The Long Night Goodbye
The peace of the Armistice held for 40 years. Much of the trauma of the war had faded; a new generation had grown up without the threat of devastation hanging over their heads. The future looked bright, and the Colonies were well on the road to recovery. There was even some talk of a second Golden Age and a return to prosperity, even on Sagittaron. Reality would soon intrude to deliver a fatal blow to our dreams.
Armistice Station was constructed after the Armistice with the intention of being a meeting place for humans and Cylons to discuss their differences and resolve them peacefully. Every year the Fleet sent a representative. Every year the Cylons sent nobody. In 173 AC, humanity received a reply. The Cylons launched a surprise offensive against the Twelve Colonies of Kobol and their first target was Armistice Station. The war had started again. In retrospect, it appears that the Cylons had been using the last 40 years to rebuild and rearm their forces. They had returned to complete their goal – the total extermination of the human race.
The results were devastating. The Colonial Fleet, now numbering more than one hundred and twenty battlestars, was thought to be invincible. Nothing is ever truly invincible. The Cylons had found a way to disable our Battlestars, leaving the great ships crippled and drifting in space. We now know that the navigational systems that powered the great ships’ computer networks and movements were fatally flawed, allowing the Cylons to infiltrate the networks and disable the Fleet without firing a single shot. The Cylons then finished the job; every Battlestar met with destruction. The new Mark 7 Vipers did not fare any better, being equally susceptible to Cylon electronic warfare. Every Viper system was shut down like the battlestars’; floating in space with no power, they proved to be easy targets for Cylon raiders. The Colonial Navy, the pride of humanity, the defenders of the Colonies and beacon of hope was decimated within hours.
With the Fleet eliminated, the path to the Colonies was now wide open. The next two days were the most terrifying in human history. Our civilization was reduced to ruin. The Cylons struck with a fury never before seen. Picon was the first Colony to report thermonuclear detonations; whether it was out of spite for the Cylon defeat forty years ago, or pure coincidence we do not know. The Government offered an unconditional surrender; our only reply was the nuking of the remaining Colonial worlds. Destruction rained down on our defenseless people, until finally, it stopped. Almost six hundred years of recorded history was wiped out in two days of insane destruction. Seven million people inhabited Caprica City alone; a hundred times that many inhabited the entire planet, and a hundred times that across all Twelve Colonies of Kobol – more than seventy billion people in total.
They are all gone now