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Old February 10 2013, 06:26 AM   #170
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

“And I thought Caprican and Picon corporations were bad,” Tom Zarek whispered. “Frack this—we could keep on running,” and then he winced.

“Except that the civilian fleet will not understand and they will vote both us out of office in just a few weeks when the election arrives,” Lee Adama finished Zarek’s thoughts for him.

Tom snorted. “You catch on fast, Mister President.”

“He’s always been a quick study,” Admiral Adama said quietly. “We can’t run—we led the Cylons here and now they have probably added another five million innocent human lives to their scorecard. Five million, Mister President. Mister Vice-President. Lives that would not have been lost if we had chosen a different route,” he shook his head. “And billions more lie in their path—we cannot run any further and leave these people to fight our war.”

“Agreed,” said Commander Lorne as he leaned forward, “which is why I believe that we should go ahead and give him the schematics for our FTL technology.”

Tom and Lee stared at Mathias, but Adama nodded and then he smiled. “I think I know what you are suggesting, Commander.”

“Well, that’s good,” snapped Tom Zarek. “Care to explain to the rest of us just how giving him what he wants is a workable solution?”

Mathias Lorne smiled. “He’s a shark, Tom. I know his kind well—so do you. This takeover and threat is his opening bid. When it comes down to brass tacks, he’d rather have half a cake than no cake. So, we sit down in a room with him and Sinclair—rather, you and President and the Admiral sit down in a room with those two—and you hammer out an agreement. Weyland-Yutani gets exclusive rights to produce our FTL drives. With no royalties paid to us and we get to purchase those drives for our own ships at cost. In exchange, we get a prime planet for colonization and keep the rest of our technology to license out for profit. And Weyland signs off—in front of the ICC—saying we are not financially liable for the actions of the Cylons or the loss of his holdings on Cylon occupied worlds.”

There was a pause. “Even if he takes the offer, we are literally giving away a major element of our technology for very little in return,” said Lee.

And that was when Ripley—the fifth person present in the room suddenly gasped. And she grinned. “Oh, Commander. Admiral. Remind me not to play poker with the two of you.”

And Mathias—as well as Bill Adama—grinned right back.

She turned to the President and Vice-President. “I’ve been immersed in your technology since I arrived here,” she said. “And one thing has been bugging me to death—you people don’t have fusion power generators do you?”

Lee shook his head, and it was clear that he had no idea where she was going.

“That is what Major Church from Scorpia told me as well, Mister President,” she continued. “And then she and I started talking about how the devil you folks power these behemoths—and get such outstanding performance from your fighters and shuttles. We knew you used reaction mass—or we thought you did, but we also thought that your FTLs was powered by fusion generators. Which you don’t have.”

The light bulb went off in Lee’s head and he began to smile. “Tylium.”

“Exactly. We haven’t discovered tylium—and from what my discussions with Doctor Baltar,” she said with a grimace, “and Doctor Sarris seems to indicate, you people only accidently discovered those properties yourself. It was a fluke of fate that led to your exploiting this otherwise useless mineral.”

“And without tylium,” said Lee, “without the extreme concentration of energy contained in the liquid form of processed and refined tylium, our FTLs simply cannot function.”

Ripley and Mathias nodded. The Admiral leaned forward. “We can build fusion plants, Ripley,” he said, “but we have had no need to—tylium provides us with at least as much power as a fusion reactor in a smaller generator than would be possible for fusion. Albeit with the necessity to have large volumes of fuel tankage on hand. And every attempt to make FTL work without tylium has been a failure; some element in refined tylium is what makes our FTL function. But, technically speaking,” he said with a smile, “tylium is not itself part of the FTL drive technology.”

“Weyland has no clue what the composition of refined tylium is,” Mathias added. “He doesn’t know where it is found, what to look for, how to process the ore, or how to safely extract the refined tylium. We are the only ones who know that.”

“The Cylons know,” Tom pointed out, and Mathias nodded with a grimace.

Adama frowned and then he nodded. “The Guardians are not going to be sharing their technology with the people they are planning to harvest—and the Cylons that you struck a treaty with, Mister President,” he said in a tone that made it very clear he didn’t like it, “need us too much to risk losing a safe haven.”

“And if Weyland wants more?” asked Lee.

“Tell him to go frack himself?” suggested Mathias, and the Admiral snorted and Tom just smiled and shook his head.

“Convince him to take the deal, Mister President—that is now your job,” the elder Adama said. “He thinks he has us in a corner, Lee,” Bill told his son in a quiet voice. “Let him think that—and lock him into a deal that the ICC will not let him back out of before he realizes it is a trap.”

“I can do that,” said Lee as he nodded.

“I hope so,” Mathias added, “because otherwise we are between a rock and hard place, Mister President, with the slavering jaws of a ravening beast trying to pry us out.”

Last edited by MasterArminas; February 10 2013 at 06:40 AM.
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