Chances of Survival
Author's Note: This is the first chapter of a basically completely re-written fanfiction I've been working on for a little bit. It's different, and some people may not approve, which is why I'm also keeping the original. Enjoy!
Oh, and it's gonna be long. Like, way longer than the previous stories I've written by several times. Just bear with me.
He was starting to get second thoughts.
Why'd I do this? Bill thought, as he abruptly flipped his Viper MK. III around. Gunning the engines, the fighter shot forward, engine plumes glowing a glowing neon blue. The Cylon Raider engaging him also gunned its engines, shooting towards Bill's Viper, firing its guns. He expertly twitched the joystick, throwing the Viper into a hard roll, high-caliber rounds whistling by, one actually pinging off his bulletproof canopy.
Bill fired his guns, the red tracers blazing into the monochrome and bleak bluish-green of the dense gas cloud. The Raider effortlessly dodged his salvo, and took off in the opposite direction, taunting Bill to pursue.
The radio sparked to life, its tinny speaker crackling before clearing into intelligible speech.
"...the hell are you doing?" the radio said.
Probably the CAG, Bill thought. Frakking CAGs. Always think they're top of the world.
"Doing what I have to, sir," Bill said.
"What are you, stupid? You can't take on three Raiders at the same-"
Bill swung his Viper around, firing straight into the cockpit of an attacking Raider, which flamed out and started drifting. "Two Raiders, you mean."
"Are you trying to get yourself killed? Motherfrakking idiot!" the CAG shouted. "Get your ass out of there, now!"
"No way, I got this," he replied, swinging the front of his Viper around to counter another attack run by one of the two Raiders. "It'll be fine," he said, as he took off yet again, bearing down on the Raider.
He fired a short burst, the red tracers shooting out and narrowly missing the Raider he was chasing.
"Come on, you toaster bastard," he muttered, as he jammed down the trigger once more, firing a long, rather excessive burst that connected with the Raider and sent it tailspinning.
"Yeah!" he shouted, pumping his fists in the cockpit as the hit Raider essentially disappeared in a fiery explosion. The Viper flew straight into the flaming wreck, and Bill's canopy struck a large chunk of the Raider's wing with enough force to crack all the glass in the canopy.
"Woah!" Bill jumped and looked around as he frantically tried to get his bearings. "I can't see!"
"Kid, get out of there!" the voice shouted.
Bill quickly gazed over the cockpit, trying to find the right switch…
He flipped up the cover, flicked the switch up, and the canopy cover blew out, drifting off on its own. He sighed.
"Much better," he muttered, as he craned his head to see the Raider swerving away. He really hoped it was leaving for good.
"Kid, are you crazy? You know how high the radiation levels here are? You got 30 seconds to pull out! Get out! That's an orde-"
The voice cut off abruptly, Bill smiling as he let his hand fall back to his joystick after turning off the radio.
"Alright. Back to business," he muttered, as he flipped the fighter over to face the direction the Raider had gone. 25 seconds left, he mentally counted.
The Raider quickly and efficiently spun around and shot towards Bill's Viper.
"Time to get real," he said to himself, as he slammed the throttle forward, propelling him to several times the speed of sound in less than 10 seconds, and continued accelerating. 15 seconds. He fired his guns in a three-second burst, tracers whizzing past the Cylon fighter mostly harmlessly. Some, though, did connect and hit the outer wing, which started leaking what appeared to be… What is that? Bill wondered. Looks like red oil, or… blood.
The Raider began to break away, trailing what Bill could only assume was oil. He twitched the joystick with almost casual ease, adjusting the Viper's vector to match that of the Raider, and gunned the engines. 12 seconds. He pulled behind the Raider, and grinned as he pressed the trigger for his guns. And nothing happened.
"Frak!" he shouted, as he repeatedly pressed the trigger, and nothing happened, red lights for "Weapons Malfunction" flashing incessantly on his display. 8 seconds.
"You know what? Frak that," he muttered, as he pushed the Viper even faster, pulling up beside the Raider. This is a bad idea, he thought as he pulled out his pistol, and fired, multiple shots punching through the canopy of the enemy fighter, which began to lose control, and burst into flames as a shot hit a fuel tank that then exploded. He whooped aloud, almost giddy with happiness as the nebula around him dissolved into a stream of disorganized pixels.
"Congratulations," a disembodied voice said. "You have completed level six."
The Viper began to pixelate and dissolve as Bill, laughing, pulled off his Holoband, and took in his actual surroundings.
It was a pretty dark place, with rather dim fluorescent lights, painting everything in a harsh shade of whitish-blue. Everyone was either sleeping, smoking, or playing cards, with no one really doing anything else.
"Got a high sim score?" a woman asked inquisitively. She was of dark complexion, he noticed, with a hard face and steely gray eyes which were decidedly unnerving and also fascinating to look at. Bill smiled.
"Not just a high sim score, the top sim score," he said, slathering on the swagger like it was going out of style. Her eyes widened slightly.
"Oh, really?" she asked, mildly skeptical. Bill nodded.
"Yep. Really," he replied. She relented, giving Bill the benefit of the doubt. Then she smirked, one not unlike his own.
"Let me guess," she said, shifting in her seat to try to get into a more comfortable position. "You've been itching to fly ever since you were in short pants. I can see it every time you go into a simulator or take a flight on a trainer; you derive this joy from flying." Bill's face remained impassive, though with a hint of his ever present smirk. "And now that you've finally gotten a chance to fly and show the world what you can do," she continued, "you're worried that the war may be over before you can prove yourself."
Bill's smirk came out in full force now, basically becoming a smile. "You got me pegged," he said. "Except for the worrying part. I don't do that."
"Oh, we got a live one here!" a younger woman remarked. "I take it you want some action, eh?" she asked.
"I wouldn't mind some action, if that's what we're talking about," Bill said. The older one, the one who he talked to first, raised her eyebrows.
"Yeah, you're not really my type," she said, prompting Bill to laugh aloud, drawing attention from the others on the ship. "If you want a girl that'll give you action, there's one that'll give you lots," she said, as she pointed out the window.
Bill looked at her for a moment longer, then decided to take a look out the window at the ship they were heading to. As he got up to walk towards the window, the entire ship shook, throwing him off his feet, and several others to the floor.
"Ow! Godsdammit!" he said, as the craft shook again. "What the hell's going on?"
"We've been ambushed!" someone said. Bill wasn't sure who said it; they were right either way.
He finally made it to the window, and honestly had no idea what the frak was going on.
Instead of the rather calming blue background of the nebula they had been in, it was bright. Like, really bright. The background was a blood orange, with a blinding white light from what seemed to be underneath. Bill realized it was a star, and a large one at that, which was a mere few thousand kilometers away.
Why the hell are we here now? He wondered. There's no stars even remotely close to the nebula.
Vipers and Raiders darted between plumes of extremely hot gas, glowing a dull orange when they strayed too close. Arches of plasma formed and dissolved, forming frankly fascinating displays that enthralled him, even as it almost blinded him.
He tore his eyes away, looking for a familiar ship. His eyes alighted on Galactica, engaged in a duel with two foreign ships. Bill didn't know what ships they were, but felt that they were likely Cylon.
Wait, Galactica doesn't have all of its armor, he thought, as he realized that indeed, where there would be numerous thick armor plates, there was only superficial armor and structural ribbing.
His thoughts were cut short when he caught glimpse of another ship, distinctly different from the other ships engaged in combat.
It was slender, certainly more elegant than the more egalitarian look of Colonial ships. The upper section was shaped into a sleek and futuristic saucer shape, connected to a rather tubular section via a gentle and sloping neck, for lack of a better term. Connected then to the tubular section were two… Rods? Rockets? Engines? Bill wondered, connected by two curving arms, the fronts glowing blue with what appeared to be suppressed energy, seeming to almost burst with unreleased power. Bill, who had been dazzled and awed by the magnificence of the star, now couldn't take his eyes away from that ship.
Wow, he thought. What a view. A shout from someone else on the craft caught his attention as the lights went out and he started to float.
While his expression was of mild surprise at first, it quickly turned to horror as a Colonial warship, one he had never seen before, slammed into the shuttle with an earsplitting groan, causing the smaller vessel to buckle and rupture.
With a loud rush of air, everyone was quickly sucked out into space. Bill gripped an armrest tightly, desperately trying to cling onto it even as he knew there was no chance he'd survive. His grip slipped, and he, too, was violently launched from the shuttle into the dark void of space.
William Adama woke with a start. Blinking rapidly in a vain attempt to force his eyes open, they fell upon the alarm clock, which read 4:37 AM.
Adama sighed, and fell back onto his bed, trying to fall back asleep. He tried for another 20 minutes or so before realizing that he couldn't; he just wasn't able to sleep again. Grumbling, he got up, took a long shower, and began brewing a pot of coffee.
Well, that was some dream, he thought. I must be . His phone chirped.
"Commander Adama, report to CIC, Commander Adama, report to CIC," Gaeta's voice crackled on the speaker. Adama sighed. Duty calls, he thought, as he got up and waded his way through the crowds of people towards the CIC.
He regained consciousness in a flash, desperately trying to get oxygen back into his system via heaving gasps.
He felt around, feeling the leather cap he had on his head and the felt jacket he had donned previously. His breath misted up every time he breathed, and he felt cold. Really cold, like winters on the Iowa plains. He found a breathing device attached to his jacket, and he began to breathe with it, making it a little easier.
A loud explosion rocked whatever he was in, rocking him in place. He scrambled to get up, and his hand hit something on the floor. A camera? He wondered. I wonder if I should film whatever's going on.
He managed to get to his feet, crude film camera clutched in hand, and looked out the side of whatever it was he was on.
Well, at least I now know it's a plane, he thought. But the plane's getting shot at. Shit.
He fumbled with the camera for a few moments before finally turning it on. He began filming, taking in the view of dozens of identical planes; large, heavy, and kinda of slow, flying through what basically was sheets of flak fire. As he changed the view point to another plane, it was hit by anti-aircraft fire, beginning to burn and spin out of control. It slammed into a nearby plane, both of which exploded and fell out of the sky towards the ground, far, far below.
A struggle caught his eye. He glanced off to his right at two men seemingly wrestling. No, he thought. Not wrestling. One's holding the other.
"Hey, it's going to be alright, just hang in there-" one was saying, trying in a vain attempt to soothe the nerves of the other man, who was having none of it.
"No, we're all gonna die! I gotta get home!" the other man shouted, throwing himself off to one side, trying to escape the iron grip the other man had on him.
"We're going to be fine," the first man said. He looked at him.
"Johnson! Tell the Captain we've lost all cover to our six!" the first man shouted over the noise of engines and what sounded like flak fire down below. He looked around the plane, looking for whoever was Johnson. Then, not finding anyone, he turned back to face the first man, and pointed at himself.
"Who? Me?" he asked. The first man gave an extremely exasperated sigh.
"Yes, you, you dumb fuck. Now get to the cockpit!" he shouted. "Johnson" quickly nodded, then wormed his way around the two men, the hysterical one now screaming out for his momma.
He squeezed through into the next section of the plane, only to find what was left of a body sitting in what was left of a chair, shrapnel having come through and shredded the quite unfortunate guy to pieces. He fought off the urge to gag, or throw up, or simply to shit his pants. Jaw clenched tight, he carefully made his way past the dead body, and made it to the bomb bay.
It was open, very open, with only an 8 inch wide walkway and rope handles stopping him from losing his balance and toppling over to fall several miles down to the ground. He braced himself, took a deep breath, and sped across, not looking down for a single moment. Coincidentally, shrapnel ripped into the section of the plane he was just in not a moment before. "Johnson" shuddered as he realized he would've been shredded if he had hesitated for a little longer.
He made it across, and then entered the cockpit, where the pilot and copilot were concentrated on keeping the plane in the air.
"Captain!" "Johnson" shouted, as shrapnel ripped through one of the bomber's engines, which began smoking. "We lost cover to our-"
BOOM! A sudden loud explosion shook the entire plane. "Johnson" looked towards the sound of the explosion, and saw that the engine was flaming and belching smoke. The plane started vibrating, likely due to the fact that one of the plane's engines had just gone up in flames. The pilot swore.
"Shit. We're out of extinguishers!" he yelled. He looked back to the front, then back at his copilot. "Shut off the fuel valve! Feather Prop 2!"
The copilot nodded, and quickly began to shut down the engine and fuel lines to Feather Prop 2. Unfortunately, it didn't work.
"We're losing oil pressure," the copilot said. "She's not shutting down!" A loud screech caught their attention.
The engine, still trying to spin he propellor even as it was burning, finally gave out along with the propellor blade. With a large snap, the blade ripped almost clean through the engine housing and tore a large gash through the wing of the plane, causing them to flinch back reflexively. He looked around, and sighed as the engine, or what was left of it, stabilized and they left the city behind them in flames. He smiled.
"We made it," he said. The pilot grinned.
"Maybe we did," he said, right before bullets tore through the cockpit, killing both the pilot and copilot instantly, and slamming into "Johnson's" back. Oddly not feeling anything, "Johnson" shouted, "Computer! End simulation!"
The scene immediately paused, the pilot's head and copilot's chest suspended mid-explosion, and caught in its gruesome glory. They began to dissolve into pixelated streams of code, followed by the surrounding planes, then the actual plane and its accompanying objects. And finally, "Johnson's" outfit, which faded into a stream of pixels, to be replaced by a formerly crisp but now wrinkly and quite sweat-soaked Starfleet Captain's uniform. The ship's chief engineer, Montgomery Scott, ran in, almost giddy with joy.
"Did you see how well that worked?" he asked, his already mildly strong Scottish accent thickening even more with his excitement. "Do you realize the potential applications of this technology? Training, simulations, movies, television shows, historical reenactments, they're almost limitless!" he said. "How real did it feel, Captain?"
Captain Jim Kirk shuddered slightly. He could still feel cold. "It felt very real. To the point as to be uncanny," he said. Scott smiled.
"Wonderful! Our test was successful!" he exclaimed. Kirk nodded.
"I'm gonna change now," he said, as he left the new "Holodeck" and back to his quarters.
Entering the room, he washed up, changed out of his uniform, then collapsed on his bed and fell asleep.
It felt cold. Kirk wondered if he was back in the Holodeck again. No, he thought. I'd remember being on the Holodeck. It was also dark. Kirk yelped and swore when he stubbed a toe on something lying on the ground. He felt around. No, not lying on the ground. Something solid, something that goes up to chest height.
Lights suddenly flashed on, temporarily blinding Kirk. He flinched, bringing his hands up to shield his eyes from the glaring white of the lights. The lights dimmed, enough to not permanently blind him for life, of which Kirk was sarcastically grateful.
He looked down towards the thing he had stubbed his toe on. It was a bench, and a plush one at that, laden down with soft pillows and fabrics that went up to about waist height. He looked down farther. He realized he wasn't wearing any shoes or socks, and the ground was covered with red felt. It felt nice to Kirk, who rubbed his feet on the carpet for a few seconds. He gazed around the rest of the room, which was more of a large chamber.
Kirk's watchful gaze went to the stage at the front, and the multiple levels and floors, each with their own array of seats and benches. He realized that it was an opera house, well appointed and completely bare.
Odd, he thought, as he slowly made his way to the stage. He didn't notice before, but now he realized that there were five white robed people, standing solemnly in a line on the state, robes practically glowing. Correction. They're actually glowing, Kirk thought. Weird.
He made it to one of the stairways leading to the stage. Walking up that, he got onto the stage itself, and noticed what looked like a… bathtub? Kirk wondered. There was also an old and wrinkly man in there, who looked like he'd been lying there for the last three days. Kirk's expression was something between weirded out and "what the fuck".
He slowly made his way towards that old wrinkly man, noting that the white-robed people seemed to be looking at him as he made his way across the stage. He stooped down, and waved his hand in front of the man's face. No response.
Kirk now saw that the liquid in the bathtub was in fact not water, but some gooey substance. Intrigued, he reached down to touch it, fairly confident that it wouldn't kill him or do anything horrendously horrendous.
And that was when an hand grabbed at his with an iron grip. Kirk yelped in surprise, and attempted to pull back and stand up, but fell over awkwardly as his hand was gripped too tightly. The old man jumped to life, his head practically on a swivel, turning to face Kirk.
"Kara Thrace is the Harbinger of Doom," he said, his voice deep as a bass. "She will spell the destruction of both races. Humanity will die at her hands." his expression, though remaining rather hard, seemed to soften into fatalistic acceptance. His next words sent a chill down Kirk's spine.
"All of this has happened before, and will happen again. Again. Again. Again. Again."
Kirk jerked upright in his bed, soaked in sweat and breathing quite heavily. He looked around in mild panic, and calmed somewhat when he found that he was in fact still in his quarters, "calming" music playing in the background; he, curious to see what popped up, went to check; the song on right now was a random song on a retro playlist he had found on the Net, which, coincidentally, was Sabotage by the Beastie Boys, which brought a smile to Kirk's face. And then he yawned, and yawned some more. Yawning almost continuously now, he promptly fell asleep.
The sound of an alarm clock jolted Kirk out of his slumber. Groaning, he rolled over, and repeatedly slapped the alarm clock, hoping one of his hits would get lucky and turn it off, or at least hit the snooze button. No such luck.
Grumbling under his breath about shoddy engineering on behalf of the clock's makers, he got up and turned off the alarm. He sighed. And so begins another day in another week.
He washed up again, brewed 6 cups of strong black coffee, and was about to chug down his 3rd or 4th cup when he received a hail from the Bridge.
"Captain, your presence is needed on the Bridge," Spock said coolly, ignoring the fact that Kirk looked like he'd gotten into a fistfight with three people at the same time and lost. Kirk sighed.
"On my way, Spock," Kirk said as he cut the transmission, changed into his uniform, and walked out into the corridors of the Enterprise.
A Captain's work never ends, Kirk thought as he entered the Bridge. He plopped right down into the Captain's Chair.
"So," Kirk began, as the crew turned in their seats to face him expectantly. "What are we gonna find today?"