Mathias’s eyes narrowed and he shook his head. “They are using you, Admiral Trahn—and when they believe that your usefulness has ended, they will destroy you.”
The Admiral snorted. “Cylons are not embodiments of evil, Commander—they are sapient creatures capable of individual thought and action. They have nothing to fear from the few of us that remain—so long as we show them that we are willing to have peace.”
“A peace bought with thirty-one billion dead human beings, Admiral?”
“Tragic—but it cannot be changed. It is my research that is buying you and your men a second chance at life, Commander. I urge you, do not make the wrong decision—my assistant here, he is not as . . . forgiving, as I.”
The Cylon raised his assault rifle, and Mathias shook his head. “If he shoots, my people will be in here—and yours, Admiral. How many of them know you have a Cylon on this station? How many of them know about the deal you have made?”
Trahn frowned. “Put down the gun,” he ordered, and the Cylon looked at him. “Put down the gun
,” he growled, and the Admiral sighed as the Centurion lowered the weapon. “By far the majority of the people assigned to this station are short-sighted fools willing to die for the honor
of the Fleet, Commander. They would condemn humanity to extinction out of pride and fear, whereas I will save our species. Even without his gun, the Centurion can kill you with his bare limbs—you know that.”
“Live as slaves,” Mathias snapped. “And only as long as the Cylons are willing to keep us alive—don’t you see that, Admiral?”
“You are like all the rest,” Trahn spat as he walked around his desk. “You ignore the big picture; you are blind to how our fear of technology has constrained us! I have developed limbs that can be interfaced with human neural systems—I can feel with this arm, Commander! Why should we be afraid of using this technology to allow those who have been crippled and maimed to live full and productive lives! The Fleet refused to allow these experiments—and we lost the technological high ground to the Cylons. THREE MONTHS! It took three months
with Cylon aid for me to develop this!” he thundered, gesturing towards his arm.
“And how did you lose that arm, Admiral?”
“Lose? I didn’t lose my arm, Commander—the technology had to be tested. I allowed my Cylon assistants to remove my arm so that I could prove this technology worked,” and he smiled. “And I restored my own flesh by grafting it onto one of the Centurion Commanders. We are on the verge of being not two species—but becoming one merged race of both organic and artificial life, sharing among ourselves the best of both worlds.”
“You are insane,” Mathias whispered.
“And you are blind—our deaths will be the end of humanity, Commander. Is that better than ensuring the survival of our people? Than seeing us evolve and thrive? I will end this war, because in the end there will be no Cylon and no human—only what will come from this merging. A new lifeform will come into being, stronger, smarter, more resilient. And we will know peace.”
Only the thrum of the Cylon could be heard in the office and Mathias shook his head. “Captain Malcolm, did you copy that?”
“Yes, sir,” emerged the voice of Hamish from the wireless hidden in Mathias’s uniform jacket, as the hatch opened and he led Jester and his guards—and Lieutenant Spence—inside with their weapons drawn. “And Lieutenant Spence had it piped through to the entire station along with Scorpia
, and Aurora
Trahn’s jaw worked and his eyes went wide. “You fools—you are throwing away our only chance at survival! Kill them!” he barked at the Centurion.
“By your command,” the Centurion answered as he raised the weapon—Mathias dove behind the cover of the desk as the two body-guards of Hamish’s detail squeezed their own triggers. The heavy bullets slammed into the Centurion, Jester and Hamish and Spence adding their own pistol fire. The Cylon’s gun barked, tearing up a line in the carpet of the office as he raised his weapon, but his eye sensor shattered under the storm of slugs and the weapon went quiet; the Cylon fell over to the deck.
“I am in command here!” bellowed Trahn, as Mathias stood. “You will stand down, now, before you ruin everything!”
“I don’t think so, Admiral,” the Commander said as he held out his hand and Jester placed a sidearm there. Mathias chambered a round. “Admiral Trahn, I hereby find you guilty of aiding and abetting the Cylons, of multiple breaches of Colonial law, and of treason against the human race.”
“You have no authority over me,” Trahn snarled, and then his facial expression changed as the bullet caught him in the chest, and he looked down at the spreading red strain in astonishment.
“Debatable, Admiral,” Mathias answered. “Captain Malcolm—have you the wireless,” he paused as Hamish held out the portable system. “Thank you. Colonel Jayne—I want this station searched for Cylons. Get the staff aboard our ships and grab what we can. We may not have much time.”
“Marines are boarding the station now—Colonel Foeswan is with us, Commander.”
Trahn looked up. “They will hound you to the far corners of Hell, Commander,” he whispered. “You have doomed the human race today.”
“Admiral, I’d rather die a human being fighting for my freedom than to live as a half-Cylon slave. And so would these people,” Mathias placed his pistol muzzle against the Admiral’s forehead, and without another word, he squeezed the trigger; Trahn fell back against the deck, his legs twitching, but otherwise dead.
Mathias turned to Lieutenant Spence. “Lieutenant, let’s get your pilots in those birds on the hanger deck—I want them on Scorpia
in the next ten minutes. Have you a manifest of the ordnance storage here?”
“I can pull it up on the system,” the Lieutenant answered as echoes of gunfire began to bark along the corridors.
“Commander, this is Captain Aisne—we are engaging Centurions on Deck Six—Communications. They killed the on-duty crew and have transmitted a message.”
Mathias winced. “Time is running out people,” he broadcast. “Get the staff and civilians aboard and what we can grab—where is that manifest, Lieutenant?”
“Here, Sir,” he said as the computer monitor on Trahn’s desk pulled up the screen. Mathias ran his finger down the screen and then he nodded. He lifted the wireless to his lips again.
“Colonel Jayne, have a transport crew meet us at Ordnance Storage Four—Deck Three,” he ordered and began to jog out into the corridor.
“And what are we going to find in Ordnance Storage Four, Commander?” asked Hamish as he ran alongside the Commander.
“A dozen nuclear weapons, Captain Malcolm. And I want all of them.”