“Commander?” the crewman asked after he helped Tory down from the Raptor—and his eyes grew wide at seeing the men and women in uniform disembark from the second Raptor.
“I am here to conduct an inspection of this ship, pursuant to the Intercolonial Commerce Code, Article Three, Section Fourteen, which states, ‘all ships of civilian registry operating under the flag of any of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol must permit a boarding inspection of cargo and passengers upon the request of officers so empowered.
’ Section Fifteen lists ‘Colonial Fleet officers having the rank of Colonel or higher and assigned to active service as the commanding or executive officer of a Battlestar’
as among those officers so empowered,” Mathias said as he headed for the ladders leading to the personnel deck.
“We will begin our inspection top-side and work our down, Crewman,” as he quickly climbed the ladder, followed by his officers and men.
“But this is the President’s ship!”
“Alas, that doesn’t change the law, Crewman. Inform your commander to meet me top-side,” Mathias said before he disappeared through the hatch.
“Commander, this is most unusual—we haven’t had an inspection team since Captain Adama came aboard to conduct a survey of the survivors!” Captain Evensun protested. “For what reasons are you conducting this inspection?”
“ICC 3-14 does not require a reason, Captain Evensun,” Mathias said with a pleasant smile. “But to simplify things, I have concerns that a psycho-tropic hallucinogenic drug is being stored aboard this ship—in quantities that are illegal, Captain Evensun,” among other reasons, he thought. “Is that not correct, Miss Foster?”
“Yes, Commander. The President keeps a large supply of chamalla leaf and extract on hand,” the former aide answered. And Mathias smiled. “You understand of course, that chamalla is legal—but not in quantities suitable for trafficking, yes, Captain?”
“Trafficking?” he blurted. “She’s the President
“And does that place her above the law, Captain? Now stand aside,” Mathias ordered.
“Under protest, Commander,” Evensun answered as he stepped away from the hatch leading to the government offices.
Maya looked up at Tory entered, and she smiled at the woman. “Tory! Is the President back . . . with . . . you?” she asked, her voice fading away at the sight of the officers and crew from Scorpia
“No, Maya, she is not,” Tory answered, and she sighed. She whispered to Lorne. “Commander, she did not know about the child—and she loves Isis as if she were her own. She was told more lies, and believed the adoption was real.”
Mathias nodded. “Miss . . . ?” he asked.
“Maya is my entire name, Commander—a declining tradition on Leonis, but one my parents chose to respect. As have I with my daughter Isis,” she answered.
“Very well, Maya; may I sit?”
“Please. What’s wrong?” she asked.
Mathias took in a deep breath and he began to tell her.
Some time later, two Masters-at-Arms escorted High Justice Romo Lampkin aboard the ship. He frowned at the sobbing woman—Maya—who rocked a young baby back and forth, Tory sitting next to her and stoking her back to comfort her. And then he looked at Mathias.
“I received a request from the officers of this ship to come here immediately, Commander,” he said, “and then I received your
request that I do the same. Searching the President’s offices without a warrant are we?”
Mathias smiled, and he recited the ICC regulations, and Lampkin nodded. “Interesting interpretation—how is this ship NOT
a government vessel?”
“I checked, your honor,” said Mathias. “No one has ever—not since the attack—changed the ship’s registration or affiliation. Indeed, it is only Colonial One
because the President has adopted it as her home—if she changes ships, this vessel will revert to Colonial Heavy 798
Lampkin nodded. “The government will argue, of course, that there is no longer an office of registration—and that de facto
, this vessel is now a government vessel rather than a civilian one.”
“Except the ship still carries civilian passengers for whom it serves as home, your honor,” Mathias answered with a wide smile. “And the Quorum certainly could have declared this vessel as a government or military vessel at any time—but instead has used the appellation of ‘civilian’ in all official paperwork concerning Colonial One
, which to me and the JAG assigned to Scorpia
means that it remains a civilian vessel, your honor.”
“How many times?” asked Lampkin. And Mathias nodded to Ann Madsen.
She stepped forward. “From copies of the Quorum meetings that I have gone over, they have referenced this ship—and the problems that have cropped up with engineering, food and water distribution, housing, internal atmosphere conditions, etc—four times and each times have labeled it as a civilian vessel. I specifically note the Quorum meeting where . . . ,”
And Lampkin stopped her. “Where the President signed an act of the Quorum prohibiting Marines from being used on civilian vessels without express consent of the office of the President; yes, I am familiar with that. And with the fact that this vessel was cited—are those Marines, Commander?”
“Masters-at-Arms, your Honor. Not
Marines,” Mathias answered and Lampkin smiled back as well.
“You’ve crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s, Commander. I still think that I should rule against your ability to conduct a search—but what were you searching for? And does it have anything to do with this weeping lady here?”
“Miss Foster,” Lampkin said with a bow and kiss on the back of her hand. “A pleasure as always.”
“Your honor,” she replied. “I assisted the President in persuading Doctor Cottle of the Galactica
to fake the death of Karl and Sharon Agathon’s child, replacing it with the corpse of a baby that passed away just a day earlier. I also made arrangement to get the still living child, Hera Agathon, off of Galactica
and here to Colonial One
, where Maya,” she said, pointing at the woman, “who knew nothing of our conspiracy was given the child to care for as her own adopted daughter. The President issued an Executive Order for this in writing,” she said.
Romo Lampkin blinked. He looked first at Tory over upper rim of his glasses, and then at Mathias, who nodded, and then at Maya and the child. “Oh, frack,” he said.