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Old January 27 2013, 10:28 PM   #96
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

“But, Commander,” Doctor Sarris pleaded, “we have to stop at Kobol. We have scientists on board—we can discover the secrets of our past there.”

Mathias shook his head and sighed again. “For the last time, Doctor Sarris—NO; that is a complete non-starter. As Brother Cavil has informed us, Galactica destroyed one Basestar there, so the Cylons already know of the planet. It is perfect for replenishing our supplies with fresh fruits and vegetables and tubers and grains and air and clean water—and that is why we must avoid it.”

“While I do not believe in the superstitions that surrounded Kobol,” Cavil added, “I will note that both Galactica’s fleet and the Cylons paid a heavy cost in blood when they set foot there. Just as the Scrolls predicted. Could it be a coincidence? Yes. But it is all too likely that my brothers and sisters—or the Guardians—are observing that system just in case we or other survivors make our way there.”

“Besides, Doctor,” Mathias continued, “most of your scientists are astrophysicists—not archaeologists. And even if we had archaeologists onboard, we don’t have time for a dig.”

Sarris sighed and he sat back. “I understand,” he said sadly. “I just hate passing it by and not even making the attempt to set foot there.”

“If we are not using Kobol for that way-point, then where?” asked Jayne as they poured over the star charts. Charts that were present only due to Anders risking his life to get the data and his and Brother Cavil’s accessing of it from the Cylon device; it was now marked with systems where they Cylons had outposts, fuel processing stations, refueling points, and military facilities. And there were a great many of those outposts and installations—none large, few exceeded ten or fifteen thousand Cylons, most being far smaller. But there were a great many of them. “We got lucky on our assignment—our route bypassed the areas that the Cylons have explored—and garrison. But to get to Galactica, we are going to have to go through their territory.”

“We will find a way through,” Mathias said. “I’m more worried about why we haven’t seen so much as a single Cylon raider in the past five days,” he continued. “Gods knows it has given us a chance to complete all of our repairs—and Paul’s team is working on extracting the RVs as we speak—but where are they?”

“Could be that your decision to send Father Daniel back has worked—and that they are busy fighting the Guardians,” Cavil offered. “It was a cold decision—but one that I have to agree with. After considering it for a while,” he added with a smirk on his lips. And that was because at first, he had been in shock that someone had dared to kill Father Daniel. And he looked at Sam, and smiled. “Too bad, you couldn’t have gotten a Nav Computer—we could plot this in just a dozen FTL jumps.”

For Sam Anders, the reaction had been completely different—Mathias was all but certain that given the opportunity, Anders would have killed Daniel himself for what he had done to the original Samuel Anders; to him as he saw it.

Sam thought just nodded. “Too much damage to risk relaying on a Nav Computer exposed to the radiation, and you know it.” Cavil shrugged and then nodded. “As for why we haven’t seen them; frankly I care what the reason is, but if the toasters are killing other toasters, they aren’t trying to kill us,” he said stressing the last word. He had indeed recovered from the radiation poisoning, but Mathias didn’t like the haunted look in his eyes, or the bluish circles of exhaustion under them.

He made a mental note to ask Samantha Caldwell if he could borrow one of her shrinks—and he snorted. The SFM terrorists had two trained, licensed, and board-certified psych doctors working hand-in-glove with them on Charon, and he, the Commander of the Colonial Fleet Battlestar didn’t have even one mental health professional assigned to his ship. No ship did—the Fleet generally kept those specialists on stations or on the ground. And Mathias sighed again—another policy which now bites us square in the ass. But in a way, perhaps it was for the best; because the shrinks available weren’t military, maybe those Fleet personnel who needed counseling wouldn’t be quite as reluctant to go to them—after all, these doctors couldn’t put a red flag in their personnel files and kill their careers. In fact, he thought to himself, I need to see if one of them is willing to transfer aboard. The reality is finally starting to sink in—and some of my people are going to need professional help dealing with the issue real soon.

“We can only hope so, gentlemen,” Mathias said, as he rubbed his eyes. “KV-22734-DC-8 looks like a good candidate for waypoint twenty-four if we cannot—and we cannot—use Kobol. The notes in the Cylon database show it is barren—no water, no tylium, no habitable planets. Any objections?”

No one said anything and Jayne marked it on the charts.

“That completes the first twenty percent of the route to where we know Galactica position was six days ago—and it will take the flotilla at least ten days to traverse this stage alone. We’ve been working on this for six hours, gentlemen—let’s call Stage One done, and get back to this tomorrow after we get a good night’s rest.” Mathias stood and then so did everyone else.

And the klaxons began to blare. “This is the Operations Officer,” the 1MC blared. “Sound General Quarters throughout the ship. Set Condition One in all compartments. Commander report to the CIC.”
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