By Richard Hatch and Alan Rodgers
(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, mass market
published October 2004)
The fleet finds itself trapped in Ur
under the "real" universe.
Notes from the BSG chronology
References in the book place it immediately after the events of
The cover of this novel is an inverse of a
Frank Frazetta (1928-2010) painting illustrating a scene from
the "Lost Planet of the
Gods" 2-part episode.
In this novel, unlike the earlier Hatch
novels, the author seems to have reverted to the measurement
unit meanings used in the TV show, i.e. microns=seconds,
On page 2, Apollo reflects on the
destruction of Kobol and the fleet's flight from it, noting that
they are merely men and women, not immortal birds or beings of
light. The reference to immortal birds is probably one to the
mythological phoenix, able to be reborn from its own ashes.
"Beings of light" is, of course, a reference to the mysterious
beings who have made themselves known to Apollo on the Ships of
Throughout the novel Cassiopeia's nickname
is spelled as "Cassi" instead of the usual "Cassie".
On page 8, senior engineer Nilsen remarks
that the highly unusual space the fleet has unexpectedly warped
into can be considered an Ur universe. "Ur" is a Germanic
prefix, meaning "early" or "primitive". It implies that this strange
space lies under and forms the foundation of the "real" universe
of which we are familiar.
As the novel begins, fuel and food supplies
in the fleet are described as already being low. But in the
previous novel, Resurrection,
which takes place immediately preceding this one, the fleet is
said to have
replenished its Tylium and food reserves before the destruction
In this novel, Baltar is depicted as
incarcerated in the Galactica's brig. But ever since his
agreement to help the fleet in
Armageddon he has been allowed to have his own private
quarters and was not even under formal guard except to act as
security against threats from others to his life.
Page 11 suggests that Baltar was capable of
creating an illusion in the mind of a jailer that would trick
them into releasing him, so all the brig sentries had deep
hypnotic controls to prevent them from following the orders of
anyone besides command personnel. Athena gives a high sign with
her left fist and speaks seven secrets words and syllables that
tell the sentries to stand down so she and those with her can
enter Baltar's cell.
On page 13, Starbuck refers to Baltar as a
Muskvynian ferret. This epithet has not been previously heard in
On page 15, Baltar does not seem to be
speaking metaphorically when he says he has travelled in a
starship to the ultimate moment of creation (presumably with the QSE
technology) a dozen times.
On page 19, Baltar muses on Iblis' employing
his ansibles to observe everything that happened. The term "ansible"
is derived from the 1966 novel Rocannon's World by
Ursula K. Le Guin. In that novel, an ansible is a device capable
of providing instantaneous or faster-than-light communication.
Since then, the word has been borrowed by other science-fiction
Page 19 implies that Baltar now considers
himself free of Iblis' influence.
This novel continuously refers to what seems
to be God as "the Maker".
On page 21, Starbuck compares Apollo to a
trance channeler at the bazaar on Galfrax Nine. This is the
first mention of the world Galfrax Nine.
Page 21 remarks that Starbuck wasn't born
yestersectare. And on page 155, Dalton worries that she was
sectaredreaming. These references would seem to indicate that "sectare"
represents approximately one day, as in "wasn't born yesterday"
Also on page 21, Starbuck considers Baltar
to be an "Alturian slime vermin, the kind that infests the
produce on Alturia Four." This is the first reference in BSG to
Alturia Four and its slime vermin.
This novel uses the term "agri-ship" is
instead of "agro-ship" as in previous shortenings of the term
"agricultural ship". Additionally, the novel goes back to
referring to such ships in the fleet in the plural. The Hatch
novels have gone back and forth in referring to a singular
agro-ship or multiple ones in the fleet.
Page 26 names two ships of the fleet, the
Ceres and the Astrogator. Ceres was a Roman
goddess of agriculture and also is the name of our solar
system's largest asteroid, considered a dwarf planet.
Page 29 reveals that Flight Officer Omega
has been transferred to the battlestar Daedalus, under
Another ship of the fleet is named as the
The novel uses the terms "yahrens" and
Throughout the novel the term "sickbay" is
used instead of the more prevalent "life center" seen
in most other BSG stories.
On page 41, President Tigh refers to
Starbuck as "Colonel" and he does seem to fill that role for
Apollo throughout the novel. Possibly, he was promoted to the
position by Apollo behind the scenes in between
Resurrection and this
novel seeing as how Colonel Athena has seemingly been given
command of the Daedalus since then (Athena's membership
on the Council also seems to have been forgotten). On page 154,
Sheba is also referred to as Colonel.
Sire Aron is introduced on page 45, said to
have been one of the Council's earliest members after the
fleet's escape from the Colonies.
Page 52 states that the civilians of the
fleet had been armed with lasers during the battle with the
Cylons and Chitain (I guess during the end of
Resurrection). But there
was little or no face-to-face combat occurring with the humans
against those enemies, just ship-to-ship.
Page 52 refers to the blasts from the
Colonial laser guns as bluefire. This may be a term used by the
Colonials in common parlance. It makes sense, as the laser blasts
from Colonial handguns were depicted with a bluish tint in
the TV series (though the Viper lasers were an orange-red, with
the Cylon Raiders lasers blue).
On page 56, Athena remarks, "...we can't sit
around on our astrums chatting." "Astrum"
seems to be Colonial slang for "ass", as earlier depicted in
"The Living Legend" Part 1.
Page 62 reveals that Baltar was a member of
the Council of Twelve at the time he brokered "peace" with
the Cylons before the attack on the Colonies.
On page 66, Apollo reminisces on Sire Adar.
Adar was the President of the Twelve Colonies before he was
killed during the Cylon attack on the Colonies in
On page 78, Boomer thinks about the yahrens
Bojay had kept the Vipers going. But Bojay had been missing for
many yahrens until he was rediscovered living on Poseidon
amongst Cain's people in
Resurrection, where he
worked in the mines, not servicing Vipers.
Page 87 reveals that Cassiopeia had not been
with anyone in yahrens before her tryst with Apollo in
Resurrection, so she's
sure the baby she's expecting is his. It was suggested in Resurrection
however, that she may have been tricked and the baby may
actually be Iblis'. Baltar later indicates to Apollo that
the baby is Iblis'.
Page 93 reveals that Starbuck won't talk
about his death and resurrection at the hands of the Beings of
Light, as reported in
Page 96 implies that Baltar is also a
Kobolian, like Adama's family.
It is revealed on page 96 that the tracking
device that Apollo has attached to Baltar's ankle also
administers pain to the wearer if they leave their designated
area of parole.
Page 96 also suggests that Baltar has the
ability to give mental commands to the weak-minded.
Page 102 reveals that there were once three
other Celestial Chambers on the Galactica, but now only the one
used by Apollo here and in "The
Hand of God" remains. Apollo seems to be introducing Cassie
to the chamber for the first time here, but she was previously
there (as Starbuck's date, along with Apollo and Sheba) in the
"The Hand of God".
Page 105 has Cassie reminiscing on
Starbuck's father, Chameleon. The old codger's fate is not
revealed (last seen separated from the fleet in
Galactica). Here, he is said to have been called Chameleon
because he was always changing. It is also suggested here that
Starbuck was not like his father and that "sparks had flown
whenever they'd met." This does not seem like an accurate
description of the relationship witnessed between Starbuck and
Chameleon in "The Man With
Nine Lives", where Chameleon was introduced.
On page 106, Starbuck buys Athena some
Dnigibian orchids and a magnum of real Protean ambrosa. Page 109
suggests that Adama had loved the lavender
Dnigibian orchids himself, they reminding him of his wife.
This is the first mention of the proper descriptive names "Dnigibian"
On page 127, Dr. Salik recommends that
Apollo take a brief furlon. "Furlon" is the Colonial term for
"furlough", a military word for an authorized leave of absence,
first used in "The Man
With Nine Lives".
On page 130, Sheba recommends that Apollo go
on IFB and tell the fleet what he knows about the rebellion and
the traitors aboard the Galactica. IFB is Inter-Fleet
Broadcasting, the news and entertainment channel for the fleet.
It was first seen in
"The Man With Nine Lives".
Page 143 reveals that the blackshirts
(security personnel working for the Council of Twelve) carry
wrist restraints that require a push-button code to open and
On page 151, Tigh states that Jinkrat has
arrived on the Galactica. But he is later depicted as
arriving on page 169.
Page 165 describes Baltar as having a beard
at this time.
Page 170 states the Chitain forced Iblis
into the Ur cloud, cutting off his direct influence on his
living minions. How/when did this happen? It is not explained.
When Baltar arrives in the Council chambers
in Chapter 8, why is there no mention of Siress Kiera with whom
he'd been keeping company in
Page 187 suggests that referring to an old
man as "Father" was an old-fashioned form of address among the
Also on page 187, Apollo finds the names of
several former prisoners etched into the wall of his cell in the
Galactica's brig: Starjumper, Orgon, and a prolific
artist named Michelangelo.
On page 190, Athena muses that it seems like
centurons since Baltar interrupted her and Starbuck in Apollo's
quarters, even though it had only been sectares. According to
some sources, "centurons" is the equivalent of 100 yahrens, a
century. Centurons is used as a simile here, so can be excused.
But it seems unlikely it has been sectares (days) since Baltar's
interruption; it seems hours (centares) at best.
On page 194, Tigh surreptitiously speaks to
Athena in Colonial military code to avoid alerting Sire Aron.
This reveals that Red-One means "highest alert" and Green-Three
means watch your back.
On page 199, Troy remarks to Dalton that
Trays would walk on Borellian glass for her. Presumably, this is
a type of glass made in the Borellian region of Caprica or by
the Borellian Nomen.
Page 201 describes Troy, Dalton, and Trays
as having been travelling through the whiteness of Ur for
sectons. "Secton" means one week, so the description seems
unlikely unless we are to chalk it up to distortions of time within this
Page 201 also describes hypoxia as oxygen
deprivation. This is correct.
The seeming ghost-ship of the Sky being
called Valor is described as "great" and "huge". But Valor's
original appearances in
Warhawk do not imply the
being as particularly large. In fact, he seems more the size of
a Cylon Raider.
On page 202, Troy refers to the remains of a
basestar as a Cylon battlestar.
Page 205 describes the battlestar
Pegasus as having escaped the battle of Caprica. Of course,
this is not true, as the Pegasus was lost in space
during the Battle of Molecay, over a yahren before the Cylon
annihilation of Caprica and the rest of the Twelve Colonies.
Page 205 also describes Cain as wearing the
rich, deep-blue command uniform (like Adama's). Did he choose
to adopt the more formal uniform sometime during the 18 yahrens
after his encounter with the Galactica and the rag-tag
fleet? In the two-part "The
Living Legend", he wore a modified brown and khaki Warrior's
uniform the entire time.
In the fourth paragraph of page 206, Dalton
is mistakenly referred to as Sheba.
On page 206, Dalton and Trays discover
Cain's body (actually still living) in the wreckage of the
Pegasus, in a hallway leading to the Viper bays, probably
racing to launch in a Viper himself. But in
Resurrection, Cain is
described as being on the bridge of the battlestar when it rams
into a Cylon basestar.
Troy, Dalton, and Trays find "tons" of fuel
and food pellets in the wreckage of the Pegasus and the Cylon
basestar and they bring it back to the Galactica. How are three
small Vipers able to bring back "tons" of supplies? Admittedly
the term "tons" is probably an exaggeration on Troy's part in
the novel, but it still must have been a lot to describe it as
such and I just don't see how they could have packed anything
but a very modest amount in their fighters.
Page 210 describes Apollo as having spent
"all that time rotting in the cell," implying at least several
days. But, again, the events of the novel seem to have occurred over
only a number of hours, seemingly affirmed by Apollo's
thoughts on page 213 that "this had been the worst sectare of
his life" (sectare=day).
On page 218, Athena thinks of Baltar as
"Janus-headed". Janus is the two-faced Roman god of beginnings
Page 225 suggests that Borellian Nomen are
able to call telepathically to another individual with whom they
have mixed their blood, as Gar'Tokk does with Starbuck.
Starbuck says, "don't look a gift Boray in
the mouth" on page 226. This is obviously a take on the English
expression "don't look a gift horse in the mouth." The term
"Boray" has been used a couple of times previously in BSG, in
"Exodus" and "The
Magnificent Warriors". In
Warriors", the Borays are seen to be bipedal, boar-like
creatures of at least some intelligence.
On page 239 Baltar dies, having sacrificed
himself to save Apollo. Don't worry, he gets better.
The novel refers a couple of times to the
Cylons as tin-cans, the disparaging term used by the child
warriors met by Starbuck in "The
On page 248, a Cylon war cruiser sneaks
through the battle raging among the Vipers and Raiders and bores
a hole in the side of Galactica, to disgorge a boarding
party of Cylon commandos. This is a similar tactic to that used
in "Time Bomb".
On page 250, the narrative remarks on the
Cylon centurions' obedience to orders, "A Cylon was to do and
die. A Cylon seldom wondered why." This was obviously inspired
by lines from
Alfred, Lord Tennyson's epic 1854 poem "The Charge of the Light
Brigade", about the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean
War. The line from the poem is "Theirs not to reason why,
theirs but to do and die." Later, on page 270, Apollo mentions a
past military battle known as the Charge of the Borellian Nomen,
in which none of the Nomen emerged alive. The novel's co-author
Alan Rodgers is himself also a poet.
On page 279, after the fleet has arrived at
Paradis, it is revealed that the human inhabitants there are in
possession of an ancient book bearing the seal of the
Galactica. The ancient script of its pages is indecipherable to most,
but it turns out that Gar'Tokk is able to read it. He reveals it
was left to them by the Thirteenth Tribe and details where they
should go next.
On page 280, Cain's body is buried on
Paradis, despite the fact that Dr. Salik continued to measure
strange traces in the body that might or might not be signs of
At the end of the book, Apollo has asked the
reformed Baltar to become a teacher, but for the moment it seems
that the great traitor has chosen to wander and ponder his fate.
Also at the end of the book, it is revealed
that Cassie gave birth to her baby on Paradis and blacked
out at the moment of birth. When she awoke, the midwife was
gone, along with the baby.
Why do the people of the fleet behave in
uncharacteristic manners throughout the novel, e.g. Apollo
losing his temper twice and beating the shit out of both
Starbuck and Jinkrat; Apollo's seeming indecision at times;
civil war within the fleet; Starbuck and Athena acting amorous
in unusual circumstances; Cassie and Starbuck kissing; Sire Aron
turning traitor after previously being described as an honest,
if not always agreeable councilman. Did the Ur space
effect not only the Tylium reactors, but human minds as well?
It's never explained in the book.
What happened to Siress Kiera? She seemed to
be a romantic interest for Baltar in
Resurrection, but is not
mentioned in this novel at all.
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