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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galcatica: Dice With Death Battlestar Galcatica
"Dice With Death"
Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack (Grandreams)
Author Unknown
Artist Unknown

On a food gathering mission, Apollo, Starbuck, and Athena are captured by the native humans of the planet Lonn.

Story Summary

Apollo, Starbuck, and Athena land on an agriculturally rich world called Lonn in a shuttle to gather fruit and plant specimens for the fleet's hydroponic growth tanks. They take their samples from a seemingly wild orchard 35 miles away from the nearest town. Nonetheless, they are besieged by men borne upon giant eagles. Nets are thrown down upon them and the three are quickly captured and taken to the town to be tried as thieves, the penalty for which is death.

The guardsmen who have arrested them are astounded at the act of thievery, as the population of Lonn seems to be conspicuously honest in all dealings, at least within the lifetimes of the inhabitants. As they are taken through the town to the local jail (which has been maintained despite the lack of crime), Starbuck sees that a great number of the buildings are dedicated to gambling...honest gambling, which seems to be the national pastime. While the three warriors are held in a cell pending trial, Starbuck cooks up a scheme and bets their jailer, Miram, that he can out-roll him in dice for a chance at freedom or admissions of guilt. Miram agrees, bringing out six dice, which Starbuck inspects for defects. Agreeing to the dice, Starbuck rolls first, a straight sequential numbering of one, two, three, four, five, six...meaning he wins.

As the freed trio fly back to the fleet in their shuttle, Athena asks Starbuck how he did it. He shows her how he used slight of hand to swap Miram's six dice for his own. Since the Lonnians are so honest, Miram had no concept of loaded dice!


Didja Know?

This story appeared in the British book Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack, a book of short stories and articles all about BSG, geared towards kids. The title of the book is derived from a 1979 theatrical release in Europe which combined the episodes "The Living Legend" Parts 1 and 2 and "Fire in Space" into one movie.
Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack

Notes from the BSG Chronology

Since the planet Lonn in this story is populated by humans who apparently speak a language similar to the Colonial standard used by Apollo, Starbuck, and Athena, and the fleet is still searching for additional crop foods for the fleet, I have placed this story as taking place shortly after the events of "The Magnificent Warriors" in which the fleet loses two of its three agro ships.

Didja Notice?

On page 1 of the story, Starbuck uses the term "miles" instead of some Colonial unit of equivalence (admittedly, there is no known equivalent to "mile" in the recorded terms of Colonial speech).

Once again, the native humans of the planet Lonn speak a language recognizable to our heroes. 

Why are the relatively technologically primitive humans of Lonn seemingly not interested in the Colonial shuttle when they capture our three warriors? They make no mention of it even though the narrative describes it as only a hundred yards away, at the edge of the orchard.

On page 5 of the story, Starbuck rolls the six dice to come up with one, two, three, four, five, six, which he says is referred to as a Colonial flush. In Earth terminology though, a flush is a hand (in cards) of all the same suit, not a set of numbers in sequential order; that would be a straight. So, you would think Starbuck's roll of the dice would be called a Colonial straight.

Gee, it's awfully lucky Starbuck just happened to be carrying his loaded dice on a mission! And it's doubly lucky his dice apparently look exactly like the ones in Miram's possession.  

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