“General Cabot, you will secure that facility or I will have you broken!” Michael Weyland shouted. “That research facility is of vital importance. If you fail to even attempt to defend it, I will see to it that you are cashiered, black-listed, and left to starve to death! And your family!”
Brenda Cabot bared her teeth as she stood. “I have no family, Mister Weyland,” she purred. “And now that I think about it, I have little reason not to just draw my pistol and shoot you dead right now—your bodyguards are outside, where my guards are watching them. I don’t care how vital your research facility is, Sir—the choice is between sending a battalion through the Cylon advance to retake it, or stopping them before they break through to the cities. My oath isn’t to Weyland-Yutani, by the way,” she said tauntingly as she cocked her head. “So should I go ahead and gun you down here and now?”
“You wouldn’t dare,” Michael spat and then his face went white as the Brigadier General in command of the Cascadia National Guard (the UAA colony on Beowulf) drew her sidearm.
She laughed. “Mister Weyland, I am never going back to Earth. I live here on Beowulf, and this is my final posting. I answer to the Governor here, not you. And if you give me reason, I will shoot you in the face and bury your ass in an unmarked grave. Now, I have twenty-seven thousand of those Cylons bearing down on us—less the three thousand that the Marines and Paras have been able to kill. They Guard here is just one brigade, Mister Weyland. That is four battalions of armor and mechanized infantry, supported by one of artillery. I have five thousand
men and women bearing arms to stop these metal monsters, plus what is left of the Marines and Paras that held the line. And the Shock Battalion that the CAC is sending, but they are still two hours out.”
“The Empire is mobilizing their own Home Guard to help us out, and the CAC is calling up their reserves, but those won’t arrive for twenty-four hours minimum, and realistically we are looking at seventy-two. I don’t have the manpower or the motivation to save your precious research facility, and if I tried, the Governor would have my ass—because to do that, Mister Weyland, I’d have to leave the capital completely undefended. Now, should I shoot you?”
Michael’s eyes were cold and he shook his head. “This isn’t over, General Cabot. Not by a long shot.” And then he stormed out of her command post.
The General walked over to the holographic table that showed the implacable Cylon advance—the Marines and Paras had deflected them, but now they were working their around the small redoubt that the survivors had retreated to. She shook her head. A quarter of those men and women had been casualties in the fighting, but despite being low on ammo and fatigued all to hell, they were still game. In fact, they had already requested air-drops of munitions to continue the fight. She snorted.
But they had bought her time; time to get the 173rd Mechanized Brigade mobilized and formed up—and now the Cylons were about to get the surprise of their lives. “Mark,” she said to her Operations Officer. “What can Admiral Hayes give us for ortillery?”
is in orbit—but the governor has not authorized nukes.”
“Fine,” she said and her tone showed it wasn’t
fine. “We will make do with kinetics—can the Brits help out?”
and Southern Cross
are standing by,” and Mark Kearns shook his head. “But Sir Edward insists that he will not fire on UAA territory without the direct request of the Governor and a written statement sealed by the Governors seal of state authorizing the action.”
Brenda nodded. It would all too easy for the Governor to complain after the fact that the Brits had acted hastily and try to get the ICC to sanction them for destruction of property or lives. Which was why Sir Edward was being a hard-ass.
“And what has Governor Morton decided?” she asked.
“The Governor believes that ortillery from Randolph
will be sufficient.”
“Does he? Chris, get that asshole on the line,” she ordered. “In the meantime, Mark, I want Randolph to secure our left flank on this line here,” she said pointing at the map. “Send in Schaeffer’s tank battalion and the brigade scouts—hammer these Cylon bastards, Mark. Infantry remain between the Cylons and the city, but make damned sure if these robots break they are ready for pursuit.”
“And the artillery?”
“Use every damn shell in storage if we have to—gun barrels and munitions are cheap today, Mark.”
“General, I’ve got Governor Morton on the line,” her aide called out.
“Get them moving, Colonel Kearns. And try to wrangle some air-support out of the Fleet or our Colonial allies out there,” she said as she crossed the command post and lifted a phone.
“Thad? Good, glad that I caught you,” she began as Mark Kearns left the tent to start the attack.