Voyage to Earth: Surprise Part 2

Voyage to Earth

by AJ Marks

Surprise part 2

Apollo could hardly look away. He felt Starbuck and Cassiopeia join him and they too were struck speechless as they looked out the window.

They looked out into a large cavern, excavated from the interior of the asteroid. Lit up from hundreds of lights it sat there, silent and ghost-like, an image they never expected to see before. It sat there with no interior lights on, its armor gleaming in the reflected light of the cavern, a battlestar. It appeared almost identical to the Galactica, and was able to make out the name of the ship, Agamemnon.

All six stood there for several centon before anyone managed to find their voice. It had been the last thing any of them expected to find.

“Um, am I missing something here,” Starbuck said, taking his eyes off the battlestar.

“Not that I know of,” Apollo replied, as confused as everyone else. “Anyone know anything about who built it?”

“Nope,” Wilker replied, but did not take his eyes off it.

“Perhaps I can answer your questions,” a metallic voice said from behind them.

All six spun around and four blasters were drawn at the sound. Behind them, they noticed a wall with computer screens showing different angles of the battlestar, but they ignored that and focused on what appeared to be a robot. It did not look human, but a bunch of stacked cans of different sizes, as it hovered along the ground.

“You’re not Cylon, are you?” Wilker asked, even though he already knew the answer and was approaching it to get a closer look, fascinated by it.

“No I’m not,” the robot said. “I was created by my masters over ten thousand of your yahrens ago.” It moved over to the glass window. “Though, I have been waiting for you, after all the Agamemnon was built for you.

“You constructed this battlestar?” Starbuck said, confused about this turn of events.

“Of course, this entire asteroid is a construction yard for the purpose of building warships of any and every type,” the robot replied. “Everything here is fully automated. How do you like it,” it asked them, and they thought they heard pride in its voice.

“You’re a construction robot,” Wilker asked.

“Yes, it’s our entire programming,” the robot said.

“Your purpose is to build warships? For who?” Apollo asked, his question brought everyone back to reality for a second.

“My masters, the Great War, which devastated thousands of worlds in this area of space,” the robot said. “I have been searching for someone to help, to make up for my mistake.”

“Mistake?” Cassiopeia asked before anyone else could.

“Yes, the Great War was between a race of robots, who my masters created and us. It was a terrible war, in the end the war was between robots, those of us who would protect life, and those who only wanted their life. They were much worse than the Cylons ever were,” it stated.

“You know about the Cylons,” Starbuck asked.

“I learned about them from your ship, and your history. I have a chance to protect life, that’s what this is for,” the robot said.

“You were the one who scanned out fleet not long ago,” Apollo said.

“Yes, I have done so for thousands of years, looking for my Masters,” it replied. “I have not found them for so long.”

Apollo frowned, he thought it said they were all destroyed, and yet it was still searching for them.

“Um, thought you said they were all dead?” Starbuck said.

“Did I? My memory is faulty after so many years,” it replied.

Apollo looked over at Starbuck, who merely shrugged.

“So, why did you construct a battlestar?” Wilker asked, still studying the robot.

“Yes, I did, founding it in a fleet, are you part of that fleet?” it asked.

Apollo began to wonder about the robot, and looked back out the window then back at the robot.

“You mean you constructed it in the time you scanned the Galactica?” Boomer asked, sounding quite skeptical.

“Oh, yes, it is what I do, construct things,” it replied. “I am sorry to say that I am running out of materials.”

“It’s not complete?” Apollo said, feeling his elation sink over the thought of a new battlestar.

“No, I’m sorry to say I was only able to construct two battlestars,” it replied.

“Um, you mean, you’ve created two battlestars?” Starbuck said, looking back and forth between the robot and the battlestar.

“Of course, I studied the basic design and made several modifications to it,” the robot said, suddenly sounding very capable. “It’s not quite complete, but should be ready soon. You were early in arriving, based on your fleet’s speed and such.”

The comment threw them off, no one seemed to know what to say.

“Um, is there a way we can inspect the ships?’ Wilker said, a bit hesitantly.

“But of course, that is why you’re here, I did call for you, right?” it asked.

“The signal?” Apollo said, thinking of nothing else that they had picked up.

“Oh yes, I fashioned it after your fleet’s signals,” the robot said, causing them all to look at each other confused. “You appear confused, did I do something wrong? I didn’t misunderstand your situation, you are fleeing from a race called the Cylons, robots who rebelled against their masters?”

“Um, no, no, we can always use another battlestar,” Apollo said.

“Or two,” Starbuck muttered.

“Perhaps we should inspect this ship,” Boomer said.

“Right,” Apollo said. They followed the robot down another corridor to a waiting shuttle. This one was smaller, and barely fit them all as it hovered to the front.

“Apollo, do you think this is a good idea, it hasn’t been exactly stable,” Boomer whispered to him as they prepared to lift off.

He looked around at the others, who had similar expressions of doubt except Wilker, who seemed more enraptured by the robot than anything else. Apollo had the feeling if the doctor could, he would take it apart to figure out how it worked. The shuttle lifted off, and surprisingly the flighty was smooth towards the battlestar.

They all looked on seeing a battlestar without the battle scars that all the other ships had. Its armor gleamed in the light making them forget the situation once more. The other battlestar came into view, it looked different right away. Instead of the grey armor, its armor was a light black. Somehow the image made it appear even more deadly.

“So, what’s the other battlestar like?” Apollo asked.

“The Hyperion, it is constructed with advanced armor that I know about, improved weapon systems, more efficient engines and can hold more vipers than other battlestars,” the robot said.

“The Hyperion,” Apollo said, looking it over a bit more.

“How different are the systems?” Wilker asked.

“I used your systems, the same fuel, and designs, nothing too much was changed except in a few small details,” the robot said.

Apollo wondered about that, especially considering how the robot chose to communicate with them, the signal was anything but Colonial in nature. He turned back to the ships, looking them over and had the impression that the overall length of the Hyperioin was a bit larger, especially considering the landing bay was joined with four pillars instead of three.

They approached the landing bay of the Agamemnon, which was dark and felt very strange. The robot quickly illuminated the landing bay as they disembarked the shuttle. They decided to split up, one heading to the engine room, the robot, Sheba, Wilker and Boomer while the others went towards the bridge to check it out.

“I don’t know, its like a living dream,” Starbuck said, as they approached the bridge, shining his light in every direction.

“If it is, don’t wake me,” Apollo said. “Perhaps we can communicate with the Galactica, it might have put the fleet line in.”

“Are you sure?” Cassiopeia asked. “It seemed rather confused.”

“Yeah, and its signal was weak,” Starbuck stated.

Apollo had to agree, yet could come up with no other logical argument other than to try. Reaching the bridge they looked around, seeing the screens dark, some without keyboards on them.

“Hey, how do you think these work?” he asked.

“Not quite like the bridge of the Galactica,” Cassiopeia said.

“Looks like it made some modifications,” Starbuck said, even as they heard the whine of the engines powering up. Screens came to like, but not quite like they were used to. Instead of the normal green screen he was used to seeing, colors appeared.

“That’ll be different,” Apollo said, also seeing that the entire bridge seemed more open.

“Communications over here,” Starbuck said, as the other two joined him.

“What do you say? Shall we reach out and contact someone?” Apollo asked.

“Let’s,” Starbuck said with a grin.


Adama paced the bridge, nervous that no more information had come from the group. Last he heard had been the group made it inside the asteroid, and had gone to explore. The mine appeared deserted. The silence afterwards did not ease his concerns. The last thing he needed was some sort of setback in the mission.

“Any word?” Adama asked, looking over at Athena.

“Nothing yet,” Athena replied patiently. She shared a look with Tigh, but while they understood Adama’s feelings, they too were worried.

“Commander,” Omega said, his voice full of excitement causing them all to look his way. “I’m receiving a communications from the fleet line alpha one.”

Adama stopped, staring at Omega even as the thought went through his mind. “The Pegasus,” he said quietly. He quickly made his way over to the communications along with Tigh.

“You don’t think it’s possible do you?” Tigh asked as they looked down at the screen.

“I don’t know Tigh, but nothing would surprise with me with Cain,” Adama said, watching as the screen came on and Omega put the communications through. He fully expected to see Cain, or maybe even Tolan, instead the face looking back at him was someone he did not expect. “Apollo?”

“Hello, probably a shock,” Apollo said, grinning. Apollo saw Starbuck and Cassiopeia behind Apollo looking back at him.

“You found the Pegasus?” Adama asked, suddenly wondering if the signal they encountered was from it. “Is Cain there?”

“Um, actually, we’re not aboard the Pegasus,” Apollo said, making everyone confused. Adama frowned wondering how he could be on this line, yet not on the Pegasus and waited for Apollo to clarify his statement. “Actually, we’re aboard the battlestar Agamemnon.”

Stunned silence reigned on the bridge as his statement was heard by everyone.

“Could you repeat that Apollo, it sounded like you said the battlestar Agamemnon,” Tigh said.

“I’m aboard the new battlestar Agamemnon,” Apollo repeated. “This asteroid isn’t a ine, but a construction yard.”

Adama gave a mental shake at what he heard. “You mean, what do you mean?” Adaa asked still confused.

“Remember that strange ship a while back,” Apollo said. “It scanned our ships, and then went and built a battlestar based on the Galactica. And they built it for us.”

Adama scratched his head at the comment, how could someone make a warship for them? He finally got around to asking a question.

“How operational is it?” he asked.

“It appears to be fully operational, and a full complement of vipers, the only thing missing is a crew,” Apollo stated.

“A fully armed battlestar,” he said, going over the pros and cons of the situation before making up his mind. “Are they Cylons?”

“No, it’s a bit strange to tell, its all robots, specific missions, and the head robot seems a bit too wacky for a Cylon. That and we’ve seen nothing that shows up as Cylon tech,” Apollo said.

“Well, okay,” Adama said, looking over at Rigel. “Recall the escorts.”

“Yes sir,” she replied, turning back to her station to carry out the order.

Adama turned back to the screen still unsure of what happened. “So, then the tylium the scanners picked up, it was the fuel on the ship?”

“Probably, but there is some fuel here that we can use aside from what’s in the ships,” Apollo replied back to him. “And we can probably bring up the fighter squadrons up to full strength for the first time since Cimtar.”

Adama thought about that, the manufacturing was slow in the fleet. Such a large influx of vipers would be most welcome.

“So, we can still refuel the fleet?” Tigh asked, bringing Adama’s thoughts back to the original reason they went to the asteroid.

“Yeah, and there’s another surprise,” Apollo said. Adama and Tigh glanced at each other not sure what could top a new battlestar but waited for Apollo to finish. “If we wait long enough, another battlestar, the Hyperion, will be completed.”

“Um, you mean to tell me there is not one, but two battlestars in that asteroid?” Adama asked, not believing it. He wondered what the catch was.

“The Hyperion isn’t complete yet, but with the speed they construct at, it won’t be long?” Apollo said.

“And who are they?” Tigh asked.

“According to what we’ve learned, some sort of ancient race, seems like they were involved in a similar war as we were with a robot race. But both sides used robots, seemed to want to make up for what happened so long ago. It sent the ship,” Apollo said.

Adama thought about what had been said. Did he trust this ‘construction’ group enough to take the battlestars? The prospects of gaining such a boost to the fleet’s defenses seemed to outweigh the negatives. He would have his people go over the ships thoroughly to make sure nothing seemed out of the ordinary, or some sort of trap.

“I’ll have to inform the council, they will want to know,” Adama finally said. “I want you and the others to go over everything you can on board that ship, anything that might look out of the ordinary, a trap, anything.”

“Okay, we’ll get on it,” Apollo said. “But I think it’s telling us the truth. A bit wacky, but there appears to be no deception in it.”

“We should at least start the fuel transfer,” Tigh said.

“Right, inform the ships to begin,” Adama said, watching Tigh go off to another communication station. “He’ll inform you when the first ship leaves.” He then stood and looked back over at Tigh. “You’ve got the bridge,” he said, watching Tigh acknowledge the order before heading off towards the Council room.

The idea of two battlestars almost overwhelmed him. It would triple the defensive abilities of the fleet and allow for more active searching for Earth, or any other civilizations. He also knew it could be useful if something did happen, a battlestar could be sent without hurting the fleet. Reaching the door to the bridge he paused as a thought came to him. The Galactica had been due for a refit, which had been delayed due to the peace conference. He wondered if this construction base might be able to repair the Galactica. She had suffered some damage over the many battles.

“Tigh, see if there are facilities to refit the Galactica.”

“I’ll ask,” Tigh said, as Adama then left the bridge.

He went over everything he knew, and tried to figure out his position. According to Apollo, this base was not Cylon, and they wanted to help. He would have felt better having actually talked to whoever was in charge. He only knew a bit of the background, but still, if the two battlestars checked out, they could not afford to pass it up. His mind went to how they would be able to recruit enough people for the ships. A massive effort would be required, along with training for all the stations. The crew of the Galactica would be split up a bit, and then who would he put in charge of the battlestars. Tigh was an obvious choice, but who after that?

He wondered how the Council would react to this news. He already geared up for the fight against Uviris, who seemed to fight against him every step of the way lately. He entered the room deciding to keep the battlestars, he had to. They could not afford to pass the ships up. He sat down watching as Uviris entered, being the last one.

“Well commander, I hope you have some good news for us,” Uviris said, sitting down. His tone left no doubt about how he felt about the report Adama was about to give. “Or did the plan not work out?”

Adama smiled at him, knowing he was about to drop a dombshell on the Council. “No, you are the correct, the plan isn’t quite what we had in mind.”

“Then you have wasted our time and the fuel required for this little mission, exactly what I meant such waste,” Uviris said, smirking to the others, sensing victory over the commander.

Adama merely smiled back at his rival waiting for him to stop before answering. His reply would take the man off guard. “I never said the plan failed Councilman, merely that it did not go as planned.”

“Then you found something?” Uri asked before Uviris could say anything.

“The warriors did in deed find a large tylium depot that we can use to star filling out tankers right away,” Adama said, delaying the real news a bit longer.

“Then what is so important that you’ve summoned us here? You already had permission to carry out refueling,” another council member asked.

“Actually the tylium find is minor compared to what the scouting party found,” Adama said, pausing for dramatic effect. “What we thought was an abandoned mine, was actually a construction yard. Inside is one complete battlestar and another approaching completion,” Adama said, watching the group with interested eyes. More than a few sat there stunned by what he said.

“Could you repeat that please Adama,” Uri asked quietly.

“A complete battlestar, the Agamemnon, and another approaching completion called the Hyperion. We can fill up the tanker and at least double, or triple the protection of the fleet,” Adama said.

“And who constructed them?” Uviris asked.

“The same race who sent the ship, they constructed the ships, and they are not Cylon according to the scouting team,” Adama said.

“I am reluctant to accept such a gift,” Uviris said, several others sided with him.

“I have to agree, how do we know these ships are not a trap of some sort?” the council member next to Adama, Lyces, said.

“Yes, I have thought of that, but we cannot afford to simply ignore such a gift when it is so needed,” Adama said. “Are you all willing to ignore such help because you’ve become too distrustful of others?”

“How dare you question that Adama?” Uviris said. “My only thoughts are of how to improve our people’s living standards.”

“Then you would be wise to allow us to accept the battlestars, even now Doctor Wilker is going over the ship, I plan to send teams over to inspect them thoroughly, and I plan to talk to this leader of the construction yard,” Adama said, looking at them all. “However we have an opportunity to add two battlestars, more space for the fleet and bring even the Galactica back up to prime fighting condition. We have the people who can man the ship, many are just sitting around, it would give them something to do. It would all be done without sacrificing anything from the fleet.”

The council members sat around pondering what Adama said. He knew there were a lot of obstacles to overcome, but to not try and give up, they might as well surrender to the Cylons in his mind. He looked around watching them thinking about the situation.

“Adama is right,” Lyces said. “If we do not attempt to even check out the ships and word gets out, we’ll have a riot on our hands.”

“You’re right Lyces,” Uviris said, rubbing his chin. “As much as I detest this, I will have to give in to this.”

“We need to learn more about who built them, their background,” Uri said.

“I don’t doubt that, in fact its one thing I wish to do right away,” Adama replied, having already thought about that. He did not want to taken by surprise by anything.

“Then we should start making plans for a crew as well, for if everything goes as planned, we don’t have much time if we don’t wish to stop the fleet,” another council member said.

“I still have doubts about this course of action,” Uviris sait. “but until we know more about who built these ships, I much agree with the current course of action.”

“Then we’re in agreement,” Adama said, looking around at the group, most nodding yes. “We’ll get started, and make preparations on speaking to those head of the construction yard at once.”

Adama stood, heading out to begin the process.


Apollo and Starbuck waited on the bridge of the Agamemnon for the others. They had spent the time looking around the systems of the ship, so far they noticed nothing suspicious. Everything seemed taken right from the blueprints of the Galactica. Some of the technology used was different, but easily recognizable to them.

“Apollo, how long do you think it’ll take to man this ship?” Cassiopeia asked, looking over a medical system on a consol.

“Not long, probably split the Galactica’s crew to form a nuclease, and they will teach the new recruits. The main issue is how long it will be before the Hyperion is completed,” Apollo said. “And if we can get the Galactica in for repairs and refits. Her engines really need one. The engineers have been talking about shutting down one for a while to do some heavy repairs, and theoretically the remaining engines should be able to provide all power for the ship to function. However if the Cylons found us, we’d be in trouble.”

“Let’s hope there are facilities for that here,’ Starbuck said, looking at the commander’s chair, and sitting down in it. “I would lose to be a commander someday.”

“You may get that wish someday, especially if the fleet has three battlestars,’ Apollo said.

“It would increase my chances, but it would also split us up,” Starbuck stated, thinking about that for a second.

“They might keep the fighter squadrons intact for the most part, a few might get promotions if they wish,” Apollo commented, making them both think about it. Apollo was already squadron leader, would one of them take such a position? “They might make you squadron leader, you could have your choice of commands.”

“What about you?” Cassiopeia asked Apollo.

“Donno, might promote me to a command level,” Apollo replied.

They looked over to see the rest of the group come walking into the bridge. The robot was the last one to enter the bridge.

“Did you get in touch with the Galactica?” Boomer asked.

“Yeah, they have some questions, including who built it and why, but they still want to take some fuel,” Apollo said, looking at the robot.

“Fuel, oh yes, I don’t use it,” the robot said. “Shall I open the construction doors when they arrive?”

Apollo looked at the robot for a few seconds until what he said sunk in. He had been thinking of the hangar back where they landed the shuttle. He completely forgot that to get this ships out there must be another entrance.

“Yeah, probably work better,” Sheba said, speaking for Apollo, who finally shook off his stupor.

“Ah, I have another question, how long would it take for you to refit a battlestar?” Apollo said.

“Depends on the condition of the ship, and if I have the necessary supplies, my stores are critically low,” the robot replied. “The asteroids around us are running out of materials, I have the miners out now, but there is not much left.”

Apollo blinked at that, never considering where the robot had gotten its supplies. But it made sense to him if they set it up to mine the asteroids. The entire operation was self-sufficient.

“You were made for war?” Cassiopeia asked.

“”I was not, but what I made was,” the robot said.

“Do you have a name?” Wilker asked.

“Name, yes, they did call me one, it is not for your language though, and would be difficult for you to pronounce,” it replied.

“Then how about something we can pronounce,” Starbuck said.

“You may call me Hephaestus,” it replied.

“Okay,” Apollo said. “How long have you been here?”

“As I said before, many, many yahrens, it was before humans left Kobal,” Hephastus said. “My race was at war among themselves, those who were robots, and those who worked with robots.”

Apollo frowned at that statement.

“Um, what do you mean, those who were robots?” Boomer asked.

“They perfected a technique to transfer the living consciousness to a robot, immortality. However it changed them, they became arrogant, destructive, and thought of themselves as gods. The perfect beings,” Hephastus said. “It led to war, those who followed them and did the same things and those who wanted to live in peace.”

Apollo thought about that for a few seconds, wondering what type of civilization that might have been like.

“The war raged, destroying the once glorious civilization, before finally they destroyed each other, or so I thought,” the robot said. “My enemies might have survived, so I continue to search.”

Apollo thought about that for a few seconds, taking a look out of the bridge window to the vast cavern, or construction yard. He realized space in here, while quite open, was a bit tight.

“We’ll have to move the Agamemnon to get the Galactica in here,” he finally said.

“Another battlestar would fit, but if you are bringing in other tankers, then yes, it would be best to move this battlestar first,” Hephastus said.

“Things are going to change,” Starbuck said.

“Yeah, finally some good new for a change,” Boomer said even as Apollo thought of something.

“You said Kobal, do you know where the thirteenth tribe went?” Apollo asked Hephastus.

“I must apologize, that information was damaged over the years,” it replied, much to Apollo’s disappointment, but not unexpected.

“So, who do you think will be the commander of the Agamemnon?” Sheba asked.

“Probably Tigh,” Apollo said, watching as the others nodded their heads in agreement. “But the Hyperion, I don’t know.”

The communications back to life, causing Apollo to return, looking down at the screen and his father.

“Apollo, we are going ahead with the tankers, have you asked about the other part?” Adama asked.

“Yeah, it depends on the refit and how serious the damage is, and if the right supplies are here,” Apollo said.

“I see, well, better than nothing I guess,” Adama said.

“We’ll probably need to start moving the Agamemnon out of the area as quickly as possible, especially if you want to get the tanker and the Galactica in here,” Apollo said.

“That can be arranged, we’ll be sending a skeleton crew over quickly, they can move it out of the way even as we recruit new warriors,” Adama said, not concerned about that at all. “How close is the Hyperion to being completed?”

Apollo looked over at Hephastus for the answer.

“About five of your days,” it replied.

“Then we take that ship as well, I’ll have to work out the details, how is the ship?” Adama asked.

“Everything seems to check out,” Apollo said, knowing the unspoken question about any problems, or suspicious things.

“Very well, stay with the ship until a team arrives,” Adama said, “continue to check things over”

With that the communications ended. Apollo turned knowing they would have to check out more of the ship.

“Well, shall we explore a bit more?” he said. They all agreed, and he took a second to take Wilker off to the side, to tell him about what to look for, he had the expertise in some areas. They would have to check it out. Privately he hoped the robot told the truth. Time would tell.


Adama strolled off the bridge knowing that Tigh would get things going. Returning to his office, he spotted Uviris, Uri and Lyces waiting for him. Not unexpected but then again everything now was thrown into chaos with the finding of the battlestars.

“Gentlemen, come in and have a seat,” Adama said, as they all entered and sat down. “I’ve already asked for a team to head over to the Agamemnon, and check it out, while moving it out of the way for the tankers. There is still the second battlestar, the Hyperion.”

“And how long would it take before it is ready?” Uri asked.

“Five days,” Adama said. “And we won’t know about the Galactica until we arrive.”

“Then you plan to do this,” Uviris said.

“Yes, if everything checks out, we cannot afford to pass up this opportunity,” Adama said. “Tripling our defenses, and updating the Galactica, these are things that would benefit the entire fleet, and we can make room on some of the ships, especially those whose life support systems are strained.”

“We know all that Adama,” Uviris said.

“We’re concerned, that’s all,” Lyces said.

“You don’t’ think I’m not?” Adama said. “I worry all the time.”

“But even with the fleet going slow, there is not enough time for all of this,” Uri said.

“Yes, by using the faster tankers, and with additional battlestars, we can have the Agamemnon here to protect the fleet while the Galactic and Hyperion are at the construction yard. And these ships can catch up to the fleet while providing escorts to the tankers.”

“He is right, it would be foolish of us to not do this,” Uri said.

“We can inform the council of this decision, I hope some of us can go with you when you meet this person who built the ships,” Lyces said.

“Of course,” Adama said.

“Then we will support you, for now,” Uri said, looking at the other two. Uviris looked like he wanted to disagree, but said nothing else.

“Very good,” Adama said, watching as they walked out.

They had no way of knowing that light years away a single Cylon basestar had picked up a faint signal coming from a planet. It sent out a patrol to investigate.

End Surprise

Continued in The Recsue

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