D. L. Hemmingway

This is not a NBSG crossover, but an idea I had using some local lore of my region of Kansas, some of my knowledge of prepping, some history of the states of Colorado and Kansas and the story-line of Ronald D. Moore's re-imagined BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Except for some canon characters all this story is fully from the dark recesses of my imagination. I don't own the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA series or its spin-offs. Those belong to R. D. Moore and his compatriots. I always felt that R. D. Moore's version of BSG was a warning as much as entertainment to us along with the TERMINATOR movie and television franchise, the move BLADE RUNNER and the movie and novel COLOSSUS. One of my end times worries is rampant runaway technology and development of Artificial Intelligence without any ethical restraints upon its development. In many recent articles in journals and other media we are seeing the birth of AI computers and robots. So far these are more primitive than the helper robot named Serge. Yet within a short time they've come a long ways towards becoming the very machines depicted in CAPRICA and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. In a way we already have primitive Raiders in our drones. The groups like DARPA and others are developing what could become Centurions.

Chapter One.
Alex Parsons sat on a rock looking over the valley below. From what he was able to read from the hiking booklet he picked up in that outfitter's store in the town of Lamia these were the Atlas Mountains and he was on the Delphi River which passed through the second largest city on the western continent of Caprica called Iconia. Caprica City or as it once was called before planetary unification Athens was to the west of the mountains along a bay like San Francisco's in a valley similar to California' Central Valley from the map of the Western Coast of Iconia in the front of the book or trail atlas. Unlike the Atlas Mountains of Earth these were more like the Cascades or the Sierra Nevada's of the Western United States in California, Oregon and Washington.

Before he woke up in that clinic in the small mountain city of Sparta eighteen months ago Alex had been clearing some old rocks on his newly purchased property over looking the cemetery of the small Kansas unincorporated town of Stull in western Douglas County. He had purchased the ten acre parcel that bordered the north and east sides of the Stull Cemetery from the family that owned it back in 2018. He was clearing the last of the old ruins of the Stull Church that had been according to local legends a portal to Hell. What the story in the book HAUNTED KANSAS and the local folklore failed to tell anyone was that particular point on the hill overlooking the north side of Stull was a small permanent wormhole that connected Earth with Caprica.

Musing all these months later while sitting on this rock outcropping thousands of feet above the bend in the Delphi halfway between Lamia and Sparta Alex figured out the source of so many mysterious men, women and children who were found wondering N 1600 Road in Douglas County or SE 45th Street in Shawnee County, Kansas in the last few years prior to his own disappearance. One reason he spent his private times on this spot was it was where the Rangers who worked the local Colonial Natural Park found him. He was trying to find the Caprica terminus of the wormhole to see if he could return to Earth and Kansas. He was up here checking his map and the trail atlas along with his notes to see if he finally had the wormhole pinpointed. In the year and a half he was here he had learned the local language which was similar to the Greek his mother Elektra Callas who came from Athens in the Hellenic Republic spoke. His father had been an American Air Force pilot stationed in Greece for awhile during the 1980s in the later years of the Cold War. On one of his weekend passes he met his mother in a small cafe along a street leading up to the Acropolis.

Only his local girlfriend Helene Andris daughter of Doctor Iaret Andris knew his personal history besides the good Doctor and she kept the secret to herself. Near by Helene was watching out for anyone trying to figure out what Alexander or Alex as he preferred to be called was doing. It was Armistice Day and except for critical businesses like gas stations, convenience stores, etc. not much was open in the mountain town of ten to twenty thousand, Sparta, Caprica. The pair had packed for a week long adventure so when Helene brought Alex's attention from his maps and notes to the bright flashes on the horizon to the southwest beyond the mountains in the direction of Caprica City and Corinth Alex knew something was terribly wrong.

"Helene did you remember to pack that folding carbine like I told you?" Alex said as he watched the ominous mushroom shaped clouds rising between the gaps in the peaks of the range to the southwest. The carbine he talked about was similar to the Kel-Tec SU-2000 and was chambered in the Colonial Armed Forces standard 10mm pistol cartridge similar to the 40 caliber S&W cartridge his own Sig-Sauer P229 Nitron Compact which was currently residing in the bottom of his own Colonial Marine Corps surplus field pack similar to his US Army issue surplus MOLLE field pack back home.

Helene looked at him nodding and said, "Yes Alex the carbine is in my pack." Alex put his Colonial Armed Forces surplus binoculars to his eyes and looked off in the direction of Caprica City and said, "Get it out and load it with one magazine. Make sure you have a round in the chamber." He preceded to do the same and got his carbine out of his pack. He folded the barrel down and locked it in place. The carbine was a specially designed weapon that took the same magazines as the issued Colonial Armed Forces sidearm which he and Helene also had acquired during his stay here on Caprica. The weapon folded just like the Kel-Tec carbine back on Earth so that it could be stored in a survival pack that was part of the Colonial Viper Pilot's ejection system. The pack was attached to the same parachute rig as the emergency parachute system and rested under the pilot when seated in the Viper. It was standard issue since the days of the Viper Mark IIs.

Alexander like his father before him had been in the Air Force. Alex began as a Security Forces Airman and transferred to PARARESCUE becoming a PJ or Pararescue Jumper. At the time of his disappearance from Earth he was serving in the Pararescue Squadron that was part of the 190th Air Refueling Wing out of Forbes Field Air National Guard Base in Topeka, Kansas. When he recovered enough to be able to communicate with those around him he began to assemble a new Bug-Out-Bag and got Helene and her dad to do the same. Once he had learned the history of the Cylon War he knew that the machines would someday return and not to just say, "Hello; how've you'll been?" Seeing the signature mushroom clouds going up into the stratosphere of Caprica all around the horizon he knew instantly the Cylons have returned. "Helene we're going back down the mountain and get your dad and the rest of the group. Then we're going to the retreat."

Helene as she watched one after the other of the nuclear detonations that destroyed various major cities both primary and secondary urban centers nodded saying, "I agree Alex. I just wish we found the entrance to the portal that brought you here. Then we'd just have to cross over to your world and escape what's coming." Alex put his binoculars down letting them dangle around his neck from their strap and said, "I'm glad we got that old early model Mark II Raptor at that last Colonial Fleet surplus auction. I'm amazed that let something that cost them millions of cubits go for only a few thousand. We may need that ship now to escape this rock."

"Alex that is a good idea, but not a long term one unless we can marry up with a fleet of jump capable ships leaving the Helios Alpha system and perhaps the entire Cyrannus Cluster all together," Helene said as she finished putting her carbine together and loading it. Then she checked the load on the civilian version of the Colonial Armed Forces sidearm she had on her waist in a level two retention holster. It was loaded and like Alex taught her she had one round already chambered and the weapon on safe. Alex had his on his belt in a drop-leg holster and had recovered his own Sig-Sauer in its behind the back holster mounted on his belt where he could reach back and grab it with his right hand if needed. They both had surplus CAF survival knives on the left side of their belts and extra magazines for their CAF pistols and survival carbines in pouches on their packs.

Another thing Alex had them do was to get CAF issue hydration bladders instead of canteens or water bottles. Each of their packs had a pocket where such a bladder could go and its drinking tube snaked up through holes in the top of the pack and straps along either shoulder strap so that one could drink from it on the left or right depending on personal preference. Alex had them also get a compact camping pump water filtration system so that they could just pump water straight from a stream or from one of their collapsible camping buckets right into their bladders. He also had them get Colonial Fleet Survival Rations which were a block like cake of highly enriched hard cake which was scored to be broken into twelve pieces. Each piece was enough to provide at least a day's worth of calories and nutrients to the person eating it. He also had them pack three days' worth of freeze-dried camping rations in addition to the survival ration cake.

Instead of them having a tent Helene and he carried a tarp, 100 feet of parachute cord, another 100 feet of heavy fishing line (bank or trout line), three pairs of extra socks, three sets of extra underwear (briefs/ panties and t-shirts), a small collapsible camp stove with fuel tablets, a folding camping trowel, a surplus CAF issue mess kit with utensils, a crush-able sleeping bag in a compression sack and an Individual First Aid Kit or IFAK. The IFAK consisted of a combat application tourniquet, a Tauron Combat Battle Dressing, a minor first aid kit, EMT shears, pain medications and anti-radiation syringes. Alex said to her when they put these kits together, "These are the closest we can come to assembling a kit like I knew back on Earth. The biggest addition is the anti-radiation auto-injector pens. Everything else is the Colonial version of items found in an IFAK back home."

Now as for the Raptor it was hid within a barn like garage on the property her father had purchased with a cash upfront payment to the mountain farming couple who were retiring and going to live with family in Delphi. The retreat encompassed 640 acres or 258.999 hectares of mountain and bottom land in a side valley 50 kilometers upstream from Sparta. The farmstead was on a shelf overlooking the Little Delphi River a tributary of the Delphi River. In fact the retreat sat on the north bank of the Little Delphi River about ten kilometers upstream from the conjunction with the Delphi River. At that point the Little Delphi River drained out of a hanging valley left behind in the last Caprican Ice Age which ended about 12,000 years prior to Colonization. To reach the retreat one had to either fly in or go overland via twisting and winding mountain road that used to be the roadbed of a meter gauge narrow gauge railroad used by the Delphi Mining and Timber Company prior to its closure thirty years before the Cylon War.

Sparta had been the main yard for the DM&T Railroad which serviced the upper Delphi Valley and the various company towns of DM&T. The only part that was left was the length between Sparta and the former mining town now resort town Miletus over 96 kilometers up the Delphi from Sparta. Helene remembered that Alex had told her that this part of Caprica reminded him of the mountains of the American states of Oregon and Washington, but the Sparta area was more like the area around the cities of Durango and Silverton in the American state of Colorado. The valley of the Delphi between Sparta and Miletus was a steep walled gorge or canyon similar to the one on Earth Colorado's Animas River flowed through.

In the days of the silver, gold and timber booms in the Upper Delphi River Valley the roads, really narrow mountain trails were too dangerous for year round travel. The DM&T decided that a railroad was needed to connect Sparta with the mining and timber camps of the upper valley. So like the man Alex called William Jackson Palmer one of the founders of the Denver and Rio Grande Railway had engineers run a line up the Animas River Canyon, the founders of the DM&T RR had their civil engineers cut a route between Sparta and Miletus up the Grand Gorge of the Delphi. This was the only part of the old DM&T Railroad left in the Upper Delphi Valley. The town of Lamia sat at the confluence of the Delphi and Little Delphi and was at the mouth of the Gorge. It was from this town that hikers often left the DGS RR or Delphi Gorge Scenic Railroad and would hike up the Little Delphi or into the surrounding Atlas Mountains on the various trails. It was to Lamia that the trail Alex and Helene were on terminated after rising up the mountain on the west shore of the Delphi. Like Sparta, Lamia straddled the Delphi.

Alex took a look at the map in the trail atlas and said, "From here Lamia is closer and we can hike on up to the retreat from there. Let's pray that your father and the others not already there have made it out of Sparta and headed to the retreat. We'll be doing good to make Lamia by late afternoon, but it would mid-evening if we headed back to Sparta now." Then he put the atlas back into the cargo pocket on his right leg. "Let's get going. If the Cylons have returned I don't want to be up here when their patrols begin to seek out survivors.

They were nearly to Lamia when a loud roar came channeling up the Upper Delphi Valley from the direction of Sparta. Helene looked back in that direct after seeking the bright glow reflected off the valley's walls, screamed and said, "Oh Gods, Oh Gods, Oh Gods..." Alex looked back down the direction of Sparta and saw a mushroom cloud rising high into the atmosphere. "Helene we need to inject ourselves with an anti-radiation shot now!" saying that he ripped into his IFAK and got out one of the six he had them each put in their respective IFAKs. He popped the cap from the pen and then slammed the head into the fleshy part of his inner thigh. Like an epinephrine autoinjector or an atropine autoinjector the anti-radiation autoinjector shot the medication into him as it was slammed into his leg. The sharp thin needle pierced his layers of clothing, skin and subcutaneous fatty tissue and injected the medication right into his muscle.

"Ok, let's get humping we've got a few hours of daylight to get down to Lamia and I want to get up the Little Delphi Valley and to the retreat before dark," Alex said as he slung his carbine around his neck and over his right shoulder with the apex of the single point sling riding under his left arm pit low enough that the barrel rode against his left thigh with the pistol grip at an easy to reach point about his waist. Helene had slung hers in a similar fashion after taking her first of many doses of anti-radiation medication.

It was nearly three in the afternoon by the time they reached the outskirts of West Lamia. They crossed the Delphi on the bridge of Zeus Avenue the main drag of Lamia. On the west side of the river Zeus went through an upper class residential neighborhood, but on the east side one walked through Lamia's downtown businesses district. Zeus on the east side of Lamia became Delphi Provincial Highway 567, a little traveled two lane with shoulders asphalt paved road. It climbed up the Little Delphi Valley following one of the old branch lines of the DM&T along the south shore of the Little Delphi. It reached the upper Little Delphi Valley in a series of hairpin turns and switchbacks that turned the ten kilometer distance as the crow flies into a thirty to forty kilometer trek even on foot. On foot was how Alex and Helene had to go not only because they had gone up the Sparta – Lamia trail on foot, but because not a single car or truck was moving now due to the electromagnetic pulse given off by the nuke that destroyed Sparta earlier in the afternoon. Thanks to the prevailing winds going inland from the Western Ocean and the shores of Iconia the fallout from Sparta was being blow towards Delphi rather than upstream towards them. The x-ray pulse, neutron flux and gamma pulse had already done whatever damage to him and Helene, but they were safe from the fallout's alpha and beta particle radiation.

Alex's father and uncle had told him that of the radiations given off by a nuclear explosion if you weren't affected by the thermal radiation blast or the shock-wave then only three that were dangerous out right were the x-rays, neutron flux and gamma rays. Beta particles were only dangerous if they reached your skin, entered open wounds or were ingested. Alpha particles had to be ingested or enter open wounds to poison you. Alex's uncle had been a Special Weapons Section NCOIC or Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge back in the 1980s in an Army and later an Army National Guard Field Artillery firing battery equipped with M-110A2 8 inch Self-propelled Gun/ Howitzers. He had worked on the W-33/ M-422 Atomic Projectile and the later M-753 Neutron Enhanced Radiation Projectile. Both these weapons along with the M-110 series howitzers were retired by the last START or Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of the Reagan – Bush Era back home. Alex's father had been a bomber pilot at first on Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and later on the B-1B Lancer bombers. In fact his father flew one of the B-52 strikes along the so called Highway of Death during the First Gulf War and in the Second Gulf War he flew B-1B raids on Baghdad and before that similar raids of Serbian targets during President Clinton's war with Serbia over Kosovo. Both men taught him about the effects of radiation prior to his joining the USAF as a Pararescue Jumper during the Second Iraq or Second Gulf War and in the United States Army as a member of the 82nd Infantry Division (Airborne) in the Afghanistan War. Later in Syria he served in a Combined Arms Battalion of the Army National Guard.

"Helene, look Ethan's hasn't been hit yet by panicking people. Let's stock up on some supplies before hiking on up to the retreat," Alex said pointing to Ethan Rayner's Emporium. From the street the place didn't look all that inviting except to people in the know. In his short time on Caprica Alex had spent much of his time after being released from the Sparta hospital he recovered in hiking the trails around Sparta and its neighboring communities. He knew Ethan Rayner, a veteran Marine who fought in the Cylon War sold only to serious outdoors-men and women and the Caprican version of preppers or survivalists. It was Ethan's shop where Alex and Helene got their CMC or Colonial Marine Corps issue surplus packs and much of their survival gear.

Alex and Helene entered Ethan's and the proprietor looking out the front of the store hurried them to the back of the place after locking the entrance and making it look like he was closed. "What in the name of the Lords of Kobol are you two doing out today?" Ethan asked as he got the pair back into his backroom. Alex pointed toward the Sparta to Lamia trail on the other side of the river and said, "We were up on the Sparta – Lamia trail hiking when we saw the first nukes go off. I am very sure Caprica City and many other major cities nearby are gone. Sparta got a low yield device just before we came down off the mountain. We saw what resembled a c-shaped flying wing leaving the valley just after the nuke went off."

Ethan nodded, "That sounds like some kind of new model Cylon Raider." Then he began to usher the to the rear of the store, "I suppose you two intend to hike it all the way up to Doctor Andris' farm from here?" Then Ethan reached down and picked up an old CMC field pack that resembled the US issue ALICE packs of the 1970s through the 1990s which he shouldered as they walked back into the store, "Now come I have a better way for you two and me to get there. I have an old CMC five ton cargo truck in the back bay here. She's fueled up and loaded with supplies, weapons and ammunition, enough to supply us for several years." As he talked he guided them through the back storeroom and into the garage like rear of the building that housed his store. The Emporium wasn't a small storefront, but an old industrial building that once belonged to one of the mills the DM&T ran back in the day. For a brief time it was owned by a subsidiary of Graystone Industries, but Ethan bought it in a tax sale after the First Cylon War. Ever since then he built up his outfitter's business with a suspicious feeling that humanity had not seen the last of the Cylons after the Armistice.

In Ethan, Alex found a kindred spirit. With Ethan he was able to convince Dr. Andris and Helene along with others to form a Mutual Assistance Group. It had been about nine Caprican months since the group formed up. Many of the older members served in the Colonial Fleet or the Colonial Marine Corps during the war forty years ago and the younger ones were mostly the first and second generations born since the Armistice. That is talking of the adult members. Many of the teenagers and younger had known only the piece that followed the Armistice not realizing they were actually living in a Cold War that could go hot at any moment. Alex and Helene had just witnessed the war going hot.