“Resurrection is what we colorfully call down-loading, Commander,” Cavil explained. “These ships are vital to the process—there is a maximum distance beyond which a successful down-load cannot occur. These ships—unarmed ships—extend that range by their presence. The contain thousands upon thousands of Centurion and Raiders and human-forms alike,” Cavil snorted. “And they can produce more Centurion and Raider bodies. All in storage, just waiting to receive a consciousness imparted to them.”
“Destroy the ships and you lose your ability to down-load,” Mathias said with a grunt. And then he leaned forward in his chair. “That is one hells of a design flaw.”
“I agree,” Cavil said with a chuckle. “We no longer produce new
Cylon intelligences; that much I gleaned from brothers and sisters on Caprica. Apparently, sometime after I was returned to the Colonies on Joyita, we began seeing . . . greater variations
emerge from new copies of the various models. The others saw that as a through to the Unity and six years ago stopped producing new intelligences.”
“Can they resume that?”
“Maybe,” answered Cavil. “If the need were great enough, that is. But they will resist that idea—bitterly. Each of my brothers and sisters believes that they are going to live forever, exchanging old worn out bodies for new ones. Attacking that belief will create in them fear and loathing—they may not cease their pursuit, but they will do so more . . . cautiously
“How many of these ships are there?”
“According to the knowledge I obtained from communing with my brethren on Caprica, the Cylons had eighty Basestars, two hundred smaller ships, and ten Resurrection Ships at their disposal when they launched their attack on the Colonies. Four of the Resurrection Ships remain in the worlds we have colonized, but the other six!” Cavil smiled.
“One is attached to the support the group hunting you, Commander. One was destroyed by Galactica
working in unison—oh, yes,” he said as the Commander looked up, “they have joined forces. The remaining three are located here,” Cavil said tapping a star chart, “here,” again another tap, “and here. They form a chain that connects the expedition following the other survivors with our central authority.”
“You use down loading for faster-than-light communications?” Mathias asked.
Cavil shrugged. “We are machines
, Commander. Pain is fleeting—and duty calls for sacrifice. What better way to send a message than to ignore the flesh—or metal—and down load the consciousness of the messenger.”
Mathias nodded. “Sever the chain and that method of communication is no more.”
“Exactly. Destroy all three—four if you are able to catch the one pursuing you—and you will put my brothers and sisters in a great quandary. They dare not engage you in battle for if they die, they will die forever. Their uniqueness and memories lost for all time to the Cylons. They may still follow you, but attacks? Those will dwindle away.”
“How fast can you build more of these Resurrection Ships? And what of the tenth one?”
“The tenth was taken by the Guardians when they were sent into Exile—it was the Guardians who developed the process, in conjunction with Father Daniel, that made resurrection possible. As for my brothers and sisters building them—none
of us were given that knowledge. Father Daniel and the Guardians kept it for themselves.”
“And we have Daniel Graystone in isolation aboard this ship—and the Guardians remain at war with you,” Mathias mused.
“Yes. You cannot imagine what a morale loss it will be should you destroy the Resurrection Ships, Commander—you will generate panic among the Cylons. Fear. Terror. And fan the flames of their hate. You will threaten their promised immortality. Whether that is enough to make them give up their mad dream of seeing all of you dead?” the Cylon shrugged.
Cavil paused and then he sighed. “I know his crimes are great, Commander, but if you kill Father Daniel, he will simply down load and resurrect on the Cylon Homeworld. And then he can build new
Now Mathias frowned and he nodded. He had found Daniel Graystone to be arrogant and full of self-righteous pride . . . and possessed of such a great belief in his own moral superiority that he no longer considered anyone else’s views on right or wrong, good or evil, to be relevant. He almost had the reborn scientist jettisoned from an airlock, but instead had stuck him in isolation until he made up his mind what to do with him. And he sighed.
“What if I destroyed these ships and then killed Daniel?” he asked.
Cavil jerked. “Then he would die forever—and his knowledge with him. Which would have the secondary effect of forcing my people to crawl back to the Guardians and beg their forgiveness. The Guardians would hound you to the ends of the universe—Daniel is their only hope at being given flesh.”
“Not exactly true, John,” Mathias said. He hadn’t told Cavil of the research on Cerberus yet—but there was no time like the present. In fact, he thought with a smile, it might be good for him to receive another shock to the system.