Rind of Salvation
by AJ Marks
Mitchell stood on the bridge of the Galactica watching how things were going on. He noticed a few times the Cylons had feigned an attack on the fleet. Each one was beaten back and he wondered if the attacks served a purpose after a third such attack.
“Why don’t they just attack?” Mitchell asked Tigh.
“Probably steering us in a certain direction, towards the system,” Tigh stated.
“Then why haven’t they attacked the ships there?” Mitchell asked not able to understand this enemy.
“I think they expected the fleet to move as one, our tactics have probably confused them. That will last until the Galactica gets there,” Tigh replied. “Once the Galactica reaches the system I figure they will attack in full force.”
“And how much longer do we have?” Mitchell asked, uneasy about that information.
“Not long now,” Tigh said.
“Can the Cylons learn about technology?” Mitchell asked.
“If we leave the stargate around they might learn how to operate it,” Mitchell said, the last thing he wanted was a way for this enemy to quickly gain a new way to spread throughout the galaxy.
“I see,” Tigh replied. “Without the gate it could take them centuries to even begin to expand beyond this galaxy, if they ever do.”
“Give them a stargate, and they could expand quickly,” Mitchell said.
“Sam,” Mitchell said over his radio.
“Go ahead,” Sam said.
“We need a plan to destroy the stargate upon leaving,” he told her.
“We don’t want the Cylons to understand this technology,” Mitchell replied to her.
“Understand, we’ll work on it,” Sam said.
“Doctor Wilker and I, he’s quite brilliant,” Sam said.
“All right, I’ll leave it to you,” Mitchell said shaking his head knowing that Sam always seemed to find such people.
He looked around realizing there were even fewer people on board. They had shuttled down to other ships already.
“Sir, Daniel is asking for you,” Rigel said.
“Thanks,” Mitchell said giving her a smile before keying the mic. “Daniel?”
“Mitchell, how are things going up there?” Daniel asked.
“Oh, you know, busy as ever, what about down there?” Mitchell asked.
“No panic yet, aside from a few vocal people talking about staying and it’s a trap which riled some up,” Daniel said. “Otherwise it’s been remarkably calm.”
“Good, we’re more than halfway and Sam is working on a way to destroy the gate after we leave,” Mitchell sad.
“Yeah, the Cylons might be able to figure it out, don’t need another new enemy after the Gao’uld and Ori,” Mitchell said.
“Um, right,” Daniel replied. “Well, got to go, sending another group through.”
“How many ships left?” Mitchell asked.
“Seventy-six,” Tigh replied. “The largest ships have been evacuated already. Most of these left are construction, fuel, and argo ships.”
It was still a lot of people and Mitchell hoped they had enough time.
Samantha looked on packing up her computer which had allowed them to store a massive amount of their information. It had taken them a bit of time to sync up the two systems, but once they managed it things were quickly downloaded into the computer’s storage.
“Sir,” she said keying her mic.
“Go ahead,” Mitchell said.
“I’m done here,” Sam said.
“Good, get down to the surface,” Mitchell said. “I’ll be down shortly as well.
“On it,” Sam said as she, Wilker and the rest of his team headed out, many carry as much as they could. Several had already made trips to the shuttle as she headed down to the hangar.
“So, how are you going to destroy the stargate?” Wilker asked.
“We could overload the ZPM, but that’s risky,” Sam said. “If it explodes too early it could strand us here.”
“Why not use the Galactica,” another voice said causing them to turn around to see Commander Adama.
“Use the Galactica?” Wilker asked.
“It can be set on autopilot, and destroy the area, it would also prevent the Cylons from destroying it,” Adama said.
“Are you sure?” Sam said having a feeling that Wilker was hesitant about it.
“I’ve been giving it a lot of thought, we won’t need it, and we can’t take it with us,” Adama said. “I’d rather destroy it than have it fall into Cylon hands.”
“Well, it would solve the problem of destabilizing the wormhole as we go through it,” Sam said.
“I’ll inform the bridge, we’ll activate it upon leaving on a delay that should give us enough time to go through this gate,” Adama said. “How long does the gate remain active?”
“About forty of your centons,” Sam said having been given a brief description of their time units.
“A centare or two should be good,” Wilker said.
“All right, we’ll get it ready,” Adama said walking away as Sam continued to the hangar.
“He sounds like some of my commanders,” Sam said.
“Yes, he is a man of action but deep thought,” Wilker said.
“It’s a good mix, reminds me of General Hammond,” Sam said. “The previous leader of the SGC, a good man. I think he would have liked to have meet Adama.”
Reaching the hangar Sam informed Mitchell that she was headed down to the planet. She hoped to be headed back soon, and felt the debriefing for this mission would take a while.
Daniel felt a nudge and blinked his eyes to see Sam standing there.
“Sam, where’s Mitchell?” Daniel asked, having fallen asleep after working so much. They would be sending one of the last groups though and he had taken a break informing Starbuck who had taken over organizing everyone into a line to head on through.
“He’ll be down on the last shuttle with the commander,” Sam said.
“Ah, how many more trips?” he asked.
“We think two, this one and then us,” Sam said.
“Good,” Daniel said stretching as Starbuck made his way inside.
“Hey, this group is ready,” Starbuck said.
“All right, be right there,” Daniel said heading over to the controls and began dialing the address. After a few seconds it connected and he quickly sent the signal which was replied to by Teal’c. “Go on through.”
He watched as the group was orderly sent though the gate once more. It almost became routine as they went though and he watched.
“I see why you’re bored,” Sam said.
“Yeah, there wasn’t much here in the building anyways,” Daniel said. “A couple of rooms, tables and a resting area, but aside from that, it seemed like this building was an after-thought.”
“Well, if what we’re told is correct, it was a meeting place between the group here, which they call the Beings of Light and the Ancients, who didn’t get along,” Sam said.
“Might explain some things,” Daniel said watching and getting reports that things were still fine on the other side by Teal’c.
“How are they adjusting over there,” Sam asked.
“Teal’c and the Jaffa have things well in hand over there,” Daniel said.
“Uh, Daniel,” Sam said. The tone in her voice indicating something was wrong and he looked over. “You see this?” she said, suddenly working on the computer.
“Yeah, if what I see is correct, we could be in trouble,” he said as the last of the group went though and the gate closed.
“We are in trouble,” Sam said.
“Yeah, we don’t have enough power to dial out again to our galaxy,” Daniel said as Starbuck walked over.
“Good news bad news,” he said to them. “The last of the group is headed here, and the Galactica’s autopilot is fixed.”
“How long do we have?” Sam asked.
“Think he said something about a centare and a half,” Starbuck said. “Why?”
“We don’t have enough power anymore to dial out,” Sam replied seeing Starbuck’s face go pale.
“You don’t have, like say a couple of naquadah generators or ZPMs lying around by any chance?” Daniel asked.
“I’m not even sure what those are,” Starbuck replied.
“Power generators, and unless we find a new source quickly, we’re stuck here,” Sam said to him even as another man walked in.
Daniel looked at the screen wondering if he could somehow figure out a way to produce more power, or even if there was a place he could dial which was in range of the Stargate. Looking around he saw nothing which might actually help.
“What’s going on?” the other man said with white hair. Daniel seemed to recognize him but couldn’t recall his name.
“We don’t have the power anymore to dial to our galaxy,” Sam said.
“So, you need more power,” the man replied.
“Yeah,” Sam said as the man looked on working with Sam.
“Um, there might be one thing, not sure how it would work,” Starbuck said speaking up for the first time since he was told what was going on.
“We’re open to anything,” Sam said not looking up as Daniel waited.
“There are several starships with running engines, can’t they be hooked up?” Starbuck asked.
“I’m not sure, the power might not be compatible with the gate, and it could burn it out,” Sam said.
“Um, Sam, if it burns out, it’s not like we have a lot of time anyways,” Daniel said recalling the fact another starship would be slamming into this spot in a short amount of time. “And we don’t have many other options.”
“Right, can you do it?” Sam asked.
“We’ll need to know where to hook up, but I think we can,” he replied.
“You can show him Sam, I’ll work this area,” Daniel said watching them head out.
“Come on Starbuck, we’ll need all the help we can get,” the man said heading out of the room.
Mitchell looked around the bridge as the last group input the instructions into the computers.
“Commander, we have incoming raiders,” Omega said.
“Everything set?” Adama asked
“Yes, weapon systems set to automatic,” Omega replied.
“Then let’s get out of here,” Adama said.
Mitchell rushed with the others down the corridor to the elevator and onto the hangar where a shuttle was waiting and appeared already powered up. Stepping inside he quickly sat down as the doors closed and it blasted off leaving him pushed back into his chair at the acceleration.
“Silver spar is making sure they stay back,” Apollo said.
“Inform them to fall back to the planet, and be ready to go at once,” Adama said to him.
Mitchell heard the information relayed to the fighters.
“This will be a rough landing,” Apollo said to the group.
No one said anything and for a second Mitchell wished he had gone on an earlier shuttle on down, but he had to wait around.
“Raiders are heading to the empty ships first,” Apollo said.
“That should give us a few microns,” Adama said.
“I hope it’s enough,” Mitchell replied back watching as the planet loomed larger in the windows and knew they were going to be racing into the atmosphere. The shuttle bounced around a bit in the atmosphere but held together.
“Exceeding normal parameters,” he heard the other pilot tell Apollo.
“I know, but we need to get down fast,” Apollo said even as the engines strained and the shuttle seemed to not want to lift up and even out.
For a few seconds Mitchell was concerned they would crash into the ground, but it leveled out and headed to the building. He could see several starships all around as well as many people running around all over the place. It looked like a scene of mass confusion and he wondered what happened.
Landing he and the others were out the door rather quickly as he looked on seeing massive cables running around and people pulling the cables alone into the building.
“Sam? Daniel?” Mitchell asked over the communicator.
“Yeah,” Daniel’s voice replied sounding strained.
“Um, what’s going on?”
“It’s a bit too much to explain, but the ZPM didn’t have enough power to dial our galaxy, so we hooked up the starships engines to the stargate for the energy boost,” Daniel replied.
“Oh,” Mitchell said.
“Problem?” Adama asked.
“Might be, let me go find out,” Mitchell said running inside avoiding everyone and making his way to the command room.
End part 5