Voyage to Earth – Crystal

Voyage to Earth

by AJ Marks


Jason raced back to his viper, aware of what was going on behind him. If they had caught Apollo, they might come after him as well. His first thought, he needed to get help, and in order to do that, he had to get back to the fleet. Once there they could come back and rescue Apollo.

He looked around upon reaching his viper, glad he did not see anyone following him. They either did not know about him, or considered him no threat, whatever that threat might be. He had no idea why they had captured Apollo, and as he went thought the takeoff procedure the question entered his mind.

Quickly powering up the engines, he launched off the planet’s surface. Now on the way back, he wondered about the conversation he overheard. Something about a dead emperor, but what that might have to do with the captain, Jason did not know.

He hit his turbos and hoped they made it back in time.


Tigh stood off to the side of the bridge, going over some reports on the condition of the fleet. The Agamemnon still had a full load of fuel and ammo, and he tried to think of way to conserve that fuel for their trip to Earth. He hoped he would see that planet one day.

“Commander,” the flight officer said. Tigh looked over at the tone the man had used instantly aware something had happened.

“What is it?” Tigh asked.

“I’ve got an incoming viper from the patrol,” the officer replied.

“Only one?” Tigh asked, clarifying the situation, before looking down at the scanners for himself. He saw one viper flying back to the fleet. That meant it was either Apollo or Jason, and what the situation was, he had no idea. It could be trouble, or good news. He would have to wait and see.

“What are your orders?” the officer replied.

Tigh thought about it for a few seconds before coming to a conclusion. It would actually be a good exercise for the crew. “Sound yellow alert, and have the pilot brought to my office when he lands, along with Starbuck and Boomer,” Tigh said, knowing that the alert would get the crew moving, and the practice would do good in case the real thing happened later on.

“Yes sir,” the officer said, as the crew went to work. Tigh wondered what the patrol had encountered. Several scenarios ran though his mind and he had a wide variety of answers. He would know the truth when the pilot arrived in his office.

Tigh made his way to his office, his mind racing with several different explanations, all bad. He really wished he was not the person in charge right now, but could rely on Adama. However, he was still resting, and this was his battlestar.

He looked up watching both Starbuck and Boomer walk into the office. They appeared concerned, knowing that when one was summoned to the commander’s office unannounced it never meant good things.

“What’s wrong?” Starbuck asked.

“We have one viper returning from the patrol Apollo was on. We don’t know who, or what happened yet, but I want to be prepared for anything,” Tigh said to them.

“Great,” Starbuck said, slouching down in a chair. “Could be anything.”

Boomer said nothing, but sat down as well. The hangar reported the viper had landed and the pilot was on his way up to his office. The fact the hangar crew gave no name meant nothing. With so many new faces, it was hard to keep up and the new people might not know the older warriors.

The door chimed indicating the pilot had arrived. Tigh granted permission and they watched Jason walk into the room. Now they would find out what happened.

“Have a seat,” Tigh said, watching as Jason walked over and sat down. “Now, what happened? I assume something happened with only one of you returning. Last you reported you were heading down to inspect the planet.”

“Well commander, Captain Apollo ordered me to check out the deposit of charcoal close to where we landed. He went over to check out the nearby town, something about trading,” Jason said. “He never said how long he might take, and after I finished my scans, he had not returned, and waited a bit.”

“I take it he didn’t return, you follow him then?” Starbuck asked.

“Yes. I headed towards the town, I kept to the shadows, as night was falling. It took me a little bit to find him, there was a mob in the center of town. I saw that he was trying to make his way back to the ship without being spotted. They spotted him and quickly cornered him.”

“You left him capture by a mob?” Starbuck said.

“He ordered me to leave,” Jason said. “Though I did overhear some say he should be dead, and they didn’t understand how he could have returned from the dead.”

“Returned from the dead,” Boomer said. “Somehow I don’t like the sound of this.”

“He must have known Jason would need help in rescuing him,” Tigh said. “Starbuck, gather a team and head on out.”

“Then I’ll take Jason, Boomer, and a few others,” Starbuck said.

“Get your equipment together and head to the shuttles,” Tigh said.

He watched them walk out. He leaned back in the chair wondering what might happen next.


Apollo began to question the sanity of his captors. They called him the ‘emperor’ for some strange reason. He also detected a sense of fear coming from the people. So far he had not been mistreated, aside from being half-dragged into the cell he now occupied.

Any attempt he made to explain what was going on had fallen on deaf ears. They did not listen to him at all. He spent some time wondering who this ‘emperor’ was, and if he even wanted to be associated with him. He heard a few whispers from the guards about an execution in the morning.

Apollo hoped Jason had gotten out and back to the fleet for help. He did not want anyone else to get hurt, but also knew he might have to fight to get back to the fleet. If he could reach his viper, he could use it to leave the planet.

They had taken his weapon and communicator when they captured him, and looked at it uneasily. He had told Jason to go for help, but had no idea how long it might take for him to head back to the fleet, tell the commander, gather a team and head back, let along act for a rescue.

Voices outside the room caught his attention, and he looked out to see what might be going on. He spotted a bald, medium-sized man walked up to the door, and entered the room. They glanced at each other for several seconds.

“I think there’s been a case of mistaken identity,” Apollo stated, hoping to reason with the man.

“Don’t think so emperor,” the man replied back, sneering the last word. “I can recognize you anywhere.”

“Um, listen, I’m positive we’ve never seen each other before,” Apollo said, knowing if they had he would recognized a Colonial warrior uniform.

“Of course you’d say that, lying like everything else you’ve done before,” the man said to him. “Now that the power is reversed, you are under my mercy, how does it feel.” They stared at each other for a few more seconds.

“I don’t know this emperor, I’m Captain Apollo of the battlestar Galactica,” Apollo said, hoping to say something that might trigger a discussion with reason in it.

“Your lies are getting worse,” the man said. “It doesn’t matter, we have a trial set up for you, I think you’ll enjoy it.”

The way the man smiled made Apollo know that it would be anything but fair.

“What will it take to convince you I’m not the emperor?” Apollo asked, looking for something he could use.

“Nothing, you are the emperor, better pray to your gods,’ the man said, with a chuckle as he turned away and left the room.

Apollo paced around the room, hoping Jason would return quickly with help. Perhaps if they brought a couple of vipers, or shuttle down in the center of the city it might convince them.

He looked over as the door opened revealing a woman with red hair who came into the room. Apollo watched as she cautiously approached, her green eyes looking right into his own for a long time before she finally spoke.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“Captain Apollo of the battlestar Galactica,” he replied once more.

Her continued stare made him uncomfortable. She tilted her head to the side before continuing.

“What is a battlestar galactica,” she asked, stumbling around the words.

“A spaceship,” Apollo said, wondering if they even knew what that was.

“And what is that?”

“Ah,” he said, taking a moment to think about how they might understand what he said. “It’s a large sailing ship that flies beyond the clouds.”

“Sounds romantic,” she said, and he watched as her eyes seemed to glaze over as if trying to imagine it. She stayed like that for a few seconds before she looked back at him again. “You don’t belong here Captain Apollo. I’ll try and help you, but they don’t care for me much.”

Apollo watched as she left again, and he wondered exactly what she meant. He had a strange feeling she and this emperor were close. He only wished the others were as nice and understanding, he might have been able to explain a bit more. Instead, he had to wait and see what might happen next.


“This is the planet,” Jason said. The shuttle descended through the clouds as they locked onto the viper. They landed as close as possible to the viper to give them a reference point to head to the town.

“Doesn’t look like much,” Boomer said, looking down at the town.

“Might be a good thing, make it easier,” Cassiopeia said, sitting in the back of the shuttle. She came along as their medtech in case someone got injured, and she had experience in such missions.

The shuttle finally found a clear spot close to the town and landed with no problems. Starbuck and Boomer quickly exited making sure no one surprised them. Though who that might be they had no idea.

“Which way?” Boomer asked, as they gathered up a bit of gear and got their bearings.

“This way,” Jason said, pointing in a direction towards the town.

The group slowly made their way towards the town, the growing sunlight indicated morning was coming. They made their way to the town’s edge, looking around at the inactivity of the town.

“Hold up, they were not too accommodating to Apollo for some reason,” Jason said. “By wearing the same uniforms they might attack us on sight as well.”

“Then we need a plan,” Cassiopeia said.

“And quickly,” Boomer replied. They glanced around a bit at each other, each one trying to think of something that might help.

“Well, if it’s our clothing, we need some new clothes,” Cassiopeia said logically. Yelling close by made them look over. A small red-headed woman was arguing with a taller bald man.

“I know that isn’t him,” the red-head said, yelling at him.

“And I say he is,” the man yelled back at her. “This discussion has been made already.”

“That man isn’t him, he’s not from here, we both know that. You know I would recognized him right away,” the woman said, not backing down from the man.

“No, you listen,” he said, roughly grabbing her, and the group had to stop themselves from jumping into the situation as the man continued. “Who cares if is he or isn’t, this I our opportunity for revenge.”

“By doing that you’re no better than he was,” the woman said, even as the man stormed off.

Starbuck looked over at Boomer as they silently communicated their intentions. Waiting until the woman passed nearby they grabbed her, much to Cassiopeia’s surprise. She struggled more than what they expected.

“Shh, we’re not going to hurt you,” Starbuck said, looking around then back at her. “We only want some information, nothing else.”

The woman looked at him, then at his clothing. Boomer was able to release her and she looked at each of them taking in not their faces, but outfits. They waited to see what she might say, hoping she could help them.

“Are you from this battle-star galac ticka?” she asked, stumbling around the words.

“You’ve talked with our friend?” Starbuck asked.

“Captain Apollo, yes,” she replied back to them.

“We’re his friends,” Starbuck said, seeing a glimmer of hope in someone who might help them.

“We need to talk, follow me,” she said, leading them to a small cottage at the edge of the town. It was run-down, in need of repairs, but inside, it was clean, well maintained despite very little inside.

“You know where our friend is?” Starbuck asked.

“Yes, I know where Captain is, they think he’s the emperor,” the woman said.

“Captain?” Jason asked.

“Yes, Captain Apollo, Captain is his first name, is it not?” she asked logically.

“Ah, no, captain is a rank we use in our military, his name is Apollo,” Starbuck replied, explaining it a bit. “We all have one.”

“Oh,” she said, a look of sadness coming over her.

“You all right,” Cassiopeia asked, reaching out touching her arm.

“Yes, sorry, just reminded of someone I loved,” she said, snapping back to the group in front of her.

“He looked like Apollo?” Jason said.

“Yes, he had a vision, it went against what others liked, and they turned against him, killing him,” she said to them.

“Can you help us?” Starbuck asked.

They watched as she looked at them for several seconds before finally replying. “For a price, yes,” she said, her green eyes looking back at them with intensity few had seen.

“And what is this price?” Starbuck asked, wondering if they could even meet it.

“I’ll tell you after we rescue them,” she said. “What are your names?”

“Jason,” Jason said, accepting the change in conversation. They each introduced themselves before the woman said more.

“We should probably hurry, Ryan will want to execute your friend as soon as possible. Any trial will be only for show,” she said to them.

She stood, and headed to the door leaving them in the dark about her name. She seemed to usher them out of the small house and back towards the town. On the walk to the town she updated them on the fact that the townsfolk wanted revenge for what the emperor had done, despite the fact even he did not know what might happen.

Starbuck learned that the local officials would not be easy to talk to. Their minds were already made up. The previous emperor never was tried for what they considered crimes against them, so, according to the woman, Apollo was a perfect cover. It also would hide problems with the current leadership.

Reaching the town they noticed the gathering crowd. Starbuck and Boomer knew it would not be easy now. They saw Apollo standing on the platform, along with several guards, and he seemed fine at the moment.

“Boomer, Jason, set for stun only,” Starbuck said, not liking the way things were going so far. He saw no way to get Apollo out of here diplomatically if the woman was to believed.

“Ryan!” the woman said, speaking up. The crowd reacted as they looked at her, along with the others with her. They parted slightly and Starbuck had the distinct impression she was not welcome among them.

“Well, this is not a surprise,” a man said, and Starbuck assumed him to be Ryan. “I see the emperor’s whore has come to save her piece of trash emperor.”

“He isn’t the emperor,” the woman said calmly.

“Sure he is, we’ve all seen him, he is the emperor. He always said he’d return, even you said so,” he said, causing her to flinch.

“If you do this then you are no better than he was,” the woman said.

“We’ve all agreed he is, and your words are expected from his whore,” Ryan replied back to her. “He killed people, and he didn’t care how or why it happened, each time telling us it was for our future, ha!”

“And killing an innocent man is different how?” the woman asked, not backing down, despite the crowd on Ryan’s side. The group got nervous at the rising hostility.

“Doesn’t matter, we’ve found him guilty, he will be executed,” Ryan said.

“I don’t think so,” Starbuck said, drawing his weapon. The conversation so far had been between the woman and Ryan, but now with Starbuck stepping forward it changed slightly. Now, as Boomer and Jason stepped forward, the focus shifted.

“I see you’ve brought some friends, foolish. How much did it cost you, your body, soul?” Ryan asked.

“I don’t want to use force to free my friend, so don’t make us,” Starbuck stated, his blaster now aimed at the group. Adrenaline pumped though his system at the approaching conflict.

“No, don’t kill anyone,” the woman said.

“Ha, five against all of us, you are badly outnumbered. Even if you processed the skill of the emperor, we could overwhelm you, and you would still die,” Ryan said.

“Starbuck!” Apollo said.

“Don’t worry buddy, it’s on stun,” Starbuck said.

“You sure?” Apollo said, causing Starbuck to look down.

“Yep,” Starbuck replied back.

“Seize them,” Ryan said.

Starbuck waited a moment watching as several large men stepped forward causing them to back up a bit. Starbuck really wished the men had stopped, but fired to protect him. Jason and Boomer fired as well and several men fell down. Screams erupted from the crowd as civilians panicked. The group remained calm watching the people rush to get away in fear.

A few more soldiers moved forward and they fired again, stunning them. After a few more even the soldiers backed off, fearfully looking at the group then back at Ryan before abandoning the attempt to take the group.

“Let’s get Apollo and get out of here,” Starbuck said.

“I’ll get him,” Cassiopeia said, rushing forward as the trio covered her. Cassiopeia reached Apollo quickly untying the bonds. A couple of men tried to stop them but Jason and Boomer took them out.

“No, you won’t get away with this!” Ryan yelled at the group.

“There are worse people than me, especially the metallic men called Cylons, they will manipulate you and kill you,” Apollo said back, causing the group to frown slightly before understanding the idea.

The group quickly retreated, firing off a few more shots before rushing back towards the ships. Jason took off towards the viper as the others headed towards the shuttle.

“Looks like we’re not going to be able to keep our promise,” Starbuck said to the red-haired woman.

“You never heard my request,” the woman said. “Take me with you.”

That stunned the group. It was not what they expected to hear from her. Apollo was the first to regain his senses to answer the question.

“Sorry, we’re not coming back here, and, well, our life isn’t so good,” Apollo replied to her.

“If I stay here, I am dead,” she told them. “Please take me with you. They’ve been looking for a way to kill me.”

Starbuck looked over at Apollo for a few seconds, before finally shrugging his shoulders.

“We don’t have much time,” Boomer said, from inside the shuttle, going thought the checklist. “Besides, we’ve picked up people before.”

“He’s got a point,” Starbuck said.

“All right, but don’t say we didn’t warn you,” Apollo said.

“Its life, and I knew you’d take me,” she said. “I want to see these strange things for myself.”

Starbuck looked over at the others unsure what she meant by that. They climbed on board even as Boomer notified them that Jason had taken off already. They sat down as the shuttle lifted off.

“I’m glad to be out of there,” Apollo stated.

“It’s was a strange encounter, that’s for sure,” Starbuck said.

Cassiopeia looked over at the red-head before speaking up. “What is your name?”


End Crystal

Continued in Unveiling

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