And So It Begins
Earth Station Langford-
The station was a dark form against the blackness of space. Beacons blinked white or red as information was relayed with Stargate Command on Earth. A hyperspace window appeared just off the port side and the Prometheus emerged.
Two F-302 fighters shot forth from the station, They swerved to the right and by-passed the ship as they set out on patrol. Onboard the lead fighter the pilot switched the radio for a private conversation with her co-pilot.
"This is the third time we got saddled with those two yahoos. I thought they were shipping out." Captain Ashley Siler growled.
"Your guess is as good as mine." Her co-pilot, Rutger, chuckled and shook his head. "I guess this is what happens when half your team is scientists."
"Yeah, right," she grumbled. "I just want my team kept together."
Rutger, her co-pilot laughed. "Are you saying that you'd give this up for gate recon?"
"Hell yeah! In a-"
The proximity alarm sounded as the radar screen came to life. Siler switched the radio mics back to standard setting.
"Unknown contact, bank right, bank right." Thoreau, the pilot from the other fighter shouted.
"Where'd it come from?" His co-pilot asked.
"Unknown, unknown, Langford do you copy?" Thoreau shouted.
Siler whistled. "She looks like she's in pretty rough shape."
Before them, the large vessel buckled under her own weight and damage. Explosions escaped from various areas of her hull. As she settled, pieces of metal and other debris could be seen floating about.
" Hold on, I want a better look." Siler put the 302 into a dive and pulled up to loop around the ship. As she did, she activated the onboard camera to record images of the ship and the damage.
Thoreau let out a slow whistle. "Do you see the size of that baby?"
"It makes the Prometheus look like a compact." His co-pilot said.
"She's been through one hell of a fight, that's for sure," Rutger said.
"That's an understatement." Siler settled their 302 along side the other one. " Thoreau, fall into position with us and hold tight. I've got an idea."
"Copy, copy." He replied.
She rolled her eyes and sighed heavily as she shook her head. Then she triggered her radio. "Flight Langford this is Sierra Gulf One Five One, please respond."
The radio crackled again and the voice of the controller came through. "This is Langford. We read you Sierra Gulf One Five One."
"Yeah, flight; we have a vessel of unknown origin here." She flew past the port side and then dropped below to pull up along the starboard side for more images. "It's definitely not, I repeat, it is not Goa'uld design. Please advice."
"Understood one five, stand-by."
"Hey Siler, check that out," Rutger said. "I think I see a name."
Siler pulled up alongside the deck to view the word. "Galactica."
Thoreau came through. "Wherever she came from she's been through hell."
"Maybe we should try contacting them," Rutger said.
"I was thinking the same thing." Siler sat back and touched several keys and switches on the control panel. "Flight Langford this is one five one requesting permission to commence with First Contact Protocols."
"One five this is flight, permission granted, proceed with caution."
"Copy that," Siler replied.
On board the Battlestar Galactica, amidst the wreckage of the bridge, the crew and a handful of civilians attempt to recover from the jump.
"She'll never jump again," Colonel Saul Tigh said.
"Where are we?" Laura Roslin asked.
Many of them looked to the woman at the navigation controls. She looked back with as much confusion as they had. "I don't know."
"Sir, we're receiving communications." The Coms officer reported.
"From where?" Colonel Tigh asked.
"Patch it through the speakers." Admiral William Adama ordered.
"Repeating message. This is Captain Ashley Siler of Stargate Command to the Galactica, you have entered the Sol System. Please respond."
"Can we respond?" Roslin asked.
The officer nodded and Adama picked up the coms receiver. "This is Admiral Adama of the Colonial fleet responding, can you hear me?"
"Admiral, welcome to the Sol System," Siler responded. "Do you require assistance?"
"We could sure use some," Tigh said.
"Your assistance would be appreciated," Adama said. "We'll send two fighters to escort you to the flight deck." With a wave of his hand, he pointed to Kara and Lee and then the entrance. Despite her injuries, Kara followed the younger Adama.
In their fighters, Siler and her team waited. She shook her head at the visible damage. "Something tells me that we don't want to know what they went up against."
Her proximity alert sounded again as two Vipers approached them. "This is Lee Adama. We're here to escort you in."
"All right boys, let's do this." Siler reconnected her mask. "Fall in and don't do anything stupid."
"Oh like we've never done that before," Rutger said.
Siler chuckled as they followed the vipers in. While the vipers landed, the 302s hovered over the designated platforms then lowered their skids. The four fighters were lowered to the deck below.
On the flight deck, the crew was distracted from the clean up by the arrival of the fighters. Chief of the Deck Galen Tyrol stood with his mouth agape as they moved into the bays. He shuffled towards a 302 to get a closer look.
On board, Siler and Rutger removed their helmets. As the canopy opened, a ladder was moved into position for them. Rutger hefted himself out of the second seat. "Let's go, Captain, time for politics."
"Let the fun begin." With a deep breath, she lifted herself out of the cockpit and followed him down the ladder to the deck.
She found herself standing in front of Chief Galen Tyrol.
"Could I get a look inside?" He asked. He could not take his eyes off the 302.
"Sorry, not just yet," Rutger said. "Not until after we get the clearance."
Four other pilots stepped around the framing of the bay to join them. Two were 302 pilots and the others were viper pilots. One of the 302 pilots cocked his head with a wry grin.
"How about they show us theirs if we show them ours?" He asked.
"I'm sure something can be arranged." One of the Viper pilots stepped to her and extended his hand. "I'm Lee Adama, welcome aboard the Galactica."
She accepted his hand. "Captain Ashley Siler, Stargate Command. Welcome to the Sol system."
"I suppose that answers the question of where we are." Admiral Adama approached the group with several others behind him.
Lee and Kara saluted him. "As you were," Adama said. He turned to Siler and her flight team. "Admiral William Adama. Are you Captain Siler?"
"Yes, sir." She greeted him with a handshake.
"Would you tell me what planet is this?" Adama asked.
Before she could answer, there was a flash of light behind Adama and a man in an Air Force dress blue uniform appeared. Siler and her team snapped to attention with salutes.
"As you were captain," he stepped to the Admiral's side. "General Jack O'Neill, Stargate Command."
"Where did you come from?" Lee asked.
"The Prometheus," O'Neill said. "She's coming up along side and might I suggest we transport over. We'll be safer there."
"General, sir," Siler spoke up. "They've requested a look at a 302."
O'Neill held up a finger and waged it. "Only if we can get a look at theirs."
Everyone turned to look at the Admiral. "Lee, why don't you and Starbuck see to it?"
"Yes, sir," Lee replied.
"Now, if you'll come with me we can talk on the Prometheus." O'Neill held out his hand showing several small devices. "These will allow them to transport us."
With reluctance, Adama took one and turned it over in the palm of his hand. "They're going to do what with this?"
"Asgard beaming technology," O'Neill said. "I've done it a hundred times. It's one of the safest ways to travel."
Adama kept one and gave another to Laura Roslin. He returned the others to O'Neill. "We're trusting you on this."
"Trust needs to start somewhere and this is just the beginning" O'Neill lifted a radio close to his face. "Prometheus, three signatures ready to transport."
In a flash of light, he was gone along with Admiral Adama and Laura Roslin.
Aboard the Prometheus, they appeared in a central area. O'Neill handed the radio over to a technician. With a wave of his hand, he motioned towards the elevator. "She's smaller compared to the Galactica but she's a fine ship."
They boarded the elevator and as the doors closed he turned to them. "I'm in the mood for coffee. Would you like some coffee?"
"I would love some," Roslin said. "Thank you."
In the dining area, they sat at a table by the window looking out to the Galactica. From there they could see the damage to the hull and the sporadic fires.
"We've been listening to the transmissions from our pilots." O'Neill poured himself a cup of hot, black coffee. "I take it you folks have seen some recent combat."
"That we have," Adama said. He sipped from his own mug and savored the taste of the pure coffee.
"Your captain didn't get the chance to answer his question," Roslin said. "What planet is this?"
As he set his mug down, O'Neill laid his arms to rest on the table. "You're in the Sol System home to the planet Earth."
"We made it." Roslin placed her hands on her face.
Back aboard the Galactica, the pilots remained by their fighters.
While Rutger was shown a Viper, Siler allowed Tyrol to sit in the cockpit of her 302. She explained the various systems.
He slid his hand over one of the panels. "What's this one do?"
"That is the controller for the hyperdrive." She glanced to her side as another ladder was set alongside her and Starbuck joined them. "It allows the fighter to jump into subspace."
"And this one?" Tyrol asked.
"Ah, that one is for the inertial dampeners." Siler flashed a grin to Starbuck. "It takes the gravitational force out of the equation. It's the favorite feature among 302 pilots."
"Hey Starbuck," Tyrol looked up to her and then right back to the controls. "Can you imagine Vipers with that feature?"
"Yes I can," She laughed. "Flying with a bum leg even."
Siler chuckled as she returned her attention back to the controls. She noticed the light of her radio flashed. She reached in for her earwig and secured it in place. "This is Ash, go ahead."
"Prometheus here, we've new orders for you, Captain." Colonel Pendergast said. "You're to return to Langford. Galactica is cleared for pier six."
"Understood sir, Ash out." Siler looked to each of the others before speaking. "Do you think that this baby can be maneuvered in to place?"
"We'll have to get to CIC," Lee said.
As they made their way they could hear the groans and complaints of the ship. Cracks hissed, lights flickered, and steam vented. Some people tried to help the injured while others attempted to reorganize containers and equipment scattered about.
The group paused for a moment when they reached the Hall of Remembrance where photos of loved ones were mounted to the walls. Thrace picked up the last candle burning and blew it out. She then returned it to the small block it rested on.
In CIC they were greeted with blank stares. Sparks sprayed out from fallen wires and a beam had fallen to the floor nearby.
"I don't want to know what they went up against," Thoreau mumbled.
Siler flashed a cold glare to him as if that alone would shut him up.
"Colonel Tigh, do we have helm control?" Lee asked.
"We do," The old man said. "Where are we going?"
"There's a station off the starboard side," Siler said. She removed her earwig and handed it to the helmsman. "The Prometheus will guide you in."
"Well I'll be damned," Tigh mumbled.
"Welcome to Earth," Thoreau chuckled and grinned. "Home to over seven billion."
"You're pulling my leg." Tigh said. "All those people on one planet?'
"He's right sir," Siler smirked. "Earth is just one in a number of worlds and humans are just one of the races. If you intend to stay this is just one of the many things that you'll need to know."
"Earth," Tigh raised his brow. "This is Earth?"
"Yes Sir," Siler said. "It has been for as long as our written history says so."
"We've been looking for Earth for over four years." Lee stepped into the conversation. "We thought that last planet was Earth."
"Egh," Thoreau shrugged. "Who can argue with over ten thousand years of history?"
Rutger stepped up close behind Siler, placed his hand on her shoulder and whispered to her. "I see your point. How'd this douche get into the program?"
Siler blushed and forced herself to keep from laughing. She tried to cover it with coughs but the giggles got through.
"Shall we get this girl docked?" Rutger asked. He made his way through the debris to stand behind the helmsman.
Sometime later- Onboard Langford Siler stood at the viewport with her arms folded across her chest. She watched as the Colonial fleet appeared ship by ship. She heard the clip-clop of shoes approached and turned to look at General O'Neill. "Sir, we're not going to be able to hide this one."
"No Captain, we're not." He put his cap on and looked out to the view. "If you'll excuse me; it's time to call the President."
"Good luck, Sir." She smiled with a nod.
He forced a grimace and turned, walking away. Siler returned her attention to the fleet.
This is the continuing struggle against the Lucian Alliance and the few remaining Goa'uld who try to rise to System Lord. In the mix, a new ally arrives. The Battlestar Galactica appears near the Space Station Langford just outside Earth's orbit. No one is prepared for what's to come.
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