Sam Anders paced in the small chapel; he paced back and forth and he pressed his hands together and took them apart, and he opened his mouth to speak and then closed it again. Finally, the clergyman sighed.
“Samuel, I have much to do to make this chapel ready for service—I cannot believe that the Fleet does not post a Chaplin for such duties. One would think the Gemenons would insist,” Cavil said sourly. “So if you would just tell me what is bothering you, perhaps I can help you with that and then go back to putting this sanctuary in order.”
Sam stopped and he looked up at Cavil and he nodded; he sat down and Cavil sat down facing him.
“I believe that I made a mistake, Brother Cavil,” he whispered. “She’s going to come back—I know she is going to come back. I should have stayed.”
“Sam,” he sighed. “Even presuming that she ever made it back to Galactica
, Starbuck is a Viper pilot—one of few and the Cylons are chasing them. Has it occurred to you that she has not come because she might be dead?”
The former pyramid-star looked up, and his anguished eyes told Cavil that he indeed feared just that. In his head, if not his heart.
“You have faith that she will return, and you question that faith,” Cavil continued with a snort. “Questioning one’s faith is good, Sam. You have to ask yourself this: did you wait for her? Yes, you waited for five months; five long months while the Cylons did their best to kill you and the Resistance on Caprica. The second question is this: had you stayed, how many of the Resistance would have remained alongside you?”
And Sam’s head twisted—his eyes locking onto Cavil. “They love you, Sam. Not like Starbuck loved—not in the physical sense, but they love you as if you were their brother. Or a protective uncle, perhaps. Had you stayed behind, how many of them would have forsaken this chance at life to stay alongside you?”
“I would have told them go,” Sam whispered.
“Would that have mattered? They would have stayed, Sam. I would have stayed. You must balance the choice you have made—which cannot now be changed—of the lives you have protected and shepherded all through the long dark days of the occupation, versus the odds of her coming back.”
“She will come back—and I won’t be there.”
“No. But would she want you there, and dead at the hands of the Cylons—or alive with the possibility that one day perhaps, the two of you might find each other again?”
“In the afterlife?”
“Oh, Sam,” Cavil laughed. “There is no afterlife. ‘In the beginning, the Gods created man.’ Such inspiring words, but the truth of the matter is that we were not created by the Gods—we
,” and the old man sighed. “Look, Sam. There are always possibilities. You know that Kara Thrace was sent back to get the Arrow of Apollo. There is only one reason she wanted the Arrow—to open the Tomb of Athena on Kobol and find the way to Earth.”
He cocked an eye, and Sam nodded.
“So? What are you waiting for? Tell the Commander that—he will try to follow Galactica
, if only because there is strength in numbers. Because to give his survivors the gift of hope he needs to find those other survivors seeking Earth. Sam,” Cavil said with a slight smile, “Starbuck won’t have to come find you, if you find her first.”
Sam Anders looked up, his eyes wide. “You think we can find her?”
“What does it matter what I think? We as a people need to have a goal—surviving day-to-day with every moment possibly being the last is a terrible burden that we have lived. And we will continue to live. But knowing that there are others out there, Sam. Others that we love, that we will come to love, that makes the burden easier to bear. Seeking them out, that makes the losses that we suffered less painful. The Gods may be the creation of Humanity, but hope—ah, Sam, hope is a virtue that transcends the Gods.”
The hatch opened and a Marine entered the compartment—his weapon raised. He was followed by three more, and then the Commander.
Cavil frowned. “This is place of worship, a sanctuary—what is the meaning of this.”
One more man followed the Commander in, and he flushed as he saw Cavil standing there. “Yes, I saw three of him on Virgon, Commander. Always in a position of authority—he’s a Cylon.”
Sam jumped up to his feet and backed away. “He’s been part of my group since the beginning! He can’t be a Cylon—he can’t!” he yelled.
“Who are you?” Cavil asked the officer who seemed to recognize him.
“Captain Malcolm, I led the Virgon Resistance—and I have seen you.”
“Ah. You actually saw my brothers,” Cavil said. “There is a difference between us—not a great one, but definitely one to be certain.”
“Cavil?” Sam asked, his eyes wide.
“I am so sorry, Sam—but it is true. I am a Cylon. I have come to believe that what we did to the Colonies was wrong—that we acted too precipitously based upon faulty information. Which is why I left my brothers and joined you—so that I could help as much as I could. I had hoped that perhaps, in some small way, I might be able to make some amends for what my people did.”
Utter silence filled the room. And Cavil smiled a crooked smile. “Do you plan to kill me or question me, Commander? Or is it perhaps the second followed by the first?”
Mathias shook his head. “Put him in the brig—double the guards on him,” he ordered. “He is not to be touched by anyone for the present—Fleet, Marine, or civilian. Is that understood?”
“Yes Sir,” barked the Marine.
“Commander,” Hamish said. “We discovered one of these infiltration models in our ranks on Virgon three months ago—while he was dying he bragged that upon his death his consciousness would simply download and enter a new body. With his memories intact—to my sorrow, I did not believe him, but two hours later, our camp came under attack, led by the same Cylon we had just killed. I lost twenty-two men that day, giving their lives so that the rest of us could escape. If he dies . . . the rest of them will learn everything he knows.”
“Thank you, Mister Malcolm,” Mathias said. “Take him to the brig—no one is to see him except the guards; not without my direct order.”
As Marines stepped forward, Cavil held out his wrists. “Despite what I am, Samuel, I do truly regret what my people have done. And he needs to hear from you what you know about Galactica
and where she is en route to. I won’t pray for you, but I will hope that you find your way.”
He was manacled as he spoke and then the Marines ushered him from the chapel. And Mathias turned to Sam Anders. “What do I need to know, Mister Anders?”