Alignment of the Stars Part 4

Alignment of the Stars

by AJ Marks

Part 4

Cain knew his daughter was alive, but it still felt good to actually see her. She would be coming over, flying the shuttle with Apollo. The name had caused Cain to pause, recalling what he heard earlier. It seemed the two were close, and as a father he wanted to know. However, he found himself more comfortable with discussing Cylons in front of a group of hostile politicians than asking his own daughter about her love life.

“I guess I’ll see you soon daddy,” Sheba said. “We have to get down to the hangar to prep the shuttle.”

“All right,” Cain said, seeing Calvin pause by the scanner. The movement caused him to look over.

“Um, is something going on?” Calvin asked, gaining everyone attention. Cain ignored Sheba for a second and walked over to the scanner beside Calvin. “The Galactica’s fleet is picking up speed.”

Cain noticed it now, then new movement caught his eye. Incoming ships!

“Red alert,” Cain yelled out, moving back to the screen where a confused Sheba looked back at him. “Put Adama back on.”

“What?” Sheba asked, as the Excaliber went to red alert, the bridge bathed in red light, klaxons sounding.

“We have incoming Cylon raiders, a lot of them,” Cain said, seeing Sheba go pale at that. She worked a bit before the image was replaced with the Galactica symbol before Adama’s face appeared.

“Cain, what’s going on?” Adama said.

“The Excaliber’s long range scanners have picked up incoming Cylon raiders, a lot of them,” Cain said.

“Cylons? More of them?” Adama said.

“Yeah,” Cain said, seeing Teck run onto the bridge, looking right at Cain, who pointed at the scanner. The man went over and looked at the scanner. Adama went to say something when activity on the Galactica caused him to look away.

“Helm, move us into position between the fleet and the raiders, full speed, and get me the Sunflare,” Teck ordered.

“Your right, we’re getting messages from ships of the fleet of incoming raiders,” Adama said. Cain saw the Galactica go on alert.

“The Excaliber is already moving to intercept,” Cain said.

“We’ll be right with you,” Adama said.

“And Teck is informing Tagget,” Cain said.

“Cylon basestasrs coming into scanner range,” someone on the bridge stated.

“Hold on Adama,” Cain said, moving to the scanners to see what they were up against. He noticed two right away, but there were more raiders incoming than just two. Another two appeared on the screen, followed a fifth. This was looking very bad.

“We’re in for a fight now, aren’t we,” Teck said.

“Outnumbered and outgunned,” Cain said. His mind went into overdrive on how the fleet could survive. Looking back down at Adama he gave a grim smile. “Well, not good, at least five basestars.”

“Seven now,” Teck said.

“Make that seven,” Cain amended.

“Two to one in capital ships,” Adama said.

“This is what they had to have been planning, why they didn’t retreat,” Cain said. “I should have seen something.”

“What’s more important is we win this battle,” Adama said.

“Right,” Cain said, watching as vipers streaked out towards the battle. All warships were racing towards the fleet, which raced towards them. “Not much of a choice except to fight,”

“Tagget is stating the destroyers will be forming a line in front of the fleeing civilian ships,” Teck said.

Cain nodded, their anti-fighter defenses would be helpful in assisting the vipers in protecting the fleet. He looked at the position of the basestasrs looking for a position he could attack, finally finding something he might be able to use.

“Inform the others, we’ll head to this basestar first,” Cain said, pointing to one of the ships on the flank. It would leave the others to head towards the fleet, but he wanted to push the Cylons to a fight that might favor him.

“You’re sure about this?” Adama asked.

“No, but we have to concentrate our firepower, splitting it up would only decrease the chance of success,” Cain said. Whatever slim hope they had rode on being able to destroy the basestars quickly and avoid fighting all seven at once.

“All right, I’m trusting you on this Cain,” Adama said.

Cain hoped he was right as the fleet raced past. The destroyers took up positions to defend the civilian ships with orders to go with them no matter what happened to the basestars. As the warships approached the first Cylon basestar, entering range the others turned. Not unexpected, but he had hoped a few might continue on towards the civilian ships. The Excaliber opened fire, and the fight began.

“Commander, we’re picking up strange fluctuations on the scanners,” Shelby said.

“Where,” Teck asked.

“It’s a large area,” Shelby said.

Cain looked at the scanner readout, seeing it go completely off the charts. The scanners went blind for a second in the area before slowly coming back into view. What he saw, amazed him.

“Sir, incoming communications,” Ofica said.

“This can’t be right?” Shelby said.

Cain had his attention split, both with Ofica and Shelby. The information coming in seemed to tell him a story, one he had a hard time believing. But there is was, the scanners were indicating two Columbia class battlestars.

“Put it though,” Teck said.

Cain looked down on the screen, seeing neither Adama, nor Tagget, but instead, a person he had not seen in over ten yahrens. Relief flooded through him in a way he had not felt in a long, long time.


Ares looked at the screen to see Commander Cain’s face, along with Commander Adama and Tagget. So they were the ones to have survived the holocaust a yahren ago.

“I hope I’m in time,” Ares said, seeing vipers launching on the screen. “And I brought some friends.”

“I could kiss you,” Cain said, surprising Ares a bit.

“Didn’t think I was your type old man,” Ares bantered back.

“You two know each other?” Adama said, speaking up.

“Yes, but I think right now isn’t time for such talk, we have seven Cylon basestars approaching you, need to knock them out and fast. Don’t want them to inform the Cylon Empire of our forces,” Ares said. “We have the area jammed to signals, but if they escape, that’s another story.”

“What are your forces?” Cain asked.

“Four battlestars, two carriers, six gunstars, six destroyers and six frigates,” Ares said. “The frigates and destroyers are heading to help fight the raiders, the carriers are staying put for support, and the rest are heading to engage the basestars.”

Ares watched Cain think about the situation for a few moments. The old man always had a way to think of combat situations. Ares had no doubt about the fleet, it carried a lot of firepower, and the carriers each held four hundred vipers, but no offensive armament, sacrificing it for additional hangars.

He glanced at the scanners, seeing the fleet approach the Cylon basestars. Already two were starting to retreat, the other five appeared to be providing cover for the others.

“We’ve got runners,” Cain said.

“Yeah,” Ares said. “We’ll focus on the five now.”

The Argo along with the rest of the fleet moved into attack vectors. Once the range closed in the ships opened fire.

“Otto, inform HQ about the fleeing basestars,” Ares said.

“Yes sir,” Otto replied from where he stood.

Ares ordered a turn, watching as the powerful forward batteries came around to lock onto the basestar before opening fire. The improved systems on board meant the Argo was in top condition compared to the other ships which had been moving for the past yahren.

“Commander, incoming message from HQ, shall I put it though,” Rebecca asked.

“Go ahead,” Ares said, looking down to see Samuel Harvey on the screen. “Sam, what can I do for you?”

“Did you make contact?” Sam asked.

“Yeah, in the middle of a battle though, seven basestars,” Ares replied.

“Oh, then I won’t keep you long, the President wishes to meet with the group as soon as possible,” Sam said.

“Okay, I’ll relay that when we finish up here, is the first assembled?” Ares asked.

“Yeah,” Sam said, confused.

“We have runners, send them through, can’t let them get a signal out,” Ares said.

“Quite right, I’ll inform Commander Yates. Take care of yourself in this battle,” Sam said.

“Don’t worry, I will,” Ares said, ending the conversation, turning his attention back to the other three commanders. He had a battle to win.

Starbuck turned the viper destroying another raider, feeling overwhelmed at the moment. He heard there were reinforcements coming, but had no idea what Athena meant. Taking a quick look at the scanner he noticed a new group of ships heading towards the basestars, and a large mass of fighters heading in his direction.

“Looks like Athena wasn’t kidding,” Starbuck finally said.

“What do you mean?” Jolly’s voice said.

“We have a lot of help heading our way,” Starbuck said, turning the viper again avoiding a raider on his tail. He hit the thrusters once more heading back into the battle.

He quickly finished off another raider before he realized another one on his tail. Turning a few times trying to shake it, but it remained behind him. Another viper finally destroyed it.

“Thanks,” Starbuck said.

“No problem, you might want to keep an eye behind you,” the female voice said.

Starbuck re-entered the battle taking out another raider, watching as a viper flew through the group destroying raiders with ease. The pilot fired a shot and destroyed a raider with efficiency he rarely saw.

“Hey Bri, leave some for the rest of us,” another voice said.

“Well, get moving then Nall, but don’t you die, Rebecca will kill you” the woman’s voice said, who Starbuck assumed was Bri.

Starbuck took a moment to look at the fight. He could not remember the last time so many vipers were present, and they were not outnumbered by more than two to one. He saw almost as many vipers on his scanner as raiders.

“Skull squad, cover for Blue bombers on their run,” a voice said.

“Copy Argo,” the reply came back. He noticed on the longer range two waves of vipers heading towards a basestar.

“Hey Starbuck, you going to continue to watch?” Apollo’s voice said, bringing him back to the fight.

“Yeah, yeah, on my way,” Starbuck said, turning back into the fight.

Cain glanced at the scanners, seeing the five basestars having moved in to engage the group. Two were behind the line and running away. Each micron they fought brought the Cylons closer to getting away. He had six battlestars, one battlecruiser, and seven gunstars to fight those five basestars.

“Ares, would it be possible for two battlestars to move to engage the fleeing basestars?” Cain asked.

“Let’s take care of these five first, we have something prepared for those two fleeing,” Ares replied.

Cain frowned at that. Ares wanted no basestar to escape, yet seemed almost too relaxed at the fact two were escaping.

“What do you mean?” Cain asked.

“What you see here is the Second fleet, parts of the First fleet are going to prevent anyone from leaving. We have to make sure these five are destroyed,” Ares said, leaving Cain to realize the man who flew under him so long ago had become a commander. His decision so many yahrens ago proved to be correct.

“You’ve thought it though,” Cain said.

“Learned from the best,” Ares said. “We had days to prepare for this battle, been watching you for a while now.”

Cain thought about that for a few microns, before focusing on the battle once more. There would be time for such conversations later. He looked over at Teck, who was engaged in the battle, giving out orders for the Excaliber, damage control and other things.

“Then I have to hope I trained you well,” Cain finally replied to Ares.

The battle seemed to heat up as the five basestars fought with the intensity he expected. He kept an eye on the fleeing basestars. In front of the basestars path, several ships suddenly appeared, much like the Argo and the fleet Ares was with did. The appearance caused the Cylons to turn, splitting up again, this time they were persued.

“Beta landing bay hit,” he heard someone say.

Cain recognized it would not impede their fighting ability, as it was the landing bay the civilians were housed in, and evacuated before the battle started. With so many civilians on board he was amazed at how well the ship performed.

“Basestar going critical,” Calvin said. Cain looked down to see a basestar exploding and vanishing from the scanner. One down, four to go and he hoped they would not lose any ships in return. The counter had been done quite well, and their forces should overwhelm the Cylons.

“Reading damage to the Galactica,” Calvin said.

“Helm, take us over to help,” Teck ordered before Cain could say anything. The last thing he wanted, was to lose the Galactica, a symbol of their struggle for so many. He also knew the loss of Adama would be tremendous, especially when it came to talking. Cain always thought about action, and Adama was the diplomat and a warrior. The perfect blend, which Cain never was.

“What’s the situation over there?” Cain asked, switching over to the Galactica.

“Cain, we took a raider to the bridge, a few causalities, but knocked out our weapons and helm at the moment. It will take some time to get back online,” Adama said, looking as if something had hit him in the head. Cain saw the smoke which had filled the room, but no panic.

“The Excaliber will cover for you,” Cain said.

“Can you turn to course Two five one,” Ares’ voice said.

“We can try,” Adama said.

“We have two gunstars coming in from that direction, they can provide cover quicker than the Excaliber,” Ares said.

“Then we can use attack pattern beta five,” Cain said, looking over at Teck, who relayed the new course.

He looked back at the scanners, seeing where the other ships were. The Sunflare was engaged in a battle with a basestar, along with two gunstars. Vipers and raiders were engaged everywhere, as both sides were trying to prevent the other from attacking the larger warships. The civilian ships had moved into the asteroid belt with a line of destroyers forming the last line of defense.

He looked at the Galactica, slowly making its way out of the battlefield, covered by two gunstars. Even with the loss of the Galactica, they outnumbered the Cylon ships six to four in large ships, not including the gunstars. The battle continued on, and he noticed the two basestars which had fled, were now engaged by two battlestars each. The odds for them were not good either.

“Another basestar destroyed,” Calvin said.

Cain looked on, feeling better about the battle with each destroyed Cylon ship. He looked over seeing where the Pegasus was, staying out of the battle. It would not do much good in the condition it was in. He had thought about using it as a ramming ship to destroy one of the basestars, at least until Ares showed up. Now he was involved in real battle, hoping their superior number tipped the battle in their favor.

Adama looked around the bridge, seeing that almost everyone appeared alive. Med teams were working on a few people, and repair crews working on brining the ship back under control. They managed to leave the battle, thanks to the supporting ships.

“What’s the status?” Adama asked.

“We finally have maneuvering under control, weapons are coming back on-line,” Tigh said.

“Good, the rest of the ship?”

“Took some hits, but nothing we can’t repair,” Tigh said. “Everything is in working order, or will be shortly according to the repair crews.”

Adama breathed a sigh of relief. He knew while they had been damaged anything could have happened. If they had been alone, the fight would have been over. Instead the Galactica had cover to retreat behind.

He looked down at the scanners, reviewing the status of the battle. They were winning at the moment, three basestars had been destroyed, and more ships had appeared in the battle. Ares’ allies, though what happened there Adama felt there was a story. He now saw several battlestars he never knew existed. Up until a day ago, he was convinced that only the Galactica had survived, and maybe the Pegasus. He could hardly wait to hear the stories behind the other ships.

“Orders?” Tigh asked.

“Sir, fighter squadron asking permission to land and refuel,” Omega said.

“Tell them go ahead,” Adama said.

“Yes sir,” Omega said.

“Tigh, remain here, tell all squadrons were are open for refueling and rearming, inform landing bays,” Adama said.

“Yes sir,” Tigh said, relaying the information.

Adama knew they were now the closest battlestar to the major engagement of viper and raiders. He brought up the communications, seeing Ares looking back at him.

“Taking the position of refueler, sending a couple of destroyers for close in support,” Ares said.

“Okay,” Adama said. The two carriers were off to one side, and the Galactica on the other side of the battle. The squadrons could choose which ship to land on.

Bri lined up with the landing bay, easily landing on the hangar deck, hopping out as the crew rushed around. She took a moment to see others landing, including Troy, who made his way over as her viper was refueled and rearmed.

“Which battlestar are you a part of?” one of the hangar crew asked.

“Argo,” Bri replied back to him.

“So, how many have you destroyed?” Nall asked.

“Donno, didn’t keep track,’ Bri replied honestly. She just fired, going on instinct over the computer.

“Well, computer says you got forty-two,” the ground crew said, sounding impressed with the number.

“What about you Nall?” Troy asked.

“Eh, seven,” Nall replied.

“Don’t look at me, you know I can’t keep up with her,” Troy said, turning from Nall to the crew chief. “How’s the situation in the battle?”

“Three basestars now confirmed destroyed,” he said back to him. “Commander wants you to go to sector seven when you launch, should be a few more centons, moving the vipers into position.”

“Thanks,” Troy said. Bri watched him go around telling the rest of the squadron the information before heading to their vipers. Hoping into her viper, she waited as she received permission to launch, and headed back into the battle.

Ares looked at the battle, things were wrapping up, damaged ships pulled back as the less damaged continued to push. Out of five basestars they faced, only one was left now, and the two that were fleeing, one had been destroyed, the other heavily damaged. In all the battle had gone even better than he hoped. If the first fleet had not been ready, he would have acted a bit differently, needing to press the engagement, probably resulting in more losses.

One destroyer had been heavily damaged, as had a couple of gunstars, and would require repairs, but they had lost no ships. The capital ships had managed to go through with minor damage.

“Last basestar destroyed,” Pratt said.

“Damage?” Ares asked, hoping the Argo made it through unscathed.

“Minor damage, repair crews already working on it. Landing bays are operational,” Pratt replied.

“Good,” Ares said.

“Commander, incoming message from Commander Adama,” Rebecca said.

“Put it through,” Ares said, looking down as the man’s face appeared.

“Commander Ares, we were going to have a council meeting on the Excaliber, I am asking for you to join us,” Adama said.

“I wouldn’t miss it,” Ares said, knowing there was a lot to talk about. “When?”

“In two centars,” Adama replied. Ares nodded, knowing it was roughly two hours. The time unit difference was one thing he had to overcome on Earth. Of course that also meant he would hear all the stories of what happened. He had only expected to find the Galactica, especially after the message from Commander Backus that the armistice failed.

“I’ll be there,” Ares finally said. The screen went dark and he turned to the others.

“Should I go as well?” Otto asked.

Ares thought about that before replying. “Yeah, it might do good to have someone who can represent Earth,” Ares said.

“You know the President trusts you,” Otto said.

“Yeah, but these people are all that’s left from my home,” Ares replied honestly. He might be tempted to go overboard with help he did not have. In any case, he would discover what happened soon.

Adama stepped out onto the hangar of the Excaliber, meet by Commander Teck.

“Permission to come aboard,” Adama asked Teck, seeing Cain nearby.

“Of course,” Teck said, welcoming Adama with a handshake. Adama turned from Teck to Cain.

“You have more lives than a cat,” Adama joked.

“Yeah, well it was rough, and not all of me survived,” Cain said, pointing down to his leg. Adama looked down as the pant leg was raised slightly. “Had to put up with a metal pole for almost a yahren, this is a darn more comfortable and stable.”

“Well you made it back, and there is at least one who is very glad you did,” Adama said, watching as Sheba walked out of the shuttle after powering it down. He looked on as father and daughter were reunited.

“So is everyone here?” Adama asked looking back over at Teck.

“Tagget landed before you, he went on up to the room, and we’re waiting on Ares, he should be landing soon,” Teck replied back.

Adama looked back to see a shuttle landing, with the marking of the battlestar Argo. He waited patiently as the shuttle maneuvered over to a space before the door opened allowing a shorter man than Adama expected, but recognized the face as Ares. For some reason Adama expected a tall man, not one about Apollo’s height.

“Permission to come aboard,” Ares stated.

“Welcome,” Teck said, going through the familiar protocol they all went though. Adama shook hands with the man, seeing another man appear followed by three warriors, one male the other female.

“This is Otto, from Earth, and my pilots, Troy and his wife, Bri, and Nall from the Colonies,” Ares said.

Adama felt a bit of shock at the name of the world, Earth. He contained himself enough to wait for a better explanation a bit later. But the very world he was searching for, could be where this man was from.

Teck led them off the hangar and into the ship where a large conference room was. Inside he spotted commander Taggert, sitting down sipping some water. Taking a seat he looked around, seeing all the commanders sitting down. The last time so many were gathered, he was protesting the armistice to President Adar to no avail. He had a feeling this time, things would be different.

Apollo sat down in the lounge, along with several others. Sheba had joined him after her reunion with her father. He looked around seeing groups of pilots he had never seen before. It felt strange after so long not to know everyone in the room.

“”So many cuties,” he heard a voice say, seeing a man with dark hair, and a dark mustache walk over to where Sheba sat.

“And Rebecca won’t like that,” a blonde warrior said, smaller than most in the room.

“Spoil sport,” the man said, sitting down across from Apollo. “I’m Nall.”

“Apollo, and this is Sheba,” Apollo said, introducing themselves.

“Adama’s son?’ one of the others asked.

“Yeah,” Apollo said, looking over at two others.

“I’m Aidian, went to flight school with your brother Zac,” the man said.

“Oh,” Apollo said, unsure what to say there.

“I take it he didn’t make it,” Aidian said.

“His viper was damaged while we were on patrol during the armistice, destroyed as he reached the fleet,” Apollo said, seeing the guy flinch at that.

“So, it was a total ambush,” another man said.

“Yeah, only the Galactica had launched vipers when the Cylons started the attack. By the time the rest began, the damage had been done. The Atlantia was destroyed, and the fleet was taking severe damage,” Apollo stated. “Which ships are you from?”

The Excaliber had several men and women, the captain was Strider. The Sunflare had Ben and Issac, and those from the Argo were Troy, Bri and Nall, who he had already met.

“So, who was the one flying though the Cylons blowing them up left and right?” Strider said.

“Her,” Troy said, pointing to Bri, who blushed slightly.

“You saved my ass,” Ben said.

“And she has a cute one as well,” Nall said, with a grin, getting a slap on the arm from Bri. “She has the highest score in the training sims as well.”

“You’re the classified person no one could catch,” Ailian said

“That’s her,” Nall said. “Has a sixth sense when it comes to combat, where to shoot and not use the computer.”

Apollo had heard of that. The very elite could do that. A sense no normal warrior could match, just an inborn instinct that allowed them to fly better than anyone else. He never met anyone like that, and now he had.

Everyone listened as Cain recounted his story. He told of the fight, and how the Pegasus had been damaged. His original plan, which never came forth due to damage to the ship. Now Cain leaned back listening to Teck tell his story. The Excaliber had been in a secret base when the attack occurred.

“Well, we took all the civilians on the base and placed them onboard, and made a makeshift living quarters in one of the landing bays,” Teck said. “After that, we took off away from the Colonies, met up with the Orion patrol ship and the Prophecy, which thankfully had the ability to supply food,” Teck said to them. “It wasn’t until a bit on our journey that we learned about the Galactica. Been looking for you since then.”

“And Cylons?” Adama asked.

“Thankfully no, except for a few times leaving the Colonies, the further away we got the less we heard about them. We thought maybe we had outrun them, until a few days ago,” Teck said. “The Excaliber’s larger range allows us to see them before they see us. That’s how we were able to hide from the basestars earlier.”

“They ran into us,” Cain said. “And we joined his group, soon after we spotted the basestars, three on one was not a good idea.”

“You did it before?” Adama said.

“And I wasn’t sacrificing the Galactica for it, same here, I wouldn’t sacrifice the Excaliber for a moment of glory,” Cain said. “Despite what some might think, I don’t like suicide missions.”

“Yes, that matches what we saw on our scanners, the Colonial ships ran into the asteroid belt, and powered down, followed by the basestars, quite unusual,” Ares said.

“Why didn’t you try to contact us when we appeared?” Tagget asked.

“We were parked right next to a basestar, didn’t want them knowing we were there. I suspected a trap when they powered down,” Cain said.

“So you waited for us to appear,” Adama said.

“Yes, we saw your vipers fly by, the Cylons chose the system well, a planet with life, possible food, and a moon with fuel,’ Cain said.

“I think we foiled their plans,” Tagget said. “We haven’t seen a Cylon ship since leaving the Colonies, but headed in the direction we knew the Galactica had left, thanks to Captain Orion.”

“Orion, the ex-commander of the Atlantia,” Cain said.

“Yep, he retired to go into business for himself,” Tagget said. “He figured what you might do, so we went off this direction, thinking you were looking for Earth.”

“Earth?” another man said who had come in with Ares.

“You’ve heard of it?” Adama asked.

“Yeah, you might say that, I’m from there,” the man replied.

“So, the mission was a success,” Cain said, looking over at Ares.

“Yes, two yahrens after leaving the Colonies we found Earth,” Ares said. “Took a while to get things smoothed out, and get the leaders of the planet to recognize the threat from the Cylons.”

“It was a struggle, many of us didn’t want to recognize such a thing as other pockets of humanity out in space. Wrecked our history,” Otto said. “Of course, some still cling to it, but this proves the truth.”

“In fact, we know that some of your ships are having trouble, give us a list and we can start sending supplies, and transporting people back to one of Earth’s colonies,” Ares said.

“I think we can do that,” Adama replied.

“And then, we can work out a way to finally finish off those blasted tin cans,” Cain said. His mind already thinking about the possibilities in front of him. He could do so much with the resources at hand. The future was looking up after all.

The End

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