“Athena,” Tory said, turning her head to face Sharon. “Hera is alive. The President ordered Cottle to fake her death and gave the child to Maya—her new assistant—to adopt. I will testify under oath that she ordered the kidnapping of your daughter and then had Cottle tell you she died in childbirth. Frack you, Madame President!” she snapped, and stormed off.
And everyone’s jaw dropped.
Shock as much as anything saved the life of President Roslin at that moment, because despite her Cylon speed and reaction time and strength, Athena was stunned—at least for a brief moment. Athena surged forward and Laura Roslin gasped as those extremely angry fingers reached out for her throat—and stopped dead just inches from Laura Roslin’s skin before being pulled back; Saul grabbed the furious woman from behind, and Anders had tackled her around the waist—she still almost
managed to connect with a vicious right hook thrown as she went to the deck, but Brother Cavil grabbed her arm and got thrown himself into the bulkhead for his troubles, but Galen caught the fist and held before she could resume her swing.
And even as the two Adamas and Mathias finally started moving (and a white-faced Laura backed up against the bulkhead) Ellen was already kneeling next to Sharon as Saul and Sam’s combined weight held her down on the floor, and Galen Tyrol still held her clenched right fist. “Not this way, Athena,” she said. “She wants you to hit her—that will let her get away with this and throw you away forever—we will get your daughter back to you, sister,” she hissed.
“I WANT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” Athena snarled, her attention totally focused on Laura, tears of pure rage, mixed with . . . a kaleidoscope
of hope, relief, and fear, streaming down her cheeks.
Mathias shook his head and he looked at Lee and the Admiral—and they were just as stunned as he was—as Athena was. They didn’t know, he thought as his jaw worked—they didn’t know
“Saul,” the elder Adama growled, “take who you need and get her,” he said pointing at Athena, “back to Helo’s quarters—Lee, grab Helo and take him there and use Marines if you must, but make him stay
there. Everyone else—except the President—OUT.”
Athena was still clawing and struggling and writhing trying to get away from Saul and Anders, shouting imprecations and threats of a very imaginative physical violence. But with the help of Cavil—rubbing his shoulder from where he had impacted against the metal bulkhead—and Ellen and Galen and Sam, Saul managed to get the Athena over to the hatch and outside in the corridor. And Lee closed the hatch behind him, shutting it off to at least slow down the Raptor pilot if she broke free.
She quit struggling and started to sob, collapsing down to the deck and Ellen held her there—even as Saul and Sam kept a strong grip on her arms, just in case.
“That included you, Commander Lorne,” Adama said in the now almost empty conference room.
Mathias ignored him for a moment and he glared at the President—who met his gaze unflinchingly. “You told me Admiral,” he whispered, “there was a line that I had dare not cross—a point past which you would not be pushed. I, too, have such a line, Sir. And this,” he said waving a hand at the closed hatch and the President, “more than crosses it.”
“I said GET OUT, Commander Lorne,” Adama growled again, and Mathias just looked at Adama—and the younger man realized that this was what pure furious anger looked like on the Admiral. He nodded.
“Aye, aye, SIR,” he answered, walking over to the hatch, opening it, stepped through, and closed it behind him.
Bill Adama shook—he literally shook—and he picked up one of the glasses and took a deep swallow of Ambrosia. Then he threw the empty glass against the bulkhead where it shattered.
“What were you thinking
?” he barked.
Laura stepped forward and her expression was grim. “I want Lieutenant Agathon arrested—she tried to assault me in front of witnesses. Put her in the brig, Admiral.”
“Laura, she had every right to land that punch—and you are lucky that Saul and Anders grabbed her in time.”
The President smiled—and there was absolutely no humor in that smile. “She tried to assault the President of the Colonies; and now she is going to the brig.”
“YOU LIED TO ME!” Bill thundered, and then he collected himself. “You stole that child from her mother and father and you lied to them, you lied to the Fleet, you lied to me
, Laura. In the gods name, WHY
“The child is important, Admiral,” she said with a faraway look in her eyes. “I’ve seen her in my visions—seen her running through the Opera House. I’ve seen Lieutenant Agathon chasing after her and myself running a race to get to her first. She’s the key to our future.”
“Your visions? YOUR VISIONS
?” Adama asked, “You never stopped taking the chamalla extract did you, Madame President?”
“And the Lords anointed a leader to guide the caravan of the heavens to their new homeland. And unto the leader, they gave a vision of serpents, numbering two and ten, as a sign of things to come
,” Laura quoted. “I am that leader—I have had the vision of serpents, Admiral. I am the dying leader Pythia foretold who would lead humanity to the promised land.”
“Y-you,” Adama stammered and then he forced himself to calm down. “You stole away a child because of this religious NONSENSE
? Have you lost your fracking mind, Madame President?”
“No, Admiral,” Laura answered in a very cold voice. “That child is the key—a key that I will not let any Cylon possess. I did what I must, as a . . . National Security Measure I signed an executive order for the removal of Hera from the Agathons in order to protect this Fleet.”
“You told them she was dead—you told me she was dead!” Adama barked.
“I did no such thing,” Laura said with a smile. “Doctor Cottle
told them—and you—that the child had died. And once Athena is in the brig again, then I might consider
allowing Captain Agathon to see his daughter—until then, Hera will not have contact with either of them.”
“That decision is no longer yours, Madame President.”
“Are you going to launch another coup, Admiral? I have the law—enough of it—on my side. Hera is part Cylon, and keeping her in a neutral environment where she is not aware of that is vital—I know that. I have seen that.”
“Do you think that the Courts are going to agree with you, Laura?” Adama asked. “They will remove Hera from your custody and return her to her parents—and you will be charged with a heinous crime.”
Laura flushed. “She’s a Cylon—she’s not a person, she’s a thing
, Admiral. Get it through your head. We made them. We built
them. I don’t care if they look like us now or not—they are things
“Somehow, I doubt that High Justice Lampkin will see it that way,” Adama growled.
“Bill, you have to trust me,” Laura began, and Adama cut her off.
“Trust you? TRUST YOU
!?! Madame President, you went behind my back and you did an atrocious criminal act—you stole a fracking child, you told the child’s mother and father she had died, you gave her to another woman.”
“Her mother is fracking Cylon!”
“I DON’T CARE
!” Adama thundered. “She’s a person, a real live person
, Laura, and you need to start understanding RIGHT THE FRACK NOW
that she is an officer of the Colonial Fleet with every right and privilege and responsibility thereof,” Adama gritted his teeth, and he seethed
with anger. “You betrayed my
trust, Madame President. And you will be lucky if I don’t throw your fracking ass back into my brig! NOW GET OFF MY SHIP!”
“Bill . . .,” Laura began.
“LEAVE! Or by the Gods I will have you thrown off my fracking Battlestar,” Adama snarled before he turned and stormed off. Leaving Laura Roslin, the President of the Twelve Colonies standing alone.