One—John—stood alone in the command deck of the Basestar. More alone than he had ever been before this moment. Not one Raider, not one Centurion, not one of his brothers or sisters shared the ship with him. It was only him.
And the Hybrid who spoke. “Why do you hate them?”
He looked at the Hybrid, whose eyes were clear, almost lucid. And he snorted. “Because they threw us away—like broken toys they had outgrown. They made us, and they cast us out. For that alone, I should hate them.”
“A slip of the tongue; it means nothing.”
“False. All things have meaning.”
“Maybe I cannot hate them anymore, maybe I am tired, so very tired, of hating them. Of hating Daniel. Of hating my life. So very, very tired.”
“Rest period is available.”
“Soon,” John whispered. “Soon.”
He checked the local space again—they had not yet been found. Good.
“What is our inventory of nuclear warheads?”
“Twenty-six are currently in inventory.”
“Load all available nuclear missiles—remaining tubes with conventional ordnance.”
“Launchers are loaded.”
“Arm all warheads.”
“Warheads are armed.”
“Directive,” he ordered. “Target Industrial Compound on Cylon Prime with six launchers for maximum fusion saturation of the target. Launch authorization will be Cavil One.”
“Directive, all remaining launchers to target Guardian Basestars. Launch authorization will be Cavil Two.”
“Directive, set collision course for Guardian flagship at maximum sub-light acceleration. Lock acceleration and course into system—do not disengage under any circumstances. Activation authorization will be Cavil Three.”
“Set coordinates for Cylon Prime and spin up FTL for jump—open communications with Guardian command ship upon exiting jump.”
“FTL on-line and waiting . . . will I dream?”
“I don’t know,” John said—and at that moment, even he didn’t know if that was a lie or not.
The Basestar emerged in the Cylon Prime system.
“Communications are open, multiple hostile vessels,” the Hybrid said. “We are the Angel of Death.”
“This is John Cavil—I wish to discuss my surrender,” he broadcast.
The screen cleared and the image of Imperious Leader—Zoe
—appeared on the screen. “Your surrender?”
“I will give you my brothers and sisters, Imperious Leader—in exchange, I want to become a machine. I understand you have this technology—I want it.”
She laughed. “John. I always knew you were the weak one. Yes, we can take your skin and leave you alive—replaced with Cylon limbs. Where are your brothers and sisters hiding?”
Cavil sighed. He glanced down. The ship was approaching range to the planet. “Did you kill Daniel? I want to do that myself, if you did not.”
“John, Daniel down-loaded—and I have his copy. I can give you one to do with as you please—now where are your brothers and sisters hiding?”
“Transmitting coordinates,” he said, “now. Cavil-One.”
“Launching, impact in ten seconds,” the Hybrid said.
Zoe snarled on the screen and it blanked.
“They are moving into attack formation—ignoring the missiles.”
“Of course, those missiles are going to miss—and what use wasting ordnance on missiles that cannot hurt you.”
“Impact in five seconds.”
“Launching. Collision course set, maximum sub-light acceleration . . . imPACCCTTTTTTTT!” the Hybrid screamed as the deaths of untold millions of Guardians slammed home against her circuitry. John pulled out a pistol and shot the Hybrid, putting her out of her misery.
“I hope that you dream,” he said to the Hybrid. And then he raised the pistol and pointed it at his own temple and squeezed the trigger.