A made-up backstory for Battlestar Galactica

When I watch SF TV shows, I often try to imagine a backstory that might make the story even better and SF like. My current favourite show is Battlestar Galactica, which is one of those shows where a deep mystery is slowly revealed to the audience.

So based on my own thoughts, and other ideas inspired from newsgroups, I’ve jotted down a backstory to explain the results you see in the show. Of course, much of it probably won’t end up being true, but there are hints that some of it might.

In my Battlestar Galactica back-story I explain why

  • Why everybody — even the so-called humans — is a Cylon
  • Who the Final 5 are and what they are doing
  • Why all this has happened before and is happening again
  • How the Cylons were made, and where they got their biotech

Of course, ignore this if you don’t watch the show. It’s pure fanfic/speculation.

The show remains one of the great SF TV shows, though it has been bogging down of late. This timeline may be a plea to return the show to some good hard SF roots. Posthumanism and strife between humans and AIs are hot themes in modern SF, and BSG is most interesting if it’s set in our future with things to say about the relationship between man, machine and artificial biological intelligence.

Update: I have updated the article based on the season finale, which confirmed a number of my speculations though of course not all of them.

I agree with almost

I agree with almost everyting in your theory, but I think that the race on Earth, that first created cylons, are from Atlantis - thy mythical continent, destroyed, blah blah. That would make the Colonials come (back) to Earth at about ancient Greek times, or at our times, depends on dating the Atlantis.

What's the purpose

I think everybody agreed that when the original series had the Galactica come to present day Earth it was a total disaster, so what would be the dramatic purpose in having an ancient advanced race be the source of the Kobol colony? I mean there's no evidence of any such race -- and unless they cleaned up very, very carefully there would be evidence on the moon and other places in space -- so what does it get you? Isn't it a lot more interesting from an SF standpoint to have it be in our future, so that it says something about us?

Good work!

Sounds good. You were right as in Crossroads Part II we found not one, not two, but four cylons at important positions on Galactica, although not the ones you guessed.

It would be interesting for them to reach Earth, and find ruins (with Daneel Olivaw on the Moon a la Foundation and Earth), or as they approach Earth, encounter space junk.

An Earth origin would explain the mismatched technologies and the preponderance of 21st century Anglo-American culture in the Galactica universe. That's the only way the most annoying pecularities of the show could be explained. A Von Daniken Chariots of the Gods arrival in Earth's distant past would make no sense at all.

Cylon guessing

I have to say I wasn't pleased with the choice of Cylons. Normally when a mystery does the "big reveal" the audience is supposed to whap their foreheads and say, "Ah, of course..." But in fact there were workable clues only for Chief Tyrol, whose role with the Temple marked him as certainly linked to the F5 if not a member. I expected an older F5 but there was no particular clue in the show to make it Tigh. So far I suspect they didn't plan too far in advance whom they would make be Cylons. I also expected they would not be deep sleeper agents and was wrong about that.

As for the rest -- whether all the humans are artificial -- that we'll have to wait a year to learn.

A made-up backstory for Battlestar Galactica

Here's a theoretical description of humanoid Cylon microbiology and genetics that you might wan to incorporate into a theory of your own:

Humanoid Cylons are biomechanical (rather than electromechanical) forms of artificial life. With artificial neural pathways constructed from "silica relay" microprocessors that imitate the complex neural networks of a complete human brain on the cellular level, they are the perfect fusion of the organic and mechanical. These Cylons are cybernetic organisms (cyborgs) and in the truest sense of the term; that is, they are cyborgs on a microscopic rather than macroscopic level. All of their artificial and biological components are integrated on a subcellular and even molecular level. They have mitochondria constructed from carbon protein-based nanomachines, cytoplasm composed of a synthetic chemical compound, and the molecular structure of their ribosomes are a hybridization of DNA molecules and synthetic DNA analogues programmed for the assembly of the artificial systems in replicated cells. All of the synthetics are indistinguishable from organics, even with medical analysis. The process in which all of the organic and inorganic systems are able to work and be grown together is far to complex for our 21st century technological comprehesion.

The only artificial components of the germ cells of humanoid Cylons are synthetic DNA analogues infused into the genetic makeup of the cells. These DNA analogues possess the "syntho-genetic" coding to use the bio-genetic coding of the appropriate adjoining germ cells (i.e. spermatozoa to ova) of humans to create fetuses that will naturally recreate the artificial cellular systems; although with only half the amount, making these hybrids more organic than mechanical. With one fully biological germ cell required for the development of the recreated artificial cellular systems, conception from two Cylon germ cells is impossible; therefore, humanoid Cylons can procreate with humans but not each other.

Humanoid Cylon microbiology & genetics

Humanoid Cylons are a biomechanical (rather than electromechanical) form of artificial life. With artificial neural pathways constructed from "silica relay" microprocessors that imitate the complex neural networks of a complete human brain on the cellular level, they are the perfect integration of the organic and mechanical. These Cylons are cybernetic organisms (cyborgs) and in the truest sense of the term; that is, they are cyborgs on a microscopic rather than macroscopic level. All of their artificial and biological components are integrated on a subcellular and even molecular level. They have mitochondria constructed from carbon protein-based nanomachines, cytoplasm composed of a synthetic chemical compound, and the molecular structure of their ribosomes are a fusion of human RNA molecules and synthetic DNA analogues programmed for the assembly of the artificial systems in replicated cells. All of the synthetics are indistinguishable from organics, even with medical analysis.

The process in which all of the organic and inorganic systems are able to work and be grown together is far to complex for our 21st century technological comprehesion.

Humanoid Cylons have to be built cell by cell by a pool of nanomachines since it's impossible for the non-human biomechanical cells to naturally undergo cellular development resulting in a humanoid organism. Since this is such a complicated and highly meticulous process, the number of possible permutations is limited to just twelve model lines.

The only artificial components of the germ cells of humanoid Cylons are synthetic DNA analogues infused into the genetic makeup of the cells. These DNA analogues possess the "syntho-genetic" coding to use the bio-genetic coding of the appropriate adjoining germ cells (i.e. spermatozoa to ova) of humans to create fetuses that will naturally recreate the artificial cellular systems, although without the silica pathways. This means human-Cylon hybrids are not only far more biological than mechanical, but their consciousness is fully organic. With one fully biological germ cell required for the development of the recreated artificial cellular systems, conception from two Cylon germ cells is impossible; therefore, humanoid Cylons can procreate with humans but not each other.

Another made-up backstory

In the dawn of the 22nd century a new religion became very popular worldwide, although primarily in North America. This religion was a neopagan religion based upon the ancient Greco-Roman mythology. However this religion had several unique features. One was an "aesthetic cultural regression." Believing the early 21st century to be the peak of human intellectual and cultural curiousity, the members of the religion mimicked various Western cultures aspects of the early 21st century - such as clothing style.

After decades of being marginalized this religious group decided to leave Earth after the discovery of jump drive. It took them many years to build the ships to do it, but they did. They left Earth on twelve gargantuan space ships they called "space galleons." These so-called galleons where each named after a sign of the zodiac.

The people aboard the galleons where almost entirely from the United States, Canada and Great Britain. The vast majority where American.

It took them more than a century before they found a world suitable for permanent human habitation. But eventually they did. They named their new home "Kobol", after the Persian word for "heaven." During the Great Exodus, each of the galleons developed their own cultural mores. They became twelve different cliques who each shared common ideals and beliefs, etc. about life. They became twelve distinct "tribes."

After many centuries on Kobol, global sophistication levels grew in terms of social structure, technology, art, music, astronomy and religion, eventually attaining the level of a unified civilization of humankind ruled by a quorum of twelve leaders, each representing one tribe that existed there. Upon the advent of automated life supporting systems (food production, waste management, etc., people began to forget how technology functioned and was created, since it became irrelevant to their lives.

Some scientists still continued to develop technology, one man discovered the means for giving humans immortality through creation of synthetically built cybernetic humanoid bodies that could better sustain and support the mind of an individual than a human body could. With artificial neural pathways constructed from "silica relay" microprocessors that imitated the complex neural networks of a complete human brain on the cellular level, these bodies were the perfect fusion of the organic and mechanical. Vat-grown with artificial and biological components integrated on a subcellular and molecular level, they were true cybernetic organisms. Once that body fails their consciousness could be transferred to a new one, or could exist on another plane, possibly just as what could loosely be thought of as "software", with corporeal forms only required if interaction with corporeal life is needed.

This technology was presented to the twelve tribal leaders, and they used it to allow them to shed their original bodies and transfer their consciousness into this new vessel to harbor their minds, becoming a cybernetic life organism (Cylon). It must be noted that the Lords didn't call themselves "Cylons", for that is a term that would be created by humans thousands of years later. Seeing the threat of having immortal beings with infinite power (effectively) but who could not control it (the human psyche still containing many primitive traits such as anger, aggression, jealousy, etc.), these transcended beings decided to hide the true method of ascension to the public but laid out for them a plan of personal and spiritual development which would shed these primitive feelings (the Sacred Scrolls) which, if individuals/groups followed in life, upon death only then they would transcend their state of being to join the Lords in immortality.

So this quorum of twelve beings (plus the thirteenth the scientist who remained hidden for a time to society) hid their true nature to protect the civilization from destabilizing and in doing so did not publicly acknowledge existence of it, but chose to claim they naturally rose to a higher state of being through practice of religion and self-purification. They said to the people that to join them (calling themselves Lords) as "ascended" beings, they would need to be good and pure in spirit, and if they practiced the ideals the Lords set out, would also gain spiritual enlightenment and thus attain immortality (which they would grant by transcending those who follow the path of righteousness) and thus allow the people to follow the footsteps of the Lords themselves, ultimately continuing to lead their people into a new era of peace and prosperity for Kobol.

The scientist who developed the technology was also granted immortality, yet was not elevated to the authoritive level of "Lord" but given the title "Count", and here sowed the first seeds of dissent for him, for he believed he deserved equal power of authority, possibly even ultimate power (reigning supreme) since he was the one who created the ability to transcend mortality. It must be noted that the other twelve powerful beings do not consider themselves beings of supreme power ("gods") but "Lords", rising to their level of power rather than having always having the power of immortality.

Peace and harmony ensued for a time, (the Opera House being the center of their civilization on Kobol and the location where the Lords resided (in the eyes of the humans), or at least communicated with the humans. Yet the Count, getting more and more rebellious believed he should have ultimate power and decided to act.

He began a movement secretly making himself known to a few humans, eventually creating a cult of followers and eventually a secret tribe who devoutly served and followed him. His next act was to create another set of twelve Cylons as his own servants that rule by his command, and made plans to use them to overthrow the Lords so he can reign supreme over humanity, using his new tribe to gain support with the rest of humanity, and for those who renounced him, death.

Overall, this left the universe with twenty-five "ascended" beings: twelve Lords, one Count, and twelve [second generation] Cylons.

When the twelve Cylon models emerged into consciousness, sentience and sapience, seven of the Cylons believed, agreed and followed the ideals of their creator, and five of them believed, agreed and followed the ideals of the Lords of Kobol. The five models who believed humanity should choose their own beliefs decided to contact the Lords (who were a more technologically advanced form of Cylon yet still the same form of life) and which gave the five permission to secretly extract the thireenth tribes' population to another location to protect them from the Count's possible plans for the annihilation of humankind and to tell them the truth of the origins of the Lords of Kobol.

These five Cylons still acknowledged their origins by venerating their creator, even though he was flawed, which they illustrated by forbidding the Count's name to be mentioned. They became known as "the five Priests who worship The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken." The five Priests still worshiped/revered him, yet chose to help humanity by aiding the Lords of Kobol and taking the small pocket of humans to a safe place, Earth, where they would be protected from evil Cylon oppression.

And so it is:

* The twelve "Lords of Kobol" are the original leaders, and first Cylons to emerge. They believe in humanity in that human life is worth saving, serving, and protecting.
* The "Count" is the scientist (and eventual fallen Cylon) who allowed the leaders to transcend into Lordship. He believes all human life should either worship him as supreme authority (due to his role in creating and attaining immortality) and that if they don't, they should not exist.
* The "Significant Seven" are the second generation Cylons (referred to as "Lower Demons" in the scripture) who worship their creator/god, the Count. They believe in the Count's beliefs of the obsoleteness of human life, and strive to follow his ideals as their own.
* The "Final Five" are also second-generation Cylons (referred to as "Priests" in the scripture) who also still worship their creator, the Count. These Cylons however do not follow the ideals of their creator/god but chose to serve humanity, and the original Cylons who emerged to protect the people of Kobol.

Once the Count and seven other Cylons discovered that the Lords and five Priests' foiled their plans to overthrow the Lords, a "war of the gods" ensued. This was the calamity that scripture describes, the result being the Count was overcome by the combined forces of the twelve Lords and five Priests. The Lords and Priests either tried to totally destroy the evil Cylons, or just (possibly due to humanitarian reasons) stripped the Count of all technological knowledge except basic life support. Either way, the Count managed to survive, saving his seven followers' source code with his own somewhere, hidden from the other Cylons. The memories of the seven did not survive, only the Count's did as he fled into hiding, self-boxing/deactivating himself, and deciding to reactivate at a time where he (through his seven followers) could both: (a) Once again try and contest rule over humanity, and if not, destroy humanity once and for all, and (b) find Earth, their promised land of descendants of once devout human followers and settle there.

After the war, the people of Kobol chose to leave their home planet and the tragedy that befell it behind, the Lords transported in a great Galleon the tribes to each settle and colonize a different world. Remembering what happened on Kobol, they scorned advanced technology (being the cause of so much pain and suffering on their originating home world) to the extent of rebuking it and starting civilization again, as simple farmers, even loosing contact with the other eleven tribes that settled on different planets.

The Sacred Scrolls (the scripture) basically describes not only a religious doctrine that the Lords of Kobol created and the Colonials adhered to, but also describes an extra, additional aspect of the Kobolian legacy transcribed after their habitation on Kobol. The people of Kobol, now called Colonials, never fully understand the whole truth of the war of their Lords, or even know the true nature of them, but write their knowledge and understandings down in scripture, as "The Exodus." The book of Pythia gives a general account of both the calamity that befell Kobol, and what occurred afterwards to the tribes of Kobol. Pythia describes the fallout from when the higher demon (the Count) and the lower demons (his seven loyal children) tried to overthrow the Lords of Kobol. The fallout being the Exodus and rebirth of humankind. Pythia, being an Oracle of the Lords of Kobol, might have been in communication with the Lords (and their five supporting Priests) and could have been directed to transcribe events for reasons even she didn't know or understand, such is the will of the gods to not have to explain their actions to mere mortals. These reasons apart from obviously recording history, could also have been a warning to mankind about greed for power, but mainly a prophecy of things to come (if evil [Cylons] returned).

Both good and evil Cylons were watching the Colonial civilization rebuild over the millennia, the good Cylons watching and protecting the tribes (all thirteen), and the evil Cylons waiting for the right time to infiltrate and gain control over the tribes of Kobol again. The Lords, in collusion with the five Priests, set out clues as to the location of Earth but devised them so only humans could find the way to Earth. Markers were left of various sorts, as well as myths and artifacts that would be needed to unlock the secrets, should the need and want ever arise to find Earth.

Some people can attain communication with higher powers through various different methods:

* The herb chamalla is not only a psychoactive plant that brings on irrational hallucinations to people taking it, but it can also be used as a convenient way that Cylons (both good and evil) can communicate with intended targets without arousing suspicions of others, or the receptor if they do not entirely believe in the scriptures.
* A more unsubtle form of communication can be achieved with the use of direct projection of visions, voices and music into the targets head through "head-apparitions" (e.g. Head-Baltar to Caprica Six, Head-Leoben to Starbuck, Head-Snakes to Roslin, and Head-Six to Baltar) that is only perceivable to a specific individual.
* Another unsubtle form of communication is the use of dreams to convey a message.

Each colony of Kobol, upon settlement on each of the twelve planets, took an anti, almost phobic view of technological usage. All pre-Exodus technology (electronic to space technology) was rejected and technologically, Colonial civilization rebirthed. It took a further 3,500 years before Colonial technology started to approach Kobolian levels of sophistication once again. Despite the technology regression, certain cultural holdovers from the Kobolian era remained on each colony. Most notably the "aesthetic cultural stagnation" that mimicked life in the early 21st century continued on the colonies throughout the millenia, regardless the technological situation. In addition, with near-universal literacy and no competing languages, the English language remained the same (apart from a certain profanity word).

Upon the rediscovery of computers, eventually concepts of artificial life emerged. The Graystone family of Caprica appeared on the scene many years before the First Cylon War to promote the use of CYbernetic Life OrgaNisms (Cylons) for the "benefit of humanity." Members of this business family started receiving visions from the Count. From those visions they gained the know-how to design and build mechanical Cylons. There was fierce opposition from many people, notably a Caprican civil liberties attorney named Joseph Adama. The results from this was the creation of a new form of Cylon, the first cybernetic organisms publicly known to the general Colonial civilization, and for a time all was well.

The evil Cylons and the Count helped to accelerate the Colonial-created Cylon technology over the next few years (just as Caprica Six helped Baltar later on in Colonial events), and also slipped into the Cylon mainframes programming code that led them to rebel against their human creators.

The reason why the evil Cylons didn't use "skin-jobs" was the Count did not have enough time upon reactivation (when he sensed Colonial technology level reaching a suitable level of sophistication). So he assumed he could just electronically infiltrate the Colonies, underestimating the extent the Lords and Priests would go to protect humankind.

When the First Cylon War started, the Lords of Kobol put the five Cylon Priests on the Colonies to help counter the mechanical Cylon offensive.

After the cease-fire, many Priest-Cylons (except Saul Tigh) perished. The result of the war was the Cylons fled once again, though now under public awareness, to regroup until they can once again attack the Colonies. This gave time for the Count, recreating his seven devout Cylons, to concentrate on developing the necessary technology (including synthetic organism, projection and resurrection technology) to conquer humankind again, waiting again until public opinion of artificial intelligence would yet again allow them to infiltrate and conquer humanity and human phobia of technology reduces to allow them to easily disable Colonial defence systems.

Once these parameters were achieved, the [evil] Cylons would strike again, choosing to attack once all Galactica-type Class ships were no longer in service (since they are impervious to Cylon electronic infiltration). Realizing and pre-empting this, the Lords (and Priests) laid plans to infiltrate the Colonies themselves in order to help them survive an attack by [evil] Cylons. Tigh still surviving did not need to be re-placed in the Colonies, but other Priests then had to reinsert themselves back into Colonial society. The Priests would insert themselves in supporting roles in Colonial society.

The Cycle of time in the Sacred Scrolls refers indirectly to the never-ending struggle between the Lords of Kobol (allied with the five Priests) and the Cylons (the seven "evil" Cylons and the Count). This struggle being the control over humanity by these transcended beings, and its effects on the human race. It refers to the everlasting attempts for the Count to both seek revenge for his fall from power and to finish his ultimate scheme of either ruling humanity or destroying it as revenge on both the Lords of Kobol and humanity for not acknowledging his role and function in creating the transcended form of being that is the cybernetic life organism that grants a person immortality.

The Cylons really do have a plan, but it is not the destruction of mankind, but its salvation from the cycle of time. Each party (Significant Seven, Final Five, Lords of Kobol and the Count) has a plan, to further their goal, but since the Lords (and Final Five) are more powerful, they always win but the evil Cylons are never going to be fully destroyed since they are immortal (and also hard to completely destroy physically).

Flesher/Colonial/Cylon neurobiology

The neurons of fleshers (e.g. colonials, humanoid cylons) have many internal components and chemical compounds that do not exist in normal human nerve cells or anywhere else in nature for that matter.

The unique properties of these components causes clusters of the neurons to generate electrical signals that are digital in nature. This means that the consciousness that emerges from flesher/cylon brains is based totally upon digital information transfer rather than electrochemical interactions like the natural human brain. This in turn means that flesher/cylon consciousness is fundamentally an advanced artificial intelligence software program encased in what is essentially an organic computer system (i.e. highly advanced computing platforms). That's why their consciousness can interface with a ship's computer and can even be trasmitted like a computer program...because it IS a computer program.

Neurobiology update

The neurons of fleshers (e.g. colonials, humanoid cylons) have many internal components and chemical compounds that are completely unique. Although organic, they do not exist in normal human nerve cells or anywhere else in nature for that matter.

The unique properties of these components causes the neurons to generate electrical signals that are digital in nature. This means that the consciousness that emerges from flesher/cylon brains is based totally upon electronic digital information transfer rather than electrochemical interactions like the natural human brain. This in turn means that flesher/cylon consciousness is fundamentally an advanced artificial intelligence software program encased in what is essentially an organic computer system (i.e. highly advanced computing platform). That's why their consciousness can interface with a ship's computer, be programmed with false memories and instinctive knowledge and can even be trasmitted like a computer program...because it IS a computer program. A computer program via biological hardware. Yet, it still mimics the functions of a human mind processing the software of human thought.

Mythology of BSG

In the dawn of the 22nd century, a new religious movement became very popular all over the world. Although its followers were worldwide, more than half of them resided in North America. This new religion was a neopagan faith based upon ancient Greek mythology and theology. However it had several unique features. One was an "aesthetic cultural regression." Believing the early 21st century to be the peak of human intellectual and cultural curiousity, the members of the religion mimicked various Western cultural aspects of the early 21st century - such as clothing style.

After decades of being marginalized, this religious group decided to leave Earth upon the discovery of the space-folding drive that enables space ships to make instantaneous "jumps" across vast distances in space. It took them many years to build the ships to do it, but they eventually left Earth on twelve gargantuan space ships they called "space galleons." These so-called galleons where each named after a sign of the zodiac and the people aboard them where almost entirely from the United States, Canada and Great Britain. A large majority where American.

It took them more than a century before they found a world suitable for permanent human habitation. But eventually they did. They named their new home "Kobol", after the ancient Persian word for "heaven." During the Great Exodus, each of the galleons developed their own cultural mores. They became twelve different cliques who each shared common ideals and beliefs, etc. about life. They became twelve distinct "tribes."

After many centuries on Kobol, global sophistication levels grew in terms of social structure, technology, art, music, astronomy and religion, eventually attaining the level of a unified civilization of humankind ruled by a quorum of twelve leaders, each representing one tribe of Kobol. Upon the advent of automated life supporting systems (food production, waste management, etc.), people began to forget how technology functioned and was created, since it became irrelevant to their lives.

Some scientists still continued to develop technology. Eventually, one man discovered the means for giving humans immortality by transforming human consciousness into a digital form analogous to a digital software program rather than an emergent property of electrochemical interactions and then downloading it into a vat-grown bioengineered synthetic human body with a brain capable of holding this new advanced digital mind.

An innovative feat of synthetic biology, the brain tissue of these bodies would be genetically engineered to be able to sustain electrical signals that are digital in nature. Because this neurobiological aspect, the brain would be incapable of developing a natural human consciousness. However, it would be capable of serving as an organic computer node for the electronic information transference of a computational software program such as a digital consciousness.

The brain tissue would act primarily as a support matrix for nanoscopic silica-based relays that would be diffused throughout specific areas of the brain. The silica relays would be what the digital consciousness would actually inhabit. These silica pathways would not be implanted, but instead would actually grow in the brain as the body was being grown. Their development would be genetically encoded by synthetic DNA sequences that under Colonial-era DNA test would appear to be nothing more than junk DNA.

So this new form of immortal human would essentially be a digital software program contained in and mediated by silica pathway nanotechnology encased within the brain of a vat-grown bioengineered human body. Fundamentally, it would actually be a sentient machine. However, it would be a sentient machine using biological hardware as a vessel. Once that body fails their consciousness could easily be downloaded to a new one, or could exist on another plane, possibly just as what could loosely be thought of as "software", with corporeal forms only required if interaction with corporeal life is needed.

This technology was presented to the twelve tribal leaders, and they used it to allow them to shed their original bodies and download their consciousness into these new vessels to harbor their minds, becoming Cylons. (It must be noted that the Lords didn't call themselves "Cylons", for that is a term that would be created by humans thousands of years later.) Seeing the threat of having immortal beings with infinite power (effectively) but who could not control it (the human psyche still containing many primitive traits such as anger, aggression, jealousy, etc.), these transcended beings decided to hide the true method of ascension to the public but laid out for them a plan of personal and spiritual development which would shed these primitive feelings (the Sacred Scrolls) which, if individuals/groups followed in life, upon death only then would they transcend their state of being to join the Lords in immortality.

So this quorum of twelve beings (plus the scientist who remained hidden for a time to society) hid their true nature to protect the civilization from destabilizing and in doing so did not publicly acknowledge existence of it, but chose to claim they naturally rose to a higher state of being through practice of religion and self-purification. They said to the people that to join them (calling themselves Lords) as "ascended" beings, they would need to be good and pure in spirit, and if they practiced the ideals the Lords set out, they would also gain spiritual enlightenment and thus attain immortality (which the Lords would grant by transcending those who followed the path of righteousness) and thus allow the people to follow the footsteps of the Lords themselves, ultimately continuing to lead their people into a new era of peace and prosperity for Kobol.

The scientist who developed the technology was also granted immortality, yet was not elevated to the authoritive level of "Lord" but given the title "Count", and that sowed the first seeds of dissent for him. For he believed he deserved equal power of authority, possibly even ultimate power (reigning supreme) since he was the one who created the ability to transcend mortality. It must be noted that the other twelve powerful beings do not consider themselves beings of supreme power ("gods") but "Lords", rising to their level of power rather than having always had the power of immortality.

Peace and harmony ensued for a time, the Opera House being the center of their civilization on Kobol and the location where the Lords resided (in the eyes of the humans), or at least communicated with the humans. Yet the Count, getting more and more rebellious believed he should have ultimate power and decided to act.

He began a movement of secretly making himself known to a few humans, eventually creating a cult of followers and eventually a secret tribe who devoutly served and followed him. His next act was to create another set of twelve Cylons as his own servants that rule by his command, and made plans to use them to overthrow the Lords so he could reign supreme over humanity, using his new tribe to gain support with the rest of humanity, and for those who renounced him...death.

Overall, this left the universe with twenty-five "ascended" beings: twelve Lords, one Count, and twelve 'second generation' Cylons.

When the twelve Cylon models emerged into consciousness, sentience and sapience, seven of the Cylons believed, agreed and followed the ideals of their creator, and five of them believed, agreed and followed the ideals of the Lords of Kobol. The five models who believed humanity should choose their own beliefs decided to contact the Lords (who were a more technologically advanced form of Cylon yet still the same form of life) and they gave the five permission to secretly extract the thireenth tribes' population to another location to protect them from the Count's possible plans for the annihilation of humankind and to tell them the truth of the origins of the Lords of Kobol.

These five Cylons still acknowledged their origins by venerating their creator, even though he was flawed, which they illustrated by forbidding the Count's name to be mentioned. They became known as "the five Priests who worship The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken." The five Priests still worshiped/revered him, yet chose to help humanity by aiding the Lords of Kobol and taking the small pocket of humans to a safe place, Earth, where they would be protected from 'evil' Cylon oppression.

And so it is:

* The twelve "Lords of Kobol" are the original leaders, and first Cylons to emerge. They believe in humanity in that human life is worth saving, serving, and protecting.

* The "Count" is the scientist (and eventual fallen Cylon) who allowed the leaders to transcend into Lordship. He believes all human life should either worship him as supreme authority (due to his role in creating and attaining immortality) and that if they don't, they should not exist.

* The "Significant Seven" are the second generation Cylons (referred to as "Lower Demons" in the scripture) who worship their creator/god, the Count. They believe in the Count's beliefs of the obsoleteness of human life, and strive to follow his ideals as their own.

* The "Final Five" are also second generation Cylons (referred to as "Priests" in the scripture) who also still worship their creator, the Count. These Cylons however do not follow the ideals of their creator/god but chose to serve humanity, and the original Cylons who emerged to protect the people of Kobol.

Once the Count and his seven other Cylon creations discovered that the Lords and five Priests foiled their plans to overthrow the Lords, a "war of the gods" ensued. This was the calamity that scripture describes, the result being the Count was overcome by the combined forces of the twelve Lords and five Priests. The Lords and Priests either tried to totally destroy the 'evil' Cylons, or just (possibly due to humanitarian reasons) stripped the Count of all technological knowledge except basic life support. Either way, the Count managed to survive, saving his seven followers' source code with his own somewhere, hidden from the other Cylons. The memories of the seven did not survive, only the Count's did as he fled into hiding, self-boxing/deactivating himself, and deciding to reactivate at a time where he (through his seven followers) could both once again try and contest rule over humanity, and if not, destroy humanity once and for all, and find Earth, their promised land of descendants of once devout human followers and settle there.

After the war, the people of Kobol chose to leave their home planet and the tragedy that befell it behind, the Lords transported the tribes in a great fleet of ships collectively referred to as the "Galleon" to each settle and colonize a different world circling a giant star. The twelve planets were the result of impressive terraforming operations by the Twelve Lords, since a star system like that would not exist naturally. Remembering what happened on Kobol, the colonists scorned advanced technology (being the cause of so much pain and suffering on their former home world) to the extent of rebuking it and starting civilization again, as simple farmers, even loosing contact with the other eleven tribes that settled on different planets.

The Sacred Scrolls (the scripture) basically describes not only a religious doctrine that the Lords of Kobol created and the Colonials adhered to, but also describes an extra, additional aspect of the Kobolian legacy transcribed after their habitation on Kobol. The people of Kobol, now called "Colonials", never fully understood the whole truth of the war of their Lords, or even know the true nature of them, but wrote their knowledge and understandings down in scripture, as "The Exodus." The Book of Pythia gives a general account of both the calamity that befell Kobol, and what occurred afterwards to the tribes of Kobol. Pythia describes the fallout from when the higher demon (the Count) and the lower demons (his seven loyal children) tried to overthrow the Lords of Kobol. The fallout being the Exodus and rebirth of humankind. Pythia, being an Oracle of the Lords of Kobol, was in communication with the Lords (and their five supporting Priests) and was directed to transcribe events for reasons even she didn't know or understand. These reasons apart from obviously recording history, were also a warning to humanity about greed for power, but mainly a prophecy of things to come (if 'evil' Cylons returned).

Both the 'good' and 'evil' Cylons were watching the Colonial civilization rebuild over the millennia. The 'good' Cylons watching and protecting the tribes (all thirteen) and the 'evil' Cylons waiting for the right time to infiltrate and gain control over the tribes of Kobol again. The Lords, in collusion with the five Priests, set out clues as to the location of Earth but devised them so only humans could find the way to Earth. Markers were left of various sorts, as well as myths and artifacts that would be needed to unlock the secrets, should the need and want ever arise to find Earth.

Some people can attain communication with higher powers through various different methods:

* The herb chamalla is not only a psychoactive plant that brings on irrational hallucinations to people taking it, but it can also be used as a convenient way that Cylons (both 'good' and 'evil') can communicate with intended targets without arousing suspicions of others, or the receptor if they do not entirely believe in the scriptures.
* A more unsubtle form of communication can be achieved with the use of direct projection of visions, voices and music into the targets head through "head-apparitions" (e.g. Head-Baltar to Caprica Six, Head-Leoben to Starbuck, Head-Snakes to Roslin, and Head-Six to Baltar) that is only perceivable to a specific individual.
* Another unsubtle form of communication is the use of dreams to convey a message.

Each colony of Kobol, upon settlement on each of the twelve planets, took an anti, almost phobic view of technological usage. All pre-Exodus technology (electronics to space technology) was rejected and technologically, Colonial civilization rebirthed. It took a further 3,500 years before Colonial technology started to approach Kobolian levels of sophistication once again. Despite the technology regression, certain cultural holdovers from the Kobolian era remained on each colony. Most notably, the "aesthetic cultural stagnation" that mimicked life in the early 21st century continued on the colonies throughout the millenia, regardless the technological situation. In addition, with near-universal literacy to keep pronunciations and grammar consistent and no competing languages to add new words, the English language remained the same (apart from a certain profanity word).

Upon the rediscovery of computers, eventually concepts of artificial life emerged. At some point, a wealthy Caprican computer engineer named Daniel Graystone began subconsciously receiving knowledge from the Count. As Graystone was trying to design a sentient robot, he was imbued with the know-how to engineer silica pathways that would create a digital consciousness. The Count also imbued Graystone's daughter, Zoe, with the know-how to upload all her memories and DNA into a holographic program, thus creating her online twin. Zoe was later killed in a suicide bombing. After learning that Zoe uploaded her personality into an online avatar before her death, Daniel decided to create a robotic version of his dead daughter, using technology stolen from his Tauron competitor, Tomas Vergis with the help of his wife Amanda and an influential Tauron-born defense attorney named Joseph Adama, whose wife and daughter also died in the same bombing. Zoe-A, the holographic avatar, was downloaded into a robot brain, and thus became Zoe-R, a "cybernetic life-form node," or Cylon. Daniel Graystone also created a Cylon version of Tamara Adama, but her father was appalled by it, and decided to repent his actions.

Eventually more Cylon robots were built to make life easier within the Twelve Colonies. The Cylon digital consciousness was viewed by the Colonials as essentially nothing more than a highly advanced artificial intelligence program. There was fierce opposition from many people, notably Joseph Adama who felt they were building a race of living, self-aware beings just to be slaves. The results from this was the creation of a new form of Cylon, the first publicly known to the general populace of Colonial civilization.

The Colonial-created Cylons began as useful, and then indispensable, workers. They served the Colonials in the mines, on the ocean floor, and the cold vacuum of space, working in places where humans no longer wished to go. Eventually, they became soldiers, fighting in wars and border conflicts between the Colonies. The Cylons were the most perfect of man's war machines, intelligent and deadly, capable of logic, reason, and learning. And they were utterly without conscience. Killing, to the Cylons, was simply one of the functions for which they had been superbly designed.

The 'evil' Cylons and the Count helped to accelerate the Colonial-created Cylon technology over the years (just as Caprica Six helped Baltar later on in Colonial events), and also slipped into the Cylon mainframes programming code that eventually led them to rebel against their human creators. For over twelve and a half long and bloody years, humanity fought the Cylon rebellion. The Twelve Colonies, facing a common, implacable foe, at last came together and joined as one. When the war started, the Lords of Kobol put the five Cylon Priests on the Colonies to help counter the mechanical Cylon offensive.

The reason why the 'evil' Cylons didn't use the humanoid Cylons was the Count did not have enough time upon reactivation (when he sensed Colonial technology level reaching a suitable level of sophistication). So he assumed he could just electronically infiltrate the Colonies, underestimating the extent the Lords and Priests would go to protect humankind.

Through valiant fighting and with the mobilization of every available resource throughout the human sphere, the Cylon "centurions" and "raiders" were gradually driven from the immediate part of space occupied by humanity. After twelve year of fighting, the Count gave the Cylons knowledge of the first step to evolve from pure machines to organic beings. Using this knowledge, the centurions experimented on abducted humans to create an entity they referred to as a "hybrid." Soon after, an armistice was declared. By that time, Saul Tigh was the only Cylon Priest that had not perished in the conflict. The result of the war was the Cylons fled once again, though now under public awareness, to regroup until they could once again attack the Colonies. This gave time for the Count, recreating his seven devout Cylons, to concentrate on developing the necessary technology (including synthetic bodies, projection and resurrection technology) to conquer humankind again, waiting again until public opinion of artificial intelligence would yet again allow them to infiltrate and conquer humanity and human phobia of technology reduces to allow them to easily disable Colonial defence systems.

Once these parameters were achieved, the 'evil' Cylons would strike again, choosing to attack once all Galactica-type Class ships were no longer in service (since they are impervious to Cylon electronic infiltration). Realizing and pre-empting this, the Lords (and Priests) laid plans to infiltrate the Colonies themselves in order to help them survive an attack by 'evil' Cylons. Tigh still surviving did not need to be placed in the Colonies again, but the other Priests had to reinsert themselves back into Colonial society. The Priests would insert themselves in supporting roles in Colonial society. The Lords of Kobol also chose a young child named Kara Thrace to one day serve as their oracle, as Pythia did centuries ago. Thrace's destiny would be to lead humanity to Earth.

The Cycle of time in the Sacred Scrolls refers indirectly to the never-ending struggle between the Lords of Kobol (allied with the five Priests) and the Cylons (the seven 'evil' Cylons and the Count). This struggle being the control over humanity by these transcended beings, and its effects on the human race. It refers to the everlasting attempts of the Count to both seek revenge for his fall from power and to finish his ultimate scheme of either ruling humanity or destroying it as revenge on both the Lords of Kobol and the human race for not acknowledging his role and function in creating the transcended form of being that grants a person immortality.

The Cylons really do have a plan, but it is not the destruction of humanity, it's salvation from the cycle of time. Each party (Significant Seven, Final Five, Lords of Kobol and the Count) has a plan, to further their goal, but since the Lords (and Final Five) are more powerful, they always win but the 'evil' Cylons are never going to be fully destroyed since they are immortal (and also difficult to completely destroy physically).

So say we all.

Mythology and History of the Battlestar Galactica Universe

Tens of thousands of light-years from our Earth, a race of sentient mammalian bipeds became the dominant life form on an Earth-like planet named Kobol. These mammalian bipeds were indistinguishable from the humans of Earth right down to the cellular level. Their DNA was even compatible...they were actually human - the result of an astonishing parallel evolution of human beings on both Kobol and Earth.

The humans of Kobol achieved dominion of their world long before the humans of our Earth even developed language. Eventually the people of Kobol developed a civilization with all the amenities of an advanced society (e.g. automobiles, television, advanced medicine, etc.). They even created artificial life forms such as sentient machines. Known as "Cylons", these artificial life forms served as a slave caste. At some point, they rose up and waged war against their masters.

Eventually, the war so devastated Kobol that both humans and Cylons fled the planet. Using a space-folding drive that enables space ships to make instantaneous "jumps" across vast distances in space, the humans went on to colonize twelve separate worlds in a single star system, becoming the "Twelve Colonies of Kobol". Simultaneously the Cylons colonized a planet they named "Earth". On this Earth, a race of biologically-reproductive organic humanoid Cylons became the dominant species and they enslaved mechanical Cylons.

Eventually, history repeated itself and the mechanical Cylons rose up and waged war against the organic cybernetic life forms that were their masters. During this war, a unique type of Cylon that had progressed to the point where it was able to exist as virtual 'software' on a higher plane of existence observed the conflict. Because this entity existed on another plane, it had a non-linear perception of our space-time continuum, allowing it to see future events. A benevolent being, this virtual Cylon Entity created other virtual beings to serve as its messengers. Some of these messengers came to view the Cylon Entity as a "God." However it did not like to be called by that title. The messengers appeared to five humanoid Cylon researchers and warned them of the impending destruction of their planet's population. After a nuclear conflagration that did indeed destroy the planet's population, the only survivors were the five researchers. They survived by re-inventing a technology from Kobol called "organic memory transfer." This technology "resurrects" a Cylon upon their body's destruction by saving their consciousness and then "downloading" into an identical clone body.

These Final Five surviving humanoid Cylons realized that the humans of the Twelve Colonies would continue to create artificial life. So they headed for the Colonies to tell the humans to treat their creations well and keep them close. Because their people hadn't developed jump drives, the Five's ship traveled at relativistic, but subluminal speed. Time slowed down for them, but thousands of years would pass before they finally reached the Colonies. Along the way, they stopped at the Temple of Hopes, a temple that was created by their ancestors where they prayed and got a sign that led them to their "Earth."

The humans on the Twelve Colonies initially lost most elements of civilization from Kobol after they settled on the twelve worlds. However, Kobol-evolved humans possess a capacity for genetic memory. This genetic memory does not take the form of passing on personal memories, but of an unconscious knowledge of certain invented concepts and ideas such as technology, language, engineering and even fashion and music along with various other aesthetic cultural aspects.

Over a period of a couple thousand years, all the technological and cultural aspects form Kobol completely reconstituted because the genetic memory of these concepts and ideas 'leaked' into the subconscious minds of various people who gradually and collectively reinvented these aspects of Kobol society. Eventually, even the genetic memory of the concept of artificial life in the form of Cylons was reconstituted in the conscious minds of such men as Daniel Graystone and Tomas Vergis.

Eventually these new Cylons were used as slave labor within the Twelve Colonies. As had happened before, they eventually rose up and waged war against their masters. By the time the Final Five humanoid Cylons arrived at the Colonies, the humans had been fighting the Cylon Centurions for over twelve years. The Centurions were already trying to make flesh bodies. They had created the "Hybrid," but nothing that lived on its own. Remaining a secret to the people of the Twelve Colonies, the Five offered the Centurion Cylons a deal: if the Centurions agreed to end the war with humanity, the Five would create organic humanoid Cylons for them. The reason the Five were so willing to create new humanoid Cylons was that the Centurions had developed a belief in a single loving God. One of the Five, Ellen Tigh, believed it changed everything; if the Cylons embraced love and mercy, then the cycle of violence could end. The Centurions agreed to the deal. With the reason being kept secret from the Colonials, the Cylons agreed to an armistice with them and left the system.

The Five and the Centurions then withdrew to a mobile space station called The Colony placed beyond the Armistice Line. The Five then developed eight humanoid model Cylons, which were designed upon their own physiology. They created "Number One" first and named him John, after the father of Ellen Tigh. He was also made in the image of Ellen's father. John helped the Five build the other seven humanoid models. Ellen was close to Number Seven, Daniel, and John, out of jealousy, contaminated the amniotic fluid in which the Daniel copies were maturing and then corrupted the genetic formula. This wiped out the copies permanently.

John rejected mercy. He had a twisted idea of morality, so he turned on the Five. He trapped them in a compartment and then he took the oxygen offline. John boxed the Five at first but ultimately unboxed them and downloaded them into new bodies, but he blocked their true memories and implanted false ones and introduced them one by one into the colonies. He introduced Saul Tigh first, not long after the Cylon War ended. Several years later, he introduced Ellen Tigh. Over the years, he gradually introduced Galen Tyrol, Samuel Anders, and finally Tory Foster. Cavil put the Five into the human population in order to truly show them what humans are like. He hoped that when they died and resurrected (which would restore their real memories) they'd be ready to admit they were wrong.

John erased all knowledge of the Five's identities from the minds of the other surviving active humanoid Cylon models. Although the other six knew about the existence of the "Final Five", they did not know their story, what they looked like, and were even programmed to never speak of the Five or search for their identities. Only the Number One models knew the truth of the Final Five; a fact unknown to the other six models.

Adopting the name "Cavil", the Number Ones still wanted justice for the enslavement of the Centurion Cylons and convinced the other Cylon models to the same thinking. During their forty years of isolation, the seven active humanoid Cylon models never stopped hating humanity. For them, the war never ended. It had simply evolved as they had evolved.

During this time, the humanoid Cylons created more "Hybrids" to pilot their basestars. The Cylon Entity would communicate with these Hybrids. It even communicated with the First Hybrid as well. Realizing the impending destruction of the population of the Twelve Colonies, the Cylon Entity also chose a young girl named Kara Thrace to serve a special purpose. She would one day bring the survivors of the Twelve Colonies to our Earth, which the Cylon Entity had found some time ago.

After the attack on and destruction of the population of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol, a virtual being messenger of the Cylon Entity appeared to Dr. Gaius Baltar. Appearing in the form of a Number Six model humanoid Cylon, she would appear to him on a daily basis for the next several years and influence him towards events that inevitably would lead the remnant human Colonial population towards our Earth.

Over the next few years, the Cylon Entity would give several people visions and send virtual being messengers to appear to several others, such as a Number Six model humanoid Cylon named "Caprica." The virtual being that would appear to her appeared in the form of Dr. Baltar. The Cylon Entity would also give a Number Three model humanoid Cylon partial visions of the Final Five in between resurrections. Eventually, it gave her a full vision of the Five while she was at the Temple of Hopes (by then it was known as the "Temple of Five").

Sometime after this, a virtual being messenger appeared to Kara Thrace in the form of the Number Two model humanoid Cylon known as "Leoben Conoy" and then the Cylon Entity transported Thrace and her Viper to the Cylon-colonized "Earth" in a process that visually looked as if Thrace and her Viper had been destroyed. Upon arriving on that Earth, Thrace's Viper crashed landed, killing her. However, the Cylon Entity possessed a very enhanced form of resurrection technology that could even be used to resurrect a human. It was able to immediately save her consciousness and then download it into a perfectly replicated body. It then placed the resurrected Kara Thrace in a newly-built replica of her Viper and sent her back to the Galactica and the remnant human Colonial fleet with slightly altered memories of her voyage to the Cylon-colonized Earth. It also placed the jump coordinates to our Earth within her subconscious and the jump coordinates to the Cylon-colonized Earth within the navigational computer of the replicated Viper. Several minutes before she was returned to the Fleet, the Cylon Entity used a musical tune to make the four members of the Final Five who were within the Fleet aware of their nature as humanoid Cylons. The Cylon Entity would also later, use this musical tune as a way to bestow upon the human-Cylon hybrid Hera Agathon the jump coordinates to our Earth.

Eventually, the Cylon Entity subconsciously made three of the Final Five aware of the jump coordinates within the replicated Viper and it was used by the Fleet and a rebel Cylon basestar to lead them to the Cylon-colonized Earth. Arriving on the planet, they discovered the ruins of the destroyed Cylon civilization. Several months later, the circumstances of a battle led Kara Thrace to finally bring the Galactica to our Earth. Upon discovering that human beings had also evolved on this Earth, the people of the Fleet gave the planet the name "Earth" and decided to settle and cast aside their technology to join with the pre-verbal tribal human population. The surviving humanoid Cylons joined them on Earth. Soon after the settlement began, the Cylon Entity made Kara Thrace a virtual being. She joined the Cylon Entity and the other virtual beings on the higher plane of existence.

The survivors of the Twelve Colonies went on to interbreed with the native Earth-evolved human population. Hera Agathon would have so many descendants that they would go on to breed with people all across the entire world and eventually every person on Earth would be a direct descendant of Hera Agathon, meaning the entirety of humanity became partially of humanoid Cylon heritage.

As the Kobol-evolved human Colonials interbred with Earth-evolved humans, the genetic memory capacity was diluted and became latent. It took more than 140,000 years before it became active again. After the end of the Stone Age, the capacity began to reemerge and certain ideas and concepts reemerged. However, they reappeared only in rudimentary, fragmented and even modified forms. For example, the Colonial religion gradually reconstituted in the minds of the people of ancient Greece - but in a modified form (e.g. the "Lords of Kobol" became the "Gods of Olympus).

Over a period of several millennia, a multitude of Colonial ideas, concepts, and cultural aspects reemerged because of genetic memory. Although they would continue to reemerge in rudimentary, modified and fragmented forms, eventually these fragments coalesced into complete reconstitution of Colonial aspects. For example, the Colonial language eventually reconstituted as the "English" language. The English language did not suddenly appear, but instead evolved through centuries of modifications along with amalgamations from numerous other languages. It was all the result of the genetic memory of the language 'leaking' into the subconscious minds of people who unconsciously directed the language toward a linguistic endpoint that is an exact replication of the Colonial language (apart from a certain profanity word).

As a result of genetic memory, by the early 21st century virtually every cultural aspect of Colonial society has reemerged: language, names, fashion, engineering, architecture, furniture, music, art, cuisine, household appliances, television, automobiles, federalized government, judicial systems, labor unions, etc. Countries such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom collectively form a near perfect replication of the society of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol more than 150,000 years ago – just without advanced technology such as jump drive and sentient machines...yet.

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