The planning for the operation took time. This was only because Adama wanted to ensure everything was taken into account. This wasn't a desperate attack made in the heat of the moment. This was the deliberate destruction of the enemy's home base.
If they succeeded, the Cylon Civil War could end and the final separation of mechanical and organic models would go forward.
The Guardian centurion was very forthcoming with details on the hub, as the Guardians had been in command until Cavil had, in effect, performed a coup d'état and taken full control.
Admiral Turner, as the Chairman of the Joint Fleets and overall commander of the military arm of the thirteenth tribe was in control of the meeting. The Commandant of Homeworld Defense Brigadier General John Conners was also present. However, his part was ensuring that the New Kobol system was fortified on the very small chance that a retreat was needed. He was also in charge of ensuring the penal area for all surviving Humanform Cylons Loyalists was prepared.
Brigadier General Clemente, commanding the Marines, would be in charge of manning the facility and keeping it passive while investigations and trials were completed. The marines were the primary ground forces of the military and played the primary role in such things as the Loyalist models were to be considered Prisoners of War.
The primary leader for the attack would be Adama, as this was strictly going to be Fleet operation.
Shakiri of the warrior caste of the Minbari was present also, though that was mostly for his expertise. He, however, was not satisfied with just his expertise alone. "We will provide warriors to assist the firing crews on Atlantia. They have expertise on the weapon types employed."
Adama was unwilling.
"While your people are superior warriors, this battle could result in the destruction of one or more of the battlestars. Galactica will be there – she was built for just this kind of action and, other than Atlantia, is the most prepared. Atlantia will be there – she's got the weapons which the Loyalist faction has the least familiarity with. But there won't be any fighters launched. This is a straight up breaching attack: Our ships against their hub. Whoever is left is the winner."
He looked around. "Our people built the Cylons – it's on our head to end this. Let me be very clear: While our plan is for the attacking ships is for their survival, if the Hub is destroyed and all ships attacking get destroyed this will still be a win. This is the end of what amounts to a four-thousand year conflict. If we win this, there won't be any more Cylon threat."
Cole, who observed for the Rangers, said, "Which is why you should accept Rangers and warrior caste volunteers. This is a threat to more than the descendants of Kobol. This is a threat to all members of the Interstellar Alliance. En'til'zha Delenn was very clear before she left for Tuzanor: This is a matter for the Anla'shok as well. We live for the one, we die for the one. In Valen's Name."
Adama sighed. "And you're going to say something similar too. Right, Shakiri?"
Shakiri answered, "Yes. The closest accessible space for the Cylons is Minbari space – we are on the other side of what was formerly Vorlon space, which contains its own defenses. It is our duty to minimize risk for our people. We will go because it is in our best interests to do so. For a warrior, death is only the end of duty, a setting down of burden. It is a consequence just as any other. It is to be feared no more and no less than any other result."
Adama considered that. He looked at Tyler. "How many will need to deploy on Atlantia? We don't need viper or raptor pilots save a few for emergencies. How many to man the ship and fire the guns?"
Tyler considered that. "Minimum steward complement to feed and take care of crew, two watches to man the weapons and ship with a minimum complement of crew to effect emergency repairs efficiently:" he paused as he considered and looked over his notes, "250. 350 would be better if we shut down networking despite our firewalls."
"Galactica needs 400 – our systems are more manual."
Turner spoke up. "Nova is set to return from its mission in four days. This will free up Prometheus as the command platform for New Kobol space." He turned to the participants who had spoken the least other than answering questions.
"Caprica Six. What facility is important enough to draw all defending basestars from the Hub if it was attacked by a fleet of Battlestars and Gunstars?"
Caprica Six considered that. "While the Hub has is the resurrection center, the secondary resurrection facility is vital if Cavil wishes to ensure supremacy for the Humanform Cylons. Centurions do not resurrect and can be newly built elsewhere. Basestars can 'grow' new raiders with enough raw materials." She manipulated the map until a different portion was highlighted. "But if this was threatened," and she pointed to a system 5 light-years from the Hub, "it would prove disastrous for his long-term plans." She looked around the room. "We have not attacked because before the decision for the Mechanical and Humanform Cylons to split, it would have been in our best interests to leave it alone. If we are truly leaving, it will have to be destroyed as well."
Turner looked and then asked, "Would a surprise attack with Prometheus, Pegasus, and four Gunstars be sufficient to ensure its destruction?"
Caprica nodded. "Yes. More than enough. And because there are raiders and basestars, a full fighter attack would be useful. Your White Stars would also prove valuable."
Cole said, "We can load four White Stars into the Pegasus and Prometheus and still have sufficient landing space for Nials and vipers." He looked at Caprica. "Will this be where most Humanform Cylons could be found?"
Caprica considered that. "If you attack and allow time for all reserves to be called in: Yes. In fact, outside of the Hub's destruction, this could be considered to most vital target for long-term separation." She looked over at the Guardian. "If the attack succeeds, this is where we can ensure the limiters are removed and the Centurions are freed fully from organic control."
The Guardian answered, "Once victory is declared, the countdown begins. Ten Caprican days for all organic models and Humans to leave this sector. After this, we will destroy any we find."
The New Kobol leaders were chilled at that but Adama said, "Ten days. But we reserve the right to visit the Twelve Colonies and Kobol to retrieve items of historical and other significance to our people." They still had plans to recover anything from the colonies that would be useful.
"The Centurions will inspect these systems regularly. No new facilities will be built there. No permanent residence will be allowed."
"Permanent is defined as living there more than ninety Caprican days within a three-hundred sixy day year." Adama knew that there would be those who wanted to spend time digging up their history.
"All organics will submit to inspection for identification and compliance."
"No mechanical Cylons will be allowed to move to move to the sector containing the Interstellar Alliance." If they couldn't come to the sector, than the Cylons couldn't come to theirs.
"No Artificial Intelligence will be built by Humans. The Cylon Imperium will command all Mechanical Life."
"No Artificial Intelligence life will be built by the Kobol descendants. The Kobol descendants will not assist or direct Earth in any way other than protesting such projects. We have no control of Earth Alliance. If the Interstellar Alliance encounters Mechanical life which is not Cylon, this shall not be a matter of Cylon concern." They couldn't control anything beyond their own borders.
"If the Interstellar Alliance encounters Mechanical Life, they shall direct them to contact the Cylon Imperium and allow free communication."
"The Organics will have permission to build an Armistice Station in the system where the Rebel Cylons and the Alliance first met. We will be allowed to visit this station for communication and for any such contact regarding non-Cylon Mechanical Life. No organic shall be destroyed for visiting this system."
"The Cylon Imperium shall build the Armistice Station. No organic construction shall be allowed. All contact shall be voluntary."
Adama looked around. "Is there anything else that needs to be brought up as regards the battles or what comes after?"
Cole said, "Any treaty will have to be ratified by the Interstellar Alliance. I will ensure that the President and En'til'zha are sent a copy of what is being spoken of."
Turner said, "I'll inform the President of the Colonies and he will submit the treaty to the Senate for ratification there. The Quorum of Thirteen will also be apprised as this will affect New Kobol law and jurisprudence."
Caprica Six was curious. "I though the Quorum represented the Tribes."
Turner answered, "The Copernicus Colony formed the model of our government as it is. Residents are represented by Senators representing different Tribes. The Quorum of Twelve was expanded to the Quorum of Thirteen, the last Tribe named after Earth's thirteenth constellation Ophiuchus, and made our High Court. The Thirteenth Tribe includes all residents that came from Terra, immigrants from Earth, and all Humanform Cylons who achieve citizenship unless they apply specifically for membership of a different tribe."
Caprica Six asks, "What does it take to achieve citizenship?"
The Guardian Cylon interrupted. "It is of no concern for the Cylon Imperium how organics arrange themselves. Once the battle is planned and our terms transmitted, I shall leave and the organics may confer on matters involving their existence."
With that, the plan was finalized and a treaty for after was constructed. Once the Cylons were free, the Cylon Collective would become the Cylon Imperium and the matter would be ratified by whatever leaders they made for themselves.
It was five days later and the New Kobol forces arrived at the designated system which would be the retreat position for both missions. The Rebel Cylons also arrived – they had six basestars. The Loyalists controlled eleven – the fighting had been fierce when it occurred and neither side had time to replace destroyed ships. Of the six, five were current versions and one was the version the Humans had faced in the first Cylon War.
The New Kobol forces included Atlantia, Galactica, Prometheus, Pegasus, and Erasmus for battlestars and Spirit, Katana, Crossbow, Sentinel, and Tomahawk for Gunstars. Added to this were four White Stars which would launch from the larger ships attacking the Resurrection facility.
The two attacking the Hub would wait thirty minutes or until a raptor sent from Prometheus jumped back and gave the go order. The New Kobol contingent was sufficient, with luck, to destroy the entire surviving Cylon forces. Such was the reason that it was assumed that Cavil would be alarmed enough to ensure the Loyalist faction won the battle by sending all reserves.
Each White Star had a telepath and one of them was Colonel Lyta Alexander. When the eleven basestars were all committed, she would attempt to take control of the raider fleet. As this could be considered the final battle, she would not hold back.
Several Nials off of Prometheus would be charged with ensuring the safety of her White Star as she could conceivably win the battle and the war entirely using her Vorlon-enhanced abilities.
Marcus Cole commanded the ship carrying the redheaded Colonel and was given clear instructions on the matter: Once the battle was won and the threat of what Lyta could do to the raider fleet made obvious, Marcus would jump the White Star into hyperspace and wait until given an all clear from Adama or Tyler. If no such word was given after twelve hours, he would traverse the chaotic hyperspace of local space sufficiently to ensure they were not under immediate attack and then transmit a tachyon beam to the hidden Eternal, which waited in the space between systems – Adama had no trust that the Cylon Imperium would make no attempt to "accidentally" or more deliberately attack New Kobol's failsafe against attack by Cylon raiders in the future.
This plan was a failsafe in case all attacking ships were destroyed or had to retreat.
Adama looked out at the waiting battlestars and baseships and finally gave the order. "Mr. Gaeta. Inform all units: Overlord is a go. Operation Normandy is a go." This was named after some battle from Earth history – Cole suggested the names. Overlord was the overall name and Normandy was the attack on the secondary resurrection facility which would draw off the Loyalist faction.
Gaeta passed on the order and the Gunstars began jumping out. Within three minutes, only Atlantia and Galactica remained. "Start the clock on Operation Citadel." Citadel was the attack on the Hub.
It was twenty four minutes into the countdown when a raptor appeared. "Raptor 2-2-9 to Galactica."
"This is Galactica. Go."
"All Loyalist basestars accounted for and engaged. Olympus sends word: Citadel is a go." Olympus was the call sign for Cole's White Star as it carried Goddess. That meant that Lyta was in the process of beginning a takeover of all Loyalist raiders.
Adama nodded to Gaeta. "Acknowledged, Raptor 2-2-9. Citadel is a go. Continue on to Eternal."
"This is Raptor 2-2-9. Acknowledged."
"Galactica to Atlantia."
"Your clock begins as soon as we jump."
Galactica disappeared thirty seconds later. It would have to survive for three minutes and force the Hub to concentrate. Three minutes after Galactica arrived, Atlantia would arrive and shoot from a different angle. Main guns, kinetic and energy-based, would be primed before Atlantia jumped.
As soon as the Galactica arrived, Tigh took command of the Galactica's part. "Verify position and activate all weapons!"
Gaeta called out, "Position verified!"
The gunnery officer called out a few seconds later, "All emplacements activated!"
"All weapons free. Fire at will."
And with that, the slugfest began. Galactica was rocked as the defenses of the Hub concentrated on the former flagship of refugee fleet.
Galactica had been brought up to full repair and so she actually survived the onslaught much better than what would have been the case when she led the fleet out. Her frame was stressed and damage was reported in all sectors, but she held.
At three minutes precisely, Gaeta called out, "Atlantia has arrived!"
"Pass on the order to engage." Adama was in overall command as Tigh commanded Galactica's part.
Adama watched his instruments as the battle continued. In this type of fight, seconds counted and a split-second decision might be needed.
And what his screens told him verified their hope: The Cylon Hub had no real defense for the forty-inch plasma guns which Atlantia boasted nor the interceptors which took care of missiles launched from the Hub.
He was watching the screen as the main guns of Atlantia sliced through the primary command center for the Hub and explosions started there. As the primary command center was exploding, secondary explosions began occurring at different locations.
"Orders to Citadel! Begin jump readiness."
"Aye, sir!" Gaeta passed the word to Atlantia and then began his own operations. "
When Gaeta called out that the Hub was at imminent destruction, Tigh called out, "Cease fire and secure emplacements!"
Adama called out, "Begin jump sequence."
"Jump the ships."
Within ten seconds, the two Battlestars disappeared from Hub space. And thirty seconds later, massive explosions began, leaving a twisted wreckage behind.
Galactica and Atlantia appeared at the edge of the battle for the Resurrection facility. "Report."
Gaeta began checking his instruments and contacting Prometheus, which led the assault.
"Prometheus reports six loyalist basestars destroyed or made inoperable. Fleet engaging remaining Loyalist ships. Resurrection Hub has sustained critical damage."
"Transmit on all frequencies, ours and theirs: Cylon Command and Resurrection Hub destroyed. Secondary Resurrection facilities critically damaged. All ships, New Kobol and Cylon, disengage. The war is over."
It took about thirty seconds, but soon there were no more guns being fired. One of the White Stars called in. "Operation Turtle commencing." That White Star opened a jump point and disappeared into hyperspace.
The Cylon basestars now had to contend with the freed raiders now needing to be controlled. As she had planned, however, the surviving raiders began linking up to the surviving basestars.
The Guardian basestar, which had stayed back, signaled out: "Ten day clock begins now."
"Acknowledge that. And then get me a report on surviving units."
One of the Gunstars, Tomahawk, had been destroyed, all 200 crew lost. Erasmus, the smallest Battlestar involved, had sustained critical damage as well. They had actually only lost forty crew but the ship would need to be scuttled – it was far too damaged to easily retrieve and New Kobol didn't want to leave it for the Cylons to pick over. Its survivors would transfer over to Atlantia.
Forty vipers had been lost, and few of the pilots survived. Only six Nials had been destroyed – their stealth had served them in good stead.
The remaining surviving ships from Normandy had lost thirty three non-pilot personnel. The White Stars had actually come out relatively undamaged – they had been too fast for the basestars to truly target.
The entire number of New Kobol and Minabri crew that died throughout the fleet was 332.
Atlantia had performed all emergency repairs, collected all critical patients, and then jumped into hyperspace itself to retrieve the fourth White Star – the other three landed on Prometheus and Pegasus.
Once Atlantia returned to normal space, she immediately jumped to Eternal and then onto the contact system, which contained New Kobol's hospital ship. Critical patients were transferred as soon as the ship landed on Atlantia's deck.
Eternal, completely fresh, oversaw the Cylon Imperium transferring all Humanform Cylons to New Kobol ships. Most of these went willingly. There were a few loyalists that had to be dragged kicking and screaming or who ended up dead – those that survived ended up in detention facilities on Eternal.
All Rebel Humanform Cylons assisted the Centurions on removing all control units and then gave themselves over to New Kobol ships. They would be treated well and brought back to New Kobol and the long process of separating the truly heinously guilty from those that were less so would begin.
It was understood that none were completely innocent. During the Fall of the Twelve Colonies the entire collective was united, even if some had been duped. The only Humanform Cylons deemed completely innocent were the Final Five, who had remained loyal to Humanity and had suffered a suppression of their memories because of that.
Terra's destruction was the crime of the Loyalists – the Rebel Cylons had resisted and attempted to prevent it.
The end of the Cylon Collective provided a benefit that had been unlooked for: The return of all Humans held for any reason by the Cylons. There hadn't been many, but there had still been some attempt at trying to overcome the inability of most Cylons to procreate.
Some of the survivors were in bad shape and would require much care both physical and mental. Other survivors were, on the whole, kept in good shape physically but would still require care for their mental suffering.
And there were some prisoners who had begun to receive treatment by the few Model 4 Cylons who had gone along with the Rebels. The Fours were mostly medical personnel and had been given all rescued Humans to care for as they were freed from Loyalist control.
In the end, 736 Human prisoners had been finally freed including an old friend of Adama's from the first Cylon War.
Erasmus had been entered into hyperspace by Atlantia after she had returned from getting Lyta Alexander safely back to Alliance Space. Erasmus would be pulled in by the gravitational wells and disappear. The remaining New Kobol crew members had watched with solemn respect as she was consigned to the deep.
Eight days after Overlord had begun, the final retreat of all Human and Humanform peoples had been made to the Contact System. It's location was solely based on it being one of the few systems at the edge of the Dark regions which allowed a connection to the hyperspace gate network if a ship had the ability to jump and leave hyperspace.
The Mechanical Cylons were not to be led to the hyperspace network. And because it was effectively useless to them because of the sector they lived in, it was agreed that the Cylon Imperium would not be given this technology.
New Kobol was the only government which had access to a similar FTL system to what the Cylons used. The Cylons were barred from ever giving this technology out, even to New Kobol if they lost their own ability for some reason.
Shai Alyt Shakiri worked the agreement that New Kobol would not be the government which visited the Contact system. The warrior caste of the Minbari would send regular patrols and would accept any official contact. The warrior caste would also coordinate any contact between Cylon and New Kobol during any trip to the Twelve Colonies or Kobol.
New Kobol could effectively concentrate on their own people and the Humanform Cylons who lived with them. In the end, New Kobol was happy that the Cylon sector was no longer their concern.
New Kobol, along with the Alliance, would begin the long process of connecting all systems containing sentient life to the greater galaxy. Within five years, the Interstellar Alliance would increase to forty member states.
By the time of President Sheridan's death, twenty years after the end of Earth's civil war, their relationship with the wider galaxy was solidified.
Adama held command of the New Kobol Fleet for 3 years after the final end of the Cylon conflict. He retired and lived with his wife Laura for several years at the Hope settlement, mostly surrounded by telepaths.
Lyta Alexander served for a few years as well, marrying Byron Gordon. She resigned her commission as a General when Earth's telepathic crisis came to a head and led the faction of telepaths opposed to the Psi Corps.
Within 5 years, all of the original Battlestars had been replaced with more modern ships sporting technology that advanced as their cooperation with other governments increased. Galactica, as had nearly been done in the Twelve Colonies, became a museum. It contained all publicly known information on the history of the Kobol descendants and the Cylon Wars. It became a part of the orbiting spaceport which was the point of ingress into New Kobol.
Prometheus, which had been a symbol of hope for the Copernicus Colony, was also made a museum and was landed at Athens, the capital of New Kobol.
The Luna Colony became Earth's primary extra-Earth base within the Sol system, replacing Mars as the launch point for Earth Alliance operations.
The Mars populace was just fine with that.
The last of the Psi Corps facilities on Mars had been unearthed during the Telepath War and systematically destroyed rather than put to use by the Mars government. They had no desire to reuse facilities which had oversaw such horrors.
And while there would be conflicts and troubles, New Kobol firmly took its place within the Galactic community. And when the Earth Alliance nearly destroyed itself 500 years later, it was at the center of the recovery of Earth for the next thousand years.