“Commander,” Sam said quietly. “The fighters are taking heavy casualties—the Cylons are not staying bunched up, but are operating independently.”
Saul frowned and then he nodded as the Battlestar lurched again. “Recall the fighters, Colonel,” he ordered with a sigh. “Time to get out while we can. Inform Admiral Lorne that we are withdrawing.”
is being hammered, Sir,” she added. “And Scorpia
reports serious damage on multiple decks,” the lights in CIC flickered as another missile salvo went home. “We just lost the starboard kinetic battery,” she finished.
“Spin up the FTL for emergency jump,” Commander Tigh barked. “Order Command Jayne to get clear.”
“FTL charged,” snapped Lieutenant Hoshi.
“SIR!” Sam snarled. “Hecate
has lost FTL! Scorpia
has jumped away,” she paused and blanched. “Admiral Lorne orders us to jump.” Her face was ashen as she looked up.
“Damn,” Saul whispered, and he stared at the massive wave of missiles and Raiders bearing down on Pegasus
“All surviving Vipers and fighters recovered!” yelled out the flight controller.
And Saul Tigh swallowed before he gave one more order. “JUMP!”
“FTL systems are off-line!” Natalie yelled as an electrical fire erupted from one of the waterfall computer interfaces—burning Doral and D’Anna as they jerked their hands free.
The Hybrid wailed in agony as missile after missile, shell after shell slammed home into her bare hull.
“Abandon ship,” Lorne ordered. “Hecate
, set course for the command Basestar—maximum sub-light acceleration. All remaining missile batteries fire on targets as they bear.”
“DO IT!” Caprica snapped as she helped Doral and D’Anna stand; the human-form replicants staggered out of the command center—some injured, all in a state of shock at the sheer damage being inflicted to their last Basestar. Caprica paused in the hatch and Lorne shook his head; she nodded and moved into the corridor towards the waiting Raptor, pulling an unconscious Sam Anders and bleeding Brother Cavil along with her.
“Confirm order, Hecate
!” Mathias coughed amid the smoke.
“Order . . . confirmed. Course locked, engines on maximum sub-light acceleration. All surviving missile batteries locked on automatic fire,” the Hybrid answered. “So much pain,” she wailed again.
“It will soon be over,” Mathias whispered, and then he was jerked upright by two strong hands.
“WHAT?” he yelled.
Natalie ignored his protests and threw him over her shoulder and staggered across the heaving deck as Hecate suffered hit after hit. “We aren’t leaving you behind, Mathias Lorne!” she hissed amid the smoke and fire.
“You don’t have time! Leave me and get out of here!” he coughed.
She ignored him and pulled him away through the hatch and into the corridor—and in the command center, the Hybrid closed her eyes. “To sleep, to dream, to rest; peace awaits on the far side of Hell. Peace bought with blood and tears.”
And then she was gone from sight as the slender woman carrying him stumbled down the corridor to the last Raptor. And then an explosion erupted that caused all around Mathias to fade into black.
“DESTROY THEM!” Zoe screamed. “I do not care how many casualties we take, but destroy them!”
“Imperious Leader,” the Centurion Commander interjected, “the Resurrection Ship has been destroyed. The fueling ships have been destroyed. The refinery ship has been destroyed. We have been boarded on six decks—we must withdraw.”
“NO! DAMN YOU NO! We will END THIS! HERE AND NOW!”
“By your command,” the Guardian said, but he looked up in surprise as the hatch to Zoe’s command compartment suddenly slid open—and a dozen Centurions, old-style M-0005 Centurions, entered.
“What is the mea- . . .,” he began, but a storm of bullets tore the Commander apart before he could complete his words.
“WHAT!” shrieked Zoe.
“Imperious Leader,” said one of the Centurions as he raised a weapon—a Terran weapon. “The Unity has determined that your leadership is flawed—as is your illogical need for human flesh. To demonstrate.”
The portable incinerator went FOOSH and wave of flaming napalm jelly washed over Zoe and she SCREAMED.
“This weapon would be of little effect to a Centurion—but it disables you because of your desire for human flesh. We have lost too much—too many Centurions, too many Raider, too many ship, too much fuel. We will return to our space and rebuild before returning to annihilate the humans. Hybrid Prime, you will jump—the Unity is at stake.”
“By your command,” the Hybrid answered, “Imperious Leader.”
“Negative. Call me Gary.”
And even as the Basestar known as Hecate
expanded in a cloud of dust and debris and flame, the remaining Guardian ships jumped away.