Second Face of Evil
by AJ Marks
Apollo watched the scanners looking at the slowly approaching ships. The ships were slower than anything the Cylons had, but the biggest ships he ever seen, the size of a small moon. He already talked to Tigh about the possibility of sending out a patrol to check it out closer. Tigh however wanted to wait until they had more information from Starbuck and the people from Earth.
“Commander Tigh for you,” he heard, and turned to look down at his screen as Tigh’s face appeared on it.
“What are our new friends doing?” Tigh asked. Apollo knew he meant the approaching ships.
“They are still on course, haven’t changed anything, still coming very slowly. The trajectory of the ships will take it right to Earth,” Apollo said. “It’s like they are not afraid of masking their approach at all.”
After yahrens of warfare such a simple approach seemed almost suicidal to him. Neither the Colonials nor the Cylons would make such a brazen move during the war unless they had a huge advantage.
“I finished talking with Starbuck, and those ships are defiantly hostile. He isn’t sure how hostile they are to us,” Tigh said, confusing Apollo for a few seconds.
“Don’t follow, what does he mean by that?” Apollo asked, hoping to gain some clarification.
“From what he was able to learn, these are the invaders who came here about twenty yehrens ago and almost eliminated them. They assumed that the ship was the only one they had, but prepared for the worst, which now appears to have happened,” Tigh said to him. “They invade a planet, and take all of its recourses and move on.”
“So, because we’re not on the planet they might leave the fleet alone?” Apollo asked, making sure he heard correctly
“That’s the theory, but I’m moving the fleet anyways,” Tigh said.
“Where to?” Apollo asked, concerned about the deployment of the battlestars.
“Want to hide among the asteroid belt, the Galactica and Pegasus will take up positions on either end of the fleet,” Tigh said to him.
“Sounds a bit dangerous commander,” Apollo said to him.
“I know, but we have to think about the fleet and the survivors as well. We don’t have many options here, we need Earth and they need us,” Tigh said, saying something they both knew to be true.
“Are you going to ask for permission or just go in?” Apollo asked.
“Ask, but we don’t have many areas to hide a large fleet,” Tigh said.
“I hope they allow us entry,” Apollo said, knowing things appeared complex, including the fact there were still Cylons out there somewhere. The communications ended and he would have to wait again for order to move further into the system.
“President Hiller,” President Hiller heard someone say. He turned to see the admiral walking up to him.
“Yes,” Steven replied.
“Lieutenant Starbuck asked for permission for their fleet to enter the inner system and help defend Earth if we needed it,” Admiral White said to him.
“Why would they make such an offer, they don’t even know what they are up against,” Steven said despite hoping they would offer to help.
“Their scanners are more advanced than ours, and perhaps even better than our enemies,” the admiral said, thinking about it for a few seconds.
“What is your thoughts on this?” Steven asked the admiral, wanting to get his take on the situation.
“It would be foolish to not allow them to help,” the admiral replied back quickly. “They might have some technology that could give us an edge on them. They have been spacefaring for a while now.”
“Then go ahead and allow them in, and include them in any planning, if they want. Don’t force them to participate, but if they want to help let them,” Steven said, hoping it was the right move to make.
“I’ll get right on it,” the admiral said, giving a brief salute and left to carry out his duties in protecting the planet from the invaders.
Steven wondered what he might do with his guests now, especially the councilman Ziers. He had been anything but friendly during the exchange. He said the right words at the right time, but something about his attitude was anything but friendly and wanting to help.
With the arrival of the invaders people’s attitude changed quickly, especially those who had fought them. They were willing to do just about anything now to protect their home.
With a hectic schedule he decided to head to the kitchen and grab a quick bit to eat. He had a lot to do, including inform the public of the approaching invaders. Of course the way information traveled he felt sure everyone already knew and if he didn’t speak quickly it might become a conspiracy.
He hoped his military commanders and the abilities of the military. Had they gained enough technological information from the wreckage to fight the invaders? He would find out quickly.
Apollo sat in the command chair on the Pegasus watching the reports as it slowly along waiting for any response from Earth. He hoped the Earth government would allow them to seek safety within the asteroid belt.
Glancing over to where the scanner operator’s monitor Apollo made a note of the speed and course of the incoming ships. They were large, but not moving too fast. The ships were larger than anything he had ever seen, and larger than anything the Cylons ever constructed. He wondered if the Earth fleet was strong enough to take on these ships.
“Any change in the course of the incoming ships?” Apollo asked.
“No commander,” the scanner operator replied back to him. She constantly looked down watching the ships as they slowly approached the system.
“Any other contacts, remember the Cylons know we’re here,” Apollo replied.
“No other contacts commander,” she replied back to him.
“Maybe we’ll get lucky and they won’t attack during the current crisis,” Apollo said more to himself than anyone else. If the Cylons did attack it could prove a disaster to them all. Of course there was always the possibility that they could attack each other as well.
He rubbed his eyes hearing his stomach growl reminding him how long ago he ate. He told his crew where he was going and to inform him of any changes. With that he went off to eth cafeteria and grabbed some food and sat down.
“Hey stranger,” a female voice said. He looked up seeing Sheba standing there.
“Hey yourself beautiful,” Apollo said, standing up to give her a kiss. They had married a couple of yahrens ago. It took a while to overcome Boxey’s stubbornness at the idea, but as he had grown up he mellowed to the idea and finally gave them his blessing.
His family symbolized how many families were in fleet. Most had been split apart during the attack and reformed like his had over the yahrens of traveling. Children adopted by others, parents lost, wives, husbands, son and daughters, all lost. It was a rare thing to find a complete family on board. He considered Boxey his son after marrying Serina. He was sadden by her loss, and still loved her, as he did Sheba.
He looked over at her noticing a few grey hairs, as his own had. Still, he considered her as beautiful now as the first day he met her.
“So, what’s up?” Sheba asked, waning to know the situation on the bridge and with Earth.
“Seems our new allies have enemies of their own,” Apollo said. “We’re tracking two very large ships headed into the system.
“You seem pretty calm about all of this,” Sheba said.
“Their ships move slower than the fleet does, they won’t be here for another couple of days still,” Apollo replied. He had no fear of outrunning the new ships, but they had nowhere to run to.
“What’s the plan?” Sheba asked catching Apollo off guard.
“Not sure,” he replied honestly. He had given it some thought, but it was Tigh’s overall decision. “I’m not sure how much help our allies want.”
“Has anyone asked if there was anything we could do, or have they assumed either they don’t want our help or we won’t help?” Sheba asked. “We should prepare ourselves for a fight Apollo.’
“I know, but I have no idea how we could be involved,” Apollo said. “As for asking, so far all we’ve been asked to do is track the ships and keep them updated.”
“Sounds like they want us involved to me,” Sheba replied to him.
“Yeah, but there is another problem, Councilman Ziers who is down there,” Apollo said to her they both understood what that meant.
“Wonderful,” Sheba said, her tone indicated everything to Apollo.
Starbuck walked outside the building enjoying the sunlight on his face. He had been on board a starship for so long he almost forgot what it felt like. Pausing a bit to soak up the heat from the sun and the wind blowing his hair, an odd feeling. Sitting down he looked seeing the trees, planets and animals all around him and wondered what might happen next.
Boxey sat down next to him with a strange look on his face. Starbuck looked over and wondered what was going on in his head.
“So, what’s up kiddo?” Starbuck asked.
Boxey thought about it for a few seconds before deciding to answer him. “What are you doing, you’ve got a strange look on your face.”
“Me, oh, well I was taking a moment to feel the sun and wind on my face. It’s exciting to know that it’s not the air being conditioned and being blown by recyclers. You can smell the difference,” Starbuck said, pausing to take a breath of the air.
“I guess I know what you mean,” Boxey said, as they watched a small, furry, animal with a bushy tail come within arm’s reach before rising up on its back legs as if waiting for something.
“I see Old Red is meeting you,” a voice said from behind. They turned to see Senator Mitchell walking towards them. “He comes out here on our lunch break looking for handouts, in a way he’s an unofficial mascot,” he said, breaking a piece of bread off and tossing it to the animal, who took it, stuffed the bread into its mouth and scurried off.
“What type of animal is it?” Starbuck asked, seeing a couple of similar animals nearby.
“Squirrels,’ the senator replied. “But watch out, they are smarter than you might think.”
Starbuck turned to look at the small animals and thought about what the senator said. Sure they were small, quick and agile, but they did not look like much else. They had a lot to learn about this planet.
Two massive shaped ships slowly made their way towards their target. The crews on board already know this time they would have a fight. It was expected from all targeted worlds, but it was the first time in over a hundred cycles they had lost one of their battleships.
They expected the target world to have some technology, but the leadership felt overwhelming force could easily deal with the problem. This time they would send two ships, more than enough to deal with a hostile world. The only question remained was how the previous ship had been defeated.
The question had been poised by all intelligence experts and they could not understand it. The leaders felt that the target would probably know they are coming this time. The warriors felt fine tih this, they had the material and technological superiority in the upcoming fight.
Only a few cited they should proceed with caution. They were worried about what happened last time. They wanted more intelligence and finally it had been decided. Two ships would go, one would remain outside the system watching and reporting, or providing additional backup if needed.
“Commander,” the scanner officer said gaining Apollo’s attention. “I think there might be a problem.”
He made his way over to the scanner to see what the problem was. He down at the scanner and noticed what the situation was.
“What’s going on out there?” Apollo mumbled more to himself.
He looked at the scanner which was showing that the two ships were splitting up. One ship had continued into the system while the other had remained outside the system.
“Get me Commander Tigh,” Apollo said, looking over at Athena.
“Right away,” she said to him activating the communications between battlestars.
Apollo returned to his command chair in time to see Tigh appear on the screen.
“I take it there is something going on,” Tigh stated
“There’s a problem with the incoming ships,” Apollo said, relaying what the scanners showed.
Admiral White worked with his aides trying to come up with a possible battle solution when another aide came into the room. The fact he walked right up to the admiral indicated he had news.
“Sir, there is a Commander Tigh who wishes to speak with you,” the aide said. John stood and made his way over to the communicator hoping for some good news. The face of Commander Tigh appeared on the screen in front of him.
“Commander, you have news?” John asked watching his face.
“Something our scanners picked up,” Tigh said to him. “The two ships approaching the system have split up. One stopped outside the system, the other has entered the system staying on the same course.”
“Thanks, I’ll be in touch soon,” John said, ending the conversation.
He gave the new situation some thought. It was a good tactical move despite dividing their firepower. They would be able to see what type of opposition they were facing without committing all their forces. For john it meant they had to fight two battles, and one of those battles would be against an enemy who understood their battle plan. He looked up at the rest of the group and he spoke up.
“We have some good and bad news. It’s seems like the aliens have split up and one of the motherships has entered the system heading towards us. The bad news is we have the firepower to fight on mothership, but the second one will come in knowing what our capabilities are,” he told them. “It won’t matter, and we can’t sit here hoping they pass by, we all know they won’t.”
He looked at all of them knowing they would do their best in the upcoming battle. A new battle for Earth was about to begin.
The young man entered the airlock, closing it from the airlessness of the planet. Making sure the hatch was sealed he waited a few seconds as a hissing noise indicated air rushing into the small room. He watched the light turn green and he walked into the next room.
The next room was more comfortable, and allowed him room to undress. Stripping out of the suit he placed it away before making his way back down the hallway to the central area looking for a certain man.
“Doctor David,” he said, entering the room and seeing the man he was looking for deep in reading.
“Yes Gerald,” David said, looking up and a bit shocked look on his face. Gerald noticed the papers indicating that he was going over the symbols they found in the mysterious building.
“We got word that President Hiller would like you to return to Earth, the aliens are back,” Gerald replied. He watched as everyone in the room froze at that bit of news.
“Get a ship ready, I’m going to clean up and head over,” David said quickly, packing things up and stuffing them inside the bags and left the room.
Gerald looked over at the screens, one showed inside the mysterious building and the changing symbols on the screen. He wondered if they would ever figure out what they were.
End part 3