Battlestar Argo – Part 3

Battlestar Argo

by AJ Marks

Part 3: Beginning the Search

The battlestar Argo made its way towards a single system. The scanners indicated nothing out of the ordinary about the system. On the bridge of the battlestar, Commander Ares stood watching the rest of the crew going about their duties. What they did here would give him an indication of how they would act at other systems, setting up procedures they might use later on.

“Scans are clean commander, not picking up anything at all,” Pratt said, walking over to where Ares stood.

“I see,” Ares replied, sitting down in the command chair, quickly thinking about what they might do next. “Might be a good idea to launch a patrol, have them scan the planet for any signs of intelligent life, or ruins.”

“Sounds wise, anyone in mind for the patrol?” Pratt asked.

Ares rubbed his chin in thought, sure they could pull whoever from the duty roster, but did he want someone in particular? “Take six pilots from green squadron, next time we’ll pull from red, alternate between the two for each planet.”

“Yes sir,” Pratt said, turning to the roster and pulling six names for the mission from green squadron.

Ares watched as Pratt picked the names, then headed off the bridge to inform the pilots of their mission. Ares sat back looking over the bridge, feeling an overall sense of excitement. He knew that would only last for so long before such routines got boring. He would have to talk with Pratt on how to keep things exciting.

He also understood he might have a first contact situation. He had a list of things from Commander Cain about such contacts. The last thing the Colonies needed, a new enemy.


Martin walked into the briefing room noticing Colonel Pratt standing waiting for the pilots to arrive. They were approaching their first planet soon which meant they would have to investigate to see if it was Earth or not. Some hoped that this would be Earth but many, like Martin had a feeling finding Earth would not be easy.

Martin noticed that Bri and Nall already in the room. He would be working with them on this mission. Nall, as usual, was trying to put his moves on Bri who, again, rejected him. It was actually quite funny to Martin. It seemed like Nall really did like Bri but he also knew that if Nall really wanted to woo Bri then he would have to change a bit for her. That was something that he did not see happening.

“Hey big M,” Nall said as Martin sat down next to him.

“Nall, if you don’t watch yourself Bri will shrink your clothes again,” Martin said.

“Nah, we don’t have much in terms of replacement clothing,” Nall replied.

“All right, I’ll give you that. But remember she does have a wicked mind for paybacks,” Martin said with a smile.

“I know,” Nall replied also with a smile and received a smack to the back of his head. “What,” he said turning and putting an innocent smile on his face for Bri.

“Don’t what me,” Bri said narrowing her eyes. “I know what you’re thinking.”

“Okay, we’re all here, shall we get down to business,” Pratt’s voice said, interrupting any further entertainment for Martin. They all looked over giving their attention to the colonel.

Martin watched as Bri turned to the colonel, giving him her best innocent look, something only she could do. He did not even try, and Nall, sat there with a grin on his face. Martin wondered how they had never been court-marshaled yet. He focused his attention on the briefing, learning his group would make up him, Bri, Nall, Troy and two others he had yet to get to know well.

“All right, here is your missions, we’ve made it to one of the first stars. The Argo’s scanners indicate twelve worlds, your job is to investigate each planet, checking for signs of life. Each of you will have a wingmate for this mission, and four planets to check out. Remember, we have no idea of who, or what we’ll discover. Use caution, and try not to attack anyone,” Pratt told them. “We still don’t know how far the Cylon Empire goes in this direction, as we haven’t investigated this far out yet. But be careful, we are to avoid Cylon bases.”

The group received which planets they would investigate before heading down to the flight deck and their vipers. He watched Bri and Nall get serious as they approached the vipers. The transformation always amazed him, especially Bri. She went from someone who appeared weak to someone who could do anything with a viper.

“Everyone have their wingmates?” Troy asked, to the group of pilots.

“I’ll be your wingmate,” Bri said. Martin already had a wingmate in Nall, and was only slightly shocked when Bri made the move to be Troy’s.

Martin watched the two look at each other for a second before making a decision.

“All right, what about the rest of you?” Troy said.

“Pairing up with Nall,” Martin said, pointing towards Nall, who gave a smile back.

“Leaves you two, is that all right,” Troy said to the remaining two.

“That’s fine,” one said.

They made their way down to the hangar. Martin watched Bri make her way towards her viper with a bounce in her step, and gave Nall a quick jab in the ribs, and nodded over at Troy, who was watching Bri.

“I see another one has fallen to her charms,” Nall said.

“Yeah, and I think half of the time she’s not even aware of it,” Martin replied, looking over at Nall then back at Troy.

“No, she is, and she knew what she was doing just now.”

Martin raised an eyebrow at Nall’s comments but said nothing else. He hoped this development did not affect their friendship. He decided to keep an eye on Nall, especially seeing how Bri was opening flirting with another man. Nall never said it, but Martin knew his friend was in love with Bri, a love which was not returned with the same degree.

Making his way over, he mentally prepared himself for the mission, and climbed into the viper, ready to go after getting the okay to launch. He was on his way.


Ares watched Renee, the flight controller, give the final instructions to the patrol group. He watched realizing she was confident in her abilities, as many were on board. He had a good crew hoping they would remain so on their voyage, however long it took.

He looked over to the monitors, watching the six vipers launch out of the tubes, giving him a brief reminder of earlier times on board the Pacifica, the launching of vipers. This time, they were headed towards a system that might prove worthy. He silently hoped they did not find Earth too quickly. That would mean it was close to the Cylon Empire.

“Well, there they go,” Pratt said, standing next to Ares.

“Right,” Ares answered. He wished that the texts that they had found on Kobal had described how far the thirteenth tribe was going to travel instead of just a direction. He figured that he should be grateful that he had that though. He had the feeling that this would be a long mission.

“Is it wrong of me to wish that they don’t find anything,” Pratt said turning to Ares.

“Nope, I was just thinking the same thing my friend,” Ares replied. “But I did have another thought earlier.”

Pratt turned to glance at his commander. Usually when his commander said something like that it meant trouble. He wondered what the man was thinking this time.

“We needed to brief the pilots in first contact rules,” Ares said.

“First contact,” Pratt replied not sure where that came from. Sure they would need it for when they found Earth but then it hit him. They were exploring a section of unknown space. They could come across an unknown alien race. That would require something else as well, the skills of a diplomat. That also meant that they might have to take time to make diplomatic relations with another race.

“Yeah, I’m sure that we’ll encounter another race before we finally reach Earth. There are too many unknowns out there for us not to. It will be what happens when we do. We both know that the last thing the Colonies need is another enemy to fight,” Ares said to Pratt.

“That would not be good,” Pratt replied. The Colonial military was barely able to hold off the Cylons right now. If there was another group it might spell the doom of the Colonies.


Troy paired up with Bri to explore the four planets they were responsible for in the system. Most of the planets appeared small with only a few moons, easy to quickly scan. He did not expect to see any life signs on the first couple of planets. They were just way too close to the star to be able to support any life that they know about. The other two might have a surprises.

“Let’s head to the one closest to the star first,” Troy heard Bri say over the communicator.

“Right, that way we can limit our own exposure to the heat,” Troy replied. He was keeping an eye on his thermal reading as they got closer to the star. He did not need to overheat his systems out here with little help.

“Troy, I’m picking up another planet even closer to the star,” Bri said as they got closer to the star.

Troy took a quick glance at his scanner and noticed the same thing. The thermal reading was still below critical and he wondered how close they would be able to go.

“I’m going to see how close we can get. Stay back just in case,” Troy said as his viper turned toward the planet. He could almost hear Bri protesting his order, but she remained for which he was thankful.

Troy kept a close eye on his thermal readings just in case. His biggest concern was his fuel. If that got too hot it could explode. The scans of the planet indicated that it was a barren rock. There were no buildings or anything else that the scanners could pick up and with the thermal reading approaching a critical point Troy decided to head back away from the star.

“Find anything,” Bri asked as his viper closed the distance and the readings continued to rise. However, he had the information he wanted and quickly backtracked.

“Nope, just a dead planet. Didn’t think we’d find anything but you never know,” Troy replied as he joined back up with Bri. The thermal reading slowly came down a bit and he knew that he was no longer in danger.

The next two planets were also barren. Their surfaces were scarred from the intense solar winds and asteroids that bombarded it. If there had ever been anything on the surface it had vanished a long time ago.

They approached the next planet while reporting what they had found on the last planet. The other two groups had not found anything either. So far three gas giants, several ice moons and one ice planet had been scanned. Nothing so far indicated that any of the planets had any life on it and it looked like the system was a dead end.

Troy flew towards the next planet and blinked in surprise at his scanner, a building. The scanners did not indicate any life forms but there was definitely something down there.

“Bri, are your scanners picking up what mine are?” Troy asked.

“I’m picking up ruins on the planet’s surface,” Bri replied hoping that it was what Troy was talking about.

“That’s what I’m reading as well,” Troy replied. “Scout party one to Argo.”

“Argo here what did you find,” the voice of Renee replied.

“We’re going to investigate some ruins on the third planet of the system,” Troy told them. “We’ll keep in constant contact.”

“Understood patrol one,” Renee said.

Troy and Bri turned vipers towards the surface of the planet heading right for one of the ruins and looked for a landing spot as close as possible. They also looked for any clue as to who might have once lived here. The one thing that went through Troy’s mind was it was Earth. He just hoped that was wrong.

“Atmosphere is breathable,” Bri said, Troy looked at his scanners seeing that the atmosphere was indeed breathable. Very similar to what they breathed.

“And gravity is about the same,” Troy said.

They landed their vipers near one of the ruined buildings. It was beginning to fall apart and both wondered at the structural integrity of the building. Troy was actually a bit reluctant to even try and enter the building. It looked like it might collapse at any moment.

“I think one of us should try and enter the building,” Bri said.

“I don’t,” Troy stated as he looked at the building. He wondered what had kept it up for so long.

“We landed on the planet to find out who built these buildings. We’ll never know if we don’t investigate it,” Bri replied turning to face Troy.

“And the building would come down around anyone who tried to enter it,” Troy replied.

“I’ll go, if something happens you can rescue me,” Bri said with a smile which Troy did not really appreciate.

“That is not funny,” Troy replied. “You could be hurt, or worse.”

“Didn’t know you cared,” Bri said as she took a few steps towards the building. “Wait here, I’ll be right back.”

Troy stood there wondering what had just happened as he watched Bri walk towards the building then disappear inside. He finally shook himself out of his stupor to realize what she had just done.

“Bri,” he said into his communicator. When she did not answer right away he repeated her name a bit louder.

“Shh,” he heard Bri’s hushed reply. “The sound echoes quite well in here. I’m just going to try and be cautious.”

“Right, sorry,” Troy replied and realized that he had to wait until she returned.


Bri made her way around what she thought looked like furniture, hoever, it looked like nothing she had ever seen before. She studied it for a second coming to the conclusion it would be extremely uncomfortable for a human. The thought indicated whoever lived her had not been human, but another race.

Continuing her search around for anything which might contain a record of who they were, or what had even happened to them. She also was looking for complete proof that whoever lived here had not been human. Gently making her way across the floor, listening for the creaks as she placed her weight on the old floor. It had probably not supported anything for a long time, possibly hundreds of yehrens. She noticed a fine layer of dust blanketed everything in the room making it all look grey.

Bri stopped, seeing an object lying nearby. Slowly making her way over she picked it up and inspected it. The device was strange, flat, and circular, and blow the dust off revealing the true black color. She thought she saw a tiny screen in the middle, and wondered how ridiculous that would seemed. Who could actually watch such a small screen? Whoever used this had to have good eyesight, or the screen did not give much information. She almost dropped it when it suddenly came to life.

She watched an image spring forth from the screen, not flat like she expected, but up and out of the object indicating it to be a hologram. She had heard of such things but no scientist back at the colonies had ever managed to get it to work properly. The war against the Cylons had involved so much any practical uses for such a devise had never been seen. As a result, technology development went in other directions.

She looked at the figure which the devise showed, and realized it had to be an inhabitant of the planet. As she thought, they were not human, and had what appeared to be four arms and no recognizable humanoid figure. The four legs probably accounted for the unusual furniture she saw. Looking at the devise again, realizing she probably had something they could use, she carefully started making her way back out of the building, paying attention to the creaking and groaning of the floor before emerging from the building to where Troy waited.

“Find anything,” Troy asked, his voice full of concern. It made her glad to know he cared.

“Yeah, this,” Bri said, smiling while holding up the flat black hologram projector she had discovered in the building.

“What’s that?” Troy asked, confused by what she held.

“Some sort of holographic display, it activated while I was holding it, scared me to death,” Bri replied, handing it over so Troy should inspect it. She watched him look at it for a few seconds before he activated it as well. Once more the strange creature appeared,

“Well, that’s not human,” Troy said, handing it back to Bri. “It should be enough evidence this isn’t Earth, and perhaps the scientists will have fun with this toy.”

“I should hope so, and the furniture isn’t too human friendly, looked very uncomfortable,” Bri said, as they started to head back to their vipers.

“Let’s head on back to the Argo,” Troy said to her. She had no objections.

She carefully stored the hologram projector in the viper before climbing in and closing the canopy. Seconds later they lifted off the surface of the planet, contacting the others who were waiting for them. Martin and Nall had flown past the remaining planet on Troy and Bri’s path and found it be barren. With the information about the system complete, the six vipers headed back to the Argo for debriefing.


Commander Ares waited on the bridge, listening in on the reports from the patrols, so far the patrol stated one planet had buildings on it. Bri and Troy had gone down to the surface to check it out for any sign of life, or if it was Earth.

The last report indicated the patrol returning from the system with the final results of their scans. The initial result came back of no life in the system. Only one planet seemed to have been able to support life.

Ares wanted to know what Troy and Bri had discovered on the surface of the planet. He would have to wait for any debriefing as they first had to undergo detox when they returned. They reported they found an interesting object, and it too would have to undergo detox before they could study it.

Ares paced a bit on the bridge, sat down and waited and paced some more. Waiting like this seemed even worse than waiting to go into battle. He reviewed the other planets, all either barren or gas giants. Even the moons were barren or iced over.

“Commander, Troy and Bri are waiting for you in the debriefing room,” Pratt said, as Ares tapped his fingers on the arm of his chair.

“Tell them I’ll be right there, you have the bridge,” he told Pratt, standing and heading towards the bridge exit.

“Yes sir,” Pratt replied as Ares left the bridge, anxious to get to the briefing room to find ou what the result of the patrol was.

Ares walked into the room, seeing all six pilots sitting down including Doctor Weaver. On the table sat a flat black circular object he had never seen before. This had to be the object Troy and Bri picked up from the surface of the planet.

“Let’s begin,” Ares said as he stood in front of the room.

“Well sir, according to Nall and Trevor the planets that they scanned uncovered nothing important. None of the moons were capable of supporting life either. Most of the planets they scanned were gas giants. Their moons were ice worlds with no major thermal readings,” Troy said addressing the commander for the group.

“I see, what else,” Ares said knowing that they had found something.

“Bri and I discovered another planet close to the sun that was obscured by our scanners. We only picked it up as we closed in on its position. It had nothing on it,” Troy said.

“So there were thirteen planets,” Ares said.

“Right,” Troy replied. “The closest one was a molten wasteland, and we moved on to the next one, also barren and hot. The third we discovered building remains on the surface.”

“Interesting,” Ares said picking up the object. “I suppose that it was there that you found this?”

“Correct sir,” Troy said. “We landed close to a group of buildings. I thought that the buildings were too unstable to enter but Lieutenant Bri had other ideas.”

Ares turned his eyes to Bri to see her reaction. She just shrugged a bit and continued to look at him with what he was sure was her innocent look.

“I figured that one of us had to go in, and I was the lighter of the two of us, it was a logical choice,” she said sounding almost too logical. True, she would have been lighter than Troy.

“All right, I’ll ask it slide this time,” Ares said looking at Bri. “But next time, radio it in and we’ll send a team over with special equipment.”

“Sure,” Bri replied with a smile on her face. It made a person forget why they were mad at her. He would have to watch her otherwise she would get away with just about anything with that look.

“Now, seeing how you went in anyways what did you find,” Ares asked moving on to the next part.

“Well, everything was covered with a layer of dust. By the amount it looked like it had been there for quite a while. Gave everything the same color,” Bri replied. “The furniture, though somewhat decayed, was not recognizable as anything that we might use. Then I found that,” she said pointing to the object that Ares held in his hand.

“All right, what is it?” Ares asked.

“We believe it is a portable holographic device,” Weaver replied, speaking up for the first time in the debriefing. He had been able to study the object for a few moments before the briefing had been called.

“A holographic device,” Ares said a bit doubtfully. Such devices were considered unrealistic.

“Yes, the technology that it represents is quite ingenious if I may say so. Whoever they were they were thousands of years more advanced then we are right now,” Weaver said. “The power supply is not even recognizable.”

“All right,” Ares said. “Any idea what it might have been used for?”

“I believe that it was their equivalent of a picture,” Weaver said getting up and taking the object. “Observe,” he said pressing the button where the alien figure appeared. “There might be more ‘pictures’ in it but we haven’t been able to study it very long.”

“That isn’t human,” Ares said as he stared at the figure in front of him. If you took away two arms and legs then it might have a humanoid look, somewhat. “Did you find anything else,” he asked Bri.

“I didn’t think it was wise to stay in building too long, not with the floor creaking under me,” Bri replied. Ares nodded knowing the primary concern should be safety. If she deemed it unsafe to stay it was her call.

“As long as you got back in one piece. So, no Earth?’ Ares finally asked, looking over at Troy.

“No sir,” Troy replied.

“All right, good work everyone,” Ares said. The question had been answered. This was not Earth, or even a human colony. He made his way back up to the bridge to tell the helm officer to set course to the next system in the list. Their search would continue.

End part 3

Continued in Ambushed Squared

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