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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Armageddon Battlestar Galactica

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 chronology, "The Death of Apollo" Part 6 in 7352, therefore this is in the Colonial yahren 7360.

Didja Know?

In 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.

In "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.

Didja Notice?

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 learned there.

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 "felgercarb". Possibly, "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" for "minute".

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 Millennium Falcon.

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 "The Magnificent 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 expeditions.

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 Colonies.

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 Galactica 1980 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 Galactica 1980 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 the Void").

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 executive officer.

On page 18, Adama is described as having a salt-and-pepper beard.

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 "silver".

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 drones.

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 forces.

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 Agro-3. In "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 the rearmost.

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 "Annihilation".

Page 37 reveals that Troy is a lieutenant at this time.

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 vapor."

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 him.

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 Scorpius Ascendant.

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 the yahrens 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 Astral Queen.)

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 existence.

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 child only.

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 yahrens since  "A Destiny Among the Stars".
Colonial uniforms

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 never armed.

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 properties.

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 maggots.

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 Rising Star".

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, Warhawk, 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' ghost".

   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 ship" called 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 novel, 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 the fleet.

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 from Kobol).

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 Galactica 1980 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", the 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 Caprica.) 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 Galactica 1980 episode "The Super Scouts" Part 1, though that ship had been converted into a schooling ship for the fleet's children.

Page 136 implies that Iblis is the ancestor of Baltar.

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 biology/technology.

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 Major.

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 non-combatants.

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 fires.

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 fleet.

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 2 and "The Death of Apollo" Part 2.

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 Sagittarian woman 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 deficiency.

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 the Celestra".

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 Resurrection, but 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 Warrior".

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 Surrender the 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 the 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 Patrol".

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 second-in-command.

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.

Unanswered Questions

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 the Cylons?

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 Resurrection).

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