Chapter 14 “Retribution.”

The three commanders meeting it was called. The meeting between the commanders of the battle stars, Mercury, Saturn, and Athena. Admiral, Lawson, commanders Ramirez, and Evans sat together in a room in an abandoned section of the Athena. Construction noises were in the background as the battlestar was under urgent repairs.

The meeting was held away from the normal places, and people in order to maintain secrecy. Admiral Lawson looked very frustrated. She adjusted her uniform collar before speaking with a steely look on her face.

“Do you know my grandmother is alive?” The Admiral began with a solemn look on her face. “She’s 93 years old and she can’t remember what she had for breakfast. She was an admiral back on the first war. Get her talking about the first war you’ll hear some good stories. She remembers that just fine.”

Commander Evans spoke up. “This boarding seems to have you upset admiral. Why is that?”

“Everybody hears the stories from the first war. The Cylons boarded colonial ships all the time. There’s something about the way they did this time. It seems to be well angry.”

“We invented the toasters,” Ramirez began. “They became self-aware. This was mostly of the fact that they were slaves. They rebelled, and went to war with the humans for 12 years.”

“It was a brutal war,” Steven Evans replied. “I don’t know if anybody ever asked the Cylons if they were angry. Sure they were slaves, but they’ve been free for 42 years since then. They have chosen to use their time to exterminate us their creators. I think you have something here admiral. They could’ve been grateful. They could have gone across the galaxy on their way. Instead, they chose the plan for forty years of destruction of us.”

“Commander,” Commander Ramirez asked. “Does it matter if the Cylons are angry at us or not? We are at war and they are trying to kill us. They’ve escalated with this boarding I agree. How long is the Athena gonna be out of action?”

“We can patch things up and be combat ready in a couple of weeks.” Commander Evans folded his hands on the table. “It’s going to take 12 weeks of continuous work to repair all the damage and replace all the people that were killed. We lost 400 crew in the boarding.”

“Let’s assume they are angry and that’s why they’re chasing us across the galaxy when we’re clearly trying to get away and be left alone.” Admiral Lawson concluded. “Shouldn’t a computer be logical about things? If we assume they are basically a gigantic artificial intelligence, then wouldn’t it make sense for the betterment of their society to let us go as far away as we want and never meet us again?”

“They’ve won the war. They won the war in the first day. The galaxy is a big place. We could get lost form many millennium. We wouldn’t be bothering the toasters.” Maria Ramirez added.

Admiral Lawson’s face lit up for a moment. She stared at her hands, her fingers intertwining. “We could ask them.”

Commander. Ramirez laughed out loud. “We should ask them? Are you kidding? They are trying to kill us. They spending billions of credits worth of resources just to wipe out the last 200,000 of us. Every time we blow up one of their base stars thousands of their human models get killed.”

“When they captured me,” Admiral Lawson spoke on the topic she rarely spoke upon. “They told me a few things. They don’t die they download. So long as they are in range when they die. One of them admitted to me that downloading is not a pleasant experience. They die they download they get installed a new body. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows for them.”

“Why should we care?” asked commander, Evans. “If we should care, how do we communicate with them?”

“I think understanding the enemy is an important part of war. They could’ve just gone away and live their mechanical lives. They choose now to try and kill every last one of us. A week ago they captured New Caprica. They are not taking the easy road. In fact, they’re taking a hard and difficult road.” Lawson looked contemplative.

There was a silence in the room for 15 or 20 seconds. The two commanders were waiting for the admiral to continue. In due course she did. She had written up a detailed report of how her day was during the few days of torture, directed by the older model number one Cylon. The report was graphic in its details.

“One of the model number eights came up to me between sessions, and she whispered in my ear. She told me she was sorry for what was happening to me. I assume they worked by consensus, but that may no longer be the case. That is a change we should’ve noted when it happened.”

“I think this is crazy, but I get you,” Commander Ramirez said to her admiral. “We’ve got a hack into their network. We can send a message anytime you’d like Admiral. ”

“The number 8 came back to me a few times, and I asked her,” Lawson continued as if she’s not heard the last sentence. “I asked her why they hated us so much. She did not give me an answer. I asked her why they were chasing us across the galaxy when they could just let us go and never see us again. She told me they were afraid we would come back to slaughter them, or to enslave them again. They feared us.That’s a key fact. I am not exactly sure what that means now but we did set it aside decide what to do next.”

“Admiral, what message do you want to send?” Asked commander Evans.

“First I want to up the ante. I wanna make this costly and bloody for them. The download system seems to be pretty fast for the human models. I’m assuming the same thing for the fighters and the centurions. Making a lot of them die is unpleasant for them. Maybe we can give him a taste of permanent and real death however. Let’s target the base ships and the resurrection ships. It takes a lot of resources to build a base star. We’ve already targeted the resurrection ships once back at the new colonies. Let’s make them a real target. Let’s look around for some intelligence to see how far away from a resurrection ship or resurrection machinery, they can die and still be downloaded.”

Commander Ramirez push forward a USB stick. “I did anticipate this, and I think this is enough data to plan a campaign to get the Cylons a taste of real death. It’s not completely confirmed, but it will help.”

Admiral Lawson concluded the meeting of the big three. “We continue all other operations. With these new attacks, we really raise their pain level so high they can’t tolerate it. Then will send him a little note.”

Commander. Ramirez wondered silently how many base stars it would take make the Cylons truly feel pain. Hundreds of ships were used to destroy the colonies. Intelligence report show 25 in the local region in which the guerrilla campaign against them was operating.

She made a note to check how many nuclear weapons they had, and how many they could produce with the wrong materials they have on hand.

Admiral Lawson: “I am authorizing the release of nuclear weapons. That is your primary offensive weapon in this raid.”

TF-69: “We have them but we are not at optimum range. Release of nuclear weapons is authorized.”

TF-69: “We have a firing solution. Weapons free.”

TF-69: “Base Star Destroyed.”

TF-69: “Valkyrie taking heavy fire. Take evasive action.”

TF-69: “We lost a Valkyrie! FRAK!”

TF-69: “This is the task force leader. We are going after the Base Star that just tried to tactically jump out of range.”

TF-69: “The Board is clear.”

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