To Stop Running Part 2

To Stop Running

by AJ Marks

Part 2

“Commander, I heard we had a new contact,” a familiar voice said, causing Tigh to sigh, knowing who the voice belonged to. He turned to see Marcus, a council member, walking onto the bridge.

“That’s correct, Captain Starbuck and his wingman are checking it out right now. Commander Apollo has taken the Pegasus out for a better look,” Tigh replied back to know, knowing what the reply would be.

“And who approved this action?” Marcus asked, his tone accusing.

“I did, there was not time to notify the council and have a debate,” Tigh replied back, they both knew the truth about such actions. The council had been flexing their power at every change, increasing what needed to be approved by the military.

Many on the council considered the military too powerful. Shortly after Adama died they revoked the martial law status, dominant since leaving the Colonies. No one was strong enough to challenge the council, especially Ziers or Marcus, who made a powerful team.

“So, you deliberately disobeyed the council?” Marcus said, accusing Tigh with his tone and look. “The council will hear about this commander.”

Tigh watched him walk off the bridge angrily. He knew what might happen next, they would talk about having him removed. Neither Ziers or Marcus, liked Tigh and both worked to remove him from the command of the Galactica. Loyalty to the commander by the warriors had been the only thing keeping him in his position.

Apollo had fared better, being the son of Adama, and a hero many times over, he could challenge the council, but being on the Pegasus limited his contact with them. A good strategic move by Ziers, removing the one person who could challenge him.

He hoped nothing major happened, or perhaps, hoped something major did happen.

“Admiral White to the bridge, Admiral White to the bridge.”

The announcement was made across the ship, an a few seconds later a man with short salt and pepper hair stepped onto the bridge asking for a report from the crew. He made his way to the command chair while the communications officer replied.

“Incoming message from Commander Johnson, says it’s important.”

“Put it through,” Admiral White replied, turning to face the screen. Commander Johnson’s face appeared a second later. “Report commander.”

“Admiral, we’re currently tracking three inbound ships from beyond our system” Johnson said. “We’ve identified the leading two ships as fighters, the third appears to be a large capital ship.”

“Are they the same ones who attacked the outpost?”

“Unknown sir.”

“I see,” the admiral said, pausing for a second to take in the information given to him. The truth was they had a large ship headed into the system, and at least two fighters. “Put your ship on a war setting and keep constant contact.”

“Yes sir,” Johnson said, signing off.

Admiral White took a breath and slowly let it out, allowing him to think about situation calmly. “Get me the President,” he said to his communications officer before turning to his second in command. “Put the fleet on yellow alert, and increase all patrols. Cancel all shore leaves unless they are part of the celebration. I don’t want to be caught like we were twenty years ago.”

“Yes sir.”

He watched his people carry out the orders, and hoped he was wrong.

Starbuck and Boxey continued on towards the source of the signal. Both hoped to find something of interest for the fleet, perhaps some civilization they might be able to trade with. He noticed the Pegasus had turned to head off with them. He did not mind, as it meant a shorter trip back to the battlestar. What worried him more was the signal he was headed towards. It had not changed, but had increase in intensity, meaning they were headed towards the source.

“Starbuck, are you picking up anything else, around one of the large gas planets?” Boxey asked, shifting his attention.

Starbuck looked at the scanners before answering. “Yeah, but we’re still too far away to identify it. I’d say it’s a ship of some kind,” Starbuck replied back. The fact there was a ship caused him a bit of concern, considering he had no idea if it was friendly or foe. “I’m going to contact the Pegasus.”

“Sounds like a good idea,” Boxey replied. Starbuck heard the nervousness in his voice. The younger pilots had never fought against a Cylon before.

Starbuck contacted the Pegasus, waiting a few seconds until Apollo answered.

“Starbuck, what’s the situation?” Apollo asked.

“Well, there might be trouble here,” Starbuck replied, unsure how his friend might take this. “We’ve picked up a shop on our scanners, probably a good bet they have us on their scanners as well.”

“Cylon?” the question came back.

“Don’t know, so far the scanners have yet to identify it, but we’re going in for a closer look. Haven’t seen any aggressive moves yet,” Starbuck replied back. “Need to identify the ship, figure out who it is.”

“All right, but the first sign of trouble get out of there, and keep in communications,” Apollo ordered. Starbuck did not need to be told that, but he would anyways.

They continued on towards the unknown ship wondering what they might be headed towards.

Commander Johnson watched the scanners from his command position on the bridge. The three ships were now closing in on his position. The operator still was trying to identify the ships, but so far no luck.

He felt a nervousness, especially when the latest news from fleet command came in after talking with the admiral. Shore leaves had been cancelled, and the admiral took no chances of being caught unaware again.

“Any luck?” Johnson asked, privately hoping for something.

“No sir, wait, I have something,” the scanner operator replied. “The incoming large ship is nowhere near as large as the one that attacked us twenty years ago. According to the scans it’s about a mile long.”

Johnson was not sure if he felt relief, or fear. If the ship was not from the same group that attacked them, then who was it? Were they friendly, or looking to conquer someone?

“Get me the admiral again,” he finally said. He needed to talk it over.

The two vipers continued flying closer, as the scanners worked on identifying the ships. To make matters worse, it appeared to Starbuck that the ship knew they were coming by the moves it made. It started to retreat towards the center of the system.

“Apollo, come in,” Starbuck said, keeping his contact with the battlestar.

“What’s up Starbuck?” Apollo asked.

“Pretty sure they’ve spotted us, but no conformation if they are Cylon or not,” Starbuck replied back to him.

“Find out, but be careful,” Apollo stated.

“Got it,” Starbuck answered. “All right let’s go.”

Both vipers accelerated into the system using turbos, quickly gaining on their target.

“Captain, the approaching fighters are gaining on us, we estimate contact in twenty minutes,” the scanner officer said, surprising Johnson.

“How long till we meet with the fleet?” he asked, unsure about what might be going on.

“Twenty-five minutes at current speed,” came the reply.

“Increase to flank speed, see if we can get them in an unfavorable position,” Johnson said, watching as the crew carried out the order. Now he would see what these ships were doing.

Starbuck and Boxey noticed the increase in speed, and knew this was not a good sign. It meant they had been spotted, and that they knew he and Boxey were in pursuit.

“What do you think?” Boxey asked, as they looked at the scanners.

“It doesn’t feel like a Cylon trap. A Cylon would not be fleeing like this, the tactics are completely wrong. They would have sent out a few ships to challenge us,” Starbuck replied, relying on his knowledge of Cylons from before the destruction of the Colonies. “Whoever it is, they are intelligent, be cautious.”

They moved closer, still gaining on the unknown ship.

“Apollo, do you have the ship on your scanner?” he asked.

“Yes, and we’ve noticed the increase in speed as well. The Cylons never did this, but it could be something new,’ Apollo replied.

“We’ll continue to close the distance, you might want to alert the fleet about this latest development,” Starbuck said.

“Yeah,” Apollo replied, as the conversation ended.

Tigh looked up as he was informed of an incoming message from the Pegasus. He looked down on the screen watching as Apollo appeared on the screen.

“Apollo, any news?” Tigh asked, hoping for some good news.

“There’s been some developments, we’ve discovered a ship, and its spotted us, trying to make a run to intercept them and figure out who they are,” Apollo said. “Not something the Cylons usually did, might be a first contact situation.”

“If that’s the case, be careful, they might have supplies we can trade for,” Tigh said, knowing Apollo already knew that. He did think about something and wondered how Apollo might take it. “There is one other thing, Ziers and Marcus are asking questions again. Had Marcus on the bridge not long ago, and he’s angry we failed to report to him.”

“Great,” Apollo replied.

“Yeah, we may not have much time before the council decides to bring up their influence on your actions, be careful,” Tigh said,

“All right,” Apollo said, ending the transmission.

Tigh thought about what this might mean. Things could get ugly real quick.

Admiral Percy White demanded a lot from his fleet in a short amount of time, but they were now in position against the incoming ships. If they were enemies, they were running into a trap that he created. Johnson ran his ship straight towards the Pacifica and her escorts while other ships used the planets and such to conceal their movements to get behind the incoming ship.

He watched as Johnson’s ship came into view, knowing the two fighters were closing in fast.

“Sir, incoming fighters still don’t match any known ships that we’ve encountered, or know about the aliens,” the scanner office said.

Percy thought about that for a few seconds. Who were they, and did they attack them not long ago? Nothing made any sense.

“Sir, they are within the trap, also the larger ship is within the perimeters of it as well,” another officer said.

“Execute, and see if we can identify them,” Percy said.

Starbuck noticed the trouble first, seeing ships come out from behind hiding spots all around them. They had been led into a trap, yet still he saw nothing on his scanners which indicated any Cylons.

“We’ve got trouble Boxey,” he said, watching a wave of fighters were launched heading towards them.

“Apollo, seems we fell for a trap, but for what I don’t know,” Starbuck said. “Guess they were warships.”

“We know, scanners are indicating ships all around us,” Apollo replied back. “Even behind the Pegasus.”

“Great,” Starbuck mumbled to himself.

“Starbuck, look at your scanners, you’re not going to believe this,” Boxey finally said.

Starbuck glanced down taking a look at the scanners to see what might be going on. He checked, then double checked. The pilots of the incoming fighters were human. They had not seen a human colony in over ten yehrens. They had gone so long that some figured they had missed the planet. But if this group was human, they might be on the right track.

“Apollo, they’re human,” Starbuck said, waiting for Apollo to confirm the readings himself. The silence stretched for a few microns.

“Starbuck, don’t fire on them, and slowly make your way back here, we’re going to try and establish contact,” Apollo replied.

Fine with me, don’t want to be out here in all of this mess anyways,” Starbuck said, turning to head back to the Pegasus.

“Commander, we’re being hailed by the unknown ships,” Apollo was told. He turned to the communications wondering what this might be before nodding to put it though.

“Unknown ships, you are ordered to surrender and be boarded,” the voice said in a message which repeated several times.

“Well, that’s welcoming,” Apollo said to himself. He barely had any time to think about it when the fleet line came to life. He glanced down to see the face of Ziers staring back at him.

Things just got worse he thought to himself.

End part 2

Continued in part 3

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