The Cylons' Secret

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The Cylons' Secret
The Cylons' Secret
A book of the Re-imagined Series line
Book No. 2
Author(s) Craig Shaw Gardner
Adaptation of
No. of Pages {{{pages}}}
Published August 22, 2006
ISBN 0765315785
Chronology
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Battlestar Galactica (2005 Novel) The Cylons' Secret Sagittarius Is Bleeding
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The Cylons' Secret by Craig Shaw Gardner (published by Tor Books), is an original prequel novel based on the Re-imagined Series.

Overview

Book Description from Amazon.com:

Sometimes no news is bad news.
It’s been twenty years since the end of the Cylon war. The twelve human colony worlds are rebuilding, and the Cylons . . . the Cylons have been just too quiet. They are nowhere to be found. The robotic race that tried to obliterate their creators has gone to parts unknown in deep space.
The aftermath of the war has created a new, illegal profession: scavenger. Tom Zarek is one, scouring the outer settlements for valuable Cylon technologies and artifacts and usually returning empty-handed. But now, he and the crew of the Cruiser Lightning have found the Omega Station, a scientific station shrouded in secrecy beyond the edge of charted space. This is it, the big score, except something is wrong…the base is still occupied, not by humans alone; by Cylons too!
The battlestar Galactica, one of the oldest warships in the fleet, receives the Lightning's distress call, a cryptic one-word message: "Cylons." William Adama, newly promoted to second-in-command, is worried. Most of his crew are green, new recruits, not prepared for anything but the most routine missions. And, as Adama soon discovers, this mission is anything but routine. Omega is indeed full of Cylons, but also something much more disturbing . . .

Summary

  • One day before the First Cylon War, Cylons all over the Colonies received urgent recall orders from an unknown source, killing any humans in their way. The Cylons declare their independence, causing the war to start, initially to prevent the Cylons from leaving. Later the war became focused on extermination of the Cylons for their crimes, with the Cylons having an upper hand until the Colonies regress in computer technology. Both sides nearly collapse by the end of the war, leading to the armistice.
  • Twenty years later, Captain Saul Tigh on is Galactica, recalling the events that lead to his friendship with Bill Adama and his current assignment on Galactica during its mission on the edge of explored space. Adama, currently a colonel and the ship's XO, is notified of strange readings on DRADIS, emanating from a booby-trapped B-class freighter left by scavengers. Admiral Sing, Galactica's commanding officer, suggests sweeping the area in order to catch the scavengers and sending Vipers to deal with the freighter.
  • On the Lightning, Tom Zarek witnesses a fight between two of the ship's Viper pilots, Scag and Eddie. Suddenly, the crew is called to attention by Griff, the XO and communications officer. All nineteen crew members arrive on the main deck and are briefed by Captain Nadu.
  • The Lightning receives an automated signal from a Colonial Science Protectorate outpost, despite the organization's dissolution around the time of the Cylon rebellion, mentioning a quarantine. Nadu sends Scag and Eddie in their Viper Mk I's ("Vipes") to check out the outpost.
  • Near the sabotaged freighter, three Vipers flown by Lieutenant Tara "Athena" Tanada, Nik "Skeeter" Mino, and Junior Stith examine the damage inflicted by the scavengers. Skeeter privately believes that the Cylons were responsible for the freighter, partially because of his upbringing by his grandmother, who used stories of the Cylons to bring him into line. The Vipers are recalled to Galactica while Athena gets orders to destroy the freighter.
  • On the Lightning, the message is replaced by a live feed from Research Station Omega. The person on Omega's end informs Lightning that they have been out of contact with the Colonies for thirty years. Nadu takes advantage of the situation and gets permission for the Vipers to land, although the person on Omega's end urges Nadu to tell his pilots to wait after they land.
  • On Omega, Doctor Villem Fuest considers the ramifications of the impending visit of Lightning's Viper pilots eventually calling on his dead wife Betti for guidance. He calls a meeting of the senior staff, consisting of himself, Laea, Jon, and Vin, the only other remaining humans on the base, and three "companions", Gamma, Beta, and Epsilon. The companions are in fact Cylons, although they did not rebel with the others.
  • Laea and Vin witness the Lightning's Vipers land. The pilots exit the Vipers, brandishing their guns, causing the companions in the hangar bay to neutralize the pilots.
  • On the Lightning, Nadu recalls the events leading up to his command of the Lightning, particularly the incident that lead to his disfigurement while monitoring the Vipers' descent. As soon as Scag and Eddie are captured, Omega Station begins broadcasting the automated message again.
  • Fuest, Jon, Epsilon, Beta, and Gamma discuss the events in the hangar before resuming communications with the Lightning. While Griff at first demands to speak to the pilots, he agrees to Fuest's request for a meeting with someone more diplomatic. Nadu agrees, but only after warning Fest that two Vipers would escort Zarek's shuttle.
  • Nadu calls for another crew meeting, where he rallies the crew and assigns the crew for the second landing: Zarek, Boone, the Creep, and the two Viper pilots, Slam and Ajay. Nadu orders the shuttle crew to take weapons to intimidate the station's inhabitants.
  • In the launch bay, Boone, Zarek, and the Creep load the shuttle with guns, grenades, and survival gear before leaving the Lightning. They depart with their Viper escort and spend several minutes talking amongst themselves before landing.
  • Upon landing, Zarek orders that none of his team open fire without provocation. Shortly after, Dr. Fuest, Gamma, and Beta enter the hangar, causing some concern among the shuttle crew. Zarek, Boone, and the Creep exit the shuttle, meeting the three senior staff members.
  • While things appear to be going well, Ajay panics and opens fire with a rifle, casing Centurions to enter the area. A firefight begins, during which Zarek uses Fuest as a shield to get to the shuttle. He manages to get to the shuttle, but Boone is killed by Centurions before they could board the shuttle.
  • The Creep disappears, forcing Zarek to pilot the shuttle. Slam also survived and pilots his Viper out of the hangar, with Zarek following in the shuttle. However, a ship appears in orbit and destroys Slam's Viper. Zarek shuts down the engines, causing the shuttle to fall. He sends a message to Nadu about what happened to the other members of the team and the fact that Cylons inhabit the station before firing thrusters, which fail to bring the shuttle under control before hitting the ground.
  • On the Lightning, Nadu decides to withdraw from the massive Cylon warship in order to jump to a meeting spot. However, the ship leaves without firing on the Lightning, infuriating Nadu.
  • On the planet, Zarek examines the damaged shuttle finding most of the supplies on board unharmed. After examining his situation, he decides to leave the shuttle and examine the surrounding area.
  • Inside the station, Fuest questions the reasoning for the companions action. He is informed that through access to Lightning's pre-war computers (which were designed to interface with Cylon technology), the companions realized that they were a threat to the safety of the station and its personnel. They decided to neutralize the landing party before they could cause harm.
  • On the roof of the station, Laea witnesses the fighting in the hangar and the events immediately after, including the destruction of Slam's Viper and the shuttle crashing into the forest.
  • On Galactica, Admiral Sing is given a copy of Zarek's distress call. The officer of the watch informs him that the duty staff overheard the message and its mention of Cylons, forcing Sing to call a meeting of all the senior officers in the CIC, in an attempt to quash any rumors.
  • In the CIC, the senior officers discuss the message, particularly its origin and authenticity. Sing decides to send in recon Vipers once Galactica is closer to planet and have all the officers inform their subordinates that they are investigating a message of unknown origin and downplay the possibility of encountering Cylons.
  • On the planet, Zarek scouts the area around the crashed shuttle, discovering that he landed in a valley with fruit, a small stream, and some wildlife. While using a water testing packet from a survival kit, he spends some time thinking about the Lightning and his situation.
  • On Galactica, Tigh briefs the mostly green Viper pilots about the mission, stating he will go personally on the first flight, along with Athena and Skeeter. After the briefing, Skeeter voices his anxiety about encountering Cylons, but Tigh reassures him before heading off to the mess for a drink.
  • Meanwhile, Adama is called to the CIC as Galactica enters the vicinity of Omega Station and receives the automated message the Lightning previously received. Sing orders that a message be sent to the station, while at the same time, a message from the fleet on Omega Station.
  • Not along after sending the message to Omega Station, they communicate with Fuest, who asks for any party from Galactica to come unarmed, after the experience with the raiders. Soon after, Tigh updates his pilots on the changes to the mission plan, which consists of the Vipers following the shuttle sent to the station, but not landing with the shuttle.


Notes

New Locations

  • Research Station Omega – a Picon Colony Science Station, it was an attempt to study the interactions of human settlers and modified, semi-sentient Cylons (courtesy of independent neural pathways) about five years before the Cylon War. It was later forgotten and abandoned by Picon following the outbreak of war with the Cylons. The free cruiser Lightning and Galactica come across Omega 25 years after the war. Only one of the original researchers and three adult survivors (children when the station was abandoned) remain, along with 97 Cylon 'Companions'. Following an encounter with the dreadnought Invincible, the station is abandoned by the companions for parts unknown and the human survivors returned to the Colonies.

New Ships

  • B-class freighter – an old model ship, it was used to haul cargo from the Colonies to new settlements many years ago.
  • “Recovery Ship” – this is a polite name for a scavenger ship, which is sometimes armed with outdated Viper Mark Ones
  • free cruiser Lightning - this recovery ship attempts to scavenge Research Station Omega, but over a third of its crew is captured or killed by the occupants. Afterwards the ship returns with other recovery ships in order to destroy the station, but is presumably wiped out in conflict with the dreadnought Invincible.

Other

  • Adama as Galactica's XO and Tigh as captain on the ship contradicts later information from the episode "Hero", that has both serving on the battlestar Valkyrie before being assigned to Galactica. A document shown reveals further details about Adama's career in the Colonial Fleet.
  • The description of weapons in the novel is mostly consistent with their portrayal in the re-imagined series, although several occasions later in the novel seem to be describing laser weaponry similar to that used in the original series. Also, the Invincible is described as having lasers in its arsenal.
  • The Invincible never deploys Raiders, implying that the Raider design was a later development since the dreadnoughts were among the first military units to rebel. However, the dreadnought deploys large numbers of Vipers specifically designed for Cylon use.
  • Galactica only has roughly two dozen pilots aboard, which is about the size of one squadron. However, it is stated that Galactica is training pilots in unexplored space, which is possibly why there are so few pilots aboard.
  • There are no Raptors aboard Galactica, despite their use in the First Cylon War. While it is possible that they were not placed aboard for what was supposed to be a simple mission, it is more likely that the author did not know Raptors existed at the time (a fact that was later revealed in "Razor" and the Razor Flashbacks).
  • The majority of the novel apparently takes place 20 years after the outbreak of the First Cylon War, which was four years before Tigh and Adama first met according to the series' official timeline.

External links