Colonial Air Station – Caprica - Five Days after the Fall
The next day Harry woke up and started his morning rituals. He asked Lily for an update, to see if anything had happened overnight that he needed to be aware of. So far nothing major, but Harry was starting to wonder. The second day out they had raided several public libraries, hospitals, and even managed to find food supplies that hadn't been dangerously contaminated. Lily projected that they had enough supplies for their current population for at least a month. Harry had a few ideas in his head that popped in after the expansion the day before. He was going to look into them and start on some designs. He also had a thought.
“Lily, what are we going to do about fuel for all those smaller craft?”
“Right now, we have loaded this bases reserves and I've setup ways for them to fuel the Vipers. However, we don't have the necessary facilities or people with the skills to refine any of the Tylium the Colonials use as fuel,” Lily reported.
Harry nodded as he chewed on an energy bar, “What about the Thunderbolt?”
“The Thunderbolt, like the Ascension uses a CRPB as it's energy source. A CRPB is capable of providing much more energy then liquid fuel,” Lily said.
Harry nodded, “Can we modify the Colonial craft to run on the CRPB's?”
“We would need to significantly modify them. Also, it takes time to manufacture them. We don't have many spares on hand,” Lily said.
Harry thought about it for a moment. He sipped some tea and asked, “When you deconstructed all that spare matter yesterday, you basically broken it down at the atomic level yes?”
“So could we adapt that to serve our needs for food and other supplies? Break down excess matter and recombine it into what we need like fuel, food, CRPB's?”
Lily thought on that for a moment, “Theoretically it is possible. We however would need mass to break down.”
Harry tossed on his coat and left his quarters. “I think I've got an idea. Let's get to the bridge and I'll use the holo-imager to show you what I'm thinking.”
He entered the bridge and greeted Leoben. Lily had modified the interior of the bridge to provide for more stations. There was a navigation and helm control in front of the Command chair that Harry could use to mentally take over flight control if he needed to. Lily had also gone and added a large viewscreen ahead of the stations, which right now was displaying a rather nice sunrise. There were other stations on either side as well as a larger navigation area behind the Command Chair in a little alcove that could also serve as a small conference area for Harry and whomever was eventually rounding out his bridge team.
After a moment to reflect on the new day, Harry got to work on the holoimager. He moved parts around, eventually creating what looked like a bookshelf but with only one shelf about five feet off the ground in the image. He worked some of the internals and asked for some assistance from Lily.
When he was done he noticed Leoben looking over his shoulder and said, “Lily, what do you think?”
“Congratulations, you have created what looks to be a molecular replicator. I will have to modify it for larger scale production for the repair bay. However, I'm not entirely certain it can be used to provide the fuel for the small craft,” Lily said after she was able to analyze the construct.
Harry nodded, “I get that, but this will fix out more pressing needs. Also I might have an idea for that. Let Major Castleman know I'd like to meet with him as soon as he can today. And weren't there some civilians that were working on cultivating parts of the World Room?”
“Yes, though it will be some time before there is any progress on that along with shelters being provided.”
“Not a big issue just yet. See if you can't help the civilians put together some hydroponics bays as well. Anyway we can supplement our food stores will be a big help. Maybe we can design something like an oxygen garden,” Harry said.
“Very well... Commander Potter,” Lily responded, amusement filtering into her voice as she said the last part.
“I can hear you,” Harry said back good naturedly.
Leoben asked, “What are you planning for our 'beloved' Major?”
Harry turned to him and said, “Well, first we need someone to take helm control. We got the station, might as well use it and the others. What are the others for Lily?”
“Tactical fire-control for the Ascension's defense grid. I've taken the liberty during the expansion to add a launch capability for missiles if we can find or design some. Also, using the same launch tubes we can take advantage of this situation for scientific research. We will after all be the first humans from Earth to spend as much time as we will in deep space. While I know you might have come to this conclusion on your own, I felt it prudent to plan for it myself.”
Harry nodded, “Good thinking. I've been so busy trying to figure out how to save as many people as possible I hadn't given any thought to the opportunity this provides. Hell, exploration and discovery was the original purpose behind all of this.”
Leoben nodded, “So best to turn a bad situation into something productive.”
“Exactly, like they say on Earth. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” Harry said, Lily's forward thinking bringing a big smile to his face.
“I've already begun initial designs on a sensor drone package that will hopefully provide us with the needed functionality,” Lily said.
“Good, I'll look them over with you when we get the chance. Are we ready to get underway?”
“Yes, all supplies have been stored and all hatches secured. All personnel are on board and we are ready for launch,” Lily reported.
“Excellent. Let get underway. Once we're off activate cloak and get us going. Don't jump immediately though. I want a full sweep of the system. Lets see if we can save a few more people before we leave for good. And mark this star system in our charts. Who knows. Maybe someday we'll come back and be able to negotiate a peace with the Cylons. That's IF they settle here,” Harry said.
Leoben was confused for a moment, “Why can't you just use your powers to make food?”
Harry shook his head, “One of Gamps Laws of Elemental transfiguration. Non-food can not be transfigured into real food. It just changes back from the organic compounds into the inorganic it use to be. Also if you try to conjure food, while you can eat the conjuration it doesn't provide any actual sustenance. It's basically just filler.”
Leoben nodded, “So there are limitations to what you can do.”
Harry nodded, “The universe has a way of forcing you to work for certain things.”
John walked on the bridge and took a look at the changes Lily had made over night. He walked towards Harry and Leoben and offered a good morning. Cavil then said, “You're getting your own following it seems.”
Harry turned to him, looking confused, “What do you mean?”
John chuckled, “I've had ten people today already come and ask me about some rumors about you. You being from Earth, your Magic. Some of the powers you've demonstrated have only be written about in the Sacred Scrolls as belonging to the Lord of Kobal.”
Harry couldn't help the horrified look that spread on his face, “Please tell me they aren't starting to think I'm some sort of god.”
Cavil shared a glance with Leoben. Harry was certain they were laughing at his expense at that moment. Leoben said, “I've heard a few people refer to you as the Lord of Terra.”
“Oh dear Merlin.”
Cavil smirked, “Some are even starting to offer up prayers for your Divine guidance.”
Harry couldn't even think up a response to that. He just stood there stunned. He slowly looked at John and asked, “Any ideas on how to stop my impending Deification?”
“You can try, but think about it. You swoop down during the Colonies darkest hour in your magical spaceship to save the people of Kobal. You come from a mythic place known only in scripture, and display powers only ever seen by the Gods themselves. Taking in all of this, regardless of how much you tell them otherwise the majority of people will leap to their own conclusions.”
Harry just shook his head in disbelief. He slowly walked towards the hatch and shook his head again, “I'm going to go... somewhere and do... something.”
Harry was working in what use to be his docking/launching bay. Now however, with the two launch bays for the vipers and the like this had become affectionately known as the garage. They hadn't gotten underway yet. Harry just didn't like the idea of leaving so many people behind on Caprica, to say nothing about the other colonies. The problem was even with space expansion charms he only had one ship, a couple squadrons of fighters, some scout craft, and a few atmospheric shuttles.
He was working on something he hoped would allow them a chance to render assistance to any ships that were drifting but still had survivors on board. As he did he heard a musical laugh and a hand brush against his shoulders.
“So should I start praying to you, My Lord?”
Harry just shook his head, “I would hope you of all people would understand my reluctance to be ascended to godhood.”
“I can see it, you as the god of the unlucky of course.”
Harry tried to look offended, “I'll have you know I'm very lucky.”
“It's just all bad.”
“For the most part it seems.”
Harry just sighed and kept working on his idea. He turned his head where he thought his companion was but didn't see her. He sighed and returned his attention to a particular circuit he was working on, “Why is it you never let me see your face?”
“Because you love mystery. You don't care so much about physical pleasures, as much as you may hope to find someone to share them with one of these days. And as long as you can't see my face, I'm perfect. You of all people know how reality is so much duller then what we imagine,” she said. Harry felt her hands rubbing his shoulders, relaxing the muscles there.
“I can't be their new god. I just can't bring myself to accept that level of arrogant presumption. I'm no where near divine,” Harry said, relaxing into the firm pressure.
He felt a wisp of breath against his ear, “You don't have to be their god, but you can be their savior.”
“I know I should just get out of here with what I've managed to save, but we only have maybe two thousand people on board. What about the millions of survivors on this planet and the other colonies?”
“Save who and what you can. I know you will do what you believe is right over what is easy. You always do,” his companion said. Then as suddenly as she appeared, he was alone again. He closed his eyes and thought about things. Fate had made Riddle his personal responsibility. Now it seemed that God, the universe, Fate, Magic, whatever was giving him another seemingly insurmountable task.
He went back to work, hoping this new creation would be sufficient to aide them.
A full head count indicated that the Ascension had taken on 2547 passengers. Length wise she was only a quarter the size of an Olympia-Class Battlstar , about five to six-hundred meters. The wings stretched out, even with the new fighter bays on the underside of the wings they stretched out almost nine-hundred meters. Aesthetically, Harry insisted on the expansion that his ship still actually look like it was meant to fly. He didn't like the idea of his ship being just a tube or some other geometric structure with rocket engines attached.
Harry took a position with Leoben, Rose, and Major Castleman were going over the radio chatter from during the attack. Castleman pointed out one specifically. It read:
To all Colonial Units...
Am taking command of fleet...
All units ordered to rendezvous at Ragnar Anchorage for regroup and counterattack...
Acknowledge by same encryption protocol...
“We should head for Ragnar Anchorage. Even if Galactica isn't there we can arm up on munitions that might have been left behind. We'll get a better idea of where they might have gone from there as well,” Castleman said.
“Assuming they haven't been destroyed. Galactica was being decommissioned just as the Cylons attacked. Even with the munitions on Ragnar, Galactica would be lacking in any other combat capability,” Rose pointed out.
“Adama is a seasoned commander. If anyone could keep that ship from getting blasted apart he could,” Castleman pointed out.
Harry shook his head, “I won't pretend to understand military strategy or space combat tactics. But in light of everything Ragnar is the best first stop. Assuming that there are munitions to pickup and store there. I'll admit, I haven't given much thought to weapons aside from the rail guns and the primary beam canon. Lily can modify the torpedo tubes to work with the missiles. Of course I'm more interested in collecting astrophysical data along the way so I'm working on a sensor probe that can be shot out the tubes.”
Cavil choose this moment to ask, “We're in the middle of a war zone, about to run for our lives and you're thinking of scientific research?”
Harry just shrugged, “The probes when I'm done will also serve as the initial backbone from a galactic relay net. They'll be cloaked, so there's no worry about them being discovered. And they will run on the subspace radio I designed. Maybe in time I can hopefully pull together a lot of data that will be very valuable back home.”
“Not to mention a warning about what's out here,” the Chief said.
Harry nodded, though would happen to hope for better relations between all three parties. He looked to Leoben and said, “Plot the jump to Ragnar.”
“Yes Sir,” Leoben said and started the calculations. Everyone broke off and assumed their duties. Harry sat in his command chair and watched as Caprica shank in the reverse view of the screen. The star cluster was marked in the database now, and after the calculations were made the ship jumped.
As soon as the jump was complete Harry closed his eyes and said, “Okay, tell me where we are?”
Leoben and Rose shared an amused look at Harry's antics and checked their screens. Leoben reported, “We've jumped directly over the Ragnar Anchorage.”
Harry let out a relieved breath, “Oh Thank Merlin.”
“What, you'd be disappointed if we showed up back at Earth?” John asked.
Harry shook his head, “No, I'd love that. But it's important to know that when you try to go somewhere you're going to end up where you want to go.”
“It does sort of defeat the purpose to plot a course if no matter what coordinates you put in you end up someplace completely different,” Rose said back.
“Lily, any signs of any other ships in the area?” Harry asked.
“Negative, there is some debris consistent with small craft, probably fighter combat but no larger pieces indicative of a large vessel.”
“Okay then, lets head to this anchorage and see what we can get for ourselves, and take a guess as to where they might have headed off to,” Harry said.
It took a while to get the ship docked with the large rotating mass of steal but once they did they sent a crew over to see what was available. They ended up filling the torpedo room with a large supply of missiles, as well as the remaining munitions for all the classes of weapons the colonials had available to them. Once that was done a few hours latter they took the ship out of the ion storm and tried to figure out where to head next.
They had probably jumped a few hundred times already. Chief had pointed out that if Galactica had decided to run they might have headed out away from the system. Castleman didn't think Adama would run, but Chief pointed out that he might have been in a similar situation as they were. A small military force protecting civilians. Chief said, if he was a betting man Adama might have tried something crazy, like jumping to the Promar System. It was way past the red line of safe FTL jumps and even then they probably wouldn't be there.
Cylons took apparently thirty-three minutes to calculate and plot a jump between systems. It would keep going over and over, not stopping for days at a time. So they would jump, send out some Raptors to try to find some hint of where the fleet might have headed, and jump again. They spent days, both trying to avoid the Cylons and catch up with the Galactica.
During this time Harry would walk through the world room and other parts of the ship taken over by the civilians of Caprica. He would work with them to help them, find ways to make their quality of life better. Talk with them. He found a Priestess who had been holding services for those in the population that were faithful to the Lords of Kobal. Harry hadn't done too much research into them but was shocked when he spoke with the Priestess about them.
Harry still wasn't convinced that the people of Earth and the Thirteenth Tribe were the same. But from what the Priestess had told him he had been able to solidify a strong theory and shared it with her. “It makes sense, if you look at Pythia and correlate the time frames with what I have in the database on Earth's history.”
“You're certain?” the Priestess, Elara asked.
“As certain as I can be. I'm not a historian, all I have is what's in the database. But it does fit the available information. If the Thirteenth Tribe found the same planet I call Earth say four to three thousand years ago. They would have already found a human, but more primitive group of societies having just started popping up in the Mediterranean and Middle Easter regions of the planet as well as North Africa, specifically Egypt.
“From what I can tell, your Lords of Kobal and the Gods of Olympus line up almost exactly. Greece for its time was the most advanced society on the planet in terms of learning, philosophy, science, all these things. Of course like all civilizations of the time it fell to the Romans and others. Eventually being left in ruins for people two thousand years later to try to piece together into a coherent picture.”
Elara thought on this for a moment, “So your people worship these gods?”
Harry shook his head, “No, only the Ancient Greeks did. Around the time of your exodus from Kobal, there was a man born on Earth who preached the word of a single God. Overtime the faith born from his teachings spread across the globe and is today one of the big Three religions on the planet. All three are monotheistic, but disagree on certain details. I have a copy of most if not all the Holy Books in the Ascension's database. I figured if I encountered a new culture that being able to exchange such things would help us better understand each other.”
“An enlightened philosophy. Do you truly believe that understanding could be found between such different peoples?” Elara asked.
Harry nodded, “A few countries on my world have rules, laws that protect the freedom of Religion. They prevent the government from declaring a national faith, or denouncing one faith over the other. They've fallen at times along the way, but they always get back up.”
Harry ran his hand through his hair as he thought. As he did, Elara caught sight of the scar on his forehead. The shape was what interested her most. “That mark, on your forehead. How did you come to bare it?”
Harry sighed and sat down. He gathered his thoughts, memories that even now had a way of catching him off guard. “Before I was born there was a man, Tom Marvolo Riddle, a magic user considered the best of his generation. He was raised an orphan and lived a life filled with pain, hardship, mistrust and abuse from the children he lived with. No love came from the people tasked with ensuring his upbringing. It was through this life that he began to hate others. When he found out he was a magic user he felt that made him better then those that cast him down. That because he was special that he was superior to them. He punished those who attacked him and caused great pain.
“It was a time of war, our world was fighting another great battle against darkness and death. Two men, one named Adolph Hitler and Gellert Grindelwald ended up spreading death and domination like a cancer. It was only the act of one man that stopped Gellert. His one time friend and collegue Albus Dumbledore, who was Professor of Transfiguration at Hogwarts at the time. Gellert justified his actions by saying it was for the Greater Good. And while Albus had at one time conspired with him, a personal tragedy had shown him where that path would eventually lead him. So he forsook it.
“It was during this war that Riddle gained his own following. He was handsome and charismatic and had a way of convincing you he was right. But he had a darkness to him. Dumbledore saw this, and tried to turn him away from that path. But all he could really do for the most part was keep an eye on him. An innocent man would end up being framed for a crime he didn't commit by Riddle and cost that man any chance of truly knowing magic. Albus did his best to provide for that student over the years, even giving him a job at the school. No one is really sure what happened after Riddle graduated. He fell off the radar and wasn't heard from again for years.
“When he did show back up again he was going by a new name, one he had strted going by during school, Lord Voldemort. He came preaching a philosophy of racial purety, declaring only those of pure magical blood had the right to even exist. That those who had been born from the world of the mundane should be killed, along with every other human being on the planet. His words and promises of power tempted and enticed those of pure and noble magical blood to his cause. A horrible bloody war followed. My parents fought that war, defying him directly three times and living to tell the tale.
“Before my parents knew I was coming, Albus Dumbledore, now Headmaster of Hogwarts and leader of those who would resist Riddle's dark designs was interviewing a prospective hire for a recently available position. The interview wasn't going well for the new professor, and Albus was considering just getting rid of the position, the Divination course. Suddenly the person he was interviewing stiffened and gave out a true prophecy.”
Harry hadn't noticed the crowd that had gathered in the make-shift temple. He just sat down, lost in memory as he continued, “There was a spy, eavesdropping on the interview. Dumbledore was the one wizard Riddle ever truly feared at that point. Any information he could get on the old man would have been useful. The spy was caught, but not before he heard the first part of the prophecy:
The One with the Power to Vanquish the Dark Lord Approaches...
Born to those who Thrice Defied him...
Born as the Seventh Month Dies...
“Albus immediately hired her, to get her safely somewhere he could maintain security. The spy took the first part of the prophecy back to his Master. That's what lead him eventually, to me.”
“How so?” Elara asked. Everyone was so very entranced in the story.
“On my world there are twelve months in a year. The seventh month on my world is July. Thing is that there were two children born that could have met the criteria of the part of the prophecy Riddle heard. Myself, and a boy named Neville Longbottom who was born the day before. Riddle believed in blood purity. That only those of pure blood had the right to rule, were the only ones who were truly powerful. Neville was a pureblood, I am what is considered a half-blood. By his way of thinking Neville would have been the greater threat long term. But there was something no one knew about Riddle. It was that he himself was a half-blood. So instead he went after the one who was like him.
“October 31, 1981. Fifteen months after I was born, my parents were in hiding in a small village called Godric's Hollow under what is known as a Fidelus Charm. It places the secret you want hidden within a person designated as Secret Keeper. Now, unless the Secret Keeper reveals it to you, either verbally or through something written down, no one can find out what that secret is. My parents set it up where one friend would keep the secret, while the another would act as decoy. It didn't work out, the Secret Keeper turned traitor out of fear. Riddle found us that night. He chose that night to strike because of the day. On Earth, the 31st of October is the day when the veil between the world of the living, and the realm of the dead is thinnest.
“My father told mother to take me a run. He stood by as Riddle blasted his way into the house and fought as hard as he could. It wasn't enough. Riddle killed my father then moved on to find me and my mother. There was no way for her to escape, she ran to the nursery and placed me in the crib. What happened next would haunt my dreams for years after. He told her to get out of his way. He gave her a choice, to either let him kill me or to die there as well. It was the only time he EVER gave someone a choice. She choose to stand between him and me. He killed her instantly.
“One thing you have to know, is that the curse he used is one of the three Unforgivables. It's incantation is Avada Kedavra, and presents as a bright emerald green light. Unlike a gunshot, which you have to hope you peg in a critical point to be instantly fatal, if you get hit you have a chance. The killing curse so much as touches you it's over. One second your alive the next your not, no resuscitation, no hope. Just gone. No one, no one survives the unsurvivable curse. No one until that night.
“No one is really sure what happened. There are a lot of theories about what happened, but the result is known. He cast the curse at me, and instead of dying somehow that curse rebounded on him. All I had left from that night is this scar. Riddle's body was destroyed and he spent the next thirteen years as nothing but a bodiless wraith. I was sent to live with my mother's sister.”
Elara took a moment and asked, “How do you think you survived?”
Harry smiled he got up and turned as he stretched his muscles. He looked at all the people who had filled in and were sitting down listening in rapt fascination. He just shook his head and looked back at Elara, “Love is what saved me. Emotions have power, it's why the Unforgivables are Unforgivable, because they require the castor to mean it. You have to want to dominate someone, not just control their actions for the Imperius curse. You have to hate with everything and want someone to suffer to cast the Cruciatus Curse. You have to want to take life in order to cast the Avada Kedavra. And honestly these curses are so very very easy to master. Hate, love of killing, domination of those weaker, these emotions are so very easy and so very dangerous. Love, happiness, joy, kindness, those are so much harder to hold on to. While the AK is easy to learn, a charm used against certain dark creatures called the Patronus Charm is so much harder. You have to hold on to the happiest memory you can and push it into the spell. Most magic users can't do it even after years of study. I had to learn it at thirteen due to circumstances.”
He looked around at the assembled masses and smiled, “I think that's enough for the time being. Didn't expect to end up with a group listening to my every word. I suppose now that I've started this story you all deserve to hear the rest. I'll tell it, but for now I think we should all get back to the job of finding the Galactica.”
The assembled got up and started mingling, everyone discussing what they had listened in on. Elara approached Harry and said, “I think that there are many lessons to be learned from your story. Perhaps you could present it during services, it might help us understand more then most would think.”
“Probably for the best. Can't stop a story like that without giving them the whole tale. I never liked not knowing the whole story myself,” Harry said. He now had a weekly date to tell his tale, and what might for a time become the basis for what would end up being described as Terran-ism. Three sets of people were watching Harry as he walked amongst the people on his way to the bridge. One was lead by Cavil, who had found a view other Cylons amongst the population. A three, four, and a five had all listened in and were following the one back to a place to discuss things. One was a group with Rose, Leoben, and Chief Tellus, who fell into step behind Harry as he returned to the bridge. The other was a group of Colonial pilots, along with Major Castleman who retreated back to the port hangar deck. Two of the three groups were not talking in what one would call pleasant tones.
“We got to do something, Major,” one of the pilots said.
“Man's fraking nuts. Magic, Dark Lords, Prophecies, and all that crap. Bastard has to be off his nut. Saying he's from Earth,” another said.
“Not to mention that frakin' creepy AI of his.”
Castleman listened closely, his face in deep thought, “Right now we're at his mercy. I talked with a few of the mechanics. None of them can make any sense out of any of the systems on this ship.”
“He's gathering a following,” Five said.
“They see him as a savior, a messiah,” Four offered up.
“It simply a reaction to his delaying the inevitable,” Cavil said.
“What about Two and Six?” Three asked.
Cavil looked at her, “They are getting as close to him as possible. I would expect a human to get aggravated with two the way he talks in circles. Potter seems to actually enjoy it.”
“We are risking more then two-thousand lives on the hope he's not off his Gods damned rocker,” a mechanic said.
Castleman looked at his people and said, “We can't do much until we meet up with the Galactica. Once we do, then we can hand him over to them.”
“We could plant a bomb in a critical system,” Five offered.
“And how do you plan on that? I've been in the main part of this ship and it's a maze. Bulkheads that are there one day and are gone the next. I tried to open a frakking door to get into the library, and all that was behind it was the wall. I had just gone through that door a few hours before,” Cavil complained.
“Not to mention he's got at least ten square acres of land in here that as far as I can tell isn't a simulated environment. We would never be able to find the hull, let alone detonate a critical point,” Three mentioned.
“Logically this ship shouldn't exist,” Four said.
“Logically Harry shouldn't exist. I saw him turn Colonial rifles into snakes, and I'm pretty certain my brain hasn't been frakked up,” Cavil said.
“How do we get past his abilities?” a pilot callsigned Flashbang asked.
“We don't. We'll let Adama and whoever else we find deal with that,” Castleman said.
There was a moment of silence among the group, “Even if they do something about him, there's two-thousand civilians on this ship. We can't be certain that they even have room for these people on any other ship. Potter is the only one who has any idea how to start flying this bird.”
“For now we wait. We can't expect the others to be able to find us. We wait until this ship catches up with the Colonial Fleet and then we take action,” Cavil said.
“We need to catch up with Galactica. We can't do anything until we get back with the fleet,” Castleman said.