Episode 7: No Mercy
The chapel was already filled nearly to capacity when Mathias stuck his head within. He nodded—good crowd of people, and all wearing their dress uniforms for the occasion. He stepped back into the corridor as he heard a throat clear behind him.
It was Tom, who had a very severe look on his face.
“Here to relieve me of command for killing a prisoner, Mister Jayne?” Mathias asked.
“No, I just want to know why you got to put a bullet in that jackass instead of me?” the XO replied and then he cracked a smile. “I understand the why—even if Cavil was . . . extremely shocked. You are hoping that you can get the Guardians and the modern Cylons fighting among themselves, while we just slip away, aren’t you?”
“It’s worth a shot, Tom,” Mathias whispered. “And don’t you worry—next Cylon that needs disposing of I’ll give to you.”
“You better,” Tom snorted. “Good crowd—and I see someone broke out the delicacies from Laveride’s hold. Only thing missing is the open bar.”
“We are launching our first attack right after the ceremony, Tom—I’d like to break out the sparkling wine for everyone, but there is one bottle for the happy couple. Everyone else will have to wait until scratch that sleeper ship from the universe.”
Tom nodded and his expression turned serious. “Ander’s data says they have two Basestars riding escort—it could get nasty.”
“That’s why we are leaving Aurora
here with the flotilla—we are going to jump in, have at them, and then get the hell out of dodge before the hornet’s swarm.”
“Ship’s ready—so are the fighter squadrons. All three of them,” he said shaking his head. “We could swap out those new Thunders for the squadron of Mk VIIs on the Aurora
, Sir—there is still time.”
Mathis shook his own head no. “Best we find out now if they are any good, Colonel. Crew morale?”
The XO snorted again. “High. Going to kick some Cylon ass has really got these folks motivated—and the marriage is helping there too.”
“Speaking of which,” Mathias said as he began to grin at the fighter pilot swathed in folds of white silk and velvet and lace who made her way down the immaculate corridor. “Where the hells did you folks find a wedding dress?”
“We didn’t, Commander,” Tom chuckled. “Turns out we’ve got a couple of folks aboard who collected materials and made that dress—they did a damn fine job of it, didn’t they?”
Mathias nodded in agreement. Oh, the matrons who ran nuptial shops in the big cities would have clicked their teeth at the sight of the slightly mismatched sections quickly sewn together, the lack of a train or a veil; but, for here and now, it was the finest and loveliest gown in the universe.
The music began to play as the bridesmaids—all from Hope’s own Blue Squadron—entered the chapel ahead of her. She stopped though. “Commander,” she began, but Mathias shook his head.
“Not too late to change your mind, Digger,” he said jokingly, and she smiled.
“Oh, it’s too late, Sir. Would you do me the honor of escorting me down the aisle?”
“I would, Hope,” Mathias whispered. And he leaned in close and kissed her on the cheek. “You’re as lovely today as I had prayed my own daughter would be.”
She sniffed and held out her arm, which Mathias took. And taking a deep breath—the both of them—they began to walk down the aisle as the guests stood, towards Hope’s waiting fiancée and Brother Cavil clad in the white robes of an itinerant priest of the Gods.