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Battlestar Galactica: Five-Minute "The Gun On Ice Planet Zero"

by Marc Richard

Adama: I think the Cylons are herding us into a trap somewhere along this route.
Tigh: Just because they retreated from their last engagement with us?
Adama: No, I'm also bothered by all those "Humans go this way" signs we've been running into lately.

Starbuck: Scout patrol leader to Galactica. Can you give me a readout on the small moon that's directly ahead of us?
Rigel: (over the comm) Negative, scout leader. If we could do a better job of scanning what's ahead of you from all the way back here, what would be the point of sending you out on a reconnaissance mission in the first place?
Starbuck: Humour me, will you? I'm a fighter jock, not a philosopher.

Rigel: Commander, our scouts report a small moon in the Navarone sector.
Adama: Ambient conditions?
Rigel: Category M-1, which is defined as, "If hell were to freeze over, it would look like this."
Tigh: Sounds grim. When will our patrol reach it?
Rigel: Soon.
Adama: Famous last words.

Cylon: Scanners show several Colonial Vipers coming into range.
Command Centurion Vulpa: Energize the gun. Activate targeting mechanism.
Cylon: It is fortunate the enemy ships are approaching this moon on the same side as our gun is located.
Vulpa: That was always the intention. We had to scour the universe for years to find a suitably non-rotating moon which is perpetually pointed in the direction of the incoming Colonial fleet.
Cylon: I bow to your superior two-brained gold-plated intellect, sir.
Vulpa: Good. Now lock onto the target before it swings behind us, imbecile.

Bow: I can see something flashing on the surface.
Starbuck: (over the comm) What does it look like?
Bow: GAK!
Cree: Sort of like the Mother of All Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Shields: GAK!
Cree: I'll consider that a confirmation from my ex-wingman.

Boomer: Cree, look out! The Cylons are sending out some fighters to force you down!
Cree: (over the comm) No problem, Lieutenant. That giant pulsar cannon is out of my league, but I can handle good old-fashioned ship-to-ship combat.
Starbuck: Against all three hundred of them?
Cree: Gulp.

Adama: The nature of this trap is now clear -- Cylons to the right of us, Cylons to the left of us, a cannon in front of us. It looks like I blundered taking us here.
Tigh: Respectfully, sir, it sure does. The question is, how do we escape from these jaws of death?
Adama: We send a light brigade of demolition experts down to the planet to blow up the gun. Colonel, have the computer draw up a list of suitably qualified hoodlums -- the rougher the better.
Tigh: Yes, sir. How many of these dirty thugs will be required?
Adama: If you can manage it, a dozen would do nicely.

Starbuck: Uh... excuse me, but could you replace my personnel file photograph with this new one?
Computer Technician: If you like. Is there a problem with the old photo?
Starbuck: I'm too clean-shaven and boyish in that one. I figured I'd try the Don Johnson fuzzy look for a while... the babes love it.

Athena: The computer recommends a command group composed of Apollo, Boomer and Starbuck, a demolition group of four convicts, and an expendable group of three supernumeraries.
Tigh: That still leaves us two people short.
Boxey: Hear that, Muffy? They still have room for two short people on this trip.
Adama: That's not what the Colonel means, Boxey. And how many times do I have to tell you not to sneak up to the Bridge?

Boomer: Here come our convicts. Tough-looking bunch of customers.
Starbuck: No kidding. The first guy in line is called Croft. Arrested for illegally stealing gold artifacts from an ancient temple on a snow planet.
Croft: Hey, don't blame me. It was all my sister Lara's idea.

Starbuck: This one is Wolfe. Apparently he's a little too fond of blowing things up. Comes from a bad family, too; he even has a five-year-old brother called Xavier who's already a Nazi sympathizer.
Wolfe: Mark my words -- someday, that kid will be the saviour of the whole fleet!
Boomer: Yeah, yeah... I'll believe it when I see it.

Starbuck: Next is Thane. Murderer and specialist on operations in hostile environments.
Thane: I can equip you to survive earth, wind and fire.
Boomer: Good -- I never could stand their music.

Starbuck: And finally, we have Leda. She's a field medic... an expert in laser wounds.
Boomer: Healing or inflicting?
Starbuck: Both. Her file also mentions that she and Croft are married.
Leda: Don't remind me.
Croft: Oh, quit complaining. The divorce would have been finalized a long time ago if you hadn't shot my attorney before he could complete his half of the paperwork.

Cylon: Two Colonial vessels are approaching -- one small Viper traveling at extremely high speed and one large, very slow transport ship.
Vulpa: Try to destroy the Viper with salvoes from the pulsar cannon. I will order our interceptors to shoot down the transport.
Cylon: Should we not allocate our forces the other way around, Your Excellency?
Vulpa: No, that tactic would be too obvious. We must instead catch the humans by surprise.
Cylon: I now understand why I was passed over for promotion. I clearly do not have the intellectual resources for officer-level thinking.
Vulpa: In any case, silver looks better on you. It goes nicely with the colour of your eye.

Starbuck: We're hit! We're going down! I've got no engines, no controls, no instruments, no visibility....
Apollo: Keep your nose up! You do have a fix on which way is up, I hope?
Starbuck: No idea!
Boomer: Hold on... I'll try to get our bearings from that big snowbank we're about to plow into!

Apollo: Boxey? What are you and Muffit doing in the snow-ram?
Boxey: You said you were going to a nice planet and we wanted to see it.
Apollo: I said, "an ice planet"!
Boxey: Oops. Sorry.
Apollo: That's okay, kiddo. And you're lucky -- I think there's a child-sized parka in that crate of combat supplies back there.

Cylon: Step into this interrogation booth, human.
Cree: Pfft. That brain-scanning device on the ceiling doesn't scare me.
Cylon: It is the floor plate you should worry about. It artificially induces the same kind of foot pain experienced by waitresses after an overtime shift.

Starbuck: Apollo, if this is a storm-swept wilderness, why are there fresh tank tracks ahead of us?
Apollo: We're making them ourselves as we drive along. Snow-rams are equipped with roof-mounted forward trail projectors. That's how they get such good traction.
Starbuck: I love this machine!

Apollo: Wolfe, you idiot! You've wrecked our engine and now we're stuck out here!
Boomer: And the temperature is dropping fast. We're going to freeze to death.
Croft: That's not the worst of it. If it goes much lower, the di-ethene in the atmosphere will reach "death point" -- meaning the air will start to liquefy.
Starbuck: We're in serious trouble! I don't know how to swim!

Apollo: Oh, my aching head! Where are we? And who are you people?
Tenna: We are Theta-class lifeforms... "clones," as we are more commonly known.
Tenna: This is a secret camp from which Thetas who have escaped from slavery wage a guerrilla campaign against our Cylon oppressors.
Tenna: We call ourselves "The Clone-ial Warriors."
Apollo: Then we have a common cause. I think we should put our resources together.
Starbuck: (admiring all three Tennas) So do I.

Ser 5-9: The pulsar weapon at the top of Mount Hekla was built by Dr. Ravishol, our Father-Creator.
Apollo: He created you to serve as worker drones?
Tenna: Yes. That is why hundreds of us have escaped -- because we believe in freedom and individuality.
Starbuck: Hundreds? I only see twenty of you here. Where are the others?
Ser 5-9: Dispersed for safety among dozens of remote camps identical to this one.

Apollo: Will you take us across the icefield to your clone village inside Mount Hekla?
Ser 5-9: Yes. The injured members of your party will remain here. The rest of you, along with the boy, will come with Tenna and me.
Apollo: Shouldn't Boxey stay here too? It might be safer for him.
Tenna: No. It takes a village to care for a child.

Lucifer: Our outpost on Arcta reports encountering fighters from the Galactica.
Baltar: Excellent. Call up more base ships so that we can spring our trap.
Lucifer: By your command.
Baltar: (with an villainous laugh) Soon, Adama... soon.
Lucifer: Famous last words.

Ser 5-9: The Cylon foot patrol has passed. It is safe to continue towards the village.
Croft: We were worried that you might turn us in to those guys.
Tenna: No, we hate the Cylons. They regard Theta-class lifeforms as subhumans.
Apollo: Considering their already low opinion of humans, I don't envy you.

Ser 5-9: Here is the village, Captain Apollo. We will hide your group with the children while I take you to see Dr. Ravishol.
Starbuck: Why do you hide your children from the Cylons?
Tenna: We were designed to be sterile. It was a Cylon edict to maintain our genetic purity.
Boomer: What a stupid law. Your genetic purity wouldn't be impaired by having a population of identical males mating with a population of identical females.
Tenna: Since when do government policies have anything to do with reality?

Apollo: Why did you build this monstrous weapon for the Cylons?
Ravishol: It is not a weapon! It's, uh, an energy lens that can transmit voice messages across galactic distances.
Apollo: Then why does it have a giant gunsight mounted on its barrel?
Ravishol: To locate planets that aren't listed in the interstellar telephone directory, of course.

Apollo: Dr. Ravishol, your worker clones have secretly been having children.
Ravishol: Impossible! They are all under strict orders to obey Straczynski's Law -- "No cute kids or robots, ever!"
Boxey: (out of sight) Muffit! Come back here!
Muffit: (out of sight) Yap yap yap!
Ravishol: Exactly who and what was that?
Apollo: Nobody and nothing. Just ignore them.

Tigh: Commander, there's a Cylon attack phalanx heading straight for us!
Adama: Go to alert status! Activate stock footage of fighter launch, then cut to a generic battle sequence... remember, we have a lot of empty script to fill, so be sure to tell our pilots to make every shot count!
Tigh: Yes, sir!

Lucifer: I have our strike leader's report on the damage our attack against the Galactica inflicted.
Baltar: What took you so long to bring it to me?
Lucifer: It's not my fault that your throne room is seventy-five decks away from our combat information centre. I do wish you would at least let us install an intercom system in here.
Baltar: Out of the question. There's too great a risk my exalted privacy would be disturbed by telemarketers.

Ravishol: Here are the plans for the pulsar. It's made of magna, so the only way to destroy it is to simultaneously demolish the main energy pump and blow the barrel off its foundations with two massive solenite explosions.
Apollo: Couldn't we just wreck some minor but sensitive component to cripple the gun long enough to let our fleet pass by safely?
Ravishol: I take pride in my work, Captain. Only an idiot would create a super energy weapon that could be defeated by exploiting a trivial design flaw.

Starbuck: Help me find where they're holding Cree prisoner.
Tenna: We will need to disguise you as one of us. Here... put on these dungarees so you'll blend in.
Starbuck: It's a good thing for me that you all wear identical work clothes. You look kind of spiffy in them, too.
Tenna: Yes, they do make a good overall impression.

Vulpa: How long has the captured Colonial pilot been standing in our interrogation booth?
Cylon: Nearly two days, Your Excellency. He continues to resist the mind probe.
Vulpa: He refuses to answer your questions?
Cylon: He even refuses to grow a beard.
Vulpa: Humans are annoyingly stubborn. No wonder our Imperious Leader wants to exterminate them.

Tenna: Starbuck, look over there! They've captured Thane!
Cylon: (to Thane) What is this device we confiscated from you?
Thane: It's a cerebro-densitometer. It can measure the intelligence of the individual using it.
Cylon: How does it operate?
Thane: You just push that big red button right there in the middle.
Starbuck: (to Tenna) I'd say that was a pretty conclusive test result.

Apollo: Here's the plan. My team will scale the mountain from the outside, while Starbuck's group heads towards the garrison chamber from the inside. In 200 centons, we'll launch simultaneous attacks.
Starbuck: Gotcha. Let's synchronize our watches. Should we set centons to equal hours, minutes or seconds?
Apollo: Let's make it minutes for now. We can always switch units later if we start running out of time.

Wolfe: When we get to the top of the mountain, we'll be able to steal a Cylon fighter and make a run for it.
Croft: No. I think we should do the job we came here to do.
Leda: Make up your mind, Croft. You're either with us or you're with the enemies of freedom -- specifically, ours.
Croft: Do you mean to say that you're drawing a line in the snow?
Leda: Were you expecting me to do angels instead?

Cylon Fighter: KER-BLAM!
Galactica Laser Turrets: FRZZZAP! FRZZZAP! FRZZZAP!
Colonial Viper: KA-BOOM!
Tigh: I don't know how much more of this we can take before we have to beg for mercy, sir.
Adama: My feelings exactly.

Athena: Three Cylon base ships are entering the sector behind us!
Adama: Then we have to move forward towards the ice moon. Waiting is no longer an option.
Tigh: Couldn't we try going around the moon, sir?
Adama: Really, Colonel... an intelligent man like you should know that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. I don't want any detours to slow us down.
Tigh: Even if they kept us out of the pulsar's firing range?
Adama: For all we know, its range is unlimited.
Tigh: That hadn't occurred to me. I must have been fooled by the fact that we've been sitting here for eight hundred centons without attracting a single cannon shot.

Baltar: (on viewscreen) Our base ships are pushing the Galactica in your direction. Begin firing random sweeps across the corridor until their fleet comes into your scanning range.
Vulpa: By your command. What shall we do once we have determined their precise location?
Baltar: Keep firing randomly. I want to keep Adama squirming for as long as possible.

Wolfe: Stick 'em up, Captain! I'm getting out of here and I'm leaving the Galactica to its fate!
Apollo: Don't be a fool, Wolfe! The Galactica is the only ship in the galaxy that can protect you!
Wolfe: The galaxy's got an awful lot of room for me to hide in.
Apollo: Sorry, I meant to say "solar system." I'm always getting those two terms mixed up.
Wolfe: Well, either way, I'm leaving. Croft and Leda can join me if they want.
Croft: I'm staying. Where do you stand on this, Leda?
Leda: Over here by our supplies for the time being.
Croft: Hey, put that chocolate bar back in my pack! I was saving it for later!

Cylon: Our tracking systems have finally picked up the Galactica. Range -- sixty centons and closing.
Vulpa: Check your instruments. The range indicator should not be expressing distances in units of time.
Cylon: I have set it to do so because telemetry shows that the Galactica is tracking its approach using those same units.
Vulpa: This takes the Cylon policy of standardization to impressive new heights. Perhaps there is a future for you in the officer corps after all.

Starbuck: Cree! Let me help you out of this refrigerated cell.
Cree: Starbuck! How did you find me?
Starbuck: It wasn't easy. I lucked out on three meat lockers and two cellars full of cold beer before I finally got to the right door.

Ser 5-9: We will help you eliminate the garrison, but we will not permit you to destroy the pulsar!
Ser 5-9: We need it to protect ourselves when the Cylons will send ships to take revenge upon us for rebelling!
Starbuck: That's fine. If we kill the gun crew, it will be enough to stop the Cylons from shooting at the Galactica when it travels past this moon.
Ravishol: I have a better idea. Destroy the gun, and I will use my secret invention to protect you from the Cylons.
Starbuck: What secret invention?
Ravishol: A special rust-inducing compound that can be released to blend with a planet's entire atmosphere.
Starbuck: Nifty.

Rigel: We'll be in range in five centons.
Adama: Are you sure about that? The pulsar beams we've been dodging for the past thirty centons looked quite in range to me.
Rigel: I'm talking about no-miss range, Commander. As in "point blank."
Adama: Ah. So now we know that Cylon artillery crews are even worse shots than Cylon fighter pilots are.

Apollo: Okay, we're in. Starbuck should be in position by now. Charge!
Cylons: GAK! GAK! GAK!
Leda: GAK!
Croft: NOOOOO! Take this you filthy Cylon murderer!
Cylon: GAK!
Apollo: He's had it, Croft! Now drop the can opener and get started on planting those solenite bombs!

Croft: The charges are all in place! Let's get out of here!
Starbuck: Apollo, my watch reads zero centons! We've run out of time!
Apollo: Switch readout to microns and go to emergency reserves!
Starbuck: Done -- that leaves us with just sixty microns.
Apollo: Let's hope to God it'll be enough.

Rigel: Three....
Vulpa: Two....
Rigel: One....
Solenite Charges: BOOOOM!
Rigel: Yippeee! Commander -- my instruments show that the top of the mountain has blown up!
Adama: Confirmed! The blast was so big that I was actually able to see it through the Bridge windows from ten thousand maxims away!
Tigh: Heck, sir, it was so big that I was actually able to hear it from ten thousand maxims away! And across vacuum too!

Apollo: Let's go, Starbuck. The rescue ship will be here soon.
Starbuck: Aw, come on.... Couldn't we spend a little more time here, among hundreds of gorgeous identical women? Think of the possibilities!
Apollo: Well you should think of the possibility that their hundreds of brawny identical men might not take kindly to what you've got in mind.
Starbuck: Spoilsport.

Lucifer: Grave news, Baltar. The Ravishol pulsar has been destroyed and the humans have once again eluded our pursuing forces.
Baltar: Incompetent fools! How can a decrepit fleet that has to travel at the speed of its slowest freighter always manage to escape from our swarms of top-of-the-line fighter craft?
Lucifer: Perhaps for the opposite reason that lumbering mummies always manage to catch up to terrified young women who are frantically running away from them.
Baltar: For the last time, Lucifer, stop using our entertainment databases for your "research projects" on human psychology!
(The Galactica searches for Earth at Ludicrous Speed)


Got a comment on this fiver? Contact the author, Marc Richard.

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This fiver was originally published on October 30, 2003.

DISCLAIMER: A lot of material in here is copyrighted by Universal Studios. No infringement on that is intended, as Richard Hatch probably said when he produced his cool "BSG: The Second Coming" convention trailer. May the blessings of the Lords of Kobol be upon you.

All material © 2003, Marc Richard.