and everything under the sun is in tune
This is a fictionalization of a game we played on New Year's Day. I should mention that I have never seen the television show. I've just made my best guess about what it's like.
* * *
January 1, year two million and nine. A ragtag group of outcasts and misfits ford the chasms of trackless space looking for a new home. The hell that pursues them: the cylons.
A shuddering roar rocked the lido deck, pitching Admiral Agathon* onto the floor. An attack! The enemy's mother ship had taken up position directly in front of the battlestar, and even as he watched it spewed forth wave upon wave of raiders. "Great Grandy's ghost! We've been hit! Battle stations! Battle stations! Give me a damage report," he barked to a nearby ensign.
"FTL control is down! The armory is down! My God, we're all going to die!"
The admiral slapped the young officer's face. "Get a hold of yourself, kid! We've got to stay cool!"
"I...I'm sorry sir. I just freaked out there for a second. Oh, also, your office is on fire."
Helo Agathon glared out of the porthole. "Those sons of bitches."
Alarm bells ringing in her ears, Kara "Starbuck" Thrace leapt into her viper. "Release the magnetic field, I'm going out! Flight formation sigma, repeat, sigma! God damn it, why is the seat so far forward? And who left all these candy wrappers on the floor?" With a shuddering roar her spacemobile ejected from the pod bay doors. "I will totally frag whoever has been flying my ship!" she shrieked into the intercom.
Sharon "Boomer" Valerii*** lay in the sick bay eating a Snickers bar. She spoke to the grim-faced medic who stood over her. "It was horrible...the armory...it's...kerploded. Completely kerploded. Give it to me straight, doc. Will I ever walk again?"
"I keep telling you, you can walk now. There's nothing wrong with you. You just tore your pants. Will you please get off this bed?"
"Fine! Whatever!" She stormed down the gangway and into the spacemobile hangar. "Landing crew, prepare a viper! Load the photon torpedos! And someone get me a tailor!" Before she could reach a ship, however, Julie the cruise director rushed forward and grabbed her by the shoulders.
"Don't do it, Boomer. Don't go out there. Please...it's too dangerous."
Boomer chucked. "I am not afraid to die, little one."
"No, I mean, you're not a very good pilot. We're afraid you might crash into one of our other fighters. Seriously, I think we've got it covered, it might be safer if you just stayed here. It seems that the lounge is unharmed, how about a nice game of pinball?"
"Do I still have the high score?"
"Um...no. Starbuck beat it last night."
Boomer's eyes narrowed to angry slits. "Where is she?"
"She's fighting the cylons, sir."
"Did she take the good ship?"
"I hate that bitch."
As the battle raged on, President Roslin**** was speaking into her intercom from Colonial One. "No, Helo, you may not fire the nukes. We've only got two and we're not blowing them on the first day of the voyage."
"God damn it, Laura, have you seen what they did to my office? Everything is knocked over! My stapler is on fire! I want payback! I want it now!"
"Get a hold of yourself, man."
"Come on, baby. Just one. Just one little nuke."
"Absolutely not. Those things are very expensive and...wait a minute. Did you just call me 'baby'?"
"I am the president of the universe, Agathon. Do not call me 'baby.'"
"Well I didn't vote for you."
"Be that as it may, we have something more important to worry about right now. I'm afraid...tonight's limbo contest will be canceled."
"Oh Lord. Oh dear Lord." He sunk to his chair and put his face in his hands. "Who's going to tell Baltar?"
Gaius Baltar***** watched himself in the mirror as he stretched his hamstrings. "Is the grass skirt too trampy?" he wondered. Suddenly the intercom came to life. "President Roslin here. We've got trouble. I think we may have a cylon traitor on board the Galactica."
"I see. A ringer, eh? Well, I've beaten robots before, and I'll beat them again. There isn't an android alive who can out-limbo Gaius Bal...."
"No, you idiot, I mean they want to destroy the ship."
"So you need to figure out some kind of scientifical procedure for telling whether a person is a human or a cylon."
"You got it, boss."
"There's one more thing: I'm very sorry to have to tell you this, but...AIGH! LOOK OUT!" She dove under her desk as Boomer's fighter flew past, missing the starboard stabilizer by only a few meters. "Use your turn signal, asswipe!"
Gaius Baltar sat down and began to think. "A way to tell people from cylons...hmm...maybe...some sort of limbo contest?"
* * *
Several jumps and many crises later, Roslin, Agathon, Starbuck, Boomer and Batlar were in the Battlestar Galactica break room.
"So what you're saying," said Helo, "is that at least one of us is an enemy robot saboteur?"
"Oh, it's totally Boomer," said Starbuck.
"No, I agree, it's definitely Boomer," said Helo. "I mean, come on. She's always licking batteries. That's just weird."
"And her eyes twitch back and forth when she thinks no one is watching. Back and forth...back and forth...."
"Look," barked Roslin, "we all know it's Boomer, so let's just let Baltar do his work."
Boomer exploded. "Oh, this is such B.S. You people make me sick. By the way, Starbuck, I want that sweater back."
"Well, I'm not going to give it to you right now, dumbass, I'm wearing it."
"Shut up already. Baltar, just prove that Boomer's a robot so we can get the hell out of here, okay?"
"Yes, let's proceed. I have a simple question that I want you all to answer. Helo...who is your favorite Star Wars character?"
"What? My favorite Star Wars character? Oh, c'mon, that's easy. Han Solo. No, wait...Chewbacca is pretty cool too. No, forget it, I'll stick with Solo. 'These aren't the droids you're looking for.' Ha ha ha! That was awesome."
"Han Solo doesn't say that line. Madame President?"
"Um...I...I guess.... Is Darth Vader a Star Wars character?"
"Okay, I pick that one."
"Oh my god, you are so lame," laughed Helo.
"What? I don't watch those movies."
"Okay, let's focus, people. Starbuck?"
"The guy who wasn't at his post. 'TK-421, why aren't you at your post?' Remember? From Episode IV?"
"I cannot believe I am cooped up on a spaceship with you dorks. Boomer?"
"Well, I don't know...I...I guess I always thought C-3PO was pretty cool."
There was a gasp from the assembled party. Baltar chuckled. "You fell right into my trap, cylon. Only a bloodless android freak would think that C-3PO is cool."
"Oh come on, he was totally hot," she said, her last words before the bullet entered her skull and bonked a hole in her motherboard.
"I'm keeping the sweater, slut," said Starbuck as she reholstered her gun.
Suddenly the ship lurched and the sound of explosions rang out. "Cylon basestars fore and aft," blared the intercom. "Heavy raiders approaching hangar."
"Fire the nukes! Fire the nukes!" screamed Helo.
* * *
From her loft apartment on Caprica, Backup Boomer watched her telescreen with interest. It was a critical situtation, and one that required finesse. Two possible courses of action lay before her: she could use her intimate knowledge of the Galactica's battle grid (or something) to coordinate the current savage attack, while at the same time detonating the charges she had planted in the FTL control and spacemobile hangar, or she could activate Cylon Deep Mole #2...the crew member that did not even yet know that it was a cylon...a creature living under the delusion of a lifetime's false memories, from birthday parties to first kisses to hours and hours of sitting through old Friends episodes...it was a good thing that humans watched so much TV...you really only needed to prep undercover agents with a few hundred hours of false memories, and the rest you could fill in with cartoons and commercials. Basically the human race was a walking, drooling Nick at Night databank, and she despised them.
The difficulty was that of timing. She might never again have as good a chance to get a boarding party onto the Galactica, and yet if the ship were able to make one more jump, it could end up too far away for her to activate the second infiltrator by remote control. Or something. What to do?
With a shrug she reached under the desk, picked up an ethernet cable, and stuffed it into a hidden port in her armpit. "Access universal cylon database, strategy protocol." Inside her mind a colossal databank sprang to life before her, directories and sub-directories spinning away beneath her like a cyclopean pyramid, glowing filaments of interlinks winking in and out of sight between the file boxes. Silently she hovered above the monument of craftiness, the greatest achievement of cylonkind.
At the very top level, the Infinite Root Directory, there were six words flashing in blood-red letters:
"WHEN IN DOUBT, BLOW SHIT UP."
"Oh yeah, right," she said. She opened her eyes and jammed her finger down on the round black button before her.
Sunflowers of fire bloomed across the Galactica, human beings spraying away like seeds. Among the injured were Starbuck and Baltar. Amidst the chaos, two more passengers boarded the ship.
* * *
In the hallway outside the hangar, Cylon Boarding Party Unit #749 was at a vending machine trying to get it to take a Euro. Cylon Boarding Party Unit #24 watched with impatience. "Dude, let's go."
"Seriously, I've done this before. You just have to put it in right."
"Come on, it's not important."
"But they have nine-volts."
"You can lick all the batteries you want after we explode the ship."
"Fine." He gave the machine a kick and they marched down the hallway. "I tell you, say what you want about the humans, but I like what they've done with the place."
"I agree," said 24, as he hole-punched a deck officer with his ionic rifle. "They really do have an eye for color. But, you know, they say that they can't see squeen."
"Really? Oh my God, that's so weird. How do they tell the female cosmobeasts from the male ones?"
24 chucked. "Trial and error, I guess."
749 grabbed his armored codpiece and winced. "Ouch!"
Meanwhile, a wounded Baltar was feverishly trying to repair the FTL control for an early hyperwarpjumpskip. "I don't have admin privileges? What the hell? It figures, the only battlestar to survive the destruction of the twelve colonies is the one that was still running Windows." As he worked, a chat window popped up. It was the President.
"cylons r attacking in force 2 basestars many raiders civilians dead helos viper down gtflo"
He typed back. "what is gtflo"
"get teh effin lead out"
Gritting his teeth, he pounded on the keyboard. "my right hand is broken and i am having intermittent
convulsions in the time it took me to ask what gtflo was i could have been working on ftl
LEAVE ME ALONE"
"dont yell at me i am trying to motivate you its a president thing"
"i did not vote for you. brb"
Baltar executed a Ctrl-Alt-Delete with two fingers and a nose and then bellowed into the ship intercom: "grab yer nuts and cover your butts, because we are out of here," and the beleaguered battlestar was gone like a shot off a shovel.
* * *
"Here ya go, Madame President. One shirley temple, extra cherries."
Laura Roslin returned to the booth in the officers' lounge where Agathon and Batlar were relaxing. "Boy, that was a close call. Next stop, Kobol. So, I guess there was never a second cylon spy? I thought they always traveled in pairs. Or something."
"Frmf mnrmph frnf," said Agathon through the thick bandages covering his face. His birth nose was in a small metal box on the table, and he was still breaking in the replacement.
"I think what my deformed young friend is trying to say is that it's a bit of a mystery," said Baltar. "Though I certainly had my money on Starbuck...say, where is Starbuck?"
In the aft rec room, the two metal men had first colonial pilot Kara "Starbuck" Thrace backed up against a foosball table. She brushed the hair out of her eyes. "Listen up, tinkertoys. You bashed apart my battlestar, you killed my civilians, you dented my viper, and you blew my friend's nose off. I am officially pissed off, so this is the part where you experience an unrecoverable hardware failure. Okay?"
"Cool, is that the new uranium bolt gun?" asked 749.
"Why yes, it is," said Kara, hefting it in her hand.
"I guess you're out of luck, then, chickie," said 24. He rapped his chest with his knuckles. "Uranium-proof plating. New. Standard issue. You see, we know about your weapons. We know about your technology. We know where you've been, we know where you're going, and, take it from me, you ain't gonna get there. You got anything to say before I snap you in half, monkey?"
"What? It's not gonna work?"
"Really? Not even at point blank range?" She pulled the trigger, and the front of Boarding Party Unit #24's face was shoved through the back of his head.
"Huh. I guess it did work after all," said 749.
"I guess it did," said Starbuck.
"I surrender," said 749.
* Whose middle name is Dan, incidentally
** Code name AmazingIntern
*** Thought to be the reincarnation of twenty-first century bon vivant Joe Gola
**** calls herself "Mel" on her blog
***** hologamegeek user name Orph
God damn it, why is the seat so far forward? And who left all these candy wrappers on the floor?
I say she's lucky no one crapped in her viper...
Check out my audiobooks!
Will talk for food!
Ha ha! You've done it again, Mr. Gola. The thought of a couple of Cylon Centurions pausing in their assult of Galactica in order to fiddle with a vending machine had me laughing so hard that I fell off my chair.
(giggle) spacemobiles... (chortle)
I need to play games with you more often. The look of glee on your face after you revealed yourself as a Cylon was worth the 3.5 hour playtime. Hope we didn't get you in too much trouble for staying out so late.
Surprisingly accurate. It was like watching an episode from season 3!
Joe, as usual, you don't dissapoint. Great AAR!
GTFLO ... hahahahahaha.
Yeah, the person who played Starbuck twice in a row in our games also makes cracks about the Vipers. She always takes a different model out of the bay because she enjoys the "new Viper smell" and complains that Tyrol must be the Cylon since her Viper "malfunctions" when she gets blown out of the sky.
As Baltar in several games, I must say that that was the most ingenius Cylon test I have ever seen. Frack the nuclear isotopes, let's just ask everyone who their favorite character is in Star Wars. Geeks indeed. LOL
- Last edited Thu Jan 8, 2009 6:51 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Jan 8, 2009 6:50 am
Clark D. Rodeffer
Blast! I just realized that I'm a Cylon, and that my whole life has been a lie.
I just want you all to know that I popped popcorn before sitting down to read this and I'm happy to report that it was well worth it! As usual, Sir Joe has delivered a hit.
We seriously need to play games with you more often, mister!
I haven't seen an episode of the new Battlestar Galactica yet (for shame, I know).
If it was like this, I'd be a total fanboy, though.