Alignment of the Stars Part 2

Alignment of the Stars

by AJ Marks

Part 2

Tagget made his way across the bridge, looking down at the scanners. The vipers were at the edge of their range, and about to enter the system. He hoped to find some food at the planet, their supplies were running low. He glanced over at Zaga, who stood with him.

“Orion sent a report,” Zaga finally said, by the tone Tagget knew it was not good. “Seems as if things are getting a bit unruly on board.”

Tagget sighed, knowing such things would happen, and seemed to be doing so more frequently. With supplies short, especially food, tempers flared. He expected it to happen, but still had no idea how to handle it.

“How is Orion handling it?” Tagget asked.

“About as well as can be expected,” Zaga replied. “But he’s having some problems. If we don’t find a fresh supply of food soon things will get real bad.”

Tagget nodded, but he could not make food materialize. So far they had been lucky finding food and fuel in systems. At one spot he thought he saw signs of previous mining of fuel, not a lot for a large fleet, but enough to make him nervous.

“Commander, incoming report from the patrol,” Yvette said.

“Put it though,” Tagget said, moving over to a communicator.

“Commander,” Ben’s voice said, the strike captain of the Sunflare.

“Tell me you have good news captain,” Tagget almost pleaded.

“Well, from our scans, we see one planet that seems to support life, and we think one of the moons has fuel, should we investigate even further?” Ben asked.

“Proceed,” Tagget said, turning to Zaga. “Tell the fleet to head towards the system. “And tell the miners and gathers to prepare for possible deployment.”

“Yes sir,” Zaga said.

Tagget hoped the news would calm the civilians for a bit. He rarely got them ready only not to deploy. The scans he hoped panned out this time. He got them ready earlier than previous times. Perhaps the unrest started to get to him? He hoped not, a lot of people relied on him.

He took a glance around the bridge, everyone here could do their jobs, yet they were never front line material. Now, due to the situation, they were defenders of this fleet. They had taken responsibility better than anyone anticipated. The fact they had managed to avoid Cylons seemed lucky. He wondered how much longer such luck would last.

“Commander, seems like things are looking good for the planet,” Ben’s voice said, making Tagget feel better. He hoped they found something edible.

Cain made his way to the conference room where the squad leaders, weapons officer, and links to the other three ships were established.

“I think everyone understands the situation,” Teck said, beginning the briefing. “We have three basestars sitting nearby waiting to spring a trap on the Galactica, and roughly two hundred and twenty civilian ships, what remains of those who were able to flee the Colonies. We won’t stand by and all this trap to be sprung. As such, Commander Cain has an idea.”

“Only the Excaliber is fully capable of fighting a basestar, along with the Galactica. However the first phase I don’t plan on having the Galactica in close yet. We’ll spring this trap before the fleet arrives, but in range so they can help,” Cain said. “In fact, the Galactica helping is essential for victory and survival.”

Cain brought up the scanner, and indicated the three spots of the basestars and the Excaliber, Pegasus and Orion, a small recon ship, but still had weapons.

“So far, the Cylons are unaware of our presence,” Cain said. “I expect them to not power up until the Galactica and the fleet close in on the system. If we attack before they launch, we have a small window to catch them completely off guard. That first strike will have to be as deadly as possible. Aiming for their hangars, and weapon systems is essential.”

“I think we can all agree, that this battle will be the toughest, as a result, all vipers won’t launch until we open fire,” Teck said.

“Commander,” Tolan’s voice said, speaking up. “We have limited weapons, and won’t stand much of a chance against a battlestar, but everyone here will do their best.”

“I know you will Tolan, but don’t go dying on me, or destroying my ship,” Cain said. “Fire and run, don’t slug it out. Use the asteroids to your advantage if you can.”

“Red, blue and green star squadrons, your primary focus is the basestars,” Teck said. “Red and blue will hit the basestar attacking the Pegasus, Green the one furthest away for us. Gold and black star squads, you’ll engage any Cylon raiders which launch near either the Pegasus or Excaliber. Silver and Orange star, you are to accompany Green star squadron. Purple and Yellow are to head out to protect the Galactica and her fleet at all costs, white star squadron, will help defense of the Excaliber.”

Cain watched as all the strike captains nodded their head, looking at the scanner for their mission.

“Everyone, this battle is a battle for survival, there is no losing this time,” Cain said. “If we win, there is hope.”

“Commander Teck,” the voice of Calvin said over the intercom, interrupting the meeting.

“Yes lieutenant?” Teck asked.

“Um, I think you better see this,” Calvin said.

Cain looked over at Teck, who shrugged before excusing himself and walking out of the room.

“Are there any questions about the battle plans?” Cain asked the group.

“How long do you think we’ll have before the Cylons power up?” one asked.

“Don’t know, all depends on how close they want the Galactica to be,” Cain said. “That is the key factor.”

“Why don’t we just strike early?” a second one asked.

“We need the firepower of the Galactica to fight the three basestars, the Pegasus is in no condition to fight,” Cain said.

“If we strike the hangars, we can prevent their raiders from launching,” the first one said.

“That will help out,” Cain said. “As it is, we’ll be outnumbered almost three to one, and with the Galactica’s vipers, about two to one, and with such odds success is better, and losses should be lighter.”

He watched Teck walk back into the room looking a bit shocked, and activating the scanner for the room.

“Seems like we have something else happening,” Teck said. “Another pair of vipers”

That caught Cain by surprise. A second pair of vipers was something he had not expected.

“The Galactica sent a second patrol?” Cain asked, slightly surprised Adama would waste the fuel on a second patrol.

“No, this group approached from a different vector,” Teck said. “I have the long range scanners pointed in that direction, but so far nothing.”

Cain drummed his fingers on the table, wondering what this meant. “Any reaction by the Cylons?”

“Not yet, but they might have anticipated this as well,” Teck replied. Cain thought about that for a few seconds. Something strange was going on. Where did the other vipers come from? He knew of no other Colonial warship which survived, except one. He paused at that thought, Could it be?

“There was also another large communications burst,” Teck said.

“And still no reaction from the Cylons,” Cain said.

“No, it worries me,” Teck said. “They must have heard it.”

“We heard nothing,” Tolan said, interrupting their conversation.

“It’s directional,” Cain finally said. “That would explain why we can hear it, we’re in the path.”

“That’s one intense signal,” Teck said. “But for what? Some sort of advanced scanner?”

“I don’t think what, but who?” Cain finally said. There was someone else out there, and he had no idea who they might be, or which side they might help. An unknown he had to be aware of.

Tagget walked up to the bridge. Zaga summoned him there as Ben and Issac returned, both standing on the bridge.

“So, you think we can find what we need there?” Tagget asked.

“There is defiantly vegetation on the ground, we’ll need explorers to figure out the rest,” Ben said.

“Good,” Tagget said, looking down at his communications console. Sabrina waited patiently for any news. “Sabrina, it’s a go, we should be there shortly.”

“I’ll get my team together,” Sabrina said, ending the conversation.

“What about fuel?” Tagget asked, looking back at Ben.

“There is a large deposit on the moon, we should be able to mine it easily,” Ben replied.

“Even better,” Tagget said. “Zaga, get a team ready for fuel extraction.”

If nothing else, he would get fuel out of the stop. He wished something positive would happen. He had tried to stay positive, but it had been very difficult. He looked down at the scanner, seeing it would be a couple of hours before they reached the system.

“Captain Orion on the line?” Yvette said. Tagget took a breath, and released it before replying.

“Put him through,” Tagget said, seeing the older ex-commander appear on the screen. “Captain, everything is all right?”

“At the moment,” Orion said. “The rumor of the possibility of fresh food is lifting some people’s spirit, but my question is what are the odds they’ll find food?”

“I don’t know Orion, only that there is vegetation, beyond that, I won’t know until the teams land on the planet’s surface,” Tagget replied honestly.

“Fair enough, I can make that announcement then,” Orion said. “I can tell them the teams are investigating a planet. That won’t be lying, and won’t make a promise either.”

Tagget shook his head at that. The man had a way with such words. He gave nothing other than they were looking at something promising. “You’ll at least get fuel for sure.”

“Yeah, that’s good news as well,” Orion stated.

“Let’s hope its double good news,” Tagget replied.

Adama looked up from his desk as Apollo walked into the office.

“Well, what can I do for you Apollo?” Adama asked, wondering what his son wanted. He had been spending a lot of time in the observation dome hoping to find another signal. So far he had come up empty. Perhaps he finally found something new.

“Actually I wanted to ask you, when was the last time you took a break father?” Apollo asked, catching Adama by surprise.

“I don’t know what you mean?” Adama replied.

“Yes you do, we’ve all noticed it, even Athena,” Apollo said. “We’ve watched you work harder than anyone else on board. If you don’t take a break for a while you’ll crack.”

“There is a lot to do Apollo,” Adama said.

“And there is a council, and those under you who can shoulder some of that work,” Apollo said. “You’ve been constantly busy since we left the Colonies, it’s time to take a breather. We have problems in the fleet, but go to the Rising Star, relax, watch a game, something. You’re always sending the warriors to the Rising Star to relax.”

“They have to be ready at a moment’s notice, so they must be ready,” Adama said.

“I’m worried about your health, that’s all,” Apollo said, looking out the window in the office.

“All right Apollo, I’ll take it easy,” Adama said, wondering if he had not been working too hard.

“Good, if not Athena will start bugging you,” Apollo said, causing them both to smile. Athena had a lot of her mother in her, and Adama knew she would have been bugging him relentlessly.

He watched him walk out, before thinking seriously about what Apollo said. True, he had been focused on his work. The question to be asked, had he focused too much on work? He sighed, knowing that the answer was probably yes. He always seemed to find something to do, or some emergency came up. Things had been quiet lately, and wondered what might happen this time.

Cain walked onto the bridge along with Teck, who had been summoned. The crew appeared slightly excited by something on the scanner. He walked over seeing the incoming ships as well.

“That’s not the Galactica,” Teck said after the identification came though.

“No,” Cain said, seeing the seven ships, five of which were warships. The largest was a Colonial battlecrusier, the predecessor to the battlestar.

“I only know the Sunflare, which was still operational at the time, it was,” Teck stopped as some realization hit him. Cain waited a second for a further explanation. “It was on patrol, keeping an eye out for pirates.”

“So, it would have been far enough away that it could have avoided the Cylon attack,” Cain said.

“Yes, very possible,” Teck said. “Leaving Colonial space was very hectic after the attack, it would have been easy to miss another ship.”

“So the vipers probably came from this ship,” Cain said, recalling what the battescruisers specs. Limited viper capacity, but heavy weaponry. One of the other ships was a gunstar, the Tiger class. The other three warships were smaller anti-raider ships. The entire group was a killer of basestasrs, but not their raiders.

“I would have to agree,” Teck said, agreeing with Cain. He paused a second before continuing. “Commander Tagget was the commanding officer of the ship if I recall correctly.”

“What type of commander is he?” Cain asked, hoping for some good information.

“He was good, until he lost his family in a Cylon attack a few yahrens before the armistice. Got real depressed, so they took him off the front line,” Teck said.

“Can we communicate with them?” Cain asked.

“Laser transmission won’t work,” Ofica said. “Too many asteroids in the way for a clean communications.”

Cain thought about that. If he could communicate with them, he wanted more than a brief burst.

“What about the Cylons?” Teck asked.

“Still there, haven’t moved,” Calvin replied.

“We now have the Excaliber, this battlecruiser, and the Galactica, we can beat these tin cans and their trap,” Cain said. He had even more pieces to destroy this trap. The only problem still remained, when to spring the trap on the trap.

“It appears they are going to be settling into orbit,” Teck said.

They watched as several shuttles left the ship, two heading to the planet and two towards the moon. He had the feeling they were looking for something on the planet, and fuel on the moon.

“Well, this is going to get interesting,” Teck stated, watching as new ships appeared, Colonial in design. It could only mean one thing, the fleet of the Galactica was approaching. The time for the attack was closing in.

“Yes,” Cain said, a sudden thought occurring to him. “Get me the other ships.”

He waited as Teck looked confused, but nodded. Cain only had to wait a few seconds before all the captain appeared.

“In case anyone doesn’t know, we have the Sunflare at the planet, and the Galactica on the way. I expect one group or another to attempt contact. If they do that, your ship will pick up the hailing request, ignore it,” Cain said. “We have to remain hidden for now.”

“Don’t worry commander,” Tolan said. The other captains agreed, as Cain turned back to Teck.

“Forgot about that, we’re in the path between the two,” Teck said.

“We can’t afford to allow the Cylons to know that we’re here,” Cain said. The counter trap depended on it.

Ares turned seeing Otto walk into the room along with Pratt and Gunther and Troy.

“What’s the situation now?” Ares asked.

“A new development happened,” Pratt said. “We’ve had another Colonial warship appear, and it isn’t the Galactica.”

Ares’ eyebrows rose at that statement. That would make a third ship, there was the strange battlestar with three landing bays, the Columbia class battlestar which did not appear to be the Galactica, and now this one.

“Which one,” Ares asked.

“A battlecruiser,” Pratt said.

“There were only two operational when we left,” Troy said. “The Superior and Sunflare.”

Ares recalled the names, but could not say from the information he had if either had been destroyed before the armistice. He could not recall if either ship had been destroyed or not.

“How are the arrangements coming?” Ares asked.

“The Argo will be in position in a few hours,” Pratt replied.

“Good, things are getting interesting,” he said to Troy.

“Yeah, I didn’t see this, that much is for sure,” Troy replied. “But two battlestars, another unknown class of battlestar and a battlecruiser, very unique that they all meet in the same place.”

“And where they are meeting, almost as if the stars are lining up for us,” Ares said. “We’ll have to make sure to press the advantage for sure.”

He look around knowing that the time was coming to leave. The crew here had done a good job, and would continue to give Boris continuous updates.

“This is very interesting,” one scanner operator said.

Ares made his way over to see what had developed. He looked at the scanners, seeing the situation now for what it was.

“Well, that’s not good,” Gunther said.

“There is still the ace card to be played,” Otto said.

“That there is,” Ares replied, knowing they were in a fight for sure.

Tagget listened in as Sabrina listed off a few items they had found on the planet’s surface. They were being tested to make sure no poisons were present. Once that happened, they would bring up as much as possible for distribution in the fleet. Things so far were going quiet well. The mining seemed on track, and there appeared to be food.

“Well?” Zaga asked, walking up beside him.

Tagget started to reply when Sara ran onto the bridge interrupting any reply. She held a piece of paper proudly in her hands, waving it around for him to see.

“I drew this for you,” she stated. Tagget finally managed to see the drawing, a stick figure of what he assumed to be him and Sara, along with a crudely drawn ship in the background.

“That’s very good,” Tagget said, picking her up so they both could look at the picture.

“Um, commander?” Victor, the scanner operator said, gaining Tagget’s attention.

“What’s wrong?” Tagget said, walking over towards the scanner, still holding Sara. He looked down stopping in shock at what he saw.

“What’s wrong?” Zaga asked, making his way over to the scanners, before stopping as well.

“This is, I can’t believe it,” Tagget said.

There on the scanner, several colonial civilian ships were appearing. He had no idea what to do now. Were these ships part of the fleet that left with the Galactica? If so, he could allow himself some happiness.

“Yvette, send a communications, let’s hope the Galactica is out there,” Tagget said.

Tigh went over a few items on the list. Adama had gone to the rec room with Apollo, for what was described as relaxation. Tigh wondered how much Adama would actually rest, and how much he would worry about the ship.

So far things were going well, the fleet was moving slowly towards the system, and would be there in a day at their current speed. It had only recently come into scanner range of the Galactica.

“Well, go ahead with the long range scans,” Tigh ordered. The more they scanned the quicker they might gain some information about what else the system had to offer. This scan would look for metals, and other such things that the fleet would need eventually.

“Sir,” he heard Athena said, confused.

“Yes Athena?” Tigh replied, looking over at her. She had a very strange look on her face, as Omega walked over, looked down and then back up. His face mirrored Athena’s in total shock.

Tigh paused, wondering what could have caused such a reaction.

“Commander, we’re receiving a message from the fleet Alpha line,” Rigel said.

The Pegasus immediately went thought Tigh’s mind. “Put it though,” Tigh said, looking down at his screen, fully expecting to see Cain’s face. Instead he saw an older man with blue eyes, holding a young, blonde-haired girl who was holding some piece of paper in her hands. He had not expected to see this and found himself speechless.

“Ah, greetings, is this the Galactica?” the man asked. “I’m Commander Tagget of the battlecruiser Sunflare.”

“Um, yeah,” Tigh said, trying to get his brain to work. “Colonel Tigh.”

“Ah, Colonel, is Commander Adama there?” Tagget asked,

“Who are they?” the girl asked, breaking the conversation.

“That’s Colonel Tigh of the Galactica,” Tagget replied to her. Tigh watched as he focused his attention back to the girl. It allowed him to do some quick thinking. The Sunflare, he recalled the name, a battlecruiser that was older than the Galactica. He also could recall Tagget’s name, from before, a good commander, but transferred to the patrol section, where the Sunflare was flagship of the patrol fleet.

Tigh returned his attention back to the screen, where Tagget seemed to be comforting the girl. He missed what happened there, and waited a moment.

“Sorry colonel, would you excuse me a moment?” Tagget asked.

“No, it’ll allow me to get the commander,” Tigh replied, before turning to the internal communicator, and buzzing for the recreation room. It took a few seconds before someone replied.

“Rec room,” he heard Apollo’s voice say.

“Apollo, put your father on, we have a situation,” Tigh stated.

“You said you’d allow him to rest, can’t you take care of it,” Apollo said.

“Apollo, I would, but this one is different,” Tight started to say.

“Is it Cylons? Are we under attack, if not take care of it,” Apollo said.

“Apollo,” Tigh replied sharply, hoping to gain the man’s attention. “We’ve been contacted by another Colonial warship.”

Several seconds of silence followed before Apollo said anything. “Colonial warship? The Pegasus?”

“No, the Sunflare, Adama might know the commander better than me, to make sure this isn’t a trap,” Tigh said.

Silence for a few more seconds, until a new voice came on.

“Colonel, what’s the situation?” Adama asked.

“We just got a communications from the battlecruiser Sunflare,” Tigh said.

“Commander Tagget?” Adama asked.

“Yes sir,” Tigh said, a bit hopeful that Adama had mentioned Tagget’s name. It meant at least some things were correct. “And we have seven ship in orbit around the planet in the system, one battlecruiser class, one Tiger class, three destroyers and two civilian ships.”

“The warships match what would have been on patrol,” Adama said. “So they survived, I’ll be on the bridge right away.”

Tigh hung up turning back to the screen. Tagget had yet to return, doing something with the girl. He brought up the listing for the Sunflare on the computer and went over the specs. It was geared back before basestars had a lot of raiders. Designed for anti-ship fighting, a hangar had been added later on to give the ship some fighter protection, but nothing like a battlestar.

“Sorry about that,” Tagget said, reappearing on the screen. “Sara gets nightmares still from what happened. She lost her parents as they were trying to get aboard a craft to meet up with the Galactica. I forgot to realize the name might bring back bad memories.”

“No problem, we have our own children on board,” Tigh said.

“Yeah, seems like things change,” Tagget said, leaving a lot unsaid.

“Commander Tagget,” Adama’s voice said, as he stepped next to Tigh.

“Adama, you are a welcome sight for these old eyes,” Tagget said, breaking out in a smile.

“I could say the same for you,” Adama said. “So, where are you?’

“In the system you’re headed towards, the planet with life and fuel on the moon,” Tagget said, describing the system.

“I suggest you come aboard the Galactica when the fleet arrives in the system,” Adama said.

“I look forward to it,” Tagget said. “We can swap stories.”

“Yes, that will be interesting, but first, have you met any Cylons lately?” Adama asked.

“Haven’t met those tincans since leaving the Colonies. Destroyed a basestar in the Colonies to protect our two civilian ships, under the command of Orion,” Tagget said.

“Orion, amazing, he survived that old wardagget,” Adama said. Even Tigh recalled the man. The man who Adama had served as Colonel under before the man retired and Adama was promoted to Commander.

“Have you had Cylon trouble?” Tagget asked.

“You might say that, but we haven’t seen any Cylons in a while now,” Adama said.

“I guess that’s good news, not seeing any lately. Seems like we found the same system,” Tagget finally said.

“Our patrol said there is fuel and one planet which can support life, maybe even breathable atmosphere,” Adama said.

“Yes, we’re already undergoing mining operations, and there might even be food on the planet,” Tagget said.

“Then it is a good spot to stop at,” Adama said. “I look forward to meeting you then.”

“So do I,” Tagget said.

The conversation ended and Tigh looked around, seeing the excitement of something new in their eyes. He could not blame them, this was an exciting event.

Cain looked on wishing that they had been able to intercept the message between the two ships. He would have liked to know what went on. But if he had any indications, Adama probably invited Tagget over to the Galactica. He hope Tagget would wait to go over until the Galactica was closer. Even worse, would be if Adama decided to go over to the Sunflare.

“You look worried?” Teck said.

“There is a possibility that one of them might head over to the other before they enter the system,” Cain said. “We need both commanders on their ships.”

“We could spring the trap right away if that happens,” Teck said.

“Yes, that is a possibility,” Cain said, watching as the Galactica and her fleet closed in on the system.

“I never expected this three days ago,” Teck said, leaning back in his chair.

“What?” Cain asked.

“That I’d have Commander Cain on my bridge, waiting to spring a Cylon trap meant for the Galactica, and meeting up with the Sunflare as well,” Teck said.

Cain had to admit, it was strange, especially the way everything seemed to fall into place. Perhaps the universe was making up for what happened at the Armistice? What were the odds of meeting everyone at the same system? Without the Cylons they would have missed the Galactica by a couple of days.

Cain continued watching the scanners as the fleet got closer to the system.

“How much longer should we wait?” Teck asked.

“Go to silent red alert,” Cain said. He heard Teck relay the order, and the bridge was bathed in red light, but no klaxons. No one ran around, as everyone had been expecting it. Reports of readiness came in from all sectors of the ship, until everyone was ready. Vipers were waiting in the launch tubes, crews were ready to launch the next wave of vipers. The engine room stood by for powering up. Everyone waited for the signal.

He looked over at Teck, who nodded, everything was ready. The relay from the other ships indicated they too were ready. The Prophecy would remain powered down, as she was a civilian ship. The recon ship Orion would power up as well as the Pegasus, striking quickly then retreating in the asteroids.

“Power up, launch vipers!”

“Communications open a channel.”

End Part 2

Continued in Part 3

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