“Status?” asked Mathias as he walked into CIC. Scorpia
and her brood had jumped into this lifeless system just two hours before. The revelation that the once-mute man that Sam Caldwell had known as Daniel was in fact a copy of Doctor Daniel Graystone—the man responsible for the Cylons in their past and present forms—flamed the latent anger that the Colonial officer struggled to keep bottled inside. But he had refused to act precipitously—despite that it had been Daniel Graystone and he alone that had created the human-form Cylons that had all but destroyed civilization. Mathias had doubled the guards on the brig, but so far had left Daniel and Cavil and Sam Anders alone. Anders in particular represented a quandary—he had played no part in the Cylon’s plans, and if Cavil and Daniel were to be believed, there were no active copies of his model. Although, they insisted that were he to be killed, he would resurrect.
He had led the fight against
the Cylons on Caprica—and his reaction at the news that he was indeed one of the creatures he hated
; well, it had been sobering from Mathias’s point of view. Mathias and Tom had both worried that he might well try to take his own life—so for now, at least, he had been sedated and held under guard. Mathias shook his head. The man had done nothing wrong, committed no crime—just been at the wrong place at the wrong time; and yet, just by existing he posed a very real threat. Doctor Graystone had restored his—and Cavil’s—memory with a code; what if the Cylons had other codes? Codes that would steal away Ander’s free will and turn him into a programmed weapon? But did that threat justify taking away an innocent man’s life? Would judging Sam Anders—and the other Cylons who were not aware of their true nature once they finally caught up to Galactica
—make Mathias just as much of a criminal as Daniel Graystone was?
Mathias had been meditating on this before his next meeting with the prisoners when the alert had sounded. And now, he put it out of his mind as he stepped up next to Tom beside the center console.
“Two Cylon Raiders jumped in, Commander—CAP engaged and destroyed one; the second was damaged but managed to jump away. All ships confirm receipt of the proper emergency jump coordinates and are spinning up FTLs.”
“Thank you, Colonel Jayne,” he said as he picked up the phone. “Flight Operations, CIC. Rambler, get the birds back on the deck,” he looked up at Tom.
“Two minutes,” the XO said.
“We jump in two minutes whether they are aboard or not—so get them aboard.”
“They are heading back to the barn, now, CIC,” Rambler’s voice came over the intercom.
Mathias racked the phone. “Guns,” he said to Paul Cook, “stand-by to engage Basestars as they appear—standard fire rate on the batteries, we need to start watching munitions expenditures.”
“Aye, aye, Sir,” Cook answered. “Guns are hot, local fire control on line. All forward tubes are loaded—not armed.”
Mathias kept his eyes fixed on the DRADIS as the seconds ticked away.
“CIC, Flight Operations—all birds on the deck,” Rambler reported.
And then five new icons appeared—just outside of weapons range.
“New contacts,” Joan Danis sang out, “five Basestars launching Raiders—count one thousand plus inbound. They are launching missiles—radiological alert!”
Mathias’s lips tightened—the missiles would be on top of them in thirty seconds; the Raiders just a few heartbeats later. “Time to jump?”
“Scylla, Leonis Pryde
, and Umino Hana
are away,” reported Major Tyche. “Just us and Anu
has made the FTL jump?”
“Time to go,” Mathias snapped. “Engage FTL drives!”
Marius Tyche depressed the lever. With a flash of light, Scorpia
vanished and scores of heavy missiles passed through the space where she had once been.