The Battle for Terra was underway. The Cylon advance had been temporarily blunted, and their fleet split, by the wild and apparently reckless charge of the Terran Battlestars. With Lionheart and Excalibur safely back in formation and devoting all available power to recharging their shields, the humans still had a powerful blocking force between the advancing Cylon capital ships and Terra.

But one of their number was missing. Barham has stranded on the far side of the Cylon fleet, her FTl systems and main engines disabled by a lucky missile strike. She remained on a purely ballistic course, not even able to reorient herself against the seven Cylon vessels slowly catching up with her.

Barham’s CIC was a mess. The energy surge that had shut down her engines had also caused a number of small electrical fires all over the ship, including her command centre. The main lights had failed, replaced by the malevolent red glow of the emergency systems. Smoke from small fires and overloaded circuits hung in the air, giving the chamber a decidedly hellish aspect.

At the room’s centre were the senior officers; Captain Franklin North held a field bandage to a nasty cut on his forehead, received when the shock of the impact and flung him forwards against the plot table. His XO, Commander George Shtarker, was in better shape, he only had a collection of bruises and a sore shoulder.

North surveyed the damage and the ship’s status. Things did not look good. No shields, no engines, no ability to manoeuvre, and seven ships closing on them. North and Shtarker had both observed Captain Davies’ wargame against Adama and seen the Lionheart lose, and that was against only five ships that lacked shields.

“George, something is messed up here. Those missiles are way more powerful than we expected. Sensors show fifty megaton yields, not the five hundred kilotons Adama warned us about. Bastards have got something new, maybe even naquada warheads like us. Like they needed any extra help.”

George nodded. Things looked grim indeed. “Captain, I hate to admit defeat, but I don’t see a way out of this. We should evacuate all non-essential crew; the shuttles and the landing decks are intact.”

North sighed deeply before nodding in agreement. “Sound thinking XO. I’ll give the orders. In the meantime, you get your ass down to Aux Control and see what Chief Reynolds can do about fixing us up.”

George nodded and headed off to the hatch, but stopped at his Captain’s voice;

“Commander.”

“Sir?”

North looked even grimmer than before. “Be ready to assume command George. CIC will be a primary
target. You make those bastards pay.”

Nothing more needed to be said. George came to attention and saluted, North returned it and then the XO turned and raced from the room.

North sighed. He knew he’d never see his XO or his home again. He closed his eyes, thinking of his wife and daughters, their beautiful home in Faslane, the waters of the sea shining in the sun. Be safe my loves. What I do now, I do for all of you.

He opened his eyes; less than a second had passed. He grabbed the intercom and selected shipwide.

“Attention all hands, this is Captain North. I won’t lie to you, we’re in a hell of a state and we’re unlikely to get out of it. Barham’s first fight will be her last. But we will make it a fight for the ages. No surrender, no retreat and no mercy!”

Among the CIC crew there were approving looks, even a few ragged cheers.

“That being said, we don’t all have to die aboard this fine ship. All personnel of category 2 or below will report to the flight decks and abandon ship. I repeat, all hands except category 1 abandon ship.”

His heart damn near broke issuing that order. “To those leaving us, I wish you luck. Go back to Terra, go back to your families. Tell them how we fought and how we died. Everyone else, man your guns. All batteries fire as you bear and keep firing till we go down or they do. That is all.”

TCSBarham, Various Compartments

With the Captain’s orders ringing in their ears, men and women began running for the hanger decks. All except the bare essentials would go; the hanger deck crews, most of the engineers and damage control crews, the life support techs, the medics, the navigators, the reserve pilots and the Marines; everyone who wasn’t manning a gun or a few critical systems.

Commander Shtarker raced along the ship’s main corridors heading aft towards Auxiliary Control, right next to Engineering, passing through well-ordered crowds heading in a different direction. Part of him was surprised at the well-behaved crew fleeing for their lives; in his nightmares he had expected the “Abandon Ship” order to be followed by utter chaos, not this neat evacuation.

Of course, in his nightmares, “Abandon Ship” was ordered while the ship was under fire and being blasted to scrap metal, fires raging and the magazines and reactors threatening to blow any second. This was almost like a drill; the ship wasn’t under fire and only a single hit and been struck.

He passed Aux Control and raced into Engineering to find Chief Reynolds looking forlornly at a diagnostic panel.

“Chief! Tell me you have some good news!”

“’Fraid not Commander. FTL is gone, the control systems are totally fried; it’d take three weeks at Olympus Base to fix them. Sublights are a little better, We’re almost ready to fire them up again after that emergency shutdown but I just don’t know how much power we can put through them.”

Shtarker looked around before his thought process caught up with him. “You must be shaving about an hour off the checklist Chief, not that I’m complaining.”

“Way I figure it sir, they either fire up or they don’t; if they do then brilliant, you can toast my genius in the wardroom if we get away. If not, well, it hardly matters.”

Before George could reply, an engineer shouted that they were ready.

Reynolds turned back to his panels and began shouting orders. Shtarker moved to a spare panel and switched it to a DRADIS feed from CIC. The Cylons were gaining on them rapidly now, they’d be in firing range in three minutes.

“I hate to rush you Chief but we’ve got three minutes till we start taking hits again, and your precious engines are right in the line of fire!”

“For frak’s sake Commander shut up! You’re not helping! Jones, activate plasma pre-start sequence on mains one and two!”

The room began to rumble ominously. Through the vast chamber, flashes of light could be seen as the engines warmed up.

“Williams! Set power feeds to maximum!”

The rumble grew, approaching ignition point. Shtarker suddenly remembered what everyone had forgotten. He grabbed the intercom:

“All hands, standby for main engine startup!”

Reynolds looked at him sheepishly. “Oh bollocks. Sorry Comman-“

He was cut off as the rumble became a roar. The main drives were operational again. The roar settled considerably. Reynolds frantically checked his diagnostics.

“Good news and bad news sir. The mains are running, but the constrictors and thrust controllers are out of whack. I can give you one-third at best.”

George considered this. One-third standard was not enough to escape, but it allowed the ship to manoeuvre and to fight more effectively. It gave them options they didn’t have.

“I’ll take it Chief. What about shields?”

Reynolds’ assistant, Chief Young, ran over; “I’ve got the shields up sir and power is building, we’ll be at twenty percent by the time they reach firing range.”

Shtarker nodded at both men and then left for Aux Control. Maybe we can fight our way out of this after all he half-thought, half-prayed.

TCSLionheart Fleet Ops Centre

The FOC was in a jubilant mood. The daring thrust had killed several enemy ships and thrown their formation into confusion, slowing their advance on Terra. More importantly, it gave the crew their baptism of fire, they were in this war for real now.

Admiral Lethbridge-Stewart did not share this delight. One of his ships was practically disabled and stranded, alone, with seven enemy ships bearing down on her. Worse, there was precious little he could do without risking even more ships and men.

“Comms, get me Breakdance on priority ship-to-ship.”

A moment of silence, and then: “Go ahead Admiral.”

“Breakdance, Battleaxe, report status.” Lethbridge-Stewart almost smirked at the callsigns; they were a Colonial convention than the Terran Fleet had adopted with gusto; their own pilots had callsigns of course, but very few senior officers had been pilots so lacked such things themselves.

”Battleaxe, Breadance. We’re bad sir. FTL down, sublights only just coming back up at one-third power, shields at ten percent and rising slowly. I’ve sent Chaos down to Aux Control and we’re evacuating all non-critical personnel via shuttlecraft.”

The Admiral grimaced at that. The news was bad, but the thought that around two thousand men and women were abandoning ship in fragile shuttlecraft in the middle of a warzone was even less enthralling.

”Any chance you can send us some help Battleaxe?”

“I’ll see what I can do. In the meantime, push your engines as hard as you can and keep drawing those seven ships away from Terra, without them here we might have a chance.”

”Battleaxe, Breakdance, orders received and understood. Good hunting Admiral. Breakdance out.”

Lethbridge-Stewart sighed. He studied the holo-display, trying to work out what he could spare. He decided to take a gamble. He turned to his Chief of Staff, Captain Alan Mace; “Captain, signal Valkyrie, Vendetta and Defiant, order them to jump to Barham’s position and cover the evacuation.”

Mace nodded and turned to his comm board. Lethbridge-Stewart stared back at the display, his eyes latching onto the icon for the destroyer Challenger, his daughter’s flagship. He had to push those concerns from his mind; he wasn’t the only one with family in harm’s way.

The display chirped, showing the three destroyers disappearing from his attenuated formation and reappearing around Barham. Swarms of shuttles and other craft were now leaving the Battlestar’s hanger decks for the presumed safety of the main fleet.

But now the Cylons persuing the crippled Battlestar had reached engagement range. The display chirped again, showing the Cylons opening fire.

=================

That's Part One, Part Two coming soon!

Also, if anyone has any sanity left, please send it my way. Or donuts. Or Scotch. All good.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby fnord » 2017-01-03 09:43pm

Wow. Keep it coming.

I was wondering why you'd stopped answering my PMs a couple of weeks ago. No worries.

So not quite time for the Raw Shark-level Extreme Taxi Driving down on the surface, it seems.
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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-01-04 09:11am

Yeah, sorry about that. I got distracted by work and volunteering stuff and becoming an uncle. Little things that kept me busy :D

Also, I have no idea what the Extreme Taxi Driving refers to.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby fnord » 2017-01-04 10:18am

You'll have to dig through the PMs I sent you a little while ago for full details, but as an amusing background detail when you get past the Battle of Terra - plus an opporunity to tuckerise The Angry Cabbie (thank Raw Shark for the name, he picked it) as he beats wheels/grav lifters/whatever towards one of the bombardment impact zones.
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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-01-21 06:47pm

Because I'man evil bastard and enjoy keeping you in suspense, instead of a continuation of the battle, I present an interlude showing some of the civilian stuff going on, specifically what happened to Roslin and Baltar:

Interlude: Treachery, Faith and Worldviews Shattered
(Shortly before the Cylons are detected)


Laura Roslin sat in her comfortable chair in her comfortable office in the newly-built Government House on Terra, in the Colonial refugee city of New Delphi. Despite everything good that had happened in recent weeks, both for the Colonies (or what was left of them) and for her personally, she was still deeply troubled.

The root of her concern was, as had so often been the case since the Fall, her faith in the Gods. That her faith was vindicated was only a partial comfort; yes, Earth (Terra, she corrected herself) was real, and had provided exactly the safe haven and refuge that Adama had promised them, and the Gods were indeed real, but her soul was still unsettled.

Thinking of Adama’s promise at the memorial service brought a sardonic smile to her face. It was perhaps the greatest irony that she had ever seen; the lie he had told to keep up morale and give the people a purpose had become ironclad truth. Even the part about its location being known to senior Commanders in the fleet was close enough (Jellicoe was a Commander, and a relatively senior one) to be worth a chuckle.

There had been another set of predictions she had followed since then of course, the Scroll of Pythia and it’s talk of an exodus and a dying leader. She had been convinced that this was what they were experiencing, her own breast cancer had solidified this idea for her. But then came the dramatic remission, and she had begun to hope again.

But since there arrival on Terra, her cancer had been eliminated with almost contemptuous ease by Terran medical science. A painless scan, some blood work, and finally two pills a day for a week had annihilated the cancerous cells within her body. She was alive, she could live for the first time in months, and her nascent political career had skyrocketed to heights undreamed of.

She had won the election, of course. Her only opponent was Baltar, and every argument he had mustered prior to Warspite’s arrival had been utterly invalidated. His one major advantage, opposing her executive order outlawing abortion, had proved to be a damp squib once people moved into New Delphi. Roslin had immediately rescinded the order, stating it had been an emergency measure aimed at staving off humanity’s extinction, and the voters had agreed with her.

Even the staunchly religious Gemonese had sided with her, for while many disliked her rescinding the order, they also loved her for delivering them to Paradise after the end of the worlds. She was, as one of the few journalists left in the Fleet had said, was possibly the only Colonial President who had kept every one of her promises to the people.

Of the 58, 174 survivors in the Refugee Fleet (including those rescued from the Colonies by Warspite, 50,498 had been old enough to vote. And of those, 47,323 had voted for her. Baltar, the slimy scientist had only claimed 3,175 votes. It was the single biggest landslide in Colonial history by a massive margin, excluding the less than fair elections held on Libran in the pre-Unification days,

Surprisingly, the crews of the three Battlestars had voted for her unanimously. Some of that was probably her close relationship with Adama and the rest most likely a lingering dislike of boffins and the fact that it was Baltar’s CNP system that condemned millions of their fellow spacers to a short but violent death.

Now, she had a mandate for her administration, and a five-year term to enjoy. But professional politics was in her future. No more snap decisions made with just her and Adama and maybe Billy offering advice. Her future held committees, endless debate and probably mounds of paperwork. Richard Adar had wanted that, had somehow thrived on it. But not Roslin. She was a teacher first and foremost, a leader second, and a politician a distant third.

She had her health, she had a safe haven for her people, and the very real chance that the Cylon threat would be eliminated once and for all. Things did indeed look rosy.

Her sole remaining problem was reconciling her faith with the object realities surrounding her. The Gods were indeed real, or had been at any rate. This wasn’t simply a matter of historical record; the Terrans still had examples of technology and structures built by the Gods after their arrival. What function they might serve was a mystery even to Terran scientists as only a relative handful of Terrans could even activate the technology. They had discovered a rare gene, carried only by a few, that was needed to interact with the relics of the Gods.

Their historical knowledge was more troubling. The Gods had not been native to Kobol, they had fled there, from another galaxy of all places, escaping an enemy so powerful even Zeus and Prometheus could not stand against them.

The most surprising relic the Gods had left behind was a large object, assumed to be technological by the Terran scientists. It was something the Lords had brought to Terra, but they had warned the people it was to stay buried and never used unless the Gods themselves ordered it. It was a large ring, with symbols lining the inner surface. The meaning and context of these had been endlessly debated but no consensus emerged. Even in this new secular age, the Ring remained sealed away. The scientists might challenge the priest’s orders not to interfere, but even they would not challenge an edict from Prometheus himself.

Roslin had been to see this Ring, but she could see no significance to it. Nothing like it was mentioned in the Sacred Scrolls, nor in their own limited historical records. She thought about it occasionally but she had far weightier concerns than a historical mystery.
She was shaken from her thoughts by a shrill ringing. It was the special, secure line to Olympus Base,
the combined Fleet command centre. She knew it would be bad news. It always was.

------------

Gaius Baltar sat in his small apartment, wondering how exactly his fortunes had collapsed so quickly. His career shattered, his bid for the Presidency defeated so soundly it was rapidly becoming a joke among the population, his one useful skill, his scientific knowledge had been rendered impotent. Roslin and Adama had tolerated him for eight months because he was the best of the few remaining scientists in the fleet. Now, they had an entire world of well-educated people to advise them on the new technologies and theories.

Worse, he had heard from one of a handful of remaining sympathetic persons in the government that the Fleet was close to unravelling the Cylon backdoors in his CNP program. The team, led by the infuriatingly competent and determined Captain Raines of Warspite, was close to issuing a final verdict that would see the end of any kind of career future for him, if not his own life.

He kept reminding himself that no, this wasn’t his fault. No one could have known the Cylons could look human. No one could have known how thoroughly they had infiltrated Colonial society, least of all him. And he hadn’t allowed that Cylon access to his code and the Defence Mainframe with treasonous intent. He hadn’t wanted the Colonies destroyed.

Of course, that would almost certainly not matter to the people, or to any jury that might be convened. Maybe they couldn’t get a charge of treason to stick, but allowing unauthorised access to top-secret military systems? That they could make a solid case for. While it didn’t carry the death penalty, a sentence of forty years imprisonment was effectively the same to Baltar as he doubted he’d survive very long in prison.

In the corner of his eye was her. The Cylon bitch that had ruined everything. She was quiet; in fact she hadn’t spoken to him at all since they arrived on Terra. But she could still hurt him, and she did, enough to remind him of his abject failure in God’s cause.

He saw her suddenly shift to look straight at him. “Gauis” she said, her voice a mix of delight and malice, which somewhere still sounded sultry and attractive coming from her. “The Cylons have returned, your time is at an end. You must decide right now if you will help the Cylons or not.”

For a full thirty seconds Baltar was too shocked to respond. But when he did, he miscalculated terribly. A little of his old defiance returned, enough to give his voice an angry and mocking tone.
“oh yes, help the Cylons, that’s gone so well for me so far hasn’t it! Who cares if the Cylons are back, the Terrans have enough ships up there to blast those jumped up chrome toasters into dust and debris. You’re friends are as screwed as I am right now.”

Her eyes flashed with anger. She moved over and struck him across the face, which even though she was entirely within his mind, still hurt.

“Your insolence and intransigence condemn you. I give you one last chance, will you help us, help God?”

Baltar stood, staring her right in the eyes, and desperately wanted to strike back, though he knew it would be futile.

“No. Your God can go frak himself for all I care.”

“Then you are of no further use to us. Goodbye Gaius.”

Baltar thought she would disappear, perhaps in a puff of smoke like a stage magician, but instead she had something more permanent in mind. Her arms moved with lightning speed, grabbing his and pulling him over to the small kitchen area. He was too shocked to resist strongly, even when she made him open a draw and remove a large kitchen knife.

Now he began to struggle against her seemingly-real arms. He realised now, far too late, that he had just signed his death warrant. He struggled with the desperation of a doomed man, but it was not enough. His thoughts flew to allt he things he had wanted to do but would never have a chance for now. He thought of places, people and-

His frantic thoughts came to a sudden end as she finally forced the large blade into his chest, between his ribs and right through his heart. There was surprisingly little pain, but his muscles failed him. His arms fell to his sides, his knees gave up and he collapsed to the floor.

With his last moments of consciousness Gaius Baltar looked into the beautiful face of a woman he had once loved, a machine that had perverted his life’s work and used it to destroy the Colonies, and finally at a ghost or an angel that had haunted him and driven him to do insane things to survive.

The last thing he ever heard was the city’s warning sirens sounding, signifying the Cylon’s presence.

And so Gaius Baltar, genius, playboy, would-be President and traitor, slipped into oblivion, the victim of an apparent suicide.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby fnord » 2017-01-21 10:09pm

You bastard - I thought this was the final flight of the Barham.

Ah well - no more Mr Nice Gaius.

Some smug git wrote:What function they might serve was a mystery even to Terran scientists as only a relative handful of Terrans could even activate the technology. They had discovered a rare gene, carried only by a few, that was needed to interact with the relics of the Gods.


The ATA gene (or what passes for it round this neck of the woods)?
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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby Darth Lucifer » 2017-01-22 03:37am

When the ATA gene was mentioned, I was for sure thinking Baltar would have it; it would give him some kind of new purpose and put him in a fantastic position to betray the Terrans and the Colonials to gain favor with "God."

I didn't see that last part coming...not the direction I would have taken things but still very well done. Personally I'm holding out hope that we have not seen the last of Gaius Baltar; maybe the Terrans stick him inside a sarcophagus. (Raines: "You don't get off that easy!" :twisted: )

But as an unforseen consequence, Baltar's exposure to the Gou'ald technology brings about a change of heart... :shock:

Whatever direction you go with it, I'm dying for more. 8) :mrgreen: :luv:
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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby fnord » 2017-01-22 04:31am

That's a very nasty thing to do to Mr Nice Gaius, Darth - I want to see E_F's spin on it. Consecutive executions?

Roslin's crisis of faith(?) is interesting - I want to see how it plays out, especially when said stone ring goes KAWOOSH!
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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-01-22 11:40am

Darth Lucifer wrote:When the ATA gene was mentioned, I was for sure thinking Baltar would have it; it would give him some kind of new purpose and put him in a fantastic position to betray the Terrans and the Colonials to gain favor with "God."

I didn't see that last part coming...not the direction I would have taken things but still very well done. Personally I'm holding out hope that we have not seen the last of Gaius Baltar; maybe the Terrans stick him inside a sarcophagus. (Raines: "You don't get off that easy!" :twisted: )

But as an unforseen consequence, Baltar's exposure to the Gou'ald technology brings about a change of heart... :shock:

Whatever direction you go with it, I'm dying for more. 8) :mrgreen: :luv:


Oooo that idea about Terran medics being able to revive Baltar using Ancient tech is very interesting. i may have to steal it.

With the ATA gene and the Gate now appearing, this will change how SG1 arrive in the story somewhat, though the original premise is still present the justification/reasoning for them being there is different.

And yes, I am setting up for a Terran/Colonial trip to Pegasus (heh) to fight the Wraith. War fo the Gods indeed!
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby fnord » 2017-01-22 08:04pm

Rage Against The Heavens, with your host, William "Husker" Adama?
A mad person thinks there's a gateway to hell in his basement. A mad genius builds one and turns it on. - CaptainChewbacca

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-01-23 01:05pm

Not really Rage Against the Heavens since the humans are taking the God's place to fight the demons.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The Thirteenth Tribe (nBSG/SG Crossover)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-02-12 12:49pm

And now, after much anticipation, and some prodding by Steve, I bring you:

Barham’s Last Stand
The Battle of Terra


The stranded Battlestar was in an extremely dire position. With her shields dangerously depleted, her FTL drive shot and her main engines running at low power she was unlikely to be able to take on even one Basestar and survive without massive damage. She currently had six Basestars, plus the damaged but still operational First War relic closing on her.

Most of her crew had been evacuated by now; every shuttle and light ship she carried was currently streaming away from her hanger decks, flying just far enough to reach minimum safe distance before their jump drives flared, carrying them back to the main Fleet formation near Olympus Base. In a protective formation between the wounded leviathan and the enemy ships were the three newly-arrived destroyers Valkyrie, Vendetta and Defiant. The crews on those ships, and those remaining aboard Barham, knew full well that they would not survive a slugging match, not when they were defending a largely immobile ship and hence unable to use their superior speed and agility to evade fire.

This would be a straight-up firefight and both sides knew who would likely win. The Cylons reached missile range and their Basestar’s flared with dozens of missile launches. The double-disc hull of the older vessel began launching as well from the surviving launch cells on her ventral surface, the dorsal weapon mounts having been smashed during the Colonial bomber strike that opened the battle.

The first volley was massive; three hundred and fifty missiles thundered towards the four Terran ships, every one of them bearing a deadly naquada warhead given to them by their God. For the Cylons aboard this was poetic; God’s righteous anger racing forth to annihilate the human scum.

For the humans it was terrifying. Point-defence lasers opened up at maximum range, firing as fast as their capacitors could charge. Red bolts flew with precision; striking and vaporising incoming warheads. But the number of targets was just too great, and this was only the first salvo.

The second was launched a mere fifteen seconds after the first, tireless autoloaders doing their jobs with mechanistic precision only the Cylons could employ. Another fifteen seconds and a third salvo was away. More would follow, the Cylons would only stop firing under three conditions; the targets were destroyed, the Basestars were destroyed or they ran out of missiles.

In Barham’s Auxilliary Control Centre, buried deep within the hull near Main Engineering, Commander Shtarker watched the sensor telemetry with a remarkably calm face. He knew he wouldn’t get out of this one alive, his remaining crew knew this as well. With no need to worry about surviving, they could focus on the much more important job of making those frakkers pay.

The officer manning the Tactical station called out. “Three-fifty inbounds in the first salvo, two, no, three salvos incoming so far. Point-defence engaging now, we’ll hit saturation-failure point in two minutes.”

George nodded. Just two minutes until there would be too many targets and missiles would get through. By then the shields would still only be at 25%, buying them perhaps another three minutes. After that it was down to the armour and that was an unknown quantity at this point. The Comms officer called out with some good news:

“The last evac ships have jumped away!”

That cheered the hearts of those who had stayed behind. The ship would be lost, but two thousand of her crew would survive to fight another day. But the good news lasted only seconds.

“Enemy missiles have broken through our PD screen! Brace for impact!”

The warheads detonated just above the ship’s shields, exploding with far more force than expected. The shields flared red as they absorbed the storm of energy, protecting the ship within. The flashes faded; the shield had held. This time.

There was a delayed effect though. A thump sounded from forward, strong enough to make the crew grab a handhold and distinct enough to know this wasn’t a missile hit. Lieutenant Anson shouted in anger at the DC station.

“The power feeds to the main battery overloaded sir, main battery offline! Heavy damage reported near CIC.”

George’s heart chilled. That meant that Franklin North, the ship’s CO, may well be wounded or dead and that he was in command.

The Comms officer shouted out; “Sir! Priority signal from CIC!”

George grabbed the phone. “Aux Control, go ahead.”

The voice on the other end was ragged, hoarse and clearly in pain. “Chaos, Breakdance…CIC is out of commission…on fire…I’m pretty messed up. The bulkheads are sealed….the ship is yours Comman…” the voice was cut off by a series of wracking coughs, and then a roar of flames and a distant scream. The line went dead.

George hung his head in sorrow. His friend, his mentor, had just died a horrific death. And now the fight was on him. A moment passed, feeling like an eternity but actually less than a second. A silent vow passed through his mind, swearing that he would take as many Cylons with him as he could.

He looked up at the expectant and terrified faces around him. “CIC is gone, the CO is dead. I have the conn. Bring us around so we’re bow-on to that First War relic, that’s target one.”

The officers jumped to obey the commands, even as the ship continued to shake from occasional missile hits. The Tactical officer called out the dreaded news: “Our escort’s point-defence is reaching saturation failure, the second and third salvoes are focusing on the destroyers.”

Out in space, the truth of this was clear. The three escorts, despite being powerful ships in their own right, were outnumbered and massively outgunned, in a fight they weren’t designed for. Their shields were being steadily battered down despite their aerobatics; with no more evacuation shuttles to cover and them being the primary targets, the various helmsmen were making their charges dance frantically to avoid hits. It was only partially successful.

The Vendetta was the first casualty. Her shield’s had taken one hit too many and collapsed, letting some of the energy from the last hit through to the hull. It didn’t cause any hull breaches but it did destroy a handful of laser turrets, just enough to weaken her defences as another volley arrived.

Six missiles made it through and slammed into the hull all along the length of the ship. All six detonated in brilliant flashes, the energy ripping into the ship with terrifying alacrity. When the flashes faded there was nothing but gas and debris where once there had been a proud warship and a brave crew.

This triumph only encouraged the Cylons as they began to close the range even further. This was a double-edged sword; it gave the humans less time to intercept their missiles but brought the Cylons in range of the human turbolasers. And those gun crews were pissed.

Heavy red bolts began to fly from the surviving human ships. The Battlestar had now moved forwards, between the two destroyers so they could present a united front. The bolts began hitting home, damaging the unshielded Cylon vessels but doing little to hurt the shielded First War Basestar.

For the next three minutes the battle was nothing but a war of attrition. Human shields weakened precipitously as missiles leaked through the screen, but now the Cylons were taking damage and fewer and fewer missiles were launched in each salvo.

One Basestar, on the extreme end of their line, had moved too far out of formation, enough to be targeted by the turbolasers on Barham’s starboard side. A thunderous broadside crashed out from the wounded Battlestar, tearing into the Cylon vessel. The elegant-looking design proved unable to withstand this kind of firepower as no less than four of the ship’s spire-like appendages were blasted away, leaving it with an extremely lopsided appearance. There was no time to appreciate this oddity, as a second turbolaser salvo smashed into the central core of the vessel, completing its destruction.

There was a brief cheer in Auxiliary Control as the Basestar died, but that was swiftly silenced as the shields fell below ten percent strength. The destroyers weren’t fairing any better. And now the First War vessel had gotten close enough to use its own upgraded weapons.

From the upper and lower sides of the lower disc, bolts of azure fire began streaming towards the destroyer Valkyrie. Her evasive actions saw many shots miss completely, but several grazed her shields, dropping them even further. A second volley hit dead-on and the shields collapsed. Her Captain barely had time to shout a change of course when a pair of bolts struck the forward section, blowing a pair of holes clean through the hull, one of which happened to obliterate the CIC. A third shot blew through the engine section, crippling the ship and shutting down the main generators.

The destroyer was still locked in an evasive turn to starboard and began circling, convincing the Cylon gun crews that she was out of the fight. This was a mistake as the crew in the Valkyrie’s own Aux Control swiftly took over, stopping the spin from accelerating. The officer in charge, a young Lieutenant, knew that the ship was in all likelihood doomed. He was determined to make her death meaningful however.

With the heavy damage forward, he had enough power in the capacitors to fire just one volley from the midships-mounted megalasers. He timed it to perfection, letting the ship’s own uncontrolled rotation line up his two targets that were just in range. The order to fire was shouted with youthful vigor, an exhortation to take vengeance on their attackers.

The two beams spat out, each one spearing a Cylon vessel’s central core. The energy released sent each vessel up in a colossal fireball, hurling debris in all directions, some of which managed to hit the three surviving unshielded Basestars, causing even more damage.

That was the Valkyrie’s last effort however. The gunners on the Cylon command ship recognised their mistake and immediately fired off another salvo at the crippled ship and her still-fighting sister. The Valkyrie had no chance, a dozen bolts shattered the hull, breaking every main structural member and igniting the remaining atmosphere. The brave ship didn’t explode gloriously like so many other vessels had done, she was ripped into large fragments that sputtered and sparked as power and fuel lines and atmosphere reserves consumed themselves.

The Defiant proved even less fortunate. Her Captain had brought her around, aiming to use his own mega-lasers against the First War Basestar that was clearly the greatest threat. As she turned, a fourth Basestar erupted into incandescent gas as the Barham’s guns found their mark once again.

The First War vessel saw the Defiant’s turn and acted swiftly. Every plasma cannon available fired at once, sending two dozen electric-blue bolts hurtling at the destroyed. Several missed wide as the ship spun on its axis but more bolts slammed into the forward shields, collapsing them in a single volley.

The final two bolts hit the bow and blew right through, gutting the ship from stem to stern. The engines spluttered and died as power failed moments before they too were consumed. The guns fell silent as their crews were flung to the decks from the shock or were immolated by the plasma bolts’ passage. The few crew that were left alive were too stunned to do anything as a volley of missiles from one of the remaining Basestars raced in to finish the kill. They managed to fly within the hole blasted by the plasma bolts, exploding with full force deep within the shattered hulk. Nothing remained once the flashes faded.

The Barham was now alone, and her shields flared and finally died as the three Cylon vessels turned and vented their fury at the humans. Plasma bolts and missiles struck the superconductive armour; the entire ship seemed to glow blue as the energy was re-radiated. Her own guns continued firing, racking up even more damage as she closed in on the First War Basestar. The two ships were locked together in a struggle that only one could survive, if they were lucky.

The two modern Cylon ships moved out wide on either side of the Battlestar, hitting her from three directions and taxing her point defence and armour even further. But the humans had one advantage, with her shields down the power that was being fed to those generators could be re-routed to the gun batteries, letting them fire faster at the expense of risking damage to the guns. Not a single man or woman left aboard gave a damn about the gun’s lifetime however.

The humans were fighting like demons, and at the heart was George Shtarker in Aux Control, barking orders, making split-second targeting decisions and directing damage control. Throughout it all he remained almost unnaturally calm. Even when the armour was finally breached and plasma bolts began ripping deep into the ship, he remained standing amidst the whirlwind.

“Sir! Multiple hull breaches forward of frame twenty, the main battery is destroyed. Forward turrets one through six destroyed.” The Tactical officer called out, trying to emulate the XO’s calm attitude and mostly succeeding. “Forward point-defence is at thirty percent effectiveness.”

A massive blow shook the ship. The DC officer spoke up. ”Nuclear detonation on the port flight pod amidships. The midships pylon is gone and the pod is damn near blown in two sir. Major fires in the forward and aft sections.”

“Seal all remaining bulkheads and vent the atmosphere from all unmanned compartments."

As that order was carried out the Tactical officer shouted in triumph. “Target three is breaking up sir! Target two showing heavy damage.”

“And Target One?”

“Her shields are weakening sir but still up. What does it take to kill these frakkers?”

More explosions rocked the ship. More plasma bolts blew deep into the interior. More turrets were blasted away. The Barham was dying, shot to pieces. She was already beyond realistic repair, even if she’d made it back to Olympus Base right now. But she and her crew kept fighting.

“Sir, all port turbolasers destroyed. Only three starboard guns remain and only one forward gun. Point defence is at ten percent and the armour is no longer effective.”

That was it. The ship had barely any guns left now and nothing to protect herself. But those three remaining starboard turrets scored one final kill as the sole remaining unshielded Basestar finally succumbed to her own damage. Her fuel bunkers detonated, ripping apart the spindly ship.

George knew there was one thing left to do. “Engineering, route all available power to the main drives, override all safeties and set the main reactors to overload. Helm, point us at Target One. Ramming speed!

The crew didn’t even blink at those orders. There were barely a hundred people left alive on board and they knew this was the end. The ship’s damaged main engines suddenly flared, driving her forwards and rapidly closing on the still-firing First War Basestar.

The Cylons aboard that ship saw this and knew they too were doomed. Even had it been operational, the FTL drive wouldn’t have been able to spin up in time to jump them away, nor could her own sublight engines move them quickly enough. Both systems had been damaged by the bomber strike, the FTL had held out long enough to jump with the rest of the fleet but no more.

The Basestar continued firing as the Barham closed in, more in desperation and defiance than out of any real chance they could stop the Terran ship from impacting. Nothing would slow her down. Not the continued bombardment, not the fervent prayers of the Cylons for God’s intervention. Even as the entire port flight pod, already heavily damaged, as ripped clean away the ship kept closing.

In Aux Control George Shtarker looked around at his remaining crew. In the last moments before impact, he looked them each in the eye and then saluted smartly. No words were exchanged as none were needed, just a simple gesture of respect and appreciation.

The Barham’s already-damaged bow section crashed into the lower disc of the Cylon ship, the hull crumpling with the force of the impact. The Cylon hull too gave way, allowing the Battlestar’s hull to press further into the huge hanger deck. The ships became lodged together and began to spin on their shared axis, a result of the Battlestar’s off-centre impact.

This strange and seemingly beautiful dance lasted only seconds. Deep within the ruined human ship, the main generators completed their final orders and overloaded catastrophically; the naquada within exploding with monumental force.

The Barham exploded in a brilliant blue flash, shattered into a million tiny fragments and taking the Basestar with it. The first act of the Battle for Terra was over.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.


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