The Fall of the Twelve Colonies was a massive Cylon campaign against Colonial space which saw the indiscriminate destruction of civilian and military targets alike with the objective of total annihilation of mankind. Though the Cylons suffered far fewer casualties than their lowest expectation, they failed to destroy humanity in the single day.
Forty years before the fall, the Cylon War came to a close with a stalemate. The two races which had fought for twelve years with the goal of annihilating the other to guarantee their own survival. With the arrival of the Final Five, humanoid Cylon refugees from Earth, the Colonial Cylons agreed to call off the war and make a deal with the Colonial Forces. The Colonials would maintain control of their space, but would recognise Cylon sovereign territory past the designated Armistice Line.
In the forty years, the Cylons went through radical changes. With the help of the Final Five, eight new humanoid Cylon models were created to realise the Centurions' goal of evolving into biological forms. The original of the Number Ones, known as "John" or "Cavil", launched a rebellion against the Centurions and the Final Five, robbing the former of free with a telancephalic inhibitor and wiping most out in favour of newer, inhibited machines, and rendering the Five amnesiac and sending them out into Colonial society under the belief they were human. John prepared for over twenty years to wipe out mankind as a final act of revenge against the Five, disgusted in their creation of him in a limited, human-like body; officially the Cylon plan was to attack as revenge for the Cylons' original enslavement, with knowledge of the Five being wiped from the other Cylons' memories.
Twenty years following the Armistice, the Colonial Fleet went through a period of massive re-armament on the intuitive but otherwise baseless belief at the time the Cylons were preparing a strike force. The low-tech battlestars were scrapped in favour of more advanced warships, with the exception of Galactica which was preserved as a recruiting symbol due to its historical significance. Two years before the Fall, another military shake-up took place under President Richard Adar, which saw the use of an experimental Stealthstar launched from Battlestar Valkyrie across the Armistice Line to test Cylon defences. Coinciding with this was the development of the Command Navigation Program as a networked system to be installed universally in all military craft. The architect of this program was Dr. Gaius Baltar, a proponent on networking, which had been officially banned during the War due to Cylon hacking abilities. Aware of Baltar's CNP, the Cylons sent a Number Six to gain his trust and made alterations to his program to allow them to quickly penetrate the firewalls and disable ships with a computer virus.
Initial attack Edit
The Cylon attack was planned to begin on the fortieth anniversary of the war's end, perhaps days after CNP had been successfully installed on virtually the entire fleet. A massive fleet of Basestars, including the Cylon's mobile Colony, jumped to just outside of the Cyrannus system to stage the attack. The opening shots were at the Armistice Station, a remote station set up on the Armistice Line for diplomatic contact, but which had been ignored consistently by the Cylons until then.
Several hours later, the Cylon fleet jumped away from the Colony and took positions in orbit around the Twelve Worlds, launching Cylon raiders as defence. Elements of the Colonial fleet assigned to planetary defence such as Valkyrie and Yashuman intercepted the Basestars, but were quickly disabled by the CNP hacking from the raiders. The Basestars then fired MIRVs at heavily populated areas, wiping out Caprica City entirely, as well as Picon Fleet Headquarters, while raiders destroyed the Scorpia Fleet Shipyards with nuclear missiles. In the opening minutes, the Colonial Fleet lost thirty battlestars, approximately a quarter of their fleet strength.
Colonial counteroffensive Edit
Following the opening attacks, President Adar offered an unconditional surrender to the Cylons, which was ignored. Cylon Heavy Raiders were deployed by the Basestars to land armies on all inhabited worlds in the system, which would kill any survivors of the nuclear bombardment. With Fleet Headquarters destroyed, Admiral Nagala took personal command of the Fleet on-board the Battlestar Atlantia, and ordered FTL-capable warships to her position to prepare for a counteroffensive. Unaware of the CNP hacking despite an alarming number of equipment malfunction reports, Nagala was unable to put up a fight and Atlantia was destroyed soon after along with Triton; Solaria; Columbia and a number of other ships.
Despite taking heavy losses, the Colonial ships did not give up, and Raptors picking up refugees from the colonies instead acknowledged the authority of the newly-inaugurated President Laura Roslin, who had assembled a fleet of civilian ships in the Helios Alpha system. Meanwhile, Commander William Adama of the Battlestar Galactica took command of the Colonial Fleet and jumped to Ragnar Anchorage for re-supply for combat, with its officers determining that CNP was the cause of the losses and Galactica's lack of networking made it invulnerable. Adama was joined at the Anchorage by the FTL-capable ships in Roslin's fleet that were able to escape a Cylon strike. She pleaded with him to give up the fight and lead the refugees out of the Cyrannus system and out somewhere else. This, he reluctantly agreed when it became clear no more warships were fighting. Galactica covered the refugee fleet's departure from Ragnar, launching its squadron of Viper Mark IIs, museum exhibits which were found to also be safe due to the lack of networking.
Within 24 hours after their initial attack, almost the entire human population, numbering 20-50 billion, had been wiped out. The Cylon forces began a recovery effort, repairing the damaged cities to allow for habitation of the Humanoid Cylons. Surviving humans quickly began suffering the effects of radiation exposure, which limited the viability of resistance efforts. After several weeks, the only existing resistance was on Caprica, which survived due to being in the hills and the Cylons' unwillingness to kill its leader, Samuel T. Anders, who was one of the Final Five.
Over fifty thousand people escaped in refugee ships, as well as on the battlestars Galactica and Pegasus. Though the Cylons themselves abandoned the colonies after ten months of occupation, the planets were so irradiated human settlement was impossible, and they instead searched for a different place to live.
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