Ring of Salvation
by AJ Marks
Adama looked at the council knowing they were not going to give up. He had not arrived at this conclusion easily knowing it would affect everyone in the fleet beyond anything they had known. But he also had to trust what he had been told, the humans in the other galaxy were probably a safer choice than their chances against the Cylons. He also would trust in his people’s ability to adapt and rebuild a new civilization.
“There is nothing you can do?” Uri asked Mitchell.
“Sorry, any of our ships would take several weeks in hyperspace to arrive here, by then I think this battle will be over,” Mitchell replied back to Uri.
“And we’re to just go hopping across the galaxy on a whim?” Uri asked. “For all we know this group could be wanting us as slaves.”
“We’re not like that,” Mitchell replied back hotly.
“If we do this, we’ll need a lot of support,” another council member said.
“I don’t know how much support we can give, my world is, unusual in my galaxy,” Mitchell replied.
“In what way?” Uri asked.
“Um, well, most of our people don’t know about the stargate, they don’t even know we’ve been exploring the universe now for ten years, fought several wars, and have become a power in our galaxy,” Mitchell said. “They don’t know we’ve even founded some bases on other worlds including a small star fleet.”
“Combining our two technologies could be tremendous to everyone,” Adama said. “The Beings of Light led us here to find the stargate.”
“And you know this how?” Uri asked.
“They told us,” Adama said. “One appeared while we were talking.”
Adama waited for the expected outburst and a few asking why this person didn’t show up to them. Adama had no answer for that question only that it happened. He really was out of ideas. He also knew to stay meant certain death. A few might survive but they would be scattered now, and they would be fleeing the rest of their lives. Ha had a feeling this way would actually save them, or so he hoped. Abandoning everything was a huge risk and one he was not sure would even work.
“If we are to go, we must move now, we cannot wait until we come under attack,” Adama said to them. “Tell the people to carry as much as possible, anything they can take for the trip.”
“You really think this is the best path?”
“Yes, I see no other path which doesn’t involve a huge sacrifice by the warriors in a futile effort to save us all. Remember, once the warriors are gone, there will not be anything to stop the Cylons from the fleet. If we stay you are asking our warriors to sacrifice themselves for a slim hope of survival,” Adama said to them hoping to make them understand the consequences of their actions.
“We shall vote on it,” Uri finally said. “Aye will be in favor of the commander’s plan, nay is we will think of something else.”
Adama waited patiently as everyone voted, he cast his own vote for his plan and waited.
“Its official, the ayes have it, passed seven to five,” Uri said.
“If you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of work to do,” Adama said, heading off and back towards the bridge.
“I thought our politics was screwed up,” Mitchell said as they walked.
“They are proud people, and fear change,” Adama said. “And heading across the galaxy while giving up what you have is a big risk for all of us.”
They reached the bridge where everyone seemed to be waiting.
“We begin the evacuations,” Adama said.
“How are we going to do this?” Tigh asked.
“The gate can remain open for thirty-eight minutes but it’s probably more like thirty minutes, you’ll need a way to get the people down on the planet and organized,” Sam said.
“We’ll land the ships close to the buildings, there are clearings all around,” Apollo said. “We could probably land four ships at a time.”
“You’re ships can do that?” Sam said.
“All but the Galactica,” Apollo said. “Most ships are rigged for such landings. It won’t be comfortable but the ships can do it one last time.”
“The crew of the Galactica will have to shuttle off, and the warriors can use their vipers while maintain patrols on where the Cylons are,” Adama said.
“We’ll be using a lot of fuel for this,” Tigh said.
“Take it from the ships after they lift off again and are empty,” Adama said. “Send the fastest four ships to begin the evacuation.”
Daniel watched as things got crowded. Much more than he expected as he and Teal’c tried to get everyone in position as the gate started up indicating an incoming wormhole. He and Teal’c immediately moved into a defensive position along with a few warriors who had come down to help with crowd control.
“We are not expecting anyone Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said.
“No,” Daniel said as the connection was established.
“Colonel Mitchell,” he heard Landry’s voice say on the radio.
“General, Mitchell is still on board the Galactica,” Daniel replied.
“All right, wanted to give you an address, PQ-139, sending the address now,” Landry said.
“What happened to PX-351?” Daniel asked.
“139 has more room,” Landry said.
“All right,” Daniel said, looking down and seeing the address. “We’ve received it, we’ll send the first group though shortly.”
“All right, they are already waiting,” Landry said. “I suggest sending Teal’c through first.”
“I was already planning on going first general,” Teal’c replied.
“All right, good luck,” Landry said, as the gate closed down.
“If I can have your attention,” Daniel yelled out hoping to get everyone to calm down. Everyone was holding something and looking anxious but after a few more shouts for calm he finally had the people in the room’s attention. “Now, when the gate activates follow Teal’c though the gate as calmly and quickly as possible to get as many people though as possible. People on the other side will be waiting to help you out. Upon arrival move away from the gate to keep it clear, a lot of people have to move through. Think of it as a door, if you block the exit it will only make things worse.”
He looked over at Teal’c who nodded he was ready and headed to the control and dialed up the address. The gate went through its activation sequence and with a whoosh connected. Teal’c wasted no time heading though the gate and followed closely by the first person as the line started moving rather quickly.
The guards kept things calm as Daniel waited for Teal’c.
“We have arrived, things are moving quite well,” Teal’c said.
“That’s a relief,” Daniel replied. “Keep me informed, if things get backed up we’ll stop sending people.
“The area around the stargate is quite open,” Teal’c replied. “And the Jaffa are prepared already.”
Daniel felt some relief, but knew this was only the beginning.
Apollo stood on the bridge watching as people received their number for the shuttles to leave the Galactica. The bridge crew would be one of the last groups, needed for flight control in and out of the ship and coordinating the movement of the fleet.
He heard already of a few mess-ups, which were expected and the call came from the planet’s surface that the first group had successfully gone through the gate. The four ships were already making room for the next four while shuttles abandoned the ships sending them away from the planet and path the fleet needed to take. Fuel was already being transferred to the tankers to redistribute to other ships.
“Galactica, this is Jolly,” he heard over the intercom.
“Jolly, what’s wrong,” Apollo asked knowing from his friend’s voice something happened.
“I’m over here at the Moving Box, we have a problem,” Jolly said.
“What type of problem?” Apollo asked.
“They are not going,” Jolly said.
Apollo looked over at Tigh who heard the conversation, neither seemed surprised.
“Commander, problems with the Moving Box,” Tigh said.
Adama walked over and keyed the communications waiting a second for the Moving Box captain to appear.
“Sorry commander, I won’t obey this order, you’ve done well but this is suicide to give up everything we’ve known,” the captain said.
“You realize the situation?” Adama said.
“Yes, and we’re staying,” the captain said. “You can’t make us go through that thing to someplace unknown.”
“Colonel, inform the next ship in the group to take the Moving Box’s place,” Adama said to Tigh before turning his attention back to the communicator. “The warriors will not be here to protect you this time.”
“That’s why we’re heading away now,” the captain said.
“Sir, the ship is moving away from the fleet.
“Any other ships?” Adama asked.
“Three others, including one of the Argo ships,” Athena said concerned.
Adama felt failure over the decision. People were heading to their deaths willingly.
“See if we can speed up our process,” Adama said.
“Incoming communications,” Rigel said.
Adama waited as it was put on the screen and he noticed one of the council members.
“Sorry commander, but I can’t allow you to make such a mistake,” he said. “I would have preferred to keep the fleet together, but this was preferable.”
Aama sighed at the implications of what the councilman said.
“You’re leading them to their deaths,” Adama said.
“At least we will be honorable and not be subservient in another galaxy,” the councilmen said ending the communications.
“He really has no idea,” Mitchell said from where he stood.
“He would have had problems had we found Earth here in this galaxy. He was one who always enjoyed power,” Adama said. Seeing Uri walk onto the bridge.
“I take it you know of what some of the council members are doing?” he asked.
“Leaving the fleet yes, one just called me,” Adama said.
“I disagreed Adama, I don’t agree with your path, but given the situation, I could come up with nothing either,” Urii said. “I tried to dissuade them, but nothing I said meant anything.”
“I doubt anything you say would have worked, but I’m glad you’re going. We’ll need you,” Adama said seeing surprise on Uri’s face.
“Commander, I think that’s the nicest thing you’ve said to me in a while,” Uri said causing Adama to laugh.
“Second group has arrived,” Apollo said.
“How many have been evacuated?” Uri asked.
“Four ships, working on the next four,” Adama said.
“How many are defecting?” Uri asked.
“I count fifteen,” Athena said.
“So, we still have about two hundred left,” Uri said.
“I only hope we have time,” Adama said.
“Well, you’re preparing your people well, Daniel said the first group went through without a problem, that will speed things up,” Mitchell said.
“I can only hope things go as smoothly,” Adama said.
“Father, the area around the building is large, we could land more get one group prepared while another is going through,” Apollo said.
“Do it,” Adama said. “Anything to speed things up. We don’t know how quickly the Cylons are moving.”
“We might also want to establish a defensive perimeter around the building,” Mitchell said. “They might be seeing us heading down there.”
“Apollo, send Starbuck down to establish it,” Adama said.
“Right,” Apollo said making his way off the bridge to track down his friend. He didn’t think the Cylons would, but anything could happen if they attacked. They might also be seeing what they were doing and be changing their plans for such an attack. Of course they might also be confused and trying to evaluate what they were doing.
He finally found Starbuck with Doctor Wilker who was talking with Samantha Carter.
“Starbuck,” he said.
“Adama wants you to take a group of warriors and set up a defensive perimeter around the building in case the Cylons attack there on the ground,” Apollo said to him.
“I take it you will be on the Galactica?” Starbuck asked.
“Yeah, helping coordinate the effort and keeping track of the warriors,” Apollo said.
“All right, I’ll take some of blue squad, and fly down in the vipers,” Starbuck said.
“Good,” Apollo said as they walked out. “What’s going on in there?”
“She’s helping him take as much stuff as possible with him,” Starbuck said.
“Ah,” Apollo replied, knowing there was a lot of stuff they would be leaving behind. “Not everyone is going.”
“You’re not thinking of staying?” Starbuck said. “From what I’ve heard staying is suicide.”
“No, I happen to agree with the commander, just,” Apollo looked around. “Its been home.”
“Yeah,” Starbuck replied wistfully as well. “But, I think it’ll be a new beginning.”
“I hope so,” Apollo said as they split, Starbuck headed to the hangar and him back to the bridge. He hoped time would allow him to see his friend again.
End part 4