Battlestar Argo – Part 72

Battlestar Argo

by AJ Marks

Part 72: Martin

Troy looked around the bridge of the Argo watching everyone do their job. The fleet finally was complete, and six battlestars now were on their way to Cylon space leading the largest human war fleet in years. Commander Ares had split the fleet into two different groups, the stealth group and the combat group. The stealth group only had two battlestars but that could allow them an advantage over any other Cylon fleet out there.

Troy looked at the map again wondering exactly why he kept looking at it. Something had to be going on for him to be doing that. Arms around his waist briefly startled him until he recognized the arms belonging to Bri.

“Whatcha thinking about?” she asked.

“Eh, not sure, keep looking at the map for some reason,” Troy replied.

“Hmm,” she said, as Troy watched her look at it as well. “Nope, nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing but a few planets, and no good ambush spots. The few basestars out there are not in a good position to do anything either.”

“True,” Troy replied, looking at the map again. The Argo and Enterprise currently were headed to one of the basestars to destroy it. The commanders had decided to allow the stealth fleet to destroy basestars on the way to deplete the Cylon fleet before reaching the heart of the Cylon territory.

“What’s the situation?” Ares’ voice said, breaking Troy out of his musings.

“The target is still there, seems to have settled in orbit around the planet, though we’re picking up transmissions from the planet,” Troy said.

“The Cylon outer capital,” Ares said. “Commander Cain had pounded that place for a long time.”

Troy nodded having read the reports as well. The Pegasus had managed to keep the Cylons off guard with that base. After the basestar had been taken care of the Pegasus and Richelieu would come in and destroy it once and for all. Commander Ares had given the mission to Tolan, the new commander of the Pegasus. In a way it seemed fitting to Troy that the Pegasus headed the attack.

“We’re almost in range,” Troy said.

“All pilots are ready as well,” Bri said.

“Let’s make sure surprise is complete and they don’t get a message off,” Ares said. “The Enterprise is ready?”

“Spoke with Commander Gunther already and he’s ready when you are,” Troy replied.

“Good,” Ares said. “Prepare for action, red alert.”

Troy relayed the order then receiving a kiss from Bri before she turned and headed to the hangar. The bridge lighting changed from normal to red indicating the status of the ship.

“Begin jamming,” Ares stated.

*****

The Argo went to red alert closing in on the Cylon basestar. No raiders emerged from the basestar even as four squadrons of vipers swooped down in it. Bri lead the vipers from the Argo and quickly waited for the computers to lock onto the basestar. She figured the basestar had to know something had happened with so many weapon locks on it.

“Fire!” she ordered pressing on the trigger.

Over two hundred missiles streaked towards the basestar. Bri hoped her missile would destroy the hanger. That would make their lives easier for sure. Destroying the raiders before they could launch meant more of her group would make it home.

The missiles impacted on the basestar causing several small explosions to occur to the outer hull of the ship. She glanced down at her scanner to check the status of the basestar. Nodding at the amount of damage the ship had taken she pulled the vipers back to allow the Argo to finish off the Cylon warship.

“All squadron leaders, keep an eye out for any raiders that might be able to launch,” Bri said. The hangers had taken quite a bit of damage so she hoped no raider would launch.

The basestar didn’t take much more before exploding. Bri turned her fighter group around heading back to the Argo.

*****

Ares looked at the latest reports from the scouts. So far the Eastern Alliance had been quiet. It appeared that the appearance of the Galactica and the destruction of the missiles had finally brought a peace to the planet. He glanced around at the locations of the basestars. They had to destroy several more before the final strike on the Cylon home world could begin.

“Commander,” Troy’s voice said, breaking Ares’ concentration.

“What’s up Troy?” Ares asked.

“Well, it’s a bit personal, commander,” Troy said. “It’s something for Nall and Bri actually.”

“All right,” Ares said, putting down the notepad waiting for Troy to ask his question.

“Well, it’s been almost twelve years since we passed this point, do you remember what happened last time we were here?” Troy asked.

Ares glanced at the galaxy map and thought for a few seconds. It would have been early in the voyage, but he still had a good recollection of what happened.

“The Cylons were out here, the base they had,” Ares said.

“Yes, it was also the point where Bri and Nall lost a good friend, Martin,” Troy said.

“You want to find him?” Ares asked. This long he wondered if Martin had even survived.

“No, not him, his son, Captain Apollo knows him,” Troy said.

Ares frowned for a second before recalling a conversation with Adama. “When Apollo crashed early in their flight.”

“Yes sir,” Troy said. “I’d like permission for a small group to head down and meet him and Martin’s wife, and to take Apollo as well. He’d know the local customs and such.”

Ares glanced at the map again before bringing up the planet in question. There were no Cylon basestars nearby, and actually it would make a good place to refuel the fleet before heading though the void and back home.

“All right, I’ll ask Commander Adama if Apollo wishes to go,” Ares said.

“Thanks commander,” Troy said.

“Well, it does provide a nice place to refuel the fleet, that is if the outpost is still there after all this time with the Cylons around,” Ares said.

“I think it will be there,” Troy said. “I’ll go let Nall and Bri know.”

“All right,” Ares said watching Troy walk off the bridge. True what he did wasn’t that professional, but after everything he’d been though, Troy, Bri, Nall and the rest were his family. He hoped he could convince Adama, or at least hide it for a while as the fleet refueled.

*****

Apollo headed up to the bridge of the Galactica, Starbuck right behind him. His father wanted to have a word with him.

“Apollo, good, I have a strange mission for you if you want it,” Adama said.

Apollo frowned glancing at Starbuck who shrugged as well. “How dangerous?”

“Nothing really, or at least it shouldn’t be this time, and you’ll have fuel to get back this time,” Adama said.

“Okay, now I’m confused,” Apollo stated.

“Do you remember when you crashed landed, and met a widow of Martin,” Adama said.

“Yeah, we’re headed back there?” Apollo asked.

“A few of Martin’s friends want to head back and see his son,” Adama said.

“Well, I guess so, it would also fulfill a promise I made,” Apollo said.

“All right, take a shuttle over the Argo, you’ll leave right away,” Adama said.

“What about the fleet?” Starbuck asked. “I mean just dropping everything to see one person.”

“We’re refueling not far from the planet, well within range of the shuttle without taking extra fuel,” Adama said. “And it will allow us to regroup slightly before heading though the void.”

“And the attack on Gamoray?” Apollo asked.

“The Pegasus and Richelieu are almost about to attack, then they’ll be headed here to refuel, repair and rearm,” Adama said.

“All right,” Apollo said.

“I’ll go with you, after all we can’t have the strike captain of the Galactica going off alone now,” Starbuck said.

“I already included you as part of the flight crew,” Adama said.

“I guess I’ll see you later then,” Apollo said. “We should get down to the hanger then.”

The two left the bridge headed to the hangar where they’d head over to the Argo.

*****

Troy walked towards the shuttle where the rest of the group waited. He already saw Bri and Nall and by the stance of Bri, Nall had reverted back to his old ways.

Walking up to them he gave Bri a glance waiting to see what she’d say.

“He offered, I obliged,” she said, not saying anything else.

“All right, I probably don’t want to know, or will be told anyways,” Troy said, looking over at the sound of approaching footsteps. He noticed Apollo and Starbuck walking towards them.

“I see our pilot and navigator are here,” Nall said.

“Someone ask for directions,” Starbuck asked.

“Yeah, where’s down there,” Bri asked.

Troy noticed both Starbuck and Apollo exchange a look before he decided to step in. “Don’t worry about it, something between Nall and Bri.”

“All right, if you say so,” Apollo said. “We’re to head out right away I guess?”

“Yeah, the quicker we get out there and back the better for us all,” Troy said.

“Only one shuttle?” Starbuck asked.

“Yeah, closest Cylon activity is several systems away, and the Colonial Bound is watching that,” Troy stated.

“So you knew this person who crashed on the planet?” Apollo asked as they walked on board the shuttle.

“We went through training together,” Bri said, pointing to her and Nall. “The Argo was our first assignment.”

“You do know he’s dead,” Apollo asked.

“Yeah, but we wanted to see his son, and who he married,” Bri said.

“Hey, you told her you’d return,” Starbuck said.

“I know, just seems a bit surreal to me that’s all,” Apollo said.

The group sat down in the shuttle as Starbuck and Apollo went though the start-up procedure. Seconds later the shuttle blasted off heading to a planet nearby.

*****

Stan sat back in the bar watching to make sure no trouble started. He had moved to the small town not long ago and now enjoyed a simple, full life. He’d been hired as a local deputy, having gotten along with the sheriff. Things in the town were generally quiet and the most trouble was a local drunk. This was a life he could enjoy for a change. Gambling had been his business but decided a change was in order when he came here.

He glanced up at the unexpected hush of the crowd. Everyone in the bar looked towards the entrance. Turning his head slightly he noticed a group of people standing there, all of them dressed in brown and wearing weapons he’d never seen before. The side arms didn’t look like nemos. Standing he decided to take charge before anything else went wrong.

“Sorry, no weapons allowed in the bar,” Stan said, hoping he sounded convincing.

“Oh, sorry,” the blonde woman said, unbuckling her holster. “Um, is there somewhere safe we can put them?”

“Sure,” Stan said, indicating a spot near the entrance.

“Apollo?” a voice said. Stan looked at one of the locals and recognized the name mentioned. One of the dark-haired men turned.

“Yeah,” he said.

Stan thought about where he heard the name before realizing it was associated with the story of Red Eye. So this was the warrior who defeated the tin can.

“Thought you left, man, they’ll be glad to see you.”

“I did leave, but was in the neighborhood and decided to drop by with some friends of Martin’s,” the one called Apollo said.

Stan wasn’t familiar with Martin, thinking the man was someone they had in common.

“Puppis still can’t stop talking about you, though Vela has managed to temper him slightly.”

Stan frowned at the turn in the conversation. He finally stepped forward to ask.

“So this is Apollo, the one who defeated Red Eye, but why is he just now returning?” Stan asked.

“I had a journey to undertake and these are some friends I met along the way. They wanted to meet Vela and Puppis,” Apollo replied.

Stan started to say more when a blonde haired woman stepped though the door and stopped.

“Apollo?”

*****

Troy glanced from the man who appeared to be the local law officer to the woman in the doorway. He recognized her almost right away. A bit older perhaps, but still very close to how he’d seen her. The fact she knew Apollo almost confirmed his thoughts.

“Vela,” Apollo replied.

“Puppis will be glad to see you,” she said, finally.

“Well, didn’t know if I’d be back so soon,” Apollo replied. “Um, Vela, these are friends of Martin.”

Troy watched her face change slightly at that bit of news. Deciding to take the initiative he stepped forward and introduced himself.

“I’m Troy, this is Bri and Nall,” he said pointing each of them out.

“Nall and Bri, Martin spoke of you often,” Vela said, looking as if she was remembering a long-lost conversation. “Let’s head back to my place and talk.”

“I think we should,” Troy agreed. The trip to the house didn’t take very long. They were surprised by a blonde teen standing outside the house.

“Apollo, you’ve returned, I knew you would, I knew it, didn’t I tell you mother,” the teen said in an excited rush.

“Puppis,” Apollo said. “You’ve grown quite a bit.”

“Yeah, I’m taking more responsibility at in the work as well,” Puppis replied.

“Been quite a help in this last season,” Vela said. “Puppis, these are friends of your dad.”

Troy watched the teen’s face change. A different look of excitement appeared, a thirst for knowledge about a parent he probably couldn’t remember.

“This is Troy, Bri and Nall,” Vela said.

“We were close friends for many yahrens,” Nall finally said.

“He has his father’s eyes,” Bri finally said.

“You really knew him?” Puppis asked.

“Yep, he’d sit with us and laugh while we,” Nall pointed to him and Bri, “told jokes and exchanged pranks during training.”

“You mean my pranks on you for acting up,” Bri replied, giving Nall a slight slap on the arm.

“Yeah, something like that,” Nall replied.

*****

Ares glanced around the bridge of the Argo knowing what the next couple of months would bring. The Earth council had approved the missions, and had confirmed Ares as commander of the fleet once more. Not that he felt he wouldn’t get it, but with politics one never knew. Genearl Pakrov had been appointed to the newly renamed Base Hope. The forward station for the attack fleet and where the Colonials had settled down for the moment. With high-speed communications, news no longer traveled so slow.

“Incoming message from Commander Pratt,” Rebecca said.

“I’ll take it up here,” Ares said, not having to wait long before Pratt’s face appeared.

“What can I do for you old friend,” Ares said.

“Just informing you that the Earth council has voted to accept the survivors from the Colonies. They have a few transports that can bring people back, if they want,” Pratt said.

“Interesting, I’ll let Commander Adama know about that, what about the civilians, what are they saying?” Ares asked.

“A bit mixed, but most still support what you’re going to do. There’s a few who are crying that Earth shouldn’t get involved,” Pratt said. “They are being looked at as clones though, and are having to be tested. On the other hand, the Galactic Council, they’re making noise again.”

“Again, now what?” Ares asked, almost afraid of what they might be yelling about.

“Seems they want the technology we have. They think they are entitled to it or something,” Pratt said.

“So in other words, nothing new. Any word on the Arbus relations with the Galactic Council,” Ares said.

“Strained, with us backing the freedom of the Arbus, they are not demanding much of anything at the moment,” Pratt replied. “The Arbus though, they are beginning to follow through with their promise to help those who suffered.”

Ares nodded his head, feeling slightly relieved. When he had read that part he had been concerned. But Earth didn’t have the resources to help everyone rebuild, and fight off the Cylons. The Skartians were too valuable a resource to waste as well. The only logical conclusion had been the Arbus, unless the Galactic Council became involved. Most Earthers didn’t trusted the Arbus more than the Galactic Council.

“What about Gamoray?” Pratt asked.

“The Pegasus and Richelieu destroyed it, forcing the Cylons back even more now. We’re slowly destroying the Cylons fleet, I’ve noticed a new tactic, they are no longer allowing their basestars to operate alone,” Ares said.

“Hmm, only a matter of time before another basestar of the new design appears,” Pratt said.

“Yep, I already have the Colonial Bound scouting deep into Cylon territory to look for it,” Ares said.

“Don’t want to be surprised?”

“Nope, rather know it’s coming,” Ares said, seeing Pratt look off-screen for a second.

“General Pakrov has arrived at Hope Station, just got the call,” Pratt said. “Have to go.”

“We’ll keep in touch,” Ares said, watching the screen go blank. He turned to the scanners glancing at the dots of all the ships. “Arrival time of the Richelieu and Pegasus?”

“In another two hours,” Rebecca said.

“Good, inform Colonel Troy about that so they know when to return,” Ares said.

*****

Troy stood and walked out of the house when he felt his communicator go off. It was being relayed though the shuttle to improve distance.

“Colonel Troy,” he said.

“Troy,” he heard Rebecca’s voice say. “Just wanted to let you know the Pegasus and Richelieu will arrive in less than two hours.”

“Understood,” Troy said. He replaced the communicator and walked back in where Bri was reliving a training story about her, Martin and Nall.

“So there he was, sitting there in the training pod, holding a flight stick that had come off. The poor trainer didn’t know what to do,” Bri said, laughing.

“I can’t believe he took that one, it was the one you usually used,” Nall said.

“Well, you should know better than to try and get back at me,” Bri said. “Poor Martin, it’s a wonder he continued to hang around us after everything we put him though.”

“He said it was because he never knew what would happen next,” Vela said. “He spoke of you two often.”

“I feel as if I understand you all a bit better now,” Starbuck said. Troy understood that statement. It had taken him a while to understand the complex relationship as well.

“For a long time Martin and Nall were my family,” Bri said. “And I think he thought the same way. I guess you could say he was a brother to me.”

“The odd thing was, he never said anything about going back, like he knew he had a destiny,” Vela said. “He protected his ship, told me where it was, made sure the fuel remained, and never made any move to leave. I guess that’s why we fell in love.”

“He knew he’d play a role in a greater mission,” Troy said. “I also told him he’d meet someone.”

“You can see the future?” Vela said.

“Bit and pieces, and I knew that Martin wouldn’t come back, or at least not on our voyage. I didn’t know he’d die though,” Troy said.

“So that’s why the fuel was easy to get to,” Apollo said. “I wondered about all of that, seemed as if it had been set up for me.”

“Without Troy’s vision we would have gone back after him, we didn’t have the Cylons chasing us,” Nall said.

“And I’d still be here,” Apollo said.

“And all those plans you came up with, like disabling the Cyon basestar, helping Terra, never would have happened,” Starbuck said.

“The universe is a strange thing, I think it wanted me to know that vision,” Troy said.

“I think Martin would do it again even if he knew it would cost him his life,” Bri finally said.

“I think we should begin heading back, the fleet’s almost together and will be ready to move out,” Troy said glancing at the time.

The group said their good-byes and headed back to the shuttle. Troy considered it a good mission, and perhaps they could make it back again.

*****

Baltar glanced down at Lucifer who had walked into the command deck.

“Report Lucifer,” he said.

“By your command,” Lucifer replied. “Reports have come in that an additional four basestars have been destroyed, and the base at Gamoray has been destroyed.”

Baltar sat back thinking about that.

“Reports were the base was attacked by two battlestars,” Lucifer said. “One was identified as the battlestar Pegasus.”

“Yes, Commander Cain, of course, it makes sense, and the other, the Galactica?” Baltar asked.

“No Baltar, the scans did not match any known battlestar,” Lucifer said.

“Hmm, interesting,” Baltar said. “Seems they’ve managed to build an additional battlestar. I’m surprised they didn’t use their cloak to get closer.”

“They attacked first using fighters, which we still are not able to track,” Lucifer said.

“I see,” Baltar replied. “And the reply of the Imperious Leader?”

“He has ordered all basestars to operate in pairs,” Lucifer said.

“He still has no idea what he’s doing,” Baltar replied.

“Shall we continue to the capital?”

“Of course, there’s something to be discussed,” Baltar said. He said nothing else and dismissed Lucifer. He would make sure that Adama and Cain would pay. They had humiliated him enough over the yehrens. Now he finally had a plan to gain revenge.

*****

Troy stepped back onto the bridge of the Argo after the short side trip. Everything appeared to be going smoothly. Commander Ares sat at his normal command chair.

“Commander, reporting back to duty,” Troy said.

“Did you find what you were looking for?” Ares asked.

“Yes sir, spent some time learning about both of them and gave Puppis, Martin’s son, stories about his father. I think he enjoyed it a lot. We also seemed to answer a lot of questions for Vela, Martin’s wife, especially as to why he never tried to return,” Troy stated.

“So, it was worth it then?” Ares said.

“Yes, it was, it allowed Captain Apollo to return to the Galactica, and he was an important part of the fleet’s survival. Without him, we might have been too late to save the fleet from the Cylons,” Troy said.

“I thought you were a bit crazy at the time to leave him. But at the same time, we had to continue on our path,” Ares said.

“We had time to go after him, but I think after talking with Vela, he was happy, and at peace, at least until the Cylon showed up,” Troy said. He knew from the commander’s look he didn’t really know that much about what happened. “It seemed a Cylon from that battle also crashed there. It was damaged and mistook a human as the Imperious Leader.”

“That’s dangerous,” Ares said.

“Yeah, but the biggest problem, the guy was a big bully, used the Cylon to keep control and extort taxes from the people. Martin knew what it was and went after it, the Cylon was quicker. Apollo came in and seemed to be a bit quicker on the draw,” Troy replied.

“I take it Bri and Nall know this?”

“Yeah, they both knew Martin wasn’t the quickest person in a situation like that. Put him in a viper and he was very good, physical combat, not that good. But he did know his son, and he knew one day someone from the Colonies would return,” Troy said.

“You told him?”

“What I had seen, yes, it was important,” Troy replied. That conversation had been one of the hardest, yet Martin had accepted it with the calm determination he had always shown.

“The mysteries of the universe,” Ares said. “I guess some things we’ll never understand.”

“Commander the Richelieu and Pegasus are hailing us,” Rebecca said.

“All right,” Ares said. Troy leaned in slightly to see the picture of Commander Steve Rizer of the Richelieu, a short man with salt and pepper hair, waiting for Commander Ares to speak.

“Commander, what’s your situation?”

“We’ve completed refueling and rearming. Our replacement pilots have arrived and are settling in, the Pegasus is also done, so the Fifth Battlestar squad is reporting in sir,” Steve said.

“Good, that means everyone is ready,” Ares said. “Inform the fleet we move out. I want all ships to maintain contact, next stop, the void.”

End part 72

Continued in Coming Home

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