~ Empress Returns ~
by AJ Marks

Disclaimers: I don't own 'Battlestar Galactica' or 'Xena' but I am borrowing the universe for a while. If love between two women offends you, don't read any further. No one was injured in this story (except for Starbuck's ego).

2nd Disclaimer: This takes place about two weeks after "Soulmates on a Battlestar".

Comments: AJMarks01@aol.com

Rhea returned to her and Toni's quarters on board the Battlestar Hyperion. The days since the attack had been exciting for Rhea. After the attack Toni had proposed to her, which she accepted and was now her wife.

It took about a week to get a private room aboard the battlestar. Rhea felt lucky that they were not stationed aboard the Galactica, as it did not have many crew quarters. Most were like the pilot barracks. The Hyperion had more quarters as the engines and other electronics did not take up as much room.

The bridge crew had fully recovered from their injuries after the last Cylon attack. Rhea also felt relieved that everyone could now taking their turn on the bridge. The signs of rebellion against Adama had all but disappeared when the Cylons had attacked. Rhea hoped that everyone had realized that until the fleet would not safe from the Cylons for a while.

The thought that she and Toni might have had a past life on Earth thrilled her, even though many did not share her enthusiasm about it. That did not distract her from the dream. She could not remember such a realistic dream in all her life. Toni had said that she had similar type dreams, and a few when she had been younger. That was where she had gotten her idea of the charm she wore around her neck.

Finally reaching her quarters she wondered if Toni would be there. The taller woman had gone on patrol for a while. Rhea was not sure if Toni had started to return or not. She had been in training

Toni had been taking on more and more squadron leadership ever since Sheba announced she was going back to the Galactica. The news surprised no one on board the Hyperion. Everyone knew that she was in love with Apollo and the only way for it to work would be for them to be together.

Surprisingly high ranking officials were actually quite willing to allow people to transfer from one ship to another for a marriage. Rhea was glad about that as it meant if one or the other was ever transferred the other would go as well.

Reaching her quarters she opening the door a bit disappointed that Toni was not there. She really was not surprised by that though. Sheba had been teaching Toni quite a lot on how to conduct patrols. Rhea knew the feeling; she had been instructed on how to command a battlestar when she had gotten on board. That had come in handy during the battle when the command crew above her had been injured. She was sure that she didn't want to go through again anytime soon.

That brief moment where she had been in command scared her. She didn't like ordering people around while being the one looked upon to make the final decision. Of course others said that quality made her an even better leader.

Rhea quickly cleaned up and settled down and wondered how long it would be before Toni returned from her patrol.

Toni and her new wingman, Victor, patrolled ahead of the fleet. The last encounter with the Cylons meant that they probably knew a general location of where the fleet was. Patrols were set up to make sure no surprises were waiting. The other mission patrols had were looking for supplies.

Toni thought for sure that the Council figured the fleet had enough supplies for the moment. Many of the warriors knew that if the Cylons attacked the fleet would run though supplies very quickly. The standing unspoken order in a patrol was to also look for supplies from anyone.

"Captain, I'm getting a system on my scanner," Victor said.

"I see it, let's go have a look," Toni said banking the vipers towards the system. "Four planets, one sun, looks like one has suitable conditions for life. Let's see if we find anything else."

The two vipers continued on the heading to explore the planets.

Rhea had finished tidying her quarters when Omega called her to the bridge. She wasn't sure she liked the tone in Omega's voice. It sounded like something had gone wrong. Her first thought went out to Toni. She hoped nothing had happened.

"What did you want to see me about commander," Rhea asked arriving on the bridge of the Hyperion.

"Into my office," Omega said walking to the his office. Now Rhea was sure that something had happened as he motioned for her to sit down. "We just got word from the patrol. Victor is returning alone. We haven't heard what happened but he seems to be a bit panicked. I'm waiting to see what happened once he came aboard, I just wanted you to know what was going on."

Rhea's heart dropped into her stomach as she listened to what Omega was telling her. She knew that Victor was Toni's wingmate. She could only hope nothing serious had happened, like the Cylons.

"Now it could be good news as well," Omega said. "Toni might have stayed behind to negotiate something."

"Commander, the patrol had landed, Victor's heading to detox," the bridge reported.

Omega acknowledged the bridge then brought up the internal communication. It didn't take long until Victor appeared on the screen in the detox area.

"Victor, we need to know what happened," Omega asked gently.

"Well, we found a system and went to explore it. One planet had human life on it," Victor replied. "Toni decided that we should land to see if we could find out anything or even maybe some supplies. Everything went well until we entered the village."

"What happened then," Omega asked.

"The people freaked when they saw Toni," Victor said. "We were suddenly facing an armed group. Toni ordered me to head back to the Hyperion. I wasn't sure what to do. They were closing in rapidly and we didn't want to hurt anyone. Toni ran in a different direction than I did. I saw her captured but they didn't even worry about me."

"Captured," Omega replied. Rhea watched silently as the conversation continued. "What reason could they have to capture her and to ignore you?"

"I don't know sir," Victor replied. "There is one other thing. They called her the Empress."

"Hmm, I'll get in touch with Commander Adama and see what he says," Omega said as the intercom went off. A couple of seconds later Adama's face appeared.

"Omega, what's wrong," Adama asked.

"One of our patrols ran into trouble," Omega said.


"No commander," Omega replied.

"Then what," Adama asked.

"The patrol, under Captain Toni, investigated a planet. When they went to investigate the locals they attacked Toni," Omega said.

"Toni," Adama replied a bit confused.

"According to the intel, they captured her," Omega told him.

"She's a good pilot. However I'm afraid that I can't allow too many people to head out for a rescue," Adama said. "We need to keep as many pilots here as possible."

"I'll go, alone if I have to," Rhea said not caring about who went with her. As long as Toni was out there she wanted to be there with her.

"I'll authorize one shuttle, as few people as possible," Adama said. "I won't try and stop you I can sense the same determined spirit that Apollo has. Trying to stop you would be foolish of me."

"Thank you sir," Rhea said.

"The fleet will not stop or slow down, so you have only until we are out of range to complete the mission," Adama told her.

"Then I'll leave now," Rhea said standing up.

"I'll get a shuttle ready then," Omega said.

Rhea nodded then walked out of the room. She was only briefly surprised to see Sheba standing there.

"Going on a mission," she simply asked.

"Toni's in trouble," Rhea said not needing to say anything else.

"A rescue mission," a male voice said. Rhea turned to see Captain Apollo standing there along with Starbuck. "Well, what are we waiting for?"

"Great, I think I've just volunteered again," Starbuck said. "Cassie won't like this," he said to Apollo.

"What makes you think she won't come along," Sheba said as the group began heading towards the hanger.

"One, she doesn't know about it, two she's on board the Galactica," Starbuck said. "This was suppose to be a short trip over Apollo."

"We should take Victor as well," Rhea suddenly said. "After all he knows where to go."

"That would come in handy Apollo," Starbuck said. "I know you like heading into the trouble but at least let's know where we're going this time."

"Very funny, just cause you're the one with a good sense of direction. Well what are we waiting for," Apollo said.

Not much later the group found Victor and headed towards the hanger.

Toni glanced up to watch the two guards who were watching her as well. She could sense the feeling of fear and awe directed towards her. The group that had approached them seemed focused on her. She could only assume that the reaction had to do with this 'Empress' person. That also meant the 'Empress' probably looked like her as well.

The door opened allowing a bald headed man to walk in. Toni glanced up waiting to see what the man had to say.

"So, it seems like we've caught you again Empress," the man said. "Those new clothes don't hide you that well."

"Look, I don't know what you mean," Toni said.

"Silence witch," the man said. "No talking unless you don't want to make it to your trial. Your accomplice will soon be caught."

Toni rolled her eyes at that thought. If Victor had done as told he would be back at the fleet by now.

"I see you doubt that, well our trackers have become very adept at hunting down prey," the man said. "Your trial will begin once Analista gets here."

He walked out leaving Toni alone once more. She could only hope that this 'Analista' listened a bit better than this guard did. If that didn't work then she needed to head to her viper. Once at her viper she could escape. She looked at the walls once more hoping to find something that would help her.

"Well, Rhea is defiantly going to kill me if I don't get out of here," she said to herself. She continued looking for a way out.

Rhea glanced at the world in question. She briefly wondered if most planets that could support human life all looked the same. The green usually indicated that some sort of vegetation existed on the surface. Victor showed Starbuck where to land the shuttle. Nearby they could see Toni's viper.

"The viper's still here, and in good working order," Apollo noted as he looked over the viper.

"Means that Toni's still here as well," Rhea said.

"I'm sure she's all right," Sheba replied. The shuttle door opened allowing them to exit. The planet looked the same as all the others, green vegetation, blue sky, white clouds.

"The village is this way," Victor said as they assembled out in the field.

The group began their walk as Rhea hoped that Toni really was all right. Rhea knew deep down in her soul knew that Toni was safe, at least for now.

"Well, this is better than some planets I've been on," Starbuck said. "Scanners indicate normal atmosphere content, along with normal pressure and gravity."

"Works for me," Apollo replied.

The five of them began working their way towards the village. A rustling noise caught their attention as everyone went quiet.

"Everyone down," Apollo said drawing his weapon. Rhea watched from her crouched position as Apollo followed someone out of her sight.

"I don't understand it Adam, the tracks end here," a male voice said.

"It's gotta be witchcraft, the Empress is known for it. Don't worry, Analista will get the information from her," another male voice said.

"Then we go back to Hest empty," the first voice said.

"Do you see anything that could tell us there he went?"

"Well no, but I don't like telling Hest bad news."

"Well, I can't produce this other person from thin air, so we go back empty."

Rhea listened as the footsteps retreated away from them. A few seconds later Apollo indicated they could get up.

"Apollo, you realize they're talking about me," Victor said.

"I figured, I noticed the marking of a viper landing and takeoff," Apollo replied.

"And why do I suddenly have a bad feeling about this," Starbuck said looking at Apollo.

"Perhaps we should complete our mission as quickly as possible," Sheba said.

"I would be for that," Rhea said. The group continued on to the village. At the edge of the village the group stopped. Looking at the village they could tell that the people seemed to be a bit primitive compared to their own society.

"The middle building is probably where we'll find the jail," Apollo said.

"Do you think one of us can slip in unnoticed," Rhea asked. She was the one that wanted to go in for sure. Before Apollo could reply the sound of horses could be heard. They looked towards one of the main gates of the village. Rhea's eyes went to be the leader and widen in shock. The person looked exactly like her.

The door opened again prompting Toni to quickly sit back down. She had been examining the walls for any signs of weaknesses. The head guard walked in followed by several others. However it was the sight of the person in charge that most surprised her. 'What is Rhea doing here?'

The figure seemed to slightly stop as well at the sight of Toni but quickly recovered. No one else seemed to notice except for Toni.

"Well, I can see that you do look like the Empress," the woman said.

Toni took a few seconds to recover from the shock before being able to speak, then she had to figure out what to say. "I'm sorry, you are?"

"Analista," the woman said. "Leave us." The guards seem to hesitate for a few seconds until she repeated the command.

Toni watched with interest as the guards left the room. She then looked over to see Analista looking back at her.

"So, who are you? I know that you're not the Empress," Analista finally said.


"The likeness is remarkable," Analista said walking closer to the bars.

"Aren't you afraid that I'll use my magic on you," Toni said. It was still remarkable how much alike Analista and Rhea looked.

"Not at all," Analista replied. "Though this might make things easier for us."

Toni wasn't sure she like the sound in Analista's voice. Before saying anything else the smaller woman walked out of the room.

"Why do I have a feeling that this isn't good news for me," Toni said to the now empty room.

Rhea looked on as the woman looking just like her walked out of the building. It had stunned the party to see the woman and the remarkable similarity to her.

"Well, this is interesting," Starbuck said. "Any others that look like you?"

"Not that I'm aware of," Rhea replied.

"We need to get in there and find some information," Apollo said.

"Perhaps I can slip in and get some clothing," Rhea said. "They might be open to me."

"Perhaps," Apollo said. "We'll both go. And if we can get enough for all of us to see what's going on."

"We'll slip back and establish a working base," Rhea offered.

The group agreed walking away to begin their plan.

Omega stood on the bridge of the Hyperion waiting for any report from the team. He had let Adama know that Starbuck, Apollo, and Sheba had also gone on the mission. In a strange way he could see both worry and relief in Adama's eyes.

"Commander, one of the patrols just encountered Cylons!"

"Red alert, contact the Galactica," Omega replied.

The bridge was bathed in red light as the ship went to alert status. A second later Adama appeared on the screen.

"What's going on Omega," Adama asked.

"Our patrol encountered a Cylon ship," Omega said. "Reports are still coming in though."

"Hmm, launch additional patrols to scout the area, we need to see if this is alone ship or if the Cylons are not that far away," Adama said.

"We'll get right on it commander," Omega said relaying the order to the hanger to ready another patrol.

"Omega, be ready to alter course depending on what they find," Adama said.


With that thought he hoped they wouldn't change course. It might prove horrible for the group out there.

Rhea returned with Apollo carrying some clothing to help conceal themselves. They'd managed to find enough for all of them. Quickly dressing Rhea made sure that her outfit covered her face. They didn't need any complications in case someone noticed her.

The group walked into the town which seemed to be full of gossip. They could hear that the big news was about the Empress. She had been captured and the punishment would be chosen by the new Queen, Analista.

"The Queen must be the one that looks like you," Starbuck whispered to Rhea.

"It's possible," Rhea replied. "I'm not sure what to do though. We could find out where she is and try a break out."

"Unlikely," Apollo replied. He nodded his head towards the building where Toni was being led out.

Rhea stopped for a second taking a look at her wife. She appeared to be all right at the moment.

"Looks like a trial," Starbuck said.

"You know we could land the shuttle down right here and pick her up," Victor finally said.

"We need to try and not interfere with their development," Apollo said.

"Well, we don't have a lot of time," Rhea said. "If it comes down to that I'll do it myself."

Everyone could hear the determination in her voice. Even though Rhea didn't know how to pilot a shuttle they had no doubt that she would try it.

"Well, we're not at that point yet, let's just see what's going on," Starbuck said.

They walked into what appeared to be a courtroom. The woman who they figured was Queen Analista sat at the head of the room. A large area had been opened where Toni was led.

"Empress, its a good thing that you've been captured. Your brutal reign ended when my forces vanquished you," Analista said.

Rhea didn't listen too much to the words as she looked at Toni. Her lover seemed to be all right, a bit confused by what was going on. She shifted her attention to the group with the Queen. A tall man stood nearby. However there seemed to be something about the man that caught her attention.

"As a result of the crimes I'll consider all options, including death," Analista said.

Rhea gasped a bit. Now they had to do something.

The man walked over towards Analista and whispered something in her ear. The Queen's eyes widened a bit then a brief heated discussion between the two occurred before she said anything else out loud

"There will be a brief recess," the queen said standing up then walked off with the guard right behind her.

"This isn't good," Apollo said. "We might be using your plan after all."

Rhea looked back at Toni watching as she turned and caught her eye. She was sure that Toni recognized her as her attitude seemed to change. Now she just had to figure out what to do next.

As Toni walked back to the jail she felt a bit better, yet more confused. She knew that Rhea was there, she also recognized Apollo and Starbuck with her. So a rescue mission was underway.

"It'll be good to see you finally dead," her guard said.

"I don't plan to die anytime soon," Toni replied.

"Don't count on it," the guard said. "I just hope I've got a front row seat to see you hanged."

Toni rolled her eyes at that. She figured that Rhea would do anything possible to make sure that nothing happened. The one thing that had gotten her attention during the trial had been the fact that Analista looked very much like Rhea. In fact Toni thought that Analista seemed quite shocked at her first meeting.

"I'm sure that whatever it is the Queen is thinking up a cleaver way for you to die," the guard said again.

"What if I was to say that I'm innocent," Toni replied.

"Not likely," the guard snorted.

"It's too bad you don't know the truth then," Toni said.

"Whoa, I'd stop talking," the guard said suddenly raising his sword pointing it at Toni. "Hest warned me that you would lie to get out."

Toni walked over to the chair and sat down. She would wait to see what happened next.

Starbuck sat down next to Apollo and the rest of the group.

"Well, it seems that this Analista overthrew the Empress, who no one liked. How she did it is a mystery, but it seems that the Empress' reign was quite heavy handed," Starbuck said.

"I see your charms haven't diminished yet," Apollo said.

Rhea almost said something but noticed that someone seemed to be approaching them. Rhea saw it was the tall guard who seemed to be near the Queen. The group watched as the guard made his way toward them stopping only when he arrived next to them.

"The Queen would like to meet with you," he said looking right at Rhea.

"Me, but I don't even know the Queen," Rhea replied. She looked once more at the man. Suddenly she realized something that she should have noticed before. "Of course," she said rising. She turned to the others before leaving. "I'll be all right."

Rhea followed the man until they were by themselves.

"So, what's your real name, the only one I hear is Empress," Rhea said causing the person in front of her to almost stumble.

"I go by Zen now," the woman replied. "How did you know?"

"I would recognize Toni anywhere, much like you would recognize Analista," Rhea said.

"So, it's as I thought," Zen said. "Where do you come from?"

"A place far away from here," Rhea said as they approached the building where Analista was.

Zen didn't say anything as they continued on into the building. Rhea had kept her hood up as they continued up to where Analista sat. Several people around the group wondered about ths mysterious stranger with Zen. The main question people wondered about was the hood.

"Leave us," Analista ordered. They waited a bit until everyone had left.

Rhea removed her hood waiting to see just what Analista would say.

"By the goddess," the other woman exclaimed. "You were right, what about the other?"

"Yes," Zen said speaking to Analista.

"Look, I don't really care what's going on here, but I'll gladly take my wife and leave to never come back," Rhea said.

"It's a bit more complex than that," Analista said.

"Not from where I'm standing," Rhea replied. "All we're looking for is for someplace where we might pick up some food."

"We can accommodate you and your friends," Zen said.

"I don't think you understand," Rhea said. "We're only a few warriors for thousands of people on board over a hundred ships."

"The nearest water is five days away," Analista said. "Perhaps we could trade."

"We not from this planet. The ships I mean travel among the stars."

"Then what Joshua said was true," Analista said. "He stated that the companion of the Empress flew away in a chariot towards the heavens."

"Well, that's a bit simplistic, but true," Rhea said.

"Why don't you try explaining it to us," Zen asked.

"Simple, we're from a very advanced race. We ride in ships made of metal going faster than anything you could think of," Rhea said. She silently wondered if anything she could say would affect them. "We are running from our enemies. They only care if we die, nothing else."

"You weren't able to talk with them," Analista asked.

"We tried, they stabbed us in the back," Rhea replied. "Their only goal in the war is to win, no matter how."

"Winning at any cost, I can understand that," Zen said.

"And you know that it can stop, the cycle of hatred," Analista said.

"The problem is there isn't a Gabrielle for this Xena," Rhea said.

Zen and Analista both looked at her shocked for a few moments.

"How do you know about them," Zen finally asked.

"Because, Toni is my Xena. I take it you've had the dreams," Rhea asked. She could tell from the reaction that both of them had as well.

"Why is nothing simple in my life," Analista asked.

The three of them stood there for several seconds before Rhea finally spoke up. "You do know that I won't leave here without Toni."

"If you're anything like her majesty over there I realize it," Zen said pointing to Analista. "You do know that the official story is that the Empress died that day. I'm sure that there are differences between the two of us."

"Hmm, perhaps, it might work. Doesn't make our lives any easier. I liked your hair Zen," Analista replied.

"As your reign continues one day I'll be able to regrow it," Zen said. "For now it has to be this way."

"We need a plan to get Toni out of here though," Rhea said thinking about it. "I think I have it."

Analista and Zen listened as Rhea told them her plan.

"It just might work," Zen said.

"And it would be informative against other threats," Analista replied.

"I'll go tell the others to be ready," Rhea said.

Omega listened as Aaron told them what had been discovered on the patrol. Two Cylon basestars were in the area.

"This isn't good," Adama said leaning back in his chair. They were on board the Galactica in the meeting room. Several pilots along with the commanders of the battlestars were in attendance.

"We could fight them, take them out then change course," Boomer said.

"No, too risky, we will change course," Adama said.

"What about Apollo and Starbuck," Boomer asked.

Adama seemed to think only for a few seconds before answering. "Staying on course is dangerous for our fleet, we can't risk it. We change course. Spread the word to the fleet."

Omega glanced at Boomer who didn't appear to agree with the decision. A slight answer came to his mind.

"Commander, a trade off," Omega said waiting until he had Adama's attention. "Boomer could fly a lone viper to an area to intercept Apollo and the others to bring them back. It would be dangerous to allow them to fly into Cylon hands. If they are captured the Cylons could gain some vital information."

"Boomer," Adama asked looking over at the pilot.

"I can do it," Boomer said.

"Then proceed," Adama said.

Boomer nodded. He got up and headed out of the room on his way to the hanger.

Starbuck looked at Apollo for a few seconds after hearing what Rhea had planned.

"She wants me to do what?" he asked. "I thought we weren't going to do anything like that!"

"She's right though," Apollo said to his friend.

"A dangerous calculation," Sheba said. "I think we can do it though."

"But we had agreed that such action was not required," Starbuck said.

"Do you have another plan that we can enact quickly. We don't have a lot of time to get off this planet and back to the fleet," Rhea replied.

"All right, I'll do it," Starbuck said. "I won't like it but I'll do it."

"Good," Rhea said. "We all should be ready to go."

The group walked away from the town and into the forest. They made sure that no one followed them just in case.

Toni wondered just what was taking her wife so long to get her out of here. She could only hope that some sort of plan had been worked out. The door opened allowing the tall head guard into the room.

"All right, let's go," she said. The door opened but Toni refused to move. "Look, we don't have much time, we need to go, now. Above all act calm, its important."

Toni looked at the guard in front of her. She recognized the head guard from before. The blue eyes were so much like her own that it seemed like they had the same parents.

Toni followed the guard as she was led to the center of the town square. She could see the rig that would be used for her execution. Glancing around she wondered just where Rhea and the others were.

"Empress," Queen Analista said to the crowd. "You have been found guilty, now we brig you forth for your execution."

Toni reluctantly walked towards the contraption hoping that there would be some rescue. The guard had told her to act calm but that was getting harder and harder to do with each passing step.

A low whine in the wind caught her attention causing her to glance up. She groaned a bit noticing that the shuttle was headed towards the square. 'So much for non-interference,' she thought.

The crowd that had gathered backed off quickly as the shuttle came down near where Toni stood. The door opened and a figure stepped out. He wore a wig of grey hair, and a dark green shirt and black pants. Toni thought that Starbuck looked silly in that outfit.

"I am Baltar, of the Cylons here to reclaim my daughter," Starbuck said in a loud voice.

Toni's eyebrows rose almost into her hairline at that statement.

"Come my daughter," Starbuck, or 'Baltar' said raising his hand to her.

"She is to be punished," the guard near her said.

Another figure stepped out dressed this time in complete silver. Toni had to wonder who that was. It either had to be Sheba or Apollo. It raised an arm as a shot was fired. The guard next to her slumped over surprising Toni. A quick glance and she noticed the woman was still breathing.

"Anyone else who tries to interfere will be dealt with in a similar fashion by my centurion," Starbuck said.

Toni decided not to give anyone a chance to try and quickly ran towards the shuttle. Running up the ramp Starbuck and the 'centurion' retreated back into the shuttle. She heard Starbuck say one more thing but it was muffled by the interior of the shuttle.

"Get us out of here Sheba," Starbuck said. The shuttle rose off the ground and quickly left sight of anyone still on the ground.

"All right," Apollo said taking off the helmet. "Circle around so we can pick up Rhea and get out of here."

"Where did you get this idea from," Toni asked. "And those outfits," she said smiling.

"No one hears about this," Starbuck said.

"Whatever you say, dad," Toni said causing Sheba and Apollo to smile. "Did you have to shoot the guard next to me?"

"Part of the plan," Apollo said. "Besides, she'll survive and Starbuck told them she was stunned this time."

"Next time I won't be so forgiving," Starbuck said.

"Let's get out of here then," Toni said.

Rhea watched as Zen groggily got up with Analista and a few other's help. She made eye contact with Analista then with a hand salute quickly retreated into the forest back where the viper was still parked and Victor waited. The shuttle had already landed waiting for her as she climbed onto the shuttle and into the waiting arms of Toni.

"Thank the gods your all right," she whispered as she held onto Toni.

"I'll admit it was a bit tight there for a few seconds," she heard Toni said as the arms around her tightened. "So I hear this was your idea?"

"Well, we had to warn them about how dangerous the Cylons were, and Baltar, so it made sense. They won't trust anything Baltar says if he comes down here, or the Cylons for that matter," Rhea said.

"Always thinking ahead, are you sure you're not command material," Toni asked.

"Ah, we've got a problem," Sheba said interrupting them.

Rhea turned to see what was going on.

"The fleet's gone," Sheba told them.

"Cylons," Starbuck said.

"It's the only possible explanation," Apollo replied.

"Now what, there's a million different directions the fleet could have gone," Sheba said.

"Victor, do you see the fleet on your scanners," Apollo asked.

"Negative captain," Victor replied.

"All right, hang on, we'll figure out a direction in a second," Apollo said.

"Someone looking for directions," Boomer's voice suddenly said.

"Boomer, am I ever glad to hear your voice," Apollo said.

"You're heading straight towards a couple of Cylon basestars," Boomer said. "I'm coming up on you now, follow me out and keep chatter to a minimum."

"Got it, form up Victor," Apollo said.

The young pilot didn't respond but fell in behind Boomer as they turned.

A while later the view of the battlestar Hyperion filled the screen.

"Am I ever glad to be home,"' Troy said.

"I'm just glad to have you home," Rhea replied.

The End

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