Battlestar Argo – Part 62

Battlestar Argo

by AJ Marks

Part 62: The Argo Tales

Apollo turned his viper in line with the other vipers. They were headed towards the Argo. The Galactica’s landing bays had been damaged in the attack. Now that he could finally see the other vipers they were a grey color, not black. The ships had a sleeker appearance than the vipers did.

“I must be dreaming,” Starbuck’s voice said breaking Apollo’s inspection of the vvipers. He turned looking forwards. There he could see two battlestars. One looked very much like the Galactica, the other a sleeker design.

“Galactica squadron, you are cleared to begin landing in bay beta,” a female voice said to him.

“Acknowledge core command,” Apollo said. “I’ll go first.” Apollo said. He didn’t want to risk anyone else.

Microns later he touched down in the landing bay with the same ease as he would any other battlestar.

The crew quickly worked moving the viper out of the way as the next viper landed. Starbuck was right behind him followed by Boomer. A quick look over at the other pilots he noticed they dressed very much like he did. One approached him.

“I’m Captain Troy,” the man said.

“Apollo,” Apollo replied. “What’s going on? Where did this ship come from?”

“I think we’ll wait until the rest of your squad lands, and Commander Adama comes over to answer everything. But I’m from the Colonies, Caperica to be exact,” Troy said to him. “How bad was it, my parents were still there when we left?”

“A lot of the surface had been destroyed. Many didn’t survive,” Apollo said. He didn’t add that his mother had been one of the ones who had been killed. He still seemed in a bit of a shock at everything that had gone on.

Boomer and Starbuck had joined him as more of his fighter squadron landed on the Argo. He watched as Sheba landed then made her way over to the group. He noticed that Troy seemed to glance over at her then at the people behind him. He watched the silent communications going on reminding him of how he, Starbuck and Boomer could communicate.

“Any idea what’s going on,” Sheba asked.

“Not a clue,” Apollo said. “I guess we’ll have to wait.”

“I’m still not sure if we can trust them,” Starbuck said.

“Well for now they helped us out. We’ll wait until we hear the story,” Apollo said.

“This way please, I’ve been informed that Commander Adama will be joining us shortly as well,” Troy said. The group followed Troy up though the group heading towards the pilot’s room.

Apollo heard a familiar rumble of the engines, but they sounded a bit different, higher pitched but not Cylon. Once inside he noticed several others already there. Many had the insignia of the Argo but a few others of his squadron.

“Boomer,” a voice said. Apollo turned to see a dark-haired woman standing there looking at Boomer.

“You know her,” Apollo asked.

“Ah,” Boomer seemed a bit confused at first before saying anything else. “Jax?”

The woman, Jax, hugged Boomer before anyone else could say anything else. Apollo seemed stunned by what he’d seen. There had to be a story there, now he’d have to wait for that.

“I didn’t expect to see you here,” Jax said.

“Yeah, well, after you accepted that secret mission I transferred to the Galactica,” Boomer replied.

“Well, it’s been an adventure, that’s for sure,” Jax said. “Come on, I’ll introduce you to my friends.”

Apollo watched as introductions were made. He already knew of Troy, but the shorter blonde haired woman’s name was Bri. Next to them another man stood, his name was Nall. This would be interesting debriefing.

*****

Ares glanced waited on the flight deck as the shuttle landed. The door opened allowing an older man, one of the Council of Twelve to exit.

“Commander Adama, welcome aboard the Battlestar Argo,” Ares said.

“Thank you commander,” Adama said.

Ares watched as the man looked around a bit confused. He didn’t doubt that at all. The mission the Argo had been sent on never was told to the council. Now he had to explain that mission, along with everything else to him.

“You’re warriors are in our pilot’s briefing room. I think it’s the best place for this conversation,” Ares said.

“Lead on then,” Adama said.

Ares walked off the hangar with the man in tow when another officer approached.

“Commander, we’ve finished setting up the perimeter around the fleet. The supply ships will be arriving within the hour. The destroyers followed the Cylon ships. The report will be ready in thirty minutes,” the aide said..

“Have Aaron look it over and get in contact with the Galactica and see what help she needs,” Ares said.

“How many ships do you have,” Adama asked.

“With me, two battestars, two gunstars, or cruisers, three destroyers and two scout ships along with six supply ships,” Ares said.

“Where did this fleet come from, some sort of advanced construction base,” Adama asked.

“Something like that,” Ares replied as the two men walked into the pilot’s room.

“Father,” a dark haired warrior said.

“Apollo, you made it,” Adama said.

“Wasn’t easy,” Apollo replied.

“I guess we’ll get some answers then,” Adama said.

“Of course,” Ares said. He walked to the front of the room where Adama also went. Now he’d have to tell them what happened.

*****

Adama took a seat watching Commander Ares. As he looked around the room things looked the same, yet different. The electronics seemed more advanced, yet the same. The screen were all in bright vivid color, something the Galactica’s monitors didn’t have. He noticed that Ares seemed to be using his hand to manipulate the computer. That he would have to ask about. He leaned forward a bit as Ares began to speak.

“Almost thirteen yehrens ago without permission of the Council several commanders gathered together to construct another battlestar, the Argo. As construction completed several of these commanders, including Commander Cain, understood how the war was going,” Ares said to the group. “At the time I was a Colonel on board the Pacifica. Commander Cain and Bacchus picked me to undertake the mission.”

“Commander Cain knew about this ship,” Adama asked. The news both shocked him and yet he wasn’t shocked at all upon hearing the name.

“Yes, he was the one who gave me the mission,” Ares said. “The mission of the Argo was to find Earth.”

Adama almost forgot to breathe upon hearing the name. “Earth!” He would wait to hear more of this tale.

“The crew is made up of almost entirely orphans as no one knew how long such a mission would take. Our first mission we found the void, and then Kobal,” Ares said.

“You made it in the tombs, how?” Adama said. He knew it took a seal to get in.

“We had a seal,” another pilot said holding up a seal. “It’s been handed down for generations in my family.”

Adama digested this news. Many people did have the seal, and a few were not part of the Council. He’d have to think about who that might be.

“After finding the direction to Earth w e encountered a Cylon basestar. In fact it was part of a greater offensive against the Colonies,” Ares said.

Adama quickly thought about the time frame before realizing what attack Ares was talking about. That had come close to destroying the Colonies. “The Cylons had a force behind us?”

“A basestar and a base,” Ares said. “We lost several good warriors in that battle. But it was just one of many adventures.

*****

Apollo thought about what he’d just heard. The battle triggered a memory in him.

“Where did this battle take place?” Apollo asked.

“Shortly after finding Kobal,” Ares asked.

“About ten yehrens ago?” Apollo asked seeing a confused Starbuck and others.

“Yes,” the reply came.

“Did you have a warrior named Martin?” Apollo asked watching as a couple of the warriors seemed to sit upright at the name.

“He was our friend,” the blonde, named Bri said. “Did you meet him?”

Apollo suddenly felt sad with knowledge he had. “No, not him, his son though. I’m afraid that a Cylon killed him on the planet.”

“Wait a minute, isn’t that the planet where you managed to get fuel for your viper to make it back,” Starbuck replied.

“Yes, I’ve always thought it was strange that a Colonial warrior and a Cylon had been in the area,” Apollo said. “It makes sense now.”

“So you’re the one,” Troy said. “The one he’d help go back home.”

“Back to the Galactica, yeah,” Apollo said. “If not for him I’d still be stuck on that planet.”

*****

Troy would have to talk with his wife a bit more about the vision he’d had of Martin. For now though he gave a brisk rub to Bri’s shoulders. The shock of hearing of his death wasn’t what they planned. He turned back to Ares who continued.

“After that we had a brief encounter with a being called Iblis, and the Eastern Alliance, who we understand you’ve encountered as well,” Ares said.

“Yeah, wasn’t pleasant, but we did manage to stop a war,” Apollo said.

“But that was close,” Starbuck replied. “They almost destroyed each other.”

“I will tell you that after this there is almost nothing but abandoned civilizations from here to Earth,” Ares said. “We did encounter one race. They were fleeing the Colonial/Cylon war. Their technology was highly advanced. In fact the stealth of our ships is part of the technology they gave us.”

“That’s why your ships didn’t show up on our scanners,” Adama asked.

“Our hull is coated with a layer of what’s called S-metal. Unfortunately the metal isn’t as durable as regular armor. So we created parallel designs, a stealth design and a normal battle design,” Ares said to the group. “We didn’t know about the metal until after making contact with Earth.”

“Earth does exist then,” Adama asked.

“Yes,” Ares replied. “The current speed of the fleet means you won’t be for another ten to fifteen years, I mean yehrens.”

“Then how far away is it,” Adama asked.

“For the Galactica, a yehren, but with so many ships it will slow the fleet down. I can send a transmission to Earth for some passenger ships. We’ve developed new engines that go faster. The trip from the Colonies to Earth now takes about seven months. However Earth has its own history and doesn’t remember Kobal,” Ares said.

“I don’t understand,” Adama asked.

Ares glanced at Troy. This would be his part. “We encountered Earth as a more primitive civilization. They had no desire to explore space and in fact only a few wanted to go. We made contact with the space agency of one of the nations of the planet.”

“Sounds like Terra,” Adama said.

“It was actually worse. Well, we made contact then began looking for a base of operations. A planet with some life support on the surface and rich in resources provided several great options. We quickly began construction on a gunstar called Tiger then a destroyer using the S-metal,” Troy said.

“If you’ve been construction ships why didn’t you send any to the Colonies,” Adama asked.

“Well, we had been there almost a year when something happened. An unknown race attacked Earth,” Troy said.

*****

Starbuck almost groan at that statement. Why did such a thing seem like it had to happen.

“Sounds strange,” Starbuck whispered to Apollo.

“Well, give it a chance,” Apollo whispered back to him.

Starbuck leaned back listening to the rest of what Troy had to say.

“We learned that the attackers were an alien race called the Arbus. A race about as advanced as the Colonies were. It struck us as strange when they attacked. Many things just didn’t make any sense. The leaders of Earth didn’t recognize that any attack had occurred,” Troy said.

“Sounds a bit outrageous,” Starbuck said. “How would they not understand something as simple as that?”

“That’s what we asked ourselves,” Troy answered. “Seems the answer was actually quite simple, clones.”

Starbuck glanced at Apollo and Boomer in confusion. They had the same look in their face as he had on his.

“The Arbus feared any race that might be close to the same technology as they were. As a result they’d use the same method everywhere. Create clones who were programmed to think a certain way. Such as ignoring an attack by an alien race,” Troy said to them.

Now Starbuck wondered if the ship he was on had clones on board. He vocalized his thought.

“Some from Earth might be, but most have been transferred to food production or construction of building on Earth. They no longer are able to hold any public office,” Ares said. “That was a nightmare.”

“The Arbus had many clones in public office. After time it became easier to spot them. They’d argue against certain logical things that would benefit the war effort against the Arbus. In fact there still might be some, we tried not to make it a witch hunt,” Troy replied.

“I can see why,” Apollo replied.

*****

“How is their government set up,” Adama asked.

Ares motioned to Troy that he’d handle this question. “Their government is set up on a democracy, kind of. Each part of Earth votes on representatives, either elected by the people or a council depending on the area. In the council one member is then elected to office of the President. They have control over several things, such as diplomacy with other races.”

“So he’s the one the council would meet with,” Adama asked.

“Yes,” Ares said. “His name is Xai. He’s had a rough presidency so far. A war, rebuilding the planet and now another war.”

“Do they know about us,” Adama asked.

“At first they didn’t. That was because of the Arbus. You see shortly after we arrived we found an ancient starship, actually we figured out it was a scout ship for the thirteenth tribe,” Ares said to them. “They had a war and over time the thirteenth tribe lost the war.”

“IF the Arbus are that old why are they not more advanced,” Apollo asked.

“That question bugged us as well. We didn’t have that answer until about five years ago,” Ares said.

“Years, I heard that term from the Eastern Alliance,” Apollo said.

“The Earthers use that term as well. Basically similar to the yehren,” Ares answered. “Anyways, we managed to beat the Arbus back off Earth. They had a base on the planet along with clones. We also had a hard time gaining any information about the Arrbus. Most of our information for the first five or so years came from what information we could learn from the Orion, the scout ship we uncovered.”

“You weren’t able to capture any?” Starbuck asked. “I mean even the Cylons we were able to capture some and learn from them.”

“Its harder when they commit suicide instead of being captured,” Ares said. “In fact we had one battle where they sent a ship with the mission of ramming the Argo. We barely avoided that, but it also caused some electrical damage.”

“About the electronics, they look a bit advanced,” Adama said.

“The Earthers technology while not advanced enough for star travel, their computer were more advanced,” Ares said. “Remember they were not at war with the Cylons like we were. They’ve developed powerful computers, however when designing the warships the electronics are separated much like the Argo is. We updated the screens and a few other things allowing more room on board the ship for other critical components.”

Ares remember the slight argument he had with the designers over that. They had wanted to integrate the computers even more to make it the ship more efficient. It had finally taken the work of the President to end the argument. Now there would be no question of how the ships were designed.

“The Argo now carries an extra ten anti-fighter weapons as well as more fuel for the engines. But that refit came later, including improving the engines. The war with the Arbus continued however,” Ares said. “After managing to dislodge the Arbus from the planet we had to deal with the clones. In fact Captain Troy discovered the clones.”

“The Earthers, actually clones, and the Arbus set up an ambush for our fledgling fleet. At a meeting they had hidden their ships waiting for us,” Troy said to the group.

“I didn’t agree with meeting with them and took my warriors and the Argo and disappeared. Thanks to the S-metal they were not able to follow,” Ares said.

“During the battle a group went down to rescue the negotiators. It was then we discovered the chamber of clones. A huge room that they were growing human clones in. It was larger than the Argo, and full of chambers,” Troy said.

“Growing humans,” Adama said. “What did they plan to do with them?”

“Well, that was part of their plan. You see they didn’t want to eliminate the human race, only beat it down technologically. Then they’d wipe any existence of the previous civilization and reseed the planet along with any survivors,” Ares said.

Ares noticed that Adama and the others seemed shocked at that. He had to admit the first time he’d put all the pieces together he’d been shocked as well. But he no longer thought about it anymore.

“That’s barbaric,” Adama finally sputtered.

“We didn’t learn much beyond that till about five years later,” Ares said to them.

*****

Adama sat back in his chair after hearing about the Arbus. They sounded pretty bad, but something was missing. He’d have to wait to hear the full story.

“After five years or so of war we had built up our fleet, to two fleets consisting of about ten warships each. One of our scout ships encountered something that made my blood run cold, a Cylon basestar,” Ares said.

“Cylons out there,” Adama asked . That sounded impossible to him. What would the Cylons be doing out there?”

“It scared us as well. That’s when a lot of information about the Cylons started leaking out. I had decided to keep it silent especially after the Arbus invasion. People might not trust me either. Well putting together a strike force we quickly destroyed the basestar and learned a few things,” Ares said. “The basestar had been damaged in a battle and drifted all that way. The centurions and computers on board were damaged effecting the memory. The Arbus who had found it the ship were using it to revolt against the standing Arbus government.”

“Cylons being used for a civil war,” Adama said. “That’s how they started.”

“Yes, but the Arbus didn’t know that. Well once this new group of Arbus were discovered we found out a lot of information. The Arbus advance their technology slowly. As a result any race that advances quickly they feel is a threat, so they level the civilization and let it begin again,” Ares said.

Adama thought about that for a few seconds. Destroying a race because you feel technologically inferior didn’t seem right. The Cylons would completely destroy them then. “How’d the war end?”

“About eight months ago, about the same time as the Armistice was to take place we planned a final strike against the Arbus along with the rebelious group. They fought to take over the government while we occupied their military,” Ares siad. “The plan worked and the Arbus surrendered.”

Adama thought about that. So the war with the Arbus was over, much like the war between the Colonies and the Cylons was over. He then thought of something that Ares said. “You said you know about the Armistice?”

“Yes, one a month Commander Baccus sent a message towards us keeping us informed of what was going on. He sent a laser message indicating that the Galactica had probably survived,” Ares said. “Upon hearing that we sent our long range scout ship, the one that had returned before back to see if it could find you.”

“You’re not sending signals back and forth,” Apollo asked.

“No, only signals heading away from the Cylons are sent. We don’t need for them to know about Earth, or their location,” Ares said.

Adama sighed a bit at that. Ares seemed confident about his leadership abilities. “You sent a scout ship back to the Colonies?”

“YEs, to contact either Commander Cain or Bacchus,” Ares said. “And to let them know that help from Earth might be slow in coming.”

Adama fumed a bit that so much had been left out of the council. So much done without permission. In a small way though he felt relieved, that meant Baltar wouldn’t know about the fleet at Earth, or the mission of the Argo. “It seems that a lot has been done without permission of the council. While I don’t agree with it, I won’t say I’m not glad to see this.”

“Well, it’s been quite a mission, but the story isn’t quite over, not yet,” Ares said.

Adama wondered what could be next. Surely there was nothing else that he could surprise him with.

“We encountered another battlestar on the way here,” Ares said.

*****

“The Pegasus,” Sheba asked. She almost rose out of her chair asking the question.

“Yes, the ship was drifting into Terra space without any scanners, or a way to defend itself,” Ares replied.

“Commander Cain?” Sheba asked. She personally didn’t care too much about the ship, but wanted to know what happened to her father. She almost knew by the look on Commander Ares’ face what the answer was.

“I’m sorry, Commander Cain was seriously injured in the battle. If we’d arrived earlier it might have made a difference,” Ares said.

Sheba felt the shock of that news. Part of her had accepted that, but another part of her always thought her father would be able to outfight anything in space and return back home. The reality set in. She felt the warmth of Apollo comforting her.

“The Pegasus is heading to Earth along with a destroyer escort and a few fighters for escort. I sent the flight path back to Earth and expect Commander Pratt to send a supply ship to meet with them,” Ares said.

“Oh yes, Michael says hi,” Troy said.

Sheba glanced to Apollo to see if the name meant anything. His face showed that he indeed recognized the name.

“How is he doing,” Apollo said.

“He, his wife, and their kids are doing fine. The others there are also doing fine. They were surprised to see us that’s for sure,” Troy said. “They thought we were from the Galactica. Then we had to explain our situation quickly so they didn’t think we were Cylons.”

“Yeah, he took our warning seriously then,” Apollo said.

Sheba realized they were talking about the mission to Praxia, or something like that. The family on the shuttle that everyone first thought had come from Earth. She wondered how many other encounters both groups had shared. She guessed that time would tell.

*****

Ares watched as the groups started getting up after the briefing. He then noticed Aaron standing near the doorway. Motioning him over where he waited beside Adama.

“Commander, we’ve got a list of supplies that we can transfer to the fleet. The supply ships will be here shortly,” Aaron said.

“Good,” Ares said taking the pad and looking it over himself. Normal supplies, repair equipment and additional food supplies. Fuel didn’t seem to be that much of a problem yet, and he’d be emptying the faster ships first to send back to return with more supplies.

A thought occurred to him. He might be able to lighten the burden of the fleet by transferring people back to Earth. He’d have to send word to Pratt to send the Hermes, it still was built as a general transport, with plenty of room for people and it was fast. The engines had been upgraded often.

“I think I have an idea, if you’re willing,” Ares said to Adama.

“I’m listening,” Adama said.

“I’m going to transfer some supplies to the fleet and create a few empty supply ships and sending them back to Earth. We can load a few of your people on the ships to ease the strain on the fleet,” Ares said.

“That might work. I’d like to go with them. I should meet the Earth government. Perhaps part of the Council should go as well,” Adama said.

“Make the preparations now before the fleet arrives,” Ares said. “I’ll tell the ships to get ready.”

The pitter patter of feet startled them all, as Mary came running into the room. Spotting Nall, she quickly ran to him holding her arms up wanting to be picked up.

“I see children are on board,” Adama said.

“Her father is from the Colonies, and her mother is from Earth and both are on board the Argo. Didn’t seem right leaving her behind,” Ares said. “We have a few children on board the ships, had a few weddings, a few births as well. What do you expect on a long journey?”

“Same things I’ve dealt with,” Adama said.

Ares had the feeling that he and Adama might work well together.

End part 62

Continued in Beginning Voyage

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