Admiral Adama frowned as James Alistair Sinclair and a new arrival took a seat in his office. “You did not inform me that a synthetic was attending this meeting,” the Admiral said in a cold voice—and both Sinclair and the new arrival smiled.
“Admiral, this is no synthetic. May I present Michael Bishop Weyland the Second, Chief Executive Officer of Weyland-Yutani Corporation?” Sinclair said.
“My body-form was copied for the Hyperdine Model 341-B synthetic, Admiral,” Weyland said with a genial look on his face that nonetheless did not reach his eyes. “It is my tiny act of hubris in achieving immortality—after a fashion.”
“I see,” Adama said, and the look on his own face was one of extreme disdain. “What did you want to discuss—in private, Director Sinclair?”
“Yes,” the man from the ICC said simply. “We have much to discuss, Admiral. Mister Weyland’s arrival at Beowulf was rather unexpected—but he has raised some legitimate concerns.”
Michael smiled. “I was already en route to Beowulf—a surprise inspection for my divisions here.”
“Legitimate concerns about . . . what
precisely?” asked Adama.
Michael Weyland leaned forward and his smile vanished. “Your Twelve Worlds Limited is now officially a corporate entity recognized by the ICC—that gives you certain rights, Admiral Adama. And it also comes with a host of responsibilities.”
“Responsibilities? How is that the concern of Weyland-Yutani?”
The man smiled thinly again. “TWL is responsible for leading these . . . Cylons . . . of yours to our worlds, Admiral Adama. We have already lost contact with settlements—small settlements, to be sure—on Alpha Corvi, Zeta Doradus, Iota Horologii, Zeta Reticuli Prime, and of course Acheron. Small colonies and outposts, but each one represents a sizeable investment by one or more corporate members of the ICC.” He smiled again.
“And today, we have received confirmation that your Cylons have landed on Thedus before all contact was lost—that
colony is neither small nor is it insignificant. Five million people live on Thedus, and it is a vital component of Weyland-Yutani’s operations in this sector.”
Adama’s eyes narrowed. “We are already coordinating to fight the Cylons alongside of your militaries.”
James held up a placating hand. “For which we are grateful—your information on their tactics and weapons will serve to prevent an even greater loss of life than has already occurred. However,” and he turned to look at Michael—the still smiling Michael—and sighed, “Mister Weyland has formally lodged an injunction against Twelve Worlds Limited receiving any profit from transactions until full compensatory damages for the losses suffered by Weyland-Yutani and other corporations have been rendered.”
“Simply put, Admiral Adama,” said Michael Weyland as he bared his teeth, “until you pay the total replacement cost of all of our corporate losses to date—and future losses that these Cylons inflict—you will not see one penny of revenue from sales and/or licenses of your technology. I have not yet filed this motion with the full board of the ICC,” and he nodded at James Sinclair, “nor yet reminded my fellow corporate CEOs that this seldom used financial regulation is available to them. I will, of course, drop such an injunction if you convince your government to come to an agreement with Weyland-Yutani; an exclusive arrangement with Weyland-Yutani.”
“And if we refuse?”
Michael Weyland laughed. “What price can you put on more than five million lives, Admiral Adama? And every single piece of infrastructure, equipment, shipping costs, and improvements to the worlds we have made? My people have managed to come up with a nice round number doing exactly
that—you will be indebted to me for a very, very
long time, Admiral Adama. And the ICC does allow hostile takeovers of corporate entities that hold more debt than assets.” He stood, and James Sinclair followed.
“Unfortunately, Admiral, Mister Weyland is within his rights—the ICC will remain neutral in this issue, even as we complete our earlier investigation into the claims made against the late Mister Burke.”
Bill Adama set his jaws and he stood, but before he could speak, Michael Weyland stepped up close to him and poked him in the chest with one finger.
“Just because I am a nice man, Admiral, I give you . . . seventy-two hours to make your decision. After that? Well,” and he smiled again. “after that, I will own you lock, stock, and barrel, Admiral Adama.”
“And if we refuse to be owned?” Adama spat.
“The ICC will not allow you to go to war with another corporate member, Admiral Adama. And if you desire a home in human space, you will abide by our laws,” Sinclair warned. “However,” and he exchanged a glance at Weyland, “I will wish you luck in finding a third path, Admiral—even if I cannot assist you. Good day,” he said politely, and then he turned to leave, followed by Weyland—who paused at the hatch.
“Seventy-two hours, Admiral—the clock is a’ticking.” And then he was gone.
Adama waited until the hatch shut and then he hurled his glass against the bulkhead. He drew in a deep breath and forced himself to calm down, and then walked over to a phone, lifting it. “This is the Admiral. Get the President and Vice-President over here at once,” he snarled, and then racked it again.