The Uneasy Alliance – Part 32

The Uneasy Alliance

by AJ Marks

Part 32

Apollo flew though the thin atmosphere of the planet, called Mars by the humans on Earth. The planet would take some work, but initial scans indicated it could be terraformed to be tolerable for life.  They could even set up some greenhouses to start growing in much larger numbers than the Argo ships.

The only good thing so far was no sign of the Cylons at the moment as he turned and headed back to the Enterprise to give his report back to Commander Adama. It had been several days since the last attack and they had been working hard to get things operational.

On the planet’s surface the machines were working on a communications tower while the Enterprise and her new crew worked to get everything operational. The new humans seemed to know how to do things, something about being instructed, almost as if it was downloaded into their brain.  Apollo didn’t concentrate on it too much, but it worked.

“Patrol one to Enterprise,” Apollo said.

“Enterprise here.”

“Returning from patrol.”

“Understood patrol, follow course to land in alpha bay.”

Apollo acknowledged and lined up with the path given to head in for a landing. The hangar crew worked quickly to pull the viper over as he climbed out and headed towards the bridge to report back to Tigh, who was waiting.

“What did you find out?” Tigh asked.

“It’s a barren world, not fit for life, we’d need the evac suits for sure,” Apollo said. “There does appear to be some water under the surface though, and on the poles.”

“Its going to take some work then,” Tigh said.

“Yes, but there should be no problems setting up hydrofarms,” Apollo said.

“I’ll inform the commander, he’s already sent a ship forward with the supplies needed to set up on the surface,” Tigh said. “Not exactly an ideal start, but we have to start somewhere.”

“How are things on the surface?” Apollo asked not having heard anything for over a day now.

“We had a shuttle say they were working on the communications tower,” Tigh said. “Last I heard they were almost ready for it to be lifted into place.

“If it works it’ll make communications to the surface much easier,” Apollo said.

“And transportation,” Tight said causing Apollo to frown.

“Its also going to house a large elevator,” Tigh said. “Not srue if the machines can get through it, but we shall see.”

Apollo gave that some consideration. If they could rise above the atmosphere it could mean a lot for them.  From what he understood the charged atmosphere kept them on the ground, and they had nothing which could actually rise above the clouds.  Would they change if they could leave?

“I’ve contacted Adama about the lift, and we’re sending in a smaller ship which should be able to lift the part, and it will unload its people on the surface,” Tigh said.

“What happens if it fails?” Apollo asked.

“Don’t know,” Tigh said. “We haven’t thought about that at all.”

He would have said more but a communications arrived. Activating it Apollo noticed the person’s face appear and it seemed to be one of the tankers.

“Enterprise, this is the tanker Visor, we’ve arrived at the moon and are about to start operations,” the captain said.

“Acknowledged Visor, currently scanner are clear, begin operations,” Tigh said turning to Apollo. “Well, that’s one less thing to have to worry about, fuel.”

Apollo knew they would all be happier when it started producing fuel. It had to be refined, but they had ships which could do that easily.  He also had another thought.

“Any word on the Cylons?” Apollo asked.

“No, and that worries me,” Tigh said honestly.  “The basestar has disappeared in one of the nearby systems.”

“Far enough away to be just out of sight, near enough to keep an eye on us,” Apollo stated.

“Right.”

Apollo heard the worry but had no idea what they could do about it. Their current position wasn’t strong at all, they had about two hundred civilian ships, no base, no fuel supply, or anything else.  He had a feeling the basestar only retreated because it encountered two battlestars which confused it.

“They won’t stay gone for long,” Apollo stated.

“No, the fleet is on their way here, and once they arrive things are really going to get hectic,” Tigh said.

“The calm before the storm?” the second in command said having overheard the conversation.

“Not familiar with that phrase,” Apollo said.

“Ah, it refers to the weather on Earth, it seems that before some storms there would be a calm period,” he replied.

“I’m hoping that’s not the case then,” Tigh finally said.

*****

Morpheus looked around at the base which had been set up, slightly amazed at how well humans and machines were working together. Of course, many humans were not familiar with the previous battles having come from the Matrix.  Each was selected by the machines for their qualifications and background then trained for the positions they were going to fill.

“Amazing, isn’t it,” he heard a voice say and looked over to see Doctor Wilker standing there.

Morpheus looked at the object in question rising above the ground and towering over the area. The beginnings of the communications tower, complete with elevator which could transport people up and down.  It would eliminate the need for shuttles to come up and down.

“What will be amazing is when it’s complete,” Morpheus stated, looking over at the other piece which was under construction.

“It will take a lot of effort, that much is for sure,” Wilker said.

“How will the ship lifting it know what to do?” Morpheus asked knowing that the storms interfered with communications.

“We’ve set up a temporary link, it will work short term and hopefully won’t short anything out,” Wilker said.

“I see,” Morpheus said, looking at the other massive tower which would be airlifted up into space and connected to the tower erected now.

“The material is amazing, the machines are very capable,” Wilker said. “I never expected them to be, well, so human-like.”

The comment caught Morpheus off guard for a second. “Human-like?”

“Yeah, they made decisions like a human would, it’s unlike the Cylons who only wanted to destroy us,” Wilker said.

Morpheus gave that some thought wondering if somehow in all of the time spent together they had learned from each other. It was an interesting psychological discussion for another time perhaps.  Of course his thoughts went to the mysterious Agent Smith, and even the fortune teller and others in the Matrix.  Many acted like humans, the same emotions, ambitions, and curiosity.

Activity suddenly increase and even Doctor Wilker looked up into the sky. Morpheus looked up seeing a large ship descending though the clouds.

“Ah, the ship we were expecting,” Wilker said.

Morpheus looked on as the ship appeared even more. It was nothing like he expected a space ship to look like.  It was bulky, squat and square.  He expected to see something sleek and stealthy, not this.

“It’s the ship which is going to attempt to lift the second section of the tower,” Wilker said.

“How is that going to work?” Morpheus asked.

“Its going to raise it above the clouds, the machines will be working to connect it, they should be able to do that faster than any human. Once connected it should hold and provide that communications to space,” Wilker said.

“And if it fails?” Morpheus asked.

“DE thinks if it falls it will fall away from anything here, its why its being constructed further away, its actually several miles away,” Wilker said.

“Oh, didn’t know that,” Morpheus said. It looked a lot closer than it was then.  Even as he watched the ship continued to come down.  He had never seen such a large ship attempt a landing on the surface of the planet and made him think of something from the Matrix.

“Things will be moving along now,” Wilker said.

Morpheus could only nod, watching in awe at the ship as it continued to descend to the surface of the planet. There were so many things going on now he almost felt in awe that it was happening at all.

*****

Hades watched as the centurion approached the command chair.

“Speak centurion.”

“By your command,” the centurion said giving a normal reply. “Scout ships have indicated there are two battlestars, and some ships from the Colonial fleet have moved towards the planet of humans.”

“Interesting, why?” Hades asked.

“Scans do not indicate why, but they do indicate two battlestars, one is currently at the fleet the other is at the planet,” the centurion stated.

Hades knew his one basestar didn’t stand a chance against two battlestars. He needed a plan to divide them, or gain reinforcements from the Empire.

“What of our request for reinforcements?” Hades asked.

“They are on the way, but it will take some time to reach us, and the way the humans are building things we might have to retreat,” the centurion said.

“What else has happened?”

“There is a report of some sort of base now in orbit around the planet,” the centurion stated. “However, it is very odd, it looks like the base of the structure goes into the clouds.”

Hades considered this, the design felt odd to him, why would they make something like that? What purpose would such a base serve?  He needed more information about what was going on.

“Send out more patrols, try to get closer to the planet and discover what is going on,” Hades said. “And send the report back to Imperious Leader.”

“By your command,” the centurion said, turning and heading out of the room. Hades looked on wondering what he might be able to do.  Things were not supposed to go this way, he had the advantage, two basestars and he had lost one already.  The forces on the planet’s surface were formidable and whoever they were they could construct things quickly.  It was a danger to the empire.

*****

Apollo walked into the command room of the ‘station’, as they had no other name for it at the moment. Work had progressed rather quickly on it and the lift of the upper section had gone smoothly.  They now a way to communicate with people on the ground and a way to transport them up into space instead of shuttles.  The station also had several hangar bays, but no way to dock with a battlestar as it was still too close to the surface for that.

“Apollo,” a familiar voice said and he turned to see Morpheus standing there.

“Morpheus,” Apollo said.

“Welcome to my new command,” he said, looking around.

“So, you’re the one they got to take over this position,” Apollo said to him, seeing the crew around him all working and it seemed they were still getting somethings operational. “How are things?”

“Actually, working better than expected,” Morpheus said. “Communications with the surface has been established and working better than we anticipated.  The shielding on the wire is working and the elevator worked first time.”

“That will be a relief, how are things on the surface?” Apollo asked.

“Well, we working on sending down some supplies to the surface, and they bring them up as well which we shuttle off to the Enterprise,” Morpheus said. “Zion has stepped up their food production, it doesn’t taste the best but it’ll work for now.”

Apollo understood what he meant, having tasted it as well. A pasty substance which had a taste he couldn’t quite describe, but as Morpheus said, it would work for now.

“What’s the next step?” Morpheus asked.

“We’re working on getting Mars terraformed a bit to grow some things on,” Apollo said. “One of the argo ships has already headed there to start the process.”

“That will be exciting,” Morpheus said. “And on the surface the machines are already working with Doctor Wilker on an improved battlestar.  The machines have taken the history of your war with the Cylons and analyzed it to see what they can do to help.

Apollo thought it was strange, machines helping them out after for so long fearing machines. He figured anything could happen in the future.

End part 32

Continued in part 33

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