By Richard Hatch and Christopher Golden
(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, hardcover edition,
published August 1997)
Commander Adama's death leaves a void in the
fleet that the returned Count Iblis attempts to fill.
Notes from the BSG chronology
The dust jacket of this novel explains that the story takes
place 18 years (yahrens) after the rag-tag fleet began its
journey to find the legendary planet Earth. This places the
story 8 yahrens after the last recorded adventure in the
Death of Apollo" Part 6
therefore this is in the Colonial yahren 7360.
Surrender the Galactica, Baltar undergoes plastic
surgery to alter his face so that he can pass unrecognized
inside the human fleet. It is left unstated in that novel
whether he went under the laser scalpel again to get his old
face back. No mention is made in our current story to his
looking any different, so we must assume he missed his original
face and was able to convince the Cylons to restore his old look
(though I like to think he would vainly have instructed them to
leave him looking a little younger than before). Another
possibility is that this is actually a clone of Baltar, as the
general concept of cloning comes up briefly near the end of the
book and becomes more prominent in a couple of the later novels.
"The Death of Apollo" Part 6,
Apollo seemingly died, his Viper falling into a sun.
Conveniently, there was no body. Since his Viper plunged into a
sun, that seems pretty final, but might the Beings of Light have
intervened as they have a time or two in the past (and future)?
An intervention by the Beings of Light could explain his
presence here, 8 yahrens later.
The dust jacket of the hardcover edition
describes the Cylons as cyborg berserkers. This is probably a
reference to the Berserker series
of books by Fred Saberhagen published in the 1960s. Many BSG
fans feel that Glen Larson based the original Cylons on the
Berserker robots of Saberhagen's series, who seek to eliminate
all sentient life.
Apollo now flies the latest Scarlet-class
Viper, an updated Viper model developed within the fleet (page
93 reveals that his is the first off the line). There
was also an earlier, Azure-class Viper developed some yahrens
ago. Starbuck has chosen to stick with his old Viper all this
time, saying, "She's kept me alive this long, and I don't need a
shiny new toy." But we have seen Starbuck's Viper essentially
totaled a couple of times in crash landings in past stories
(e.g. "Maytoria" and
"The Young Lords"), so
presumably this is not his original Viper anyway!
On page 3, Starbuck remarks that when he's
losing at gambling, he drinks grog, but when he's winning he
buys ambrosa. This implies that grog is a cheap drink and
ambrosa more expensive. In the real world, grog is a beverage
generally considered a weak alcoholic drink of mostly water
mixed with beer or rum. Ambrosa (also referred to as "ambrosia" in
some stories) has been referenced many times in the course of
the BSG saga as a more classy liquor.
The glossary of Colonial terms at the back
of the book states that "pogees" means "testicles". Other fan
sources have suggested it means "shit". Past usage in other
stories, such as "The Long Patrol"
and "The Living Legend"
Part 2, suggests that "shit" is the better euphemism.
Page 4 reveals that Starbuck is a captain at
this point in time.
The novel suggests that both the Colonial
fleet and the Cylons refer to the planet on which Starbuck has
crash-landed as Ochoa.
Presumably the planet was detected and named from the Twelve
Colonies before the exodus and Baltar may be using the name he
On page 5, the Viper pilots' helmets are
referred to as helms and said to have an energy shield that
covers the openings over the face and neck of the wearer. The
helm is then able to extract oxygen from its surroundings to
provide it to the wearer and also displays an info-scroll for the
pilot of his battle conditions or surroundings.
The word "felgercarb" is misspelled as "feldergarb"
throughout the novel except in the glossary! However, this may
be less a misspelling than a personal affectation; a character
in "Behind Enemy Lines" and
Colonel Tigh in "The Lost
Warrior" both say "feldergarb" instead of the more popular
"feldergarb" is a more humorous, innocent way of saying the more
cuss-worthy "felgercarb", like a real world person saying "heck"
or "darn" instead of "hell" or "damn". The glossary in
the novel defines "felgercarb" as meaning "bullshit".
The novel defines the term "centon" as about
one hour and "centari" as about one minute. Unfortunately, the
different terms for time units in the TV series changed meanings
in various episodes. In most episodes, however, "centon" stood
for "minute". It seems odd that the Hatch novels have chosen to
use it for hour instead and adds the previously unused term "centari"
Page 8 suggests that the fleet has been
using diluted tylium for "decades". With a scarcity of
resources, it makes sense that the fleet would used "diluted"
tylium as fuel. But the "decades" time description does not seem
quite right since this novel is supposed to take place just 18
yahrens after the holocaust of the Twelve Colonies, so it's less
than two decades.
Page 9 reveals it has been 6 yahrens since
the fleet's last skirmish with the Cylons.
When Starbuck shoots down a Cylon Raider on
page 10 and cheers about it, Apollo warns him, "Don't get
cocky!" This may be a reference to Star Wars: A New Hope,
in which Han Solo gives the same warning to Luke after the
younger man shoots down his first TIE fighter aboard the
Page 10 reveals that Apollo is a Lieutenant
Commander at this time.
On page 12, Apollo warns Starbuck that he's
not supposed to smoke in the cockpit. However, we've seen
Starbuck smoking his fumarellos in his Viper a number of times
throughout the BSG saga (although I don't think he ever did it
in any of the TV episodes).
On page 13, Starbuck seemingly dies, his
Viper burning up in the atmosphere of Ochoa after it suffers a
glancing collision with a Cylon Raider. The
burning-in-the-atmosphere "death" of Starbuck here is similar to
what later occurs to the Starbuck of BSG2000.
Chapter 2 of the novel is said to open three
weeks after Chapter 1. Shouldn't that be "three sectons"?
The novel mentions multiple agro-ships
existing in the fleet. But in
Warriors", two of the three agro-ships in the fleet were
destroyed by the Cylons, leaving only one. Still, nearly 18
yahrens later, it is feasible that the fleet has somehow built or
otherwise acquired some additional agro-ships.
Page 15 mentions that for most people in the
fleet, their idea of "fresh air" is that on the agro-ships,
oxygen generated by the plant life there. There are even
scheduled visits for the members of the fleet to enjoy some
fresh air on the agro-ships. Basically, only Warriors ever got
to experience actual fresh air on a planet, during scouting
Page 15 also mentions that Adama had an
antique, ticking clock in his quarters, the one thing he had
salvaged from his home on Caprica after the Cylon attack on the
In Chapter 2, Commander Adama suffers
from a cardiac arrest and soon slips into a coma and dies.
In the Hatch novels, Boxey is now an adult
Warrior and is referred to as Troy. "Boxey" is revealed to have
been merely a childhood nickname. This is the same adult name
and boyhood nickname explanation given in the
TV series. It is further
revealed here that Commander Adama was the only one who could
continue to get away with calling his adopted grandson by the
childhood name "Boxey".
Among Adama's last words are that he
believes that Boxey may one day ascend to commanding the fleet.
According to the prologue of the novelization of
"The Living Legend"
2-part episode, Troy became the fleet commander after Adama's
death some time after the events of the
TV series. Of course, most sources, including the Hatch novels,
disregard that series, considering it non-canonical.
Page 17 reveals that Boxey was six yahrens
old when he became part of Adama's family in the marriage of
Apollo and Serina (as seen in "Into
Page 17 also reveals that, after Adama's
recent illness, Tigh had assumed the Presidency of the Council
of Twelve. Prior to this, he had already retired as the
Galactica's executive officer and become a Council member. We're
not told exactly how long Tigh has been retired from his
military position, but in
"A Destiny Among the Stars"
(ten yahren earlier), Athena is stated as already being the
On page 18, Adama is described as having a
Page 18 reveals that Adama had taken in
Starbuck as an orphan and raised him as part of his family all those
yahrens ago. This has never before been revealed and makes
Starbuck almost a brother to Apollo and Athena (and Zac). It
seems a bit of a stretch that this was never mentioned in past
stories, and odd that Athena would be romantically involved with
someone who was almost family. I prefer the later Starbuck
origin story published by Dynamite Entertainment in 2013 ("Starbuck"
Part 1) in which Adama finds the orphaned boy immediately
after the attack on the village of Umbra and Adama simply grew
fond of the reckless-but-honorable maverick who was taken in by
foster parents nearby.
Page 22 reveals that, though never sealed,
Starbuck and Cassiopeia had a daughter, named Dalton. She has
gone on to become the youngest cadet to ever graduate from the
Academy, beating the previous record-holder, Troy.
Page 22 suggests that Cassiopeia's father
was never very encouraging to her, and she considered Commander
Adama almost a second father during her time in the fleet for his continual understanding and
encouragement towards her.
Page 23 reveals that Cassie had ended her
romantic relationship with Starbuck some time ago and he had
returned to Athena, even living together with her for a time.
Page 25 reveals that Adama had revealed the
family lineage to Apollo 10 yahrens ago, a pure blood lineage to
the Lords of Kobol.
Page 27 introduces a green Warrior named
Zimmer, who takes the presumed-dead Starbuck's position in Blue
Squadron. Possibly his name was derived from the editor of this
novel, Howard Zimmerman.
Page 27 describes the Colonial Warrior
uniforms as sparkling with buttons and clasps of polished
sylvanus. Possibly, "sylvanus" is the Colonial term for
The novel reveals that Tigh is from the
colony of Leonis, as is Boomer, and suggests that most Leonids
have dark-colored skin, an evolutionary adaptation due to the
planet's proximity to the sun.
Page 29 reveals that Athena is currently a
lieutenant colonel in her position as executive officer. This is
the same rank she held 10 yahrens earlier in
"A Destiny Among the Stars".
Chapter 3 reveals that Baltar and Lucifer
continue in their service to the Cylon Empire. Of course, this
novel does not acknowledge the events of the four original
novels by Robert Thurston, including
Surrender the Galactica,
in which Starbuck seemingly convinced Lucifer to defect to the
rag-tag-fleet. Still, an untold story in the 10+ yahrens since
could have seen Lucifer betray the humans or be captured and
reprogrammed by the Cylons for renewed loyalty.
On page 32, Baltar muses on the three kinds
of Cylons: the centurions, the Imperious Leader, and the
IL-series like Lucifer. But in
"The Living Legend" Part 2,
we saw another type on Gamoray who may have been civilians or
Page 32 reveals that the Cylon lifespan is
more than two centuries.
Page 32 also reveals that Lucifer had told
Baltar that when an Imperious Leader dies, a new one is chosen
from the ranks of the IL-series. It has been speculated by fans
in the past that the "IL" stands for Imperious Leader.
Also implied on page 32 is that the Cylons
have gone to great lengths to prevent Baltar from learning too
much about them, even while he has been given command of Cylon
On page 34, Baltar loses command of his
baseship, by order of Imperious Leader, and Lucifer assumes
control. A similar circumstance occurred In
Surrender the Galactica, when Imperious Leader put
Spectre in command of Baltar's baseship and demoted Baltar
himself to Spectre's assistant.
Page 34 refers to an agro ship called
"War of the Gods" Part 2,
one of (or the, depending) is referred to as Agro Ship 9.
Page 35 indicates there is more than one
officers' club on the Galactica. Adama's favorite was
Page 35 seems to suggest that Troy's father
was killed in the attack on Caprica by the Cylons. It then goes
on to state that his mother, Serina, was killed by them half a
yahren later. This suggests that
"A Death in the Family",
in which Serina is killed, takes place about six months after
Page 37 reveals that Troy is a lieutenant at
Page 37 also reveals the current ranks of
Boomer, Jolly, and Sheba: major, captain, and major.
On page 38, Dalton sarcastically asks Troy
if he's "sniffing vapors". This euphemism is used
by characters throughout the book. It is a reference to Boomer's
remark way back in "Exodus" about a
woman who "must have been smoking plant
Page 39 reveals that most Capricans are of
the Kobolian bloodline. And Troy muses that, though Caprican,
his bloodline is not purely Kobolian.
Page 40 states that the human lifespan is
almost 120 yahrens. But according to Adama in
"War of the Gods" Part 2,
the human lifespan is 200 yahrens.
On page 42, Cassie is described as stepping
off the ascensior onto the bridge of the Galactica. An ascensior
is defined in the novel's glossary as "similar to an elevator".
Page 42 reveals that Cassie had married
another man after leaving Starbuck and was later divorced from
The glossary of the novel describes a new
term, novayahren, as a birthday.
Page 43 reveals that some of the worlds of
the Twelve Colonies had experienced adaptive, divergent
evolution of the colonists due to the planetary environments. Leonids
tended to have dark skin (Tigh and Boomer); Scorpians have a
light, almost invisible fur on their bodies as an adaptation to
cold; the Borellian Nomen are first described on page 43 as
being an aboriginal race to Scorpius, but later, on page 49, as
being aboriginals on Caprica.
Page 43 describes the skin color of Gemons
as being like Kirasolis candy, from Athena's point of view. "Kirasolis"
appears to be a word unique to the BSG universe. The
Battlestar Wiki describes it as a caramel-like candy, but no
source is stated other than the Hatch novels in general.
Page 45 describes the children in the
children's center as playing with plasteen blasters. "Plasteen"
appears to be a Colonial form of plastic.
Page 48 names one of the ships of the fleet
(the home ship of Ambassador Puck on the Council) as the
Page 49 reveals there are 179 ships left in
the fleet. This is down from the last known number of 210 ships
in "The Death of Apollo"
Part 5. Presumably the number of ships dwindled along the
line due to destruction in battle, salvaged for parts, etc. in
since then (page 51 reveals that some ships were, in fact, salvaged for
parts for other ships).
Page 49 also reveals that the name of the
prison barge is the Icarus, holding 427 prisoners at
this time. (A nearly identical-looking ship as the one here in
BSG70 also serves as the prison barge in BSG2000, but is named
Page 49 describes the Borellian Nomen as
being aboriginals on Caprica, and a branch of humanity that arrived
on the planet millennia before the exodus from Kobol. Their
leader, Borellus, decreed that technology was to be abandoned
and the race lived off the planet's biosphere and evolved to the
human branch known as Nomen. Page 50 suggests that the 13 Nomen
prisoners on the prison barge may be the last of their kind in
Page 50 reveals that Caprica has a greater
gravity than the other Colony worlds.
Page 51 reveals that some members of the
fleet were allowed to settle habitable worlds along the way
during the journey thus far.
On the subject of whether Commander Cain of
the Pegasus is still alive, page 52 reveals that he had been
counted among the dead at least half a dozen times in the
Colonies' history before his most recent disappearance in an
attack by the Pegasus against two Cylon basestars in
"The Living Legend" Part 2.
Page 55 mentions a vendor selling heffala
berries at the triad game. The glossary of terms at the back of
the book reveals that heffala berries are a fruit native to
Caprica which are grown in the fleet's agro ships.
Also on page 55, Sheba suggests she and Troy
leave the triad game and go have a drink and coneth stew at the
Astral Restaurant. Presumably, this restaurant is related to the
Astral Lounge, named as the lounge aboard the Rising Star
in "The Man With Nine
Lives". "Coneth stew" is a previously unheard of term,
but is listed in the book's glossary as being made from bova meat, a bova
being a livestock animal kept in herds (likely a reference to
bovines on Earth).
On page 56, Sheba remarks to Troy that his
father is due to take his first command shift of the
Galactica in two cycles. Page 66 suggests that a cycle is
equal to 8 centons (hours). But the glossary of terms at the
back of the book seems to state that a cycle is divided into two
8-hour periods and one 9-hour period, equaling 25 hours, the
Colonial equivalent of a day.
On page 57, Apollo wonders if he could find
a way to continue wearing his Warrior's uniform as commander
instead of donning the traditional blue-and-white one of command
rank. I would think it wouldn't be that hard to do so, considering
Commander Cain wore a Warrior's uniform as commander of the
Pegasus, as seen in the 2-part episode
"The Living Legend".
Page 58 reveals that the secrets of the
Kobolian race within a family are passed down to the eldest
Chapter 5 reveals that Adama's Kobolian
sanctuary was behind a door in his quarters that should have
been just a closet (page 59 implies the door is visible, but
page 258 suggests it is a hidden door). In it is an antique wooden chair and a
computer more than five centuries old, yet more advanced than
any other in the fleet. As Apollo activates the computer and
listens to the message left for him by his father, we learn that
both Adama and his wife, Ila, were descended in a direct line
from the Lords of Kobol and so their children are as well. The
House of Kobol was a family of priests who became known as the
Lords of Kobol. Descendants of the House of Kobol are the
inheritors of mental abilities such as telepathy, telekinesis,
and clairvoyance which can be called forth with the proper
training. Apollo has been undergoing limited training in these
abilities by his father since his 30th novayahren. Adama's
message also reveals that Troy is a direct descendant of the
Lords of Kobol, but the young man may not know it. On page 204,
Apollo muses that even Starbuck may be one, having parents who
were both Caprican (not to mention that Starbuck paid a visit to
the Ship of Lights in "War
of the Gods" Part 2).
On page 62, Adama's message informs us that
mythology tells that Kobol was not the original homeworld
of humanity; the real homeworld was called Parnassus.
(In Greek mythology, Mount Parnassus in Greece is the home of
the Muses and, thus, the home of poetry, writing, and music).
When Parnassus was threatened with overpopulation long, long
ago, humanity colonized other worlds throughout the galaxy. They
met the savage, reptilian Cylons on their homeworld at this
time, but the race was too primitive to be a threat and the
world of Cylon was left alone.
During this exodus from
Parnassus was when Earth was settled. Eventually, Parnassus' sun
was about to go nova and the rest of the planet's
population left for the previously established colonies, except
for the House of Kobol, which settled a new colony, Kobol. After
centuries, the humans of Kobol fell to warring among themselves
as humans do, and the Lords of Kobol chose to leave in disgust
at the state of human affairs, becoming known as the lost
Thirteenth Tribe of Kobol. Legend says the Thirteenth Tribe
headed for Earth. Many of the acolytes of the House of Kobol
came to settle on Caprica and rule that world for millennia
until the Cylons came.
Page 64 reveals that the Galactica
is more than 500 yahrens old. This was also implied by Apollo in
"The Hand of God".
This book describes the Warriors' uniforms
as crimson and black (also shown on the cover painting of the
book), instead of the khaki and brown uniforms seen in other BSG
stories. Perhaps the uniform colors were changed during the 10
"A Destiny Among the Stars".
On page 71, during his escape from his cell,
Starbuck bumps into what seems to be an IL-series Cylon, and
Starbuck reflects that the Warriors called them diplomats
because they were non-combatants.
Page 77 mentions a plant, presumably edible,
called fallaga on Agro-3.
Page 79 mentions that off-duty Warriors are
Page 79 also mentions mange grass growing on
Agro-3, and suggests it is used in stews. In the real
world, mange grass is another name for "dog grass", so-called
because dogs will eat it when they are sick for its medicinal
Page 80 describes the rotting corpse found
on Agro-3 as having mugjapes burrowing into its empty
eye sockets. This suggests that mugjapes are similar to Earth
Page 81 describes Troy's blue eyes as being
like cold saligium as he stares down the blackshirt Paris.
Presumably, saligium is something like what we would call steel,
as we also use the term "cold steel" to describe the hardness of
the eyes of someone not about to take any guff.
On page 83, Troy remarks there hasn't been
an outright murder in the fleet since he was six yahrens old when
a triad player was murdered on the Rising Star. This is
a reference to the events of
"Murder on the
On page 84, Cassiopeia mentions a reporter
from the TransVid Information Service coming to interview
Athena. This must be a news service, similar to the Inter-Fleet
Broadcasting Service first seen in
"The Man With Nine Lives".
In the glossary of the following novel,
TransVid is defined as "television".
On page 91, Baltar rises from his seat on a
kyluminam chair. The word "kyluminam" is unknown, but may be a
metal analogous to aluminum.
On page 92, Baltar uses the epithet "Iblis'
Page 93 reveals that the Galactica
carried a complement of 75 Vipers, though the number had been
down to less than 40 at one point due to continual skirmishes
with the Cylons and other foes in the course of the fleet's
journey. It is stated that after the first decade of almost
constant warfare, the fleet had found a planet with the mineral
resources to build new Vipers and repair ships in the fleet. It
is implied that an old freighter of the fleet was refitted into
a ship for building and repairing Vipers and rechristened
Hephaestus (and known by the pilots as the Forge).
Possibly, this could be interpreted as the so-called "foundry
Hephaestus that appears in the Robert Thurston novels for repair
and construction of Vipers, sooner than the decade indicated
here; possibly, just the discovery of the mineral-rich world for making
wide-spread repairs and constructing new Viper models is what is
meant when the text states after "more than a decade".
My analysis here may be supported by a scene in the following
Warhawk: on page 111 of
that book, Cain mentions the Hephaestus as the
fleet's foundry ship. At this point, he doesn't know the ship
was sacrificed to destroy a basestar in this novel. But for him to
know of it at all must mean that the Hephaestus was the
foundry ship of the fleet back when he last saw the fleet in
"The Living Legend" Part 2.
In Greek mythology, Hephaestus
was the god of technology, blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans,
sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire, and volcanoes.
Page 101 reveals that crewmembers on the
Galactica use sonic showers. The term "sonic shower" seems
to have originated with
Star Trek (the
first appearance being in Star Trek: The Motion Picture).
A sonic shower is said to use sonic pulse vibrations to remove
grime from the exposed body.
On page 101, Boomer worries about a
malfunction in the opening/closing mechanism on his Viper, not
wanting to lose his life to a mechanical frizzort. This is the
first appearance of the term "frizzort" and must be a Colonial
word for an electrical malfunction.
Page 102 reveals that Boomer is one of the
head trainers at the Warriors Academy that has been set up for
Page 107 reveals that before the destruction
of the Colonies, a lot of galactic exploration was being
conducted by corporations established just for such a task. This
may be why the fleet sometimes seems to have star charts in previous stories for
areas that were otherwise far beyond the scope of Colonial
boundaries and trade (although some of these
star charts may be ancient ones left over from the migration
Page 108 reveals that the fleet had run into
many more alien civilizations than human settlements in the
course of their journey. We saw a few of these aliens in earlier
stories, but mostly human settlements were found, so the alien
ones must have occurred in the 16 or so yahrens after the events
in stories produced in the TV series, comic books, and novels
produced up to now.
Page 108 also reveals that the Colonial word
"avion" means the same as the Borellian Nomen word "bird".
This novel suggests that most Colonials
speak the Kobolian language as the common language. Even the
Cylons use it when communicating with the humans. It would seem
then, that this must be the language also spoken by most, if not
all, of the human settlements the fleet has come across during
the yahrens of journey.
In this novel, the computers in the Vipers
are capable of recognizing voice commands and responding in
kind, though they do not have the personality evinced by the
C.O.R.A. computer in the test Viper piloted by Starbuck in
"The Long Patrol".
On page 127, Boomer muses on the low wages
paid to the shipbuilders and servicemen on the Hephaestus
and thinks they deserve more, being "worth their weight in
oregg". "Oregg" appears to be a misspelling of the Colonial term
"auric" which was first used in the
episode "The Super Scouts" Part 1 for the metal we call "gold".
Page 128 reveals that Starbuck tends to
spring for expensive fumarellos, not the cheap ones.
On page 132, Cassiopeia muses on the growing
protests about the leadership of the fleet aboard the
Adena and the Delphi. As mentioned in the study of
"A Death in the Family",
Adena may be the same ship as the Edena
mentioned there. Possibly the ship Delphi was named in
honor of the Delphian Empire which was later revealed to have
been conquered by the Cylons in
"The Living Legend" Part 1.
(Another possibility is that it was named after the Caprican
city of Delphi, if such a city existed on the Caprica of BSG70
as it did in the BSG2000 universe in the TV series
Page 147 describes the Delphi as a freighter that has
been converted into a marketplace selling goods from over thirty
different merchants. Possibly this is the same ship by that name
which was destroyed by Cylons in the
episode "The Super Scouts" Part 1, though that ship
had been converted into a schooling ship for the fleet's
Page 136 implies that Iblis is the ancestor
On page 136, Lucifer introduces a new line
of Cylons that have a new brain implant he refers to as a Human
Logic Function, modeled on Baltar's brain. Perhaps it is
also based in some way on the "soul" Lucifer believed he had,
stored in his shoulder, first mentioned in the novelization of
"Lost Planet of the Gods".
Page 146 reveals that Cylons will
meticulously remove their dead from the field of battle,
presumably to prevent the enemy from learning about their
Page 147 mentions the drag-field of the
fleet, suggesting that "the collective mass and inertia (of the
fleet) created a kind of gravity well that kept the smaller
ships travelling with them and allowed intra-fleet travel." This
may be an effect of the FTL drives of the ships of the fleet.
Seeking a suspect or witness in the murder
on Agro-3, Troy and Dalton board the Ursus,
commanded by Captain Morgan; it is revealed that Captain Morgan
had once been an Academy instructor on Caprica and had trained
both Apollo and Starbuck. The ship is described as being a home
for the very poor or criminal of the fleet and where illicit
activity takes place.
On page 149, Dalton refers to the Ursus as a poor man's
Rising Star. It contains a region called the
Pit in which the lowest of the low live in fear and violence.
Recall that the Galactica itself has a region in its
lower decks called the Devil's Pit, first mentioned in the
novelization of the "The Young
Lords". The Cult of the Serpent (also referred to as the
Serpent Cult) is based here.
On page 147, the Adena is said to
be known for its socialators and the Cerebus as an
archive ship. Possibly the authors named the second ship for the
archive compilations of the alternative press comic book
called Cerebus, since I am unaware of any other association
of the name (Cerebus' creator, Dave Sim, had intended
to call the character Cerberus, but misspelled it initially and
decided to keep the new name).
Page 149 reveals that Omega is currently a
The leader of the Cult of the Serpent is
Tybalt. Possibly the Viper pilot character called Tybalt in the
2003 BSG video game was named for the cult leader of this novel.
The name is also known as a character in William Shakespeare's
play Romeo and Juliet.
Page 161 suggests that the Cylons' skin is
gray, with plates or scales.
On page 162, it seems odd that Starbuck
would assume that the Cylons used only the Kobolian language.
They were never native to Kobol, so one would think it natural
to assume they had their own language(s), even if they had
learned Kobolian as well.
In Chapter 14, we learn that Zac is one of
the Beings of Light. He reveals to Apollo that the Beings of
Light are actually the Lords of Kobol, having evolved far beyond
the rest of humanity, and their descendants. Apollo vaguely
recalls being there before once or twice; this happened in
"War of the Gods" Part 2
and "Experiment in Terra".
On page 166, a table covered with platters
of food and drink appears out of thin air within the whiteness
on the Ship of Lights for Apollo's sustenance. Possibly this
scene was inspired by a similar one in the "cosmic hotel room"
near the end of the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Page 167 reveals that the Lords of Kobol
have sought the presence of the being humans call God, but have
not tracked Him down yet.
On page 169, Zac reveals that Iblis is a
fallen Lord of Kobol, who desired power over wisdom. Iblis' time
among the fleet (in "War of
the Gods" Parts 1 and 2) was an attempt to corrupt
Commander Adama. After his failure to do so, Iblis has waited
until Adama's death and will now attempt to corrupt Apollo;
later, he will partly succeed in
"Apollo's Journey" Part 1.
Page 171 reveals, in answer to Apollo's
question, that, despite his higher level existence, Zac does not
know the location of Earth.
Zac's presence as one of the Beings of Light
may be considered the culmination of the storyline begun in
"Daughter of Elysium", in
which Zac, as a young boy, is visited in his sleep by a female
member of the Beings of Light.
On page 173, the civilians working on board
the Icarus who are not wearing a uniform are spared death
by the Nomen as long they do not get in the way of their
takeover of the ship. So, even though they despise normal
humans as weak, the Nomen may have a sense of honor that
generally prevents them from intentionally killing
Page 176 reveals that a touch of fingers to
forehead is a Colonial Warrior's salute to a superior officer.
No kind of salute was seen in the episodes of the TV series.
In the following novel Warhawk, the salute is described
as a touch of the first two fingers to forehead and chest.
Page 180 reveals that a man named Heimdall
is the captain of the prison barge Icarus at this time.
Revealing himself to be a traitor siding with the rebellion
fomented by Ambassador Puck, Boomer kills him on the next page!
Presumably, Croft, who was last depicted as the commander of the
prison barge in
Surrender the Galactica, has since retired or moved on
to a position elsewhere.
On page 182, the Neptune is revealed to be a
crisis control ship in the fleet and sends fire crews to put out
the fire on the Hephaestus after the explosion.
This novel seems to refer to the firefighters who respond to fires
aboard the fleet's ships as "crisis agents". This
may suggest that they respond to emergencies other than just
Page 195 reveals that the Cylons have
developed a Quantum Shift-Effect generator (also called QSE
generator) that can make a ship or outpost invisible to both
scanners and the naked eye by creating a quantum shift, moving
the subject out of dimensional phase. Starbuck salvages one from
a Cylon Raider on the Ochoa base for use and study by the human
Page 197 suggests that the Cylons have both
small and full-size basestars at their disposal. The only
previously known size differential in basestars has been the
much larger super-basestars seen in
"The Law of Volahd" Part
"The Death of Apollo"
Page 198 suggests that the Cylon holo-cube
held by Baltar, showing the colonies settled by the emigrants of
Parnassus, may also hold the location of Earth.
On page 200, Starbuck muses on how he had
somehow thought of Commander Adama as immortal. But now that
Adama is dead, he thinks anybody could die.
On page 207, Apollo remarks that the old
model Viper Starbuck favors does not have a hover-mode.
On page 211, Starbuck doesn't seem to
recognize Lucifer, despite their past in the Thurston novels.
On page 213, Athena finds a Sagittarian
woman named Portia in charge of the Ursus while Captain Morgan
is in the Pit. Possibly this character was the namesake of the
Portia King who appears in the BSG2000 episode
"The Woman King".
On page 216, Tybalt is described as standing
with his head cocked to one side like a slowbrain. Presumably, "slowbrain"
is a Colonial slang term to describe a person with a mental
During the battle against the secessionists
aboard the Hephaestus, Boomer takes a human life for
only the second time in his career as a Warrior on page 223.
Page 224 reveals that Boomer had a sister
named Persephone on Leonis who was killed in the Cylon assault
of the Colonies.
On page 225, Sheba implies that Boomer will
receive the Golden Cluster for his role in the battle on the
Hephaestus since he was injured in the fight,
saying, "They'll never award you the Golden Cluster if you don't
get shot at least once." This suggests the Golden Cluster is
similar to the Purple Heart awarded to those injured in battle in the
U.S. military. But Boomer, Apollo, and Starbuck were all to
receive the Gold Cluster in "Deathtrap"
for clearing the mines in the Straits of Madagon in
"Exodus", without having suffered
injury; it seems unlikely that two such similar names as "Gold Cluster" and "Golden Cluster"
would refer to two separate military awards.
Page 227 makes a brief, metaphorical mention
of "the sands of Cancer". This seems to imply that the Colony
world of Cancer was known for its sand. Perhaps a desert world?
Page 227 reveals Starbuck's discovery in the
Cylon database that the Cylons have been genetically cross-bred
with human DNA.
On pages 230 and 307, Apollo refers to
Baltar as the Great Traitor. This may be a name he has earned
among the survivors of the Colonies (the following novel
Warhawk, seems to confirm this).
Page 233 reveals that the Cylons have double
rows of jagged teeth.
On page 245, Baltar reveals that millennia
ago, an evil human (who is later confirmed to be Iblis) visited Cylon and promised to make
them galactic conquerors. He became their ruler and started
adding human DNA to their genetics to make them more humanoid and dangerous. The
outsider hated humanity and decreed that the Cylons primary
edict would be to eliminate all of humanity from the galaxy.
On page 247, Omega mentions protests aboard
several ships, including the Celestra. This ship also
housed a brief mutiny in "Take
Page 247 mentions a bridge crewmember called
Sergeant Bree. Possibly this is the same woman who was a Viper
pilot named Brie introduced in "Into
the Void" and who also appeared in a couple other episodes of
the TV series. A Bree also appears in
seems to be among the Viper pilot cadets this time.
On page 261, Apollo proposes to Sheba. She
accepts, but the marriage does not take place in this novel.
Apollo loads his remote-controlled Viper
with solonite to create a large explosion when it impacts with
the basestar. This is presumably an alternate spelling of "solenite", a high-yield explosive, previously
used by the Colonials in the 2-part
"The Gun on Ice
Planet Zero" and by the Cylons in
"Fire in Space".
On page 286, Starbuck calls Apollo a "son of
a lupus". A lupus is a predatory animal similar to the Earth
wolf, as seen in "The Lost
In Chapter 24, Apollo drives the vacated and
damaged Hephaestus into a collision course with the
remaining basestar, with the Cylons seemingly oblivious to his
plan. Didn't they learn from the makeshift Viper missile just a
few pages earlier in the battle? Also, especially since Lucifer
was present for both, they should have remembered Apollo's
nearly identical (and successful) plan in
"Collision Course", in which
he rammed the Misquamacus into a basestar, destroying
both ships (though Lucifer's memory was mostly erased in
Galactica, so he may no longer recall the incident).
On page 296, Iblis commands Gar'Tokk, "Forge
ahead, and when you come upon the Hephaestus, you will
fire on her." This is likely an intentional play on words, as
Hephaestus is nicknamed the Forge.
With the destruction of the
Hephaestus, the fleet is down to 178 ships.
Page 299 refers to the Imperious Leader's
baseship, parsecs away, in the fourth quadrant of the Cyrannus
galaxy. The home galaxy of the Twelve Colonies was named as the
Cyrannus galaxy in "The Long
Also on page 299, Lucifer seemingly escapes
the destruction of his basestar by uploading into a computer and
being reborn in a "clone-tank" on the basestar of the Imperious
Leader. This is very similar to the concept of the Resurrection
Ship in BSG2000.
Page 304 reveals that Giles (seen in several
episodes of the TV series and other licensed stories) was killed
in the space battle against the Cylons in this novel.
Also on page 304, President Tigh announces
that the Adena will become the new Forge ship for
building and repairing Vipers.
On page 305, Tigh informs the fleet that the
Borellian Nomen may be allowed to eventually leave the fleet and
found their own colony on any upcoming habitable world.
Also on page 305, Sheba is appointed the new
representative of Scorpius by the Council of Twelve.
On page 306, Apollo is promoted to Commander
of the fleet and Athena to full Colonel as his
On Baltar's holo-map, 20 planets are lit up
as the colonies of humanity from the original homeworld of
Parnassus. Apollo presumes that one of them is Earth and decrees
that the fleet shall use the map to determine which of these
worlds it is.
This novel reveals
that before the destruction of the Colonies, a lot of galactic
exploration was being conducted by corporations established just
for such a task. Might there still be some of these expeditions
existing, unable to return home after the holocaust wrought by
If a Viper filled with solenite could easily
impact and destroy a basestar, why haven't the Colonials
developed a missile previously to do exactly that?
Whatever happened to Muffit II, Boxey's
mechanical daggit? It's never revealed and Troy never mentions
his former pet (though Apollo briefly reminisces on Troy's
youth, including his pet mechanical daggit, in
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