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People, ships, and planes in the book

It’s not a nerdy book, but its author’s nerdy, and I fancy that some of the readers are, too. For the record, then, some lists…

Main cast

  • Lt. Margaret “Racetrack” Edmondson, CF*
  • Lt. Abigail “Spitfire” Ainslie, CF
  • Ms. Nicola Edmondson, esq.

Supporting cast

  • Ltc. (later Bdr.) Natalia Caldwell, CMC – Poseidon
  • Cdr. Robert H. King, Jr. – Poseidon
  • Lt. Gareth “Nightlight” Lowell – the eponymous chronicler, appears throughout
  • Lt. David “Speedway” Wright – Galactica and Future Imperfect.
  • Lt. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace* – Galactica
  • Lt. Karl “Helo” Agathon* – Galactica
  • Lt. “Switchblade” Molenaar – Vespers
  • MCPO Hardison (“COB”) – Galactica
  • Mr. Romo Lampkin, esq.* – Vespers

With

  • Cdr. (later Adm.) William Adama* – cameos in Galactica and Rubicon
  • Col. (later Adm.) Helena “Cutthroat” Cain* – special appearance in Poseidon, cameo in Vespers
  • Ltc. Nathan Blake – Galactica
  • Maj. (later Ltc.) Jackson “Dipper” Spencer* – Galactica
  • Cpt. (later Ltc.) Appleby – Poseidon, cameo in the Dry-Dock short
  • Cpt. Lee “Apollo” Adama, CFR* – cameos in Galactica and Rubicon
  • Lt. Ronnie “Ronin” Beale – Galactica
  • Lt. Nadia “Harrier” Coswell – Galactica
  • Lt. Felix Gaeta* – voice and cameo in Galactica, cameo in Rubicon
  • Doctor John O’Deen – Poseidon and the John short
  • Sasha Billings (alias Louanne Katraine)* – Vespers

You can read them as you like, but it seems worth mentioning whose voices the new-in-the-maggieverse characters were written for.

  • Nicola: Shiri Appleby (Roswell, UnREAL)
  • Caldwell: Dana Delany (Body of Proof)
  • Nightlight: Michael Fassbender (Prometheus)
  • Speedway: David Gilmour
  • Lydia: Stephanie Jacobsen (Battlestar Galactica: Razor)
  • Switchblade: Kenyan Lonsdale (The Flash)
  • Harrier: Arti Mann (Leverage)
  • King: Brian Markinson (Caprica)
  • Appleby: Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion)
  • The COB: J.B. Smoove
  • O’Deen: Dean Stockwell (Battlestar Galactica)

And on the ship side of things. The maggieverse has so far mentioned three destroyers and fourteen of the 120-or-so battlestars in service at the time of the Fall; of those, five (Galactica, Triton, Pegasus, Solaria, and, by implication Mercury) draw their names from the show, and nine are new coinages that try to fit within the aesthetic of the existing continuity but without falling into the bear traps that beset a lot of fan-created materials. (No one, in our time or theirs, is stupid enough to name a ship Prometheus, and if they are, they deserve whatever they get.)

Battlestar-class ships

Galactica-type:

  • The battlestar Bretannia (locus dramatis in Poseidon; mentioned in Atalanta)
  • The battlestar Galactica (locus dramatis in Galactica and Rubicon; mentioned in Poseidon, Vespers, and Atalanta)

Mercury-type:

  • The battlestar Mercury (glimpsed in Dustman Down)
  • The battlestar Pegasus (locus dramatis in Vespers)
  • The battlestar Solaria (a VR simulation of it appears in Poseidon)
  • The battlestar Tethys (mentioned in Lacuna #1)

Valkyrie-type:

  • The academy-attached battlestar Triton (locus dramatis in Poseidon)
  • The academy-attached battlestar Theseus (mentioned in Galactica)

Type unspecified:

  • The battlestar Agamemnon (specified in Poseidon as Cdr. Cain’s pre-Pegasus billet and glimpsed in both Sovremennyy and Dry-Dock)
  • The battlestar Hibernia (appears in Galactica)
  • The battlestar Minos (specified in Poseidon as Cdr. Earle’s command)
  • The battlestar Nautilus (mentioned in Poseidon)
  • The battlestar Australis (mentioned as Maj. Ainslie’s assignment in Future Imperfect)
  • The battlestar Knossos (mentioned in Sovremennyy)

Escort-class ships

  • DE-610, “the Flying Dustman” (Dustman Down)
  • DE-715, “Fleetfoot” (Sovremennyy)
  • “Cerberus,” hull-number unknown (mentioned in Dustman Down)

Raptors

  • Raptor 327 (Switchblade’s plane in Vespers, numbered for obvious reasons)
  • Raptor 429 (Racetrack’s plane-for-the-day in Lacuna #1)
  • Raptor 602 (Racetrack and Spitfire’s assigned Raptor in Galactica, numbered for Cairns’ birthday)
  • Raptor 616 (Racetrack and Spitfire’s simulated Raptor in Poseidon, numbered for SHIELD-6-1-6)
  • Raptor 1098 (Racetrack’s plane in Dry-Dock)
  • Raptor 4077 (the ill-fated descent vehicle in Poseidon, numbered for M.A.S.H. #4077)
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The Maggieverse so far

The Racetrack Chronicle spans a period of approximately nine years. It begins six years before the events of the Battlestar Galactica Miniseries and concludes a few weeks after the end of the series finale, Daybreak, which aired nine years ago today. But the continuity in which all my BSG writing takes place, I think, embraces a particular vision of the entire post-exodus history of the twelve colonies. Let’s call it the “Maggieverse” to remind us who in all this is the central, animating figure.

In addition to the Chronicle itself, that continuity now sprawls over thirteen published shorts (one-shots, deleted-scenes, and lacunae) with at least three more to come, a second novel in the works (Evaded Cadence), and a whole legendarium’s worth of ancillary materials which may or may not ever see the light of day (an anthology of short-stories, tables, charts, production-materials, essays, concept-art, and the like entitled The Racetrack Apocrypha, anyone?).

The backstory between Edward T. Yeatts’ Lords of Kobol trilogy —embraced as canon in the Carillon one-shot—and Caprica, and thence down to “the present day” is outlined in the Enchiridion, found in Appendix 4 of the Chronicle. Excerpts from the in-universe author Claude Bentinck’s magisterial histories of Virgon show up here and there in the shorts to flesh out details. (Bentinck is a thinly-veiled Edward Gibbon figure.)

I scare-quote “present-day” only to observe that for narrative purposes, it is almost always “now,” flashbacks, premonitions, and plot-devices aside. Generally-speaking, “now” means the Twelve Colonies on the cusp of the Fall or wherever we are relative to the “narrative cursor” in the Chronicle. (Pro-tip: In the Chronicle, you can tell whether it’s “now” or “then” based on whether the chirons are italicized.)

More broadly, the general timeframe for our “present-day” is two thousand Caprican (Gemenese, technically) years “A.E.”—after the exodus from Kobol under Stephen Acastus, the event with which volume three of Yeatts’ Kobol trilogy concludes. That’s because “Caprica” take place 58 years before the Fall (a chiron during the opening scene of that show tells us) and 1,942 years after the exodus (the Serge Graystone twitter account that was maintained by the showrunners during the show’s run told us). While different worlds have different years (and so calendars: Several fan organizations use “Military Date,” which I have assigned to the year of Canceron and Aerilon), it seemed reasonable to use “x [years] AE” as an in-universe dating system. Thus, for example, Maggie Edmondson is born on March 18, 1,973 AE.

Against that backdrop we can organize the published shorts in time:

In The Racetrack Chronicle itself, “Poseidon” (excepting a flashback to 1983 and very brief coda in December 1998) takes place between 1994 and 1997. “Galactica” takes place between December 1998 and June 2000, i.e. sixteen months before the Fall to just over two months after it. “Vespers” takes place during the last three weeks before the Fall with a brief coda on Day 1,116, i.e. the timeframe of “The Son Also Rises,” shortly before In The Eye of the Storm. And “Rubicon” starts on Day 1,189, i.e. “Escape Velocity,” and spans the remainder of Season Four. (Evaded Cadence jumps around a little, but is bookended by a funeral in mid-1998 and the Fall.)

I’ll mention a few of the shorts with which I’m particularly happy:

  • Aftermath: Aquaria and Dustman Down take place on the morning of the Fall, and capture ground-level glimpses of the the attacks that we hadn’t seen in the show (or The Plan). The former gives us some information about Aquaria and shows us what happens there, and the latter I think is probably one of my strongest bits of work, despite playing to none of my strengths and being wholly outside of my usual character-focused approach.
  • The Crossroads deleted scene, which weaves through Racetrack’s appearances in that episode, is our chronologically-first alarm-bell that Maggie, after a brief period of being relatively happy (as you’ll see in the Vespers coda and In The Eye of the Storm) is plunging back into depression as we go into season four.
  • Sovremennyy, Dry-Dock, Lacuna 1, and City of Lights (forthcoming) are worth mentioning because they’re close to the original “adventures of Racetrack & Spitfire” concept that I had for a preview take place during the ensign year on the Triton. They’re just fun-—a relatively happy Maggie and an ebullient but more seasoned Abigail running around various interesting sights in the world of the Fleet.
  • Atalanta was the first canonical appearance of Margaret Cavendish (always played in my head by Rekha Sharma), of Picon, the first President of the Colonies for whom Maggie will later be named, and Adm. Bethany Page, of Canceron. (I was gratified to be given the opportunity to work with Chris Dykes at CMOD to include Cavendish in an article on the founding of Colonial Day.) Carillon is not especially strong, to be honest, but it stands out as an attempt to do some straight-up worldbuilding, to show us a lot about the worlds through the vehicle of a little story about some of the humans who are living in them.

Release day!

I am thrilled to announce that The Racetrack Chronicle is now available, free, in all major eBook formats at this link.

Here’s the blurb:

“Growing up in bucolic Falstone, Picon, Maggie Edmondson looked up at an endless night sky and knew that no matter what happened, the Colonial Fleet was out there. Protecting her. Visits to the aging warship Galactica reinforce her association of the Fleet with a sense of safety and security.

“Six years before the Fall, after a shattering personal tragedy, Edmondson flees to the Poseidon Colonial Military Academy where she is befriended by Abigail Ainslie. Their motivations and personalities seem polar opposites: Edmondson is a withdrawn, bookish, depressed country-girl, while Ainslie seems to be an effervescent, cosmopolitan, and promiscuous Marine-Corps brat. But they become mutual supporters, and after they stumble into a secret that threatens the careers of several prominent officers, they will find themselves assigned to a ship that is no one’s idea of a plum assignment… Except Maggie’s.

“For the next sixteen months, as the storm clouds of the Fall gather around the Colonies, Edmondson is even more blissfully-unaware than most. Sequestered on the Galactica with a ragtag collection of officers and men deemed problem-children by Fleet Command, she is busy falling in love and planning a future. The events of the Fall will shatter this happy bubble and set her on a very different, momentous path.”

The Last Rites

With The Racetrack Chronicle a week away, today’s post is another short-story filling in a narrative gap. In Rubicon, Maggie notes that Gareth has convinced Adama to reinstate her, but declines to press the point about how he did so. The Last Rites tells that story.

It’s extraneous to the main narrative, but I like that this adds pathos to Gareth at the end, making explicit that although he loves Maggie, he does not believe that she loves him, and is acting purely for her benefit. It also hints at a thread that appears in a couple of unpublished background shorts, including a currently-unpublished second chapter of In The Eye of the Storm: That Gareth has been experiencing something like a psychotic break since the mutiny. Anyway, check it out—and this time next week the book will be out!

In The Eye of the Storm

For today’s post, we have a short story rather than expository content, but I’ll say a little about it here. Set late in season three, In The Eye of the Storm falls into the “Racetrack Chronicle lacunae” category of shorts. Like The Last Rites (coming in the next few weeks) or John (which is maybe coming in the next few weeks), it gives you a little bit more time with the characters, a little bit of context on characters and events that would be extraneous to the book but which are still nice to see—in this case Gareth Lowell’s faltering attempts to join Maggie’s circle.

He was previously subject of two other lacunae, the prosaically-titled Story cycle lacuna 2 393 and Brig deleted scene 332. This one sees him catch up with Abigail in the weeks between, on the one hand, The Son Also Rises and the coda of Vespers (part three of the Chronicle), and on the other, Crossroads, for which I wrote a Racetrack-focussed deleted-scene, here. The idea that he, and he alone, will do what even Abigail cannot bring herself to do and visit Maggie during her post-mutiny incarceration is interesting (personally, I think he suffers a psychotic break, unable to reconcile his feelings for Maggie with her actions), and adding some context to his motivations is always fun. (A second chapter of this may or may not ever become public; a draft exists, but I am in two minds about it.)

Worth saying at this juncture is that were The Racetrack Chronicle written just a little differently, stylistically, its opening sentence could be “Call me Gareth.” The original draft of the Chronicle comprised two novelettes and three short-stories. Each was written separately and to an extent has its own tone, style, and concern. During the summer/fall 2017 revisions, I realized that the theme which could tie these pieces together into a single book is a narrative framework in which we start in media res in a style unique in this book: We open with Maggie talking to us in the first-person present-tense. She tells us her anxieties about a conversation she is having in prison with Gareth Lowell, in which he prompts her to tell her story—the telling of which becomes the book. We then dip in and out of that conversation at the top of each part of the book until our timeframe catches up with it during Rubicon, with that idiosyncratic first-person present-tense style cueing the reader as to where they are (and reminding them that this is going on) until the story catches up with them and moves forward into Rubicon’s final scenes. Thus, although it is Maggie who is our narrator (of sorts), it is Gareth (I realized very, embarrassingly late in the project) who is to become the Chronicler, the book’s in-universe author.

I must say that I found this revelation almost surreal. Lowell (named for Bruce Dern’s character in Silent Running) was the first character I created for the Chronicle. He has been pretty much fully-formed since the first circulating draft of what was then called “The Turning Point” (sent to Leah on March 18, 2016, a date later in-universed—perhaps, I admit, with a degree of pretension—as Maggie’s birthday), he’s there, more-or-less fully formed.

I always wanted Gareth to be a sympathetic character, even back then. That determination has been strengthened with the realization that he is, in a sense, the person other than Maggie with whom we should most identify: Just as Racetrack is the viewer’s avatar in BSG, so Gareth should be our avatar in the book. Our questions should be his questions, and our experience of reading the book should be his experience of listening to Maggie tell her tale.

The campus

The physicality and specificity of the campus of the Poseidon Colonial Military Academy—one of the colonies’ two main officer-candidate schools and the eponymous locus dramatis of part one of the Chronicle—has been a good example of the dialogue between the background materials and the book itself.

img_0997

In creating a map, I drew on the imagery in Poseidon’s first few drafts. It seemed natural to start with the academy’s IRL counterpart (the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD) and augment it with additional complexes. Blenheim Palace became a stand-in for the Manorhouse, for example. I scaled everything to the same size and dropped it onto a fondly-remembered geography from the west coast of Wales, whence a handful of geographic names are taken, most prominently (Saint) Bride’s Bay northwest of the campus.

Mapping the campus is about more than creating a neato graphic. It’s important to track where the characters are, and how long it takes them to get from place to place. It also becomes a feedback loop. When the map was made, I more-or-less arbitrarily designated adjacent buildings as the infirmary and chapel. (USNA friends tell me that PCMA’s Frand Infirmary is actually Ward Hall.) A scene in which Abigail visits the infirmary existed from the earliest drafts, but only after creating the map did I realize that, having hinted that she is more religious than we might expect, I have placed her right next to the chapel—so let’s go into the chapel, and that became the starting-point for a scene in act three.

Because almost none of the buildings’ names are mentioned in the text, when it came to denominating them on the map (which lives in Appendix 2), I felt pretty free to make this the place for some serious hat-tipping.

  • Several of the wizards who made BSG get buildings named after them: Moore & Eick Halls are obvious, but there’s also the Hudolin Barracks (production designer Richard Hudolin), the Seklir Athletics Complex (editor Andy Seklir, IRL USNA cognates Michelson & Chauvenet Halls and Ingram Field), the McNutt Building (D.P. Steve McNutt), the aforementioned Frand Infirmary (the late Harvey Frand), and, I thought fittingly, the (Glen) Larson Chapel.
  • Two in-universe characters, Margaret Cavendish and Bethany Page (respectively, the Pican first President of the Colonies and the Canceran Admiral who takes the helm of the newly-created Colonial Fleet, who first appeared in Atalanta) get buildings named for them.
  • The Maplethorpe Building… Well, I’ll let you figure that one.
  • Last but never least, Haran Hall (USNA cognate Nimitz, which is admittedly neither mighty nor black, but is at least somewhat stumpy) is named for Doctor Brady Haran. I think he might be tickled that, of all the buildings his name might adorn, it’s on one that is, both in-universe and IRL… A library.

(For more on the Crest, see this post.)

Happy valentines

As a Valentine’s Day surprise, I thought I’d share a scene from early in Maggie’s romance with David in the Chronicle. And I also thought that it might be interesting to share not the text that’s actually in the book, but, instead, one of the in-house development documents from late in the process, which became the scene in the book. Let’s start with the scene and then talk about it.

Page onePage twoPage threePage four

So—not the format you’re expecting, right? Here’s what’s going on, and maybe this is a good window into the process.

Teleplay format is a useful tool, even if you’re writing a novel rather than making a show. A teleplay isn’t the finished product, it’s a guide for the creation of the product, you’re describing what the finished product will be. So for one thing, it allows you to write substance without the pressure (and I doubt I’m the only one who feels this) of getting the form perfect. It also allows you to describe in simple, plain language exactly what you’re seeing in your mind’s lens. Thus, when a scene is being a problem, or if I have doubts about it, or if I’m not quite clear on the blocking, or any of a number of other use-cases, what I’ll do is take the text and convert it into teleplay format, work with it, and then convert it back into “novel format.”

In this case, this scene was originally drafted quite early in the process and became a late addition. Throughout the process, as ideas and images for possible scenes crossed my mind, I’d take a quick pass at writing them, whether or not there was any intention of them going into the book. Some of those drafts were pretty complete; others were the proverbial back-of-the-napkin sketch. But they all went into a folder, and that gave me a grab-bag into which I could reach if I needed something.

That was fortuitous, because when Poseidon and Galactica (parts one two of the Chronicle) came back from my editor, one of his notes was that he wanted a few extra scenes developing the early Maggie-Abigail friendship and Maggie-David romance. No problem. I just had to reach into the grab-bag, and in the case of this scene, I had a draft which could be a good starting-point. But even after milling it through a couple of redrafts and about a dozen iterations (see this for more on the iterative writing concept), something still wasn’t quite gelling. So I converted it over into teleplay format and worked it through a few more iterations in this format. Eventually, I felt that something had now clicked and everything had fallen into place; the pictures above are the final teleplay version before it was converted back into novel format and subjected to a couple more iterations before finalization.

In a sense, this process is like adapting one’s own novel for the screen, and then re-adapting one’s own teleplay for the page. In doing so, you take the scene apart to see how it works and reexamine it from other angles, in another and more clinical, abstract context. And that’s the value of it. What I’ve described isn’t the right tool for every situation, but it has its uses.

None of which changes how much I love seeing the couple in this early, happy state. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. Hug your special someone. ❤️

The family tree

The events of Battlestar Galactica, the Racetrack Chronicle tells us, tragically interrupt what would have been a loving and fruitful Edmondson-Wright romance. Here’s the family tree: Where they came from and where it was going.

Edmondson-Wright_FamilyTree

Behind the scenes: The Caldwell-Ballantyne-Edmondson side of the family-tree was drawn Summer 2016 to clarify Maggie’s relationship to Col. Caldwell. Most of the names were chosen randomly, but I should say something about Maggie’s mother. “Lucianna” was obviously chosen to doff my cap to Luciana Carro—but, I should underline, was chosen long before any specifics of the character became clear. That character later evolved in ways that are unflattering, so in some ways, I regret assigning that name to that character. But that also points to something no one tells you when you start writing: These things have a way of becoming fixed. Past a certain point, “Maggie’s mama’s name is Lucianna” became a datum baked into the book’s DNA, no more changeable than the color of her eyes.

The Wright side of the family tree came much later. The only fixed point there was that David, like Maggie, is a middle-child. Maggie and David’s three (so far) children are mentioned in passing in the part of the Chronicle which Simon actual finds the most heartbreaking, the “flashforward.” IRL, their names are hat-tips to characters played by Genevieve Buechner (previously Caprica‘s Tamara Adama) and Shiri Appleby on UnREAL (Rachel also does double-duty as one of several Moby Dick references), and Leah Cairns’ character on Travelers. To in-universe those names, I ensured that two of the names are in their family trees. The in-universe origin of ‘Madison’ as the name of Maggie’s firstborn is left unsaid. Another thing that they don’t tell you when you start doing this is how very real these people will become to you. Once that flashpoint is reached, one starts to become weirdly protective of their privacy, feeling that there is only so much information about these people to which readers (or, verily, the writer) should be privy.

Helios Alpha and Virgon

The good folks at QMX sell a gorgeous map of Cyrannus,* the system which contains the Twelve Colonies. It’s based on the IRL Epsilon Lyrae system. I have one framed on my office wall. But as I identified from the outset (and will summarize here) the “Maggieverse” insists that QMX made three significant mistakes. The Racetrack Chronicle cannot avoid confronting one of them directly: The location of Virgon.

Battlestar Galactica may start a long time ago in a star-system far, far away, but it takes place in our own universe, subject to the same rules of physics. This allows us to extrapolate some “canonical facts” (i.e. things that are not explicitly stated in canon but which follow by necessarily implication from things which are so). From those, it follows that contrary to QMX’s positioning of it in Helios Beta, Virgon must be in Helios Alpha.

  • Canon: As Colonial Heavy 798 leaves Caprica, their flight-time to the Galactica is “approximately five and a half hours.”
  • Canon: The “thirty-minute communications delay” tells us that the Galactica is ~thirty light-minutes (~539.6 million KM) from Caprica.
  • First necessary implication of canon: With no reason to think that the pilot had his foot on the gas (or was taking his time), we must assume the flight to be within routine parameters. Thus, Colonial liners cruise at ~98 million KM/h.

(For more on why CH798’s flight and Colonial comms must be subluminal, see the fuller explanation in the post linked above.)

  • Second necessarily implication of canon: The Galactica is in the Helios Alpha system at Zero Hour. We can’t know where to mark the outer edge of the system, whether in terms of colonial astronomy or law. But we know from the QMX map that the outermost of its significant planets is the titanic gas-giant Zeus. In our Solar System, the innermost gas-giant, Jupiter, orbits the sun at 43.2 light-minutes (778.5 million KM). Thus, even if Zeus’ orbit marks the outer boundary of the Helios Alpha system, the Galactica is well within that system for any reasonable value for Zeus’ orbit.

Now let’s talk about Virgon.

  • Canon: Shortly after the attack on the colonies begins, Gaeta reports that “the main fight is shaping up over here, near Virgon’s orbit. But even at top speed, they’re still over an hour away” from the Galactica’s position. Adama notes that the Galactica can avoid detection during her approach to the battlefield by keeping Virgon between them an the fight.

(A minor nitpick rejected: Technically, Jupiter is “over an hour away” if we were to drive there this afternoon in a beat-up Morris Minor. But the pragmatics of the phrasing are clear. Virgon is more than 60 minutes away but fewer than ~100 minutes away.)

  • Necessary implication of canon: Virgon is in Helios Alpha. Although we can reasonably assume that the Galactica has a flanking speed well in excess of CH798’s cruising speed, it cannot be anything like what she’d need to reach a planet in Helios Beta in a timeframe which reasonably answers to “over an hour away.”

We can demonstrate this by running the numbers on the best-case scenario. Suppose that the Galactica is 30 light-minutes directly along the axis between the αβ pair, and both Caprica and Virgon, coincidentally, are also sitting right on that axis at that moment. On those facts, the Galactica is at least 18.5 billion KM from Virgon’s orbit.** Even if we stretch the pragmatics to breaking-point and say that the Galactica is two hours from Virgon, she would have to move at 9.2 billion KH/h, which is 94 times faster than our clocked speed for CH798 and a significant percentage of the speed of light. And, again—that’s the best-case scenario.

Thus, in my continuity, I take QMX to have made a typographical mistake, flipping the positions of Virgon and Tauron.

This is an idiosyncrasy of the Maggieverse continuity, I admit. But swapping the positions of those two planets is the solution which does the least violence to the map while making the math work. Nothing canonically insists that Tauron is in Helios Alpha, and canon requires that Virgon must be. If Virgon is just inside the habitable zone of Helios Alpha and the Galactica is between the asteroid belt and Zeus, it becomes conceivable that if the fight is far enough toward Zeus’ orbit that it can plausibly be called “near” Virgon’s orbit, and if the alignment’s just right, maybe the Galactica could make it there in an hour doing a speed within the ballpark of that at which we clocked CH798.

The consensus in the fan community seems to be that the QMX map is the most canonical non-canon thing there is, so I hesitate to deviate from it. I treat it as canon except for those places where it cannot be correct. This is one of those cases: The math is inescapable.

________

* How’s that pronounced, you might wonder? The word comes from a TOS episode in which Starbuck refers to his home port as “SIH’ra’nus galaxy” (rhymes with tyrannous), which was presumably scripted as Cyrannus. That’s also the prevailing pronunciation among fans. Nevertheless, I have made an argument for “KŪR’ah-nus.”

** Okay, if you’re reading the footnotes, that means you’re a nerd like me. Which means that you want the actual math. Here you go: Galactica is ((299792.458*60)*30)+(15000000+((384400*4.332)/2) KM along our notional axis between the two stars. QMX says that Helii Alpha and Beta are 126 AU apart, and the maximum possible orbit for “Virgon” in this scenario is well within Mars’ 1.524 AU orbit because of the limits of the habitable zone. If the Galactica is 690,459,034 KM from Helios Alpha, it is therefore no less than 18,520,567,390 KM from the orbit of Virgon.

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