Battlestar Argo – Part 51

Battlestar Argo

by AJ Marks

Part 51: Skartia

Troy glanced over at the house that Nall had bought. The house had one story three bedroom and two and a half baths. The neighborhood seemed to be nice and had been recently rebuilt.

“So, what do you think,” Nall asked them.

“I like it,” Bri said turning towards Nall. “It’s you.”

“Yep, a regular stud-pad,” he said thrusting out his chest.

“I’m sure that Rebecca will agree,” Bri said. “Wait until I tell Mary that when she’s older.”

“You wouldn’t,” Nall said. “You would.”

“In a way I feel sorry for Mary already,” Troy said. “She’s got Nall as a father and Bri as an aunt.”

“What about you as an uncle,” Rebecca said, walking up carrying Mary. And shouldn’t you three be getting ready to leave?”

“Working on it,” Nall replied.

“Well, work on it harder. I know that Commander Ares wants to leave within the hour,” Rebecca said. “And that he is expecting you three to set a good example. I’m not going to be there to keep you in line this time.”

“I’ll be good,” Nall replied.

“I’ll make sure of that,” Bri said.

“Well, if we’re ready then we should leave” Troy said.

“Just make sure you come back,” Rebecca said, looking right at Nall.

“I’ll make sure he does,” Bri replied.


Ares glanced down at the screen waiting for Pratt to appear. He would be the commander of the defenses of Earth while Ares was gone.

“Commander,” Pratt said his face appearing on the screen. “I take it that you’re ready to leave?”

“Within the hour Pratt,” Ares said. “Any word on the Colonial Bound lately?”

“No, Gunther is keeping silent. But I do hope that everything is going all right. Do you think such action is wise?”

“Yes, I do, we will win either way,” Ares said. “I expect to see you still here along with Earth when I get back.”

“And I expect to see the Argo come back soon,” Pratt said. “I think that the Enterprise will be ready by the time the operation is over. Are you sure that you don’t want to delay it any?”

“No, if the Arbus are doing what I think they are every second may count,” Ares said. “It may already be too late.”

“Good luck,” Pratt said.

“You too, Ares out.”

The communication line ended as Ares glanced around at the bridge crew. Most of the crew were new, as new ships entered the fleet. There seemed to be a strong influx of warriors and a dilution of combat trained warriors. He hoped that this fight would go smoothly but the only plan he really had was to free the Skartian homeworld.

“The last supply shuttle has just departed. We can leave at any time,” Ralph, the new second in command said.

“Good, tell all ships to depart in five minutes,” Ares said.

“Yes sir,” Ralph said.

Minutes later the engines of the First Fleet powered up sending the ships on the next mission, the freeing of the Skartian homeworld.


Nall glanced around the pilot’s briefing room. Many of the pilots were already sitting down waiting for their battle instructions. Bri stood off to the side with her normal bored expression as she waited. The calm before the fighting. He had watched her become one of the best out there and now she waited for Troy to show up. He still seemed to be amazed at the fact that such a small package could be so deadly.

“Any idea about what we’re to expect,” the pilot beside him asked.

“No, but I trust Commander Ares to get the job done Fred,” Nall replied.

“That he does,” Fred replied. “Damn, she looks so calm, is she always like that,” he said, with a nod of his head towards Bri.

“Only before a battle, and never piss her off,” he said, glancing down at his socks.

“Red socks,” Fred said, his eyebrows rising at the sight.

“Yeah, I thought she had mellowed after getting married, nope I was wrong,” Nall said.

“But aren’t you married as well,” Fred asked.

“Yeah, it’s complex,” Nall replied. “I guess I shouldn’t have asked for a threesome.”

“You, Bri and Troy, doesn’t make much sense,” Fred said.

“No, her and Jax,” Nall replied.

Fred opened his mouth to say something when Troy walked into the room. Nall focused his attention on his friend to see what information he had about the Skartian homeworld.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I have some information for you. Do not take what I am about to tell you to heart though,” Troy said. “Remember that some time has passed from when the Skartians left their homeworld to now. The Fire Ant is heading into the system for recon and should be back in an hour with the intelligence allowing Commander Ares to formulate a battle plan. Once that happens then I will let you know. In the meantime I want you all to relax and stay sharp. We might have to go at a moment’s notice.”

“Green squad,” Bri’s voice said loud enough for everyone to hear. “I want the following in the hangar bay, Nall, Jason, Sara, Greg, Victoria, and Brett.”

Nall rolled his eyes at the sound of his name. He knew what they would be doing.

“Sounds like she’s still pissed at you,” Fred said.

“Nah, she loves me,” Nall said. “No this is CAP. We’re to sit in our fighters for the next hour hopefully bored to death.”

“Ah, well good luck,” Fred said, as Nall got up and headed to the hangar.


Renee watched from the bridge of the Fire Ant as the Skartian system came into scanner range. So far they had not spotted any dangers to the fleet. She wondered what they might find once they went further in to investigate.

“No Arbus ships in orbit,” Renee asked.

“Nothing yet ma’am,” the reply came.

That suited Renee just fine. The Fire Ant had been designed as a scout ship, not a battleship. That was what the battlestar and cruisers were for. The Fire Ant had to rely on its speed and stealth to survive.

“One ship, rising from the far side of the target planet,” the scanner operator said. “Appears to be an attack class.”

“All right, what about the moons, anything around or on them,” Renee asked.

“Haven’t received anything yet captain.”

“Good, we’ll wait a bit then head in a bit further to get better scans,” Renee said to her crew. It might take a while to get a good scan but the more information the better it would be for Commander Ares.


Ares sat on his chair on the bridge of the Argo. So far there had been no contact with the Fire Ant. He watched as Keela walked onto the bridge. He made his way over to where Ares sat.

“Commander, any word on the planet,” Keela asked.

“Nothing yet, but I don’t expect to hear anything for another ten minutes or so,” Ares replied. “I want them to do a thorough scan of the system. Last thing I need is a surprise by the Arbus.”

“I understand commander,” Keela replied. “I guess I just am curious as to what damage my homeworld took in the invasion.”

“I understand Keela,” Ares said knowing that a few people here thought the same way as Keela. They were not from Earth so they understood what the Skartian thought better than he realized.

“Commander, incoming message from Captain Renee,” Ralph said.

“Put it though,” Ares said.

“Commander, we’ve finished the scan of the system,” Renee siad.

“What’s the word,” Ares asked noticing that Keela seemed to be interested in what Renee had to say.

“There appears to be three Arbus ships, one Attack class, a destroyer class and a transport class all orbiting around the target planet,” Renee said. “We did not get too close in case we were discovered but there appears to be no bases on the moons or any other planet in the system.”

“All right, then we attack at once,” Ares said. “Ralph, prepare all ships to move out.”

“Yes sir,” Ralph said.


Gunther walked around the bridge of the Colonial Bound. So far they had mapped several planets that he hoped were within the Arbus Empire. He still had a few concerns with a few of the crew members. One seemed to be acting a bit more irrational than ever.

“Captain, may I have a word with you.” Gunther turned to see Mike standing there.

“Mike what can I do for you,” Gunther asked.

“It’s about John, I’m concerned about him,” Mike said.

“What’s going on now,” Gunther asked.

“Well, he’s been hanging around the communicator way too much,” Mike said.

“You think he’s going to report something to the Arbus,” Gunther replied.

“Yes,” Mike said.

“Well, to be honest I thought about that already. But he doesn’t know the fleet strength of our military, nor does he really know the history of the colonies,” Gunther said. “But if he tells the Arbus about the Cylons it might help us.”

“Help you,” Mike replied. “I’m not sure I understand.”

“It might just help prove that we are not their enemy and can be talked to. The Cylons will not budge on their views to eliminate us,” Gunther said. “If they find out about them the Arbus might just realize that they are on the wrong side.”

“So you are going to let him contact them?”

“I don’t know about that yet,” Gunther replied. “It’s a dangerous idea that I am giving thought to. I just haven’t decided yet. Captain Scott will have the final decision on that.”

Mike nodded his head then walked off the bridge. He would continue watching John just in case.


The door to Ares’ office chimed indicating that his visitor had arrived. He called for him to come in then looked up from his desk to see Keela walking into the office.

“You wished to talk with me commander,” Keela asked walking over and sitting down as best he could.

“Yes, we are about to begin our attack. The report is that the Arbus presence is light. Your civilization could be destroyed. I just wanted to prepare you for that,” Ares said.

“I understand, but we can restore our civilization, its the homeworld we miss, the nature of the planet much as you would miss Earth,” Keela said.

“All right, I just wanted you to be ready, in case you had a preset idea,” Ares replied.

“No, we have talked about such an event already and have prepared for it. Most of us realized that any friends we had are probably dead,” Keela said. “We want our homeworld back.”

Well, the mission is about to start,” Ares said. “There might be additional Arbus ships nearby so we’ll have to be ready for anything.”

The two got up to head to the bridge when Keela stopped. “Commander, from my people I wish to thank you for such a sacrifice you are undertaking.”

“Its who we are,” Ares said not commenting any further on it. They walked onto the bridge.

“Commander, everything is ready,” Ralph said.

“Launch green squadron and tell all ships to move out,” Ares said.

The bridge crew went to work as the vipers launched. The patrol ships of the fleet went out to the outer edges of the system to scan for any additional ships while the main fleet headed to the Skartian homeworld.

“Arbus ships have not moved yet,” Ralph said. “Nothing from the planet’s surface either.”

Ares nodded his head. “Tell Green squad to proceed.” Ares said. Green squadron had been armed with heavy missiles to destroy the attack ship or disable it quickly. They then were to make close passes on the planet’s surface to see what the situation was.


Troy listened as they received their orders. “Green squad, go ahead as planned.”

“Green squad acknowledged,” Bri said.

Troy watched as the squadron lined up behind Bri and headed straight to the target. He hoped that every one of them came back. Activity seemed to pick up from the Arbus fleet as the vipers closed in.

“They’ve picked you up, watch out,” Troy said.

The vipers released their missiles then banked away from the ships. The Argo closed the range to follow up once the missiles had hit. Small explosions could be seen on the hull of the Arbus ship. It appeared that they had managed to raise their shields a bit but still suffered damage.

Then the Argo opened fire as the remaining vipers lunched from the Argo.

“Jax, the Arbus are launching fighters, engage and destroy,” Troy said.

“Understood,” Jax said as she led red squadron into battle.

“Bri, what do you see on the surface,” Troy asked.

“Nothing that resembles a civilization. Mass replanting efforts seem to be underway. Hold on, a building has appeared on my scanner,” Bri replied. “Large, scanning for life signs, Skartian, at least five thousand.”

“The whole planet looks like it went through a war zone,” Nall said. “But it also appears that the Arbus are replanting the vegetation. No indication of craters from weapons fire.”

“Commander, did you get that,” Troy said.

“Yes we did,” Ares said. “Green squadron, engage the remains of the Arbus fleet.”

The vipers of green squadron exited the planet’s atmosphere heading back into the battle.

“Commander, the Arbus transport is filled with Skartians,” Jax said.

“Disable their engines, maybe we can prevent them from blowing the ship up,” Troy said quickly.

A large explosion indicated that the attack class ship had been destroyed. The destroyer hung on a few moments longer before it too was destroyed. Now only the transport remained.

“Green squad, head back to the Argo to refuel and rearm,” Troy said. “Jax, red squad is to stay on combat patrol. Send a few by the transport to see what the condition is.”

“Understood,” Jax replied as she carried out her orders.

Troy banked his viper back to the Argo waiting in line to land.


Nall watched as Troy, Ares and Keela talked about what to do next. The building that he and Bri had found were all over the planet’s surface. Each capable of housing thousands of Skartians.

“We should exercise caution, if they are clones there is no telling how they will react to us,” Ares said.

“I understand that commander, but clone or not they are Skartian,” Keela said. “My ship had too few survivors on board to allow my race to survive.”

“I also want to send a group of warriors to the transport. Maybe we can get some information about them from the ship,” Ares said.

“We should head to the ship first, without engines there is no telling how long they can survive,” Troy said.

“I agree. Select a team and head on over, but be careful for anything that might be a self destruct,” Ares said.

“I wish to go,” Keela said.

“I think it would be best for you to stay here for now. We don’t know how stable the ship is and if it blows we could lose you. Our first objective is to secure the ship from danger, once that’s done then we can send for you,” Troy said.

“How’s it going,” Bri whispered in Nall’s ear.

“I think they just have about finished,” Nall replied. He saw that Troy now headed towards them.

“What’s the decision,” Bri asked him.

“We’re going over to the transport first,” Troy replied. “I think we should go over as we have experience with Arbus in the flesh.”

“Great,” Bri said with a sarcastic smile.

“Let’s go, we’ve got two shuttles waiting,” Troy said.


The group felt the shuttle touch down on the hangar bay of the transport. So far there had been no movement from the hanger. The atmosphere seemed normal as the door opened and Nall and Fred exited the shuttle with blasters drawn.

“Well this is wierd,” Fred said as they scanned the hanger.

“Clear,” Nall finally said as the rest of the group walked out. The second shuttle landed allowing more warriors to exit.

“So, what do you think,” Nall asked Troy.

“This is creepy,” Troy said. No normal sounds could be heard on board the ship. “All right, group two, you make your way to the engine room, if you can find it, we’re headed to the bridge and keep in contact.”

“Yes sir,” Sara said. She took her group and headed towards the door hoping to find the engine room.

Troy waited a few seconds before leading his group off towards where he hoped to find the bridge. They were cautious rounding corners to make sure that no surprises waited for them.

“All right, this is now officially creepy,” Bri said. “Where is everyone?”

“That is a good question,” Nall replied.

Troy had to admit that this did seem creepy. A large ship and no crew or even any sign of a crew member.

“They might have seen us land and are waiting for us,” Troy replied. “Of course if that was the case they should have already attacked us.”

“Gee, thanks,” Nall said.

“There, that looks like a doorway to an important part of the ship,” Troy said waving his blaster towards a door.

The group carefully opened the door not sure what they would find on the other side. Another room, this one seemed to be the bridge and again abandoned. Systems were still working as if everyone had just gone on a coffee break.

“Okay, where is everyone,” Troy asked.

“Captain Troy, this is Sara,” Troy heard on his communicator.

“Go ahead,” Troy said.

“We found the cargo bay, I think you should get down here. I’m sending a person back to the hanger to guide you there,” Sara said.

“All right,” Troy said. “Nall, you’re with me. Bri, you and the rest see if you can find out anything.”

“Will do Troy,” Bri said as the rest of the group started their work.

“What do you think,” Nall asked as they made their way back to the hanger.

“I don’t know.”

Once back at the hanger they saw one person waiting for them. Troy walked up to the man.

“Where’s your partner,” Troy said.

“Don’t need one sir,” the man replied. “We found the crew.”

“Lead on,” Troy said not liking what the man had said. They walked down a passage way to an area where Sara’s group waited.

“Captain, I think we know why this ship is deserted,” Sara said. “In there.”

Troy noticed that no one really wanted to head in there so he glanced in without going on. What he saw almost seemed surreal to him. Hundred of bodies lying on the ground. Both Skartian and Arbus.

“By Kobal, what happened,” Troy said stunned by what he had just seen.

“Looks like mass suicide,” Sara said. “I’ve sent two men on to find the engines to make sure nothing else is going on.”

Troy activated his communicator to the Argo. “Commander Ares, come in,” he said.

“Captain, what have you found?”

“It appears that the entire group committed suicide, taking the Skartian clones with them,” Troy said.

“I see,” Ares said.

“We’re checking out the engines and I have a team on the bridge of the ship already just to make sure,” Troy said. “I suggest that you send teams down to the surface of the planet right away in case the Arbus are doing the same thing down there.”

“Right,” Ares said. A brief pause before he said anything. “The team is heading out as we speak. Anything else that you can tell me about the ship or how what you see.”

“No, we’ll have to work on this a bit more. I think Weaver will have something to do when we get back,” Troy said.

“Let me know if you find anything else out,” Ares said.


Ares turned to Keela who had heard what had just happened. The Skartian had a look of horror on his face.

“I’m sorry Keela,” Ares said.

“All of them, dead,” Keela said, as if he could not understand what that meant.

“I should have known something like that would happen,” Ares said.

“Something like this, I do not understand,” Keela asked.

“In many encounters with the Skartians, if they are losing and we can capture them, they will blow up their ships. I was hoping that by eliminating the engines we could finally get live prisoners. I wasn’t expecting them to kill everyone on board,” Ares said. “I just hope we get to the bases on the planet in time.”

“It seems that the Arbus are more blood thirsty than we thought,” Keela said.

A few minutes later the first group landed on the planet’s surface. The report did not come as good news however as the group did not encounter any living beings.

“I had hoped that there would be a few survivors,” Keela said. “Our numbers are already low.”

“We’ll help any way we can,” Ares said.

“You humans have already been more than helpful,” Keela replied.

Ares wondered to himself if there could have been more he could have done. He watched as the group from the ship landed back on board the Argo. He had already sent a message out to Weaver to gather a team and come here. He hoped that Weaver might be able to gain new information from the ship.

“Commander, we have survivors here,” one of the leaders said over the radio.

“Skartian or Arbus,” Ares asked quickly.

“Skartian,” the man said.

“Good,” Ares said. He turned to look at Keela. “I guess we have survivors, some at least.”

“I should go down there,” Keela said. “They are clones but they are still Skartian. I need to figure out how much brainwashing the Arbus have done.”

“Good luck,” Ares said.

“Thank you my friend,” Keela said as a warrior led him off the bridge.

End part 51

Continued in Counter-Attack

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