Mathias walked into the CIC and his people were quiet—several looked up and he could see the swollen red eyes . . . and the anger smoldering in those tear-filled eyes. Oh yes, the anger.
He walked around the room, taking a moment to look each and every man and woman present in the eye and he completed his journey standing beside the executive officer he had come to depend on as his strong right arm. He reached up and unracked the phone, holding it upside, the cord gripped in his hand as well as the phone itself.
“Open the 1MC, Colonel Jayne,” he said formally. And his XO reached up and set the communication system.
“Number One Main Circuit for shipboard address is now open, Commander Lorne,” Tom replied.
“All hands,” Mathias said, his voice echoing through the intercoms in every compartment of the ship. “This is the Commander. By now, you have heard the scuttlebutt—and it is true. The Colonies were attacked by the Cylons while we were on our mission. The Fleet is gone. Every last one of our colony worlds has been struck by multiple nuclear weapons. There may be a handful of survivors—but only
a handful. More than thirty-one billion human beings have been annihilated by the Cylons. Our brothers, our sisters, our parents, our children, our husbands, our wives, our friends, our family—deprived of their life, their liberty, their happiness.”
“They are gone. Mourn them. There is no shame in mourning their passing. There is no shame in admitting to yourself that your heart is breaking with the weight of this moment. Not now, not ever, not on this
Battlestar. No shame in mourning, no shame in tears, no shame in heartache.”
Mathias looked directly at Joan Danis sitting at DRADIS station with tears pouring down her face as she held the pictures of her nieces in her hand.
“We are too late to save our families, but we may not be too late to save others. There are
survivors. Survivors on the Colonies and on Outposts throughout this region of space. And I will be DAMNED by the Gods if I allow a single one of them to die when I can stop it.”
“But to do that, I need you. I need each and every one of you
from the black gang to the deck gang to the cooks and the gunners and the electricians and the Marines and the pilots and the chaplains aboard this Battlestar. I need you
. The survivors
need you to save them before the Cylons finish the job of killing us all.”
“We could run. Run until our fuel and air and water is exhausted. But I will not leave behind one soul that we can save. We
cannot leave behind one soul, when we have the power to save that human life. Mourn for your loss, but as you mourn, remember what evil was behind this attack. Remember that it was the Cylons who attacked us
, who came here with the intention of destroying US
. For the sin of giving them life—they hate us, and they fear us, and they have just tried to annihilate us
“That angers me. This attack angers me, and if I know you, it angers you. And I NEED
you to grab that anger and to use it! To stand me with and the Battlestar Scorpia
and FIGHT!” his voiced thundered from bulkhead to bulkhead.
“We could run. But we will not
. We will not because we took an oath when we enlisted in the Fleet and the Corps. We swore before the Gods that never again
would the civilians suffer—that it was to be our lives for theirs
! The Fleet failed
to live up to that oath. Battlestar Scorpia
WILL NOT FAIL. We will return. We will send these Cylons screaming into their electronic Hell. We will recover the survivors. And we will survive
—if for nothing more than to spite them.”
“WE ARE AT WAR! And we will leave NO ONE
“So say we all!”
“SO SAY WE ALL!” the crew cried out so loudly that it seemed as if the ship itself quivered.
“FTL Jump in one hour—until then . . . mourn. Share you loss with your shipmates—bear some of their burden that weighs so heavy upon them. But when this hour expires, that time of mourning must end. And the time to fight will have begun.”
And Mathias racked the phone. “Colonel Jayne, you have the conn,” he said as he walked to the hatch leading into CIC, the Marine Guards snapping to attention as he passed.
“I have the conn,” Tom barked, his face set and emotionless. “If you need to cry call your relief—I want sharp eyes on the DRADIS,” he ordered. “Report any contacts immediately.”