CHAPTER 64 OF THE PHOENIX AND THE WOLVERINE
(I DO NOT OWN THE COPYRIGHT TO XMEN, MARVEL, STAR TREK, OR BATTLE STAR GALACTICA. I JUST LIKE WRITING FAN FICTION. PLS ENJOY THE STORY!)
Logan glanced at the man beside him. Paul had been unnaturally subdued since they left the bridge. Logan suspected that it had something to do with Jean. She had that earnest smile that tells you she smells bullshit a mile off.
What had Paul been up to?
"I'm sure you have many questions." Orion looked up at his human and then at Logan, who was waiting for a response. The metal hound sighed and nudged Paul. The Cylon blinked.
"Em…I'm sorry, what did you say?"
Jean and Phoenix really read you the riot act, didn't they? Logan kept his expression neutral. "I said, you must have many questions."
Paul stared at him for a moment as if gathering his thoughts. "You're right about that." Then he looked ahead. "I still find it hard to believe you're from…Earth."
Logan raised an eyebrow. He had a feeling that Paul was going to be a unique character. He may have metal grey skin, but he didn't seem to have the xenophobic attitude of the colonials or the paranoid behaviour of the Cylons.
Maybe Logan was too hopeful, but time would be the great revealer.
"You're not the first to say that, and I doubt you'll be the last," said Logan in a dry tone. Paul chuckled, sounding weary.
Logan hid his worry. Was Paul close to the breaking point? Maybe he had to give him info in small doses not to overwhelm him.
"Here's some advice." Paul gave him a wary look. Logan continued.
"Eat first and grab some sleep because you look like you haven't had some in a while, then we'll try to answer some of your questions."
Paul stared at him. "Just like that, you'll let me wander free and answer my questions?"
Logan nodded. "Limited wandering, Xavier will tell you if you reach restricted areas."
Paul laughed, a touch of hysteria coming through. Then he seemed to control himself. "I'm wondering if I'm still on that damn planet having some sort of fever dream."
Logan smiled; he knew precisely how the Cylon felt. "You're a survivor; you'll adapt." Paul stared at Logan with such intensity as if he could discern Logan's unspoken words.
"I look forward to that talk someday, captain." Then his stomach growled. Logan chuckled.
"Here's the cafeteria."
Logan stood alone in thoughtful silence in the turbo lift as it rose to the bridge. Paul had only been able to manage a small snack, and even he and Orion could tell the man could barely keep his eyes open. Logan knew what that felt like.
Logan had spent most of his remembered life constantly on the move. He was either running from authorities or on the hunt for a deserving target. He had slept rough countless times but always with one eye open and his claws ready to rend anyone who crept up on him. Paul was finally somewhere he was safe and not hunted, and his adrenaline was running low, and his body just wanted to sleep.
Logan had taken him to guest quarters and told the stunned Cylon that the comfortable and furnished spacious room was his and Orion's. The metal hound had been ecstatic and dashed around the room, but Paul had been in disbelief. Logan had nodded to the poor man and left him alone to rest.
"Xavier, tell me if you have any concerns about our latest guests."
"Of course, captain," calmly replied Xavier.
The lift came to a stop, and Logan stepped out. He turned to his left to see Jean sitting silently with her eyes closed and one hand against the wall. He felt uneasy with her using the CMS to communicate with the Cylons, but he had to remember that Jean could take care of herself.
"Oma, what's our status?" The young ensign turned, and his eyes narrowed at her expression. She was tired but was valiantly trying to hold it together.
"We will be arriving in less than a minute, captain."
Logan nodded. "Good, Oma, I want you and Laura to take a break for the next hour." Laura whipped round, frowning.
"Why? You need us on the bridge." Protested Laura.
"Not right now. Q will stay with Jean and I. But, I need you two to be in pairs each time you go on a break until we know what kind of new guests we have." Laura's expression cleared as she glanced at a tired Oma. Laura hardly ever got tired due to her mutant healing factor, so she was to be Oma's bodyguard for this assignment. Logan thanked God that she was perceptive.
"Sir, I can work…." Oma began to protest.
Logan sighed. "Oma, you're a brilliant officer, and I'm sure you know when to take the right order. We cannot afford to run into another crisis before you're well rested." The junior officer nodded reluctantly.
Laura stood up. "Come on; I'm hungry. Let's grab a meal and then a nap."
Oma gave her a wry grin. "As if you need the latter." Laura shrugged and grinned as the two left. Q Junior took over the helm as the Xavier stopped and the view screen showed the colonial raptors.
"Hail Captain Agathon."
"You're on sir," said Q Junior.
"This is Logan, how have you guys been?"
There was silence for a moment before Helo replied. "Just relieved to see you back sir."
Logan smiled. "Glad to see you as well, we have an update…"
"So, what the frak is going on?!" demanded an irate sounding Saul Tigh.
Logan barely stopped himself from sighing. "Hi, Mr Tigh, good to hear your voice as well. Anyway, looks like the tricobalt bomb worked a lot better than I expected, it completely destroyed the underground base as well as severely disrupted subspace and Cavil showed up with seven basestars. Two were destroyed when one ended up in the sun and one emerged in the crust of the planet." His words were met by stunned silence. Logan continued.
"I tried to warn them but Cavil refused to listen and lost even more small fighter vessels. We left and now we're trying to negotiate with the Free Cylons…that's Jean's territory at the moment."
It was a long moment before the XO finally spoke in a subdued voice. "So, the bomb worked that well huh? Wish we had those bad boys when we first met those frakking cylons decades ago."
Logan shared an exasperated look with Q Junior. It probably wasn't the right time to remind Mr Tigh that he was a cylon.
"Right now, I'm waiting on Jean. When we have more news on the Free Cylons then we can talk about how we can move forward. Any questions?"
"Nah. We'll wait on your guys." Logan frowned. He had never heard the XO sound so defeated. He hoped Rogers and Helo were keeping an eye on him. This was so not the time for him to start losing it.
"Understood. Logan out." He nodded at Q Junior to cut the connection.
There was a soft chime behind him as someone else arrived with the turbolift.
"Captain! We need to talk!" yelled Kara before the turbolift was barely open. She, Sharon and the hovering pram with a now wide awake but calm and curious baby Hera emerged from the lift and then Kara froze when she noticed Jean in the left corner. The telepath had her right hand against the wall and her eyes were closed.
"Is she okay?" asked a concerned Sharon.
That was when Logan realized none of them had witnessed Jean using the CMS. He hid his discomfort as he explained "She's talking to the Almira hybrid."
Kara and Sharon swung their startled expressions in his direction. "She's doing what?!"
"Talking directly with the hybrid" repeated Logan. "That was how she was able to speak to the cylons in the first place. Now is there a particular reason why you yelled for me when you practically jumped out of the turbolift?"
Kara seemed to struggle with herself; clearly worried about Jean talking with the cylon base-star hybrid. She shook her head and told Logan about Baltar.
"He wants what?" asked Logan in disbelief.
Sharon and Kara shared an exasperated look, but Kara replied. She and Sharon, with a sleeping Hera in tow on her hover-pram, had immediately gone back to the bridge once they spoke to Gaius and ordered him to remain in his quarters while Kara discreetly asked Xavier to keep an eye on the ex-president.
"He wants to be transferred back to the brig on the Galactica, but personally I think he's lost his mind." Logan looked at her with some alarm.
"Why? What was the trigger? Is it because Six is not here?"
Sharon sighed in frustration. "I don't know sir, but something isn't right. Yesterday he was calm; and happy while on the holodeck with Six. What changed in the last 24hrs?"
"Damn good question and he is refusing to explain exactly why he wishes to be back on the Galactica." Added Kara. "A lot of people want him dead; he knows this and yet wants to commit suicide by mob."
Logan raised an eyebrow. "First time, I've heard that one." He ran a weary hand through his hair. "I'll ask Jean to look in on him once we meet up with the colonials and cylons."
"Wait what?" asked Kara and then she realized Lee wasn't on the bridge. "Where is the commander…" The colonial officer chose that moment to exit from the ready room.
Sharon and Kara gave their senior officer a concerned look. He looked wan however his eyes were clear. Lee did a double take when he noticed the still telepath.
"She's talking with the Almira hybrid," explained Logan for the second time.
"Oh," was all Lee could say.
"Commander, are you alright?" asked Sharon.
Lee tore his gaze from Jean and smiled wanly at the colonial officers. "I just needed a moment. What's going on?"
His fatigued expression cleared only to be replaced by shock when he heard Baltar's request. Lee was silent for a moment.
"Is he crazy? Does he know what waits for him on board the Galactica?"
Logan shrugged. "That's what we're trying to figure out but we can't do anything about it until we take care of the current crisis."
"Where's Mr Tighris?" asked Sharon.
"In his quarters," replied Logan. "I showed him where the cafeteria was, after getting a snack he said he wanted to lie down for a bit so I took him to his quarters which are far away from Baltar." He looked at Kara. "I'm gonna need your help keeping an eye on him and escorting him to the holodeck when he wants to study our history."
Kara looked at Lee who nodded silently. "Agreed sir."
"Then I guess we wait to hear from Dr Grey," said Lee. They all looked at the still telepath.
Several minutes earlier…
Boomer hid her worry behind a frown as she watched the techs swarm over the still body of the hybrid. The heart and soul of the ship appeared asleep but Boomer couldn't help but regard her with suspicions, especially in the wake of Dr Jean Grey taking over the hybrid apparently with its permission.
And how had that been possible? Even if Jean was a cylon; no cylon had ever been able to mind-merge with a hybrid. Not that it had been tried of course, because that would have been insane.
So how had Dr Grey joined with the hybrid and spoken through her?
The answer came to her and Boomer gasped in shock and stared at the hybrid with barely concealed horror.
"Dr Glayson." One of the number eight cylon techs turned. Boomer beckoned her closer.
"Have you done a system analysis of the Almira?" asked Boomer in a hushed tone. Dr Glayson nodded.
"The moment they disconnected, that was the first check. All systems appear nominal…"
"Good, good," interrupted Boomer. "Now, I need you to build a containment field for the Xavier hybrid." Dr Glayson stared at her, speechless for a long moment.
"Dr Grey is their blasted hybrid, that is the only reason she can travel and merge with the Almira, we need to build a containment field in order to capture her…" Glayson looked past her and her eyes widened.
"Are you frakking insane?!" Boomer froze, then sighed before turning to face three irate-looking female cylons. Nat, Six and Ellen Tigh.
"I'm trying to contain the situation so that we have a bargaining chip…"
"By trying to piss off the most powerful person on that ship?" cut in Six. "Maybe I should have told you this. Do you know who blew up the basestars that attacked the colonial refugee ship after I left?"
Nat gave Six a startled look. "Wait. It can't be…"
"It was Dr Grey," said Six in a solemn tone. Boomer stared at her, trying to deny what she just heard.
"No. It can't be…no one can do that."
"She did," said Six with cold finality. "You saw her hold back those borg, yes? Believe me when I say, she is capable of so much more like reading your frakking mind!"
Boomer gave her a startled look; not sure she had heard right. But Six wasn't done.
"Do you really want a pissed off version of Dr Grey who could end us all with a thought? She reached out when she didn't have to and now you want to capture her?! Also, how do you think her captain will react if that happens? That man is not afraid to use his claws or the tricobalt nukes on board his ship! Do you really want to take that chance?!"
Boomer was now aware everyone was watching her. She looked around and most of the other cylons were scared and angry.
"I…I'll defer to your wishes."
"Noted," said Nat in a dry tone as she looked past her to the techs. "No containments, how we interact with Dr Grey is vital to our survival. I want you all to treat her with the utmost curtesy. Is that understood?"
"By your command." Chorused the techs and the nearby bridge crew. Boomer's face heated up, that unanimous voice just told her who was in command. She looked up to see Six still glaring at her.
Stunned murmurs and gasps from behind Boomer saved her from further confrontation.
"Is this a bad time?" Dr Grey's voice was once more coming from the hybrid who was sitting up. The techs fell away as they stared at the impossibility before them.
Boomer tried to control her panic and assumed a neutral expression as she stared at the female medic.
"Dr Grey," Nat stepped forward. "Thanks for coming back to us. Is there any news?"
Jean studied Boomer for a moment with a puzzled smile before turning to Nat.
"Yes, a lot has happened. First, the Xavier returned to the planet and the nuke did its job." Nat and Six shared a sigh of relief, they had been in that hellhole and knew first-hand the horrors they had seen.
"But Cavil turned up with seven basestars while we were in orbit," there were gasps of alarm from Jean. "Two were destroyed due to the subspace disruptions."
"Destroyed how?" asked Boomer before she could stop herself. Jean looked at her.
"One emerged in the crust of the planet and another in the sun." Shocked gasps met her solemn words. Boomer gaped at her. Jean continued.
"They still sent raiders after us which were destroyed by the numerous subspace tears that continued the plague the area due to the detonated tricobalt nuke," then Jean's eyes hardened as she looked at all the gathered cylons. "And if you value your lives, please don't make the same mistake Cavil did and try to go back hoping to search for clues on how to get to Earth."
Boomer saw many of her fellow Cylons gulp audibly. So they had actually been thinking that and the Jean-hybrid (which was how she saw her now) had discerned this? Just how technological advanced was the Thirteenth Tribe?
Nat folded her arms as she addressed Jean. "We weren't planning on making such a perilous trip…however, what I'm more concerned about is what happens now?"
"Captain Logan has convinced the colonials that your basestar can join us as we journey back to the colonial fleet." This was greeted by relieved sighs and some cries of joy. But Nat and Boomer didn't seem convinced while Six and Ellen seemed hopeful.
"So, you wish us to take a different perilous journey?" Asked Nat.
Six and the other cylon stared at Nat.
Dr Grey was calm. "What exactly do you mean?"
Nat studied her for a moment. "You're asking us to trust the colonials whom my people murdered in the billions. I doubt they have forgotten that significant incident."
Dr Grey tilted her head as she calmly regarded Nat. "Here's the thing. I won't lie to you, things look pretty grim at the moment. Your cylon faction has a long, hard road to travel before there is anything resembling long-lasting peace between you and the colonials. The first step will include a lot of long, difficult talks between you and the leaders of the colonials with us in the middle acting as mediators and hopefully, we don't end up shooting at each other."
Nat was shocked at her blunt honesty. The doctor paused. "At the end of the day, you will always have a choice, either go it alone or come with us. So, what is your decision?"
Everyone looked expectantly at Nat. Hopeful expressions tinged with fear regarded the rebel cylon leader.
A long moment passed before Nat replied. "We need to vote."
Sweet Eight could barely contain her excitement as she watched the unusual meeting in the CIC. So much had happened in a very short time. The rebellion, the escape from Cavil, the leadership tussle between Nat and the leaders of the Eights and then meeting with the Xavier and colonials apart from the shit-storm that had gone down on that frakking planet and now Boomer and the other senior cylons believed Dr Jean Grey was a frakking sentient hybrid!
This information was pure gold.
Sweet Eight had been kept so busy that she was yet to have the time to send a secret message to Cavil. Besides, there were too many eyes on all the communication nodes. She had to wait until everyone was sufficiently distracted but she needed more information.
Cavil, you bastard you're going to pay me big when you get this information. I just need the location of the colonial fleet and I'm sending that package the first chance I get.
For now, she had to take part in this blasted vote and see the outcome. She hoped that the Free Cylons agreed with the alliance so she could mine it for all its worth. Not to mention the sabotage she would be able to get into once she was among the weak humans.
Paul woke up. At first, he was seized by an intense moment of panic when he didn't realize where he was. Then Orion sighed and gently nudged him. Paul instantly calmed down when he noted the serene attitude of his faithful hound. He sat up as it all came flooding back.
For the first time in decades, Paul was safe.
Then he chuckled to himself as he recalled the words of warning from Dr Grey…and her other self.
Well, make that relatively safe.
Paul still felt exhausted but he was too wired to sleep. He was keen to explore the limits of his freedom on the Xavier. Also, he was looking forward to taking a long overdue shower.
A few minutes later, a wet and refreshed Paul was standing in his bathrobe looking at the replicator. He vaguely recalled Logan telling him that it could be used to make almost anything apart from weapons.
Yeah, he definitely remembered that non-too subtle warning.
Paul wondered how it could accurately make uniforms. Was there a manual lying around somewhere which could explain how to operate this fascinating machine? He rubbed his bald scalp then spied Orion wandering around poking his nose in any corner as he explored their spacious amazing room. That was when it kicked in.
Paul looked at the ceiling. "Hey Xavier, you there?"
There was silence for a brief moment before what he believed was the chief's hybrid replied. "Hello Mr Tighris, how can I help you today?"
Oh, so polite. Thought Paul.
"Do you know how to operate this thing? I mean…I guess you do but I need some help."
"And what would you like to replicate?" Politely asked Xavier.
"I need a t-shirt and underwear and long pants…and a good pair of comfortable boots." Paul felt a bit self-conscious asking the hybrid for clothes, especially underwear.
"Of course, what's your size and what colour would you prefer?"
Paul hadn't expected that he could pick a colour. For some reason, he thought everything would come in black.
"Em sure." He rattled off his size and picked colours for his t-shirt, pants and boots. Xavier chose that moment to show him on the replicator what the outfit would look like and the different types of materials to pick from. Xavier also explained how to input the dimensions and requests so that Paul could replicate other stuff. In the end, Paul chose a lilac T-shirt with lettering that said 'I survived!" and dark blue long 'jeans and 'sneakers'. He thought the jeans on the holo-display looked nice and the sneakers looked comfortable.
A short while later, he nodded with approval when the clothes and strange sneakers fit perfectly. He walked around and was filled with glee when he realized the sneakers didn't make a sound.
Perfect for silent movement. Then he froze, as he realized something.
"Xavier, do you watch me all the time?" Orion who had been quiet all this time perked up at the question and he also looked upwards at the ceiling.
There was silence for a moment before the AI replied. "I watch everyone all the time, especially guests." That was disconcerting but there was something else that was bothering him.
"You identified yourself as I." Orion shot Paul a look as if surprised by the question.
"Is that a problem?" Paul was taken aback by the query as if the AI or hybrid on some level could discern that Paul was worried about the hybrid's level of independence.
Paul shook his head. He was just being paranoid, it was probably programmed to appear intelligent to a certain degree. "No, no…I just haven't met anyone like you." He waited for a response. Orion made a huffing noise and dropped his head on his paws. Paul frowned at his hound, he had the impression the hound thought he was asking stupid questions.
"Was there anything else you required?"
Paul felt disappointed because he had wanted a spirited discussion with the hybrid but maybe another time. "Yes, I would very much like to know more about…telepathy and mutants? Dr Grey stated there are historical archives I can read."
"Yes, they are. The data pad on the desk beside your bed will have access to the ship's historical archives, and if you prefer, you could always take part in the holo-history on the holodeck." Paul was already walking to the bedside when he heard the last few words and stopped.
"What holo-history, and what's a holodeck?"
Paul stared at the entrance into the 'holodeck'. When Xavier described it, Paul seriously considered that the hybrid was pulling his leg. However, he was wise enough to keep his opinions to himself and decided to explore this 'advanced' technology. Paul had a hand creating holo-programs for his Cylon brethren, but no one would ever mistake them for reality. He wondered if Starfleet's tech could measure up to Cylon tech.
So, why did he feel nervous going in?
Orion butted his head against Paul's leg. The hound was impatient and bored.
"All right, all right. I get it. No point wasting time," Paul muttered before approaching the door.
"May I make a suggestion?" Paul froze, then looked up while Orion made a startled sound.
"Yes?" tentatively asked Paul.
"It can be quite disconcerting for someone who has never experienced our holodecks. It would be best if you set the parameters of your program first before you enter. I can talk you through it if you wish."
Paul was speechless for a long moment. The hybrid had discerned how nervous he was without him saying anything. Just how smart was Xavier?
Orion barked. Paul looked at him. You better say something.
It took a moment for Paul to think of what to say. "Okay, why don't you pick a scenario or a piece of history for me to look at?"
"Would you like to know about Earth's earliest and largest inhabitants?"
Paul blinked. "What or who are they?"
The door slid open to show an out-of-this-world wonder that left Paul utterly speechless.
"Welcome to the real Jurassic park."
Logan watched Jean as she slowly stood up from the chair. He and Q Junior were the only ones on the bridge. He had advised Sharon and Kara to take Lee to the cafeteria and take a break in the meantime while he waited for Jean to return. To his surprise, they had not argued.
Wonders would never cease. But he was waiting for the universe to drop another humungous shoe on him.
At the moment, he was concerned due to how long she had been away. This time had been the longest.
"Welcome back. Are you all right?"
Jean stretched as she sighed. "Ask me that in a week?" Then she smiled tiredly at his concerned expression. "I'm okay, really, it's just that I thought negotiating with the colonials was hard, but they don't hold a candle to the Cylons."
Now Logan was more worried. "What happened?"
Jean replied. "I told them the conditions for the asylum to the Federation, which would involve lots of talks with the colonials, and then Nat argued that they would be in danger from the colonials."
Logan sighed. "She's right about that."
"And then Nat called for a vote."
Logan was speechless for a long moment. "They did what?"
Jean nodded. "Yes, Nat called for a vote, and I offered to leave so they could do it in private, and Nat and Six wanted me to stay as a witness, and then the Cylons began to argue about the pros and cons of aligning with the colonials and the pros and cons of going it alone. The centurions chimed in now and then but seemed more content to observe."
Logan tiredly rubbed his forehead. "You have got to be kidding."
Jean's laugh was sardonic. "I really wish I was. As I sat there, in the body of their hybrid, watching the trainwreck. I could not help but imagine that they are all at risk of annihilation if Cavil finds them, and instead of using that time to make allies, they decided to argue about a momentous decision that could save their lives and ensure freedom?"
Q Junior coughed. They turned to the teen who was at the helm. "Now, you know why my people decided to wash their hands of both the colonials and Cylons."
Logan shook his head as he turned back to Jean. "So, what was the outcome?"
"The votes of 295 Cylons and 489 centurions were eventually counted, and the majority of the Free Cylons and all the centurions finally agreed to join us, and the rest will abide with the majority's decision without sabotaging negotiations…." Then she paused and looked away as if deep in thought.
Logan was concerned. "Jean, what's wrong?"
Jean hesitated before replying. "Phoenix has been a bit odd lately, especially during the debate, as if agitated about something and…she wants to talk to you."
Q Junior whipped his head round in alarm. Logan wasn't scared but concerned because he could tell Jean was worried about Phoenix talking to him.
"It's okay. I can talk to her. I'll be fine." Jean watched him for a long time, then reluctantly nodded. Her eyes went black, and her expression changed slightly. It was enough for Logan to know he was speaking to someone else.
"Hi, Phoenix." He went for a causal non-threatening tone.
Phoenix-Jean looked at him and then grinned. "First time you and I have had a true face-to-face chat, isn't that so?"
"Sure is," said Logan, keenly aware that Q Junior was giving this conversation his full attention. He hoped Lee, Sharon and Kara didn't choose that moment to walk in.
Phoenix-Jean smiled widely. "Don't worry, Lee is pretty taken in with the tech in the cafeteria, and little Hera is keeping him occupied as she insisted on him carrying her." She glanced at Q Junior, who tentatively waved back. The entity smiled at the young Q before turning back to Logan; then, her expression became grim.
"There is a lot wrong with that miniature wormhole we found on that planet. Once we return to the colonial fleet, I will need to take a mind-trip."
Now Logan was alarmed. "A mind what?"
"Don't worry; Jean will be left behind, that's why I'm telling you this. You will have to protect her while I'm gone."
"Consider it done," said Logan without hesitation.
Phoenix-Jean nodded, and her shoulders dropped with relief. "A few more things to note. Nat and Boomer think Jean is a hybrid…." Logan's jaw dropped.
"Yeah, I thought that was stupid as well, and there's a spy on the Almira. A number Eight whose name is 'Sweet Eight'. She's working for Cavil, and she is just waiting to get to where the colonial fleet is before she sends the co-ordinates of the refugee fleet."
Logan stared at her. He really wanted to yell expletives into the air. He knew that the other shoe wasn't far off!
Q Junior coughed. "I can always step into the ready room if you wish to really express yourself, sir."
Logan held up a finger as he tried to compose himself. Both Jean and Q Junior waited expectantly.
"This bloody complicates things," finally stated Logan in a restrained voice. He wanted to say more, but he was trying not to swear in front of Q Junior.
Phoenix-Jean smiled dryly. "Tell me something I don't know. So, how exactly do you wish to handle this?"
Logan thought furiously. "Is anyone else working with her?"
Phoenix-Jean shook her head. "No. I definitely checked. She's the only spy on board, and she can do a lot of damage, and she has…done a lot of damage."
Logan and Q Junior sent her questioning looks.
"She betrayed Nat, the entire Two, Three, Six and Eight lines to Cavil before the takeover. She is the reason the rebellion failed. She also killed a lot of colonials on New Caprica while pretending to help Lieutenant Gaeta. So, yeah, she has a lot of colonial and Cylon blood on her hands."
Logan and Q Junior stared at her in shock.
"They aren't all exactly innocent," said Q Junior. Phoenix-Jean looked at him.
"Neither are the colonials, but we're helping them, right?" Q Junior nodded.
"But this is different," said Logan. "From what you've just told us, most of the Free Cylons are ready for peace, and even those that don't agree aren't out to sabotage it…apart from Sweet Eight. What kind of damn name is that, by the way?!"
Phoenix-Jean sighed. "I get what you're saying, especially on that odd name…." She paused with a resigned expression. "Jean wants to have a word and heads up…she's pissed at me."
Before Logan could react, her eyes resumed their normal colour, and Jean's demeanour changed. By her eyes, he could tell she was livid.
"I told her to stop looking into people's minds! And yet…she does what she wants!"
Logan waited for Jean to get it out of her system then, when she paused, he coughed softly. Jean gave him a suspicious look.
"Jean, I understand this is stressful for you, but now we have a huge problem. Can we still grant the Cylons asylum while protecting the colonials from the acts of one very efficient spy and assassin?"
Jean hesitated, then cursed softly under her breath. Q junior pretended as if he didn't hear it. It was pretty evident that they were all under a lot of pressure.
"So, what are you going to tell the colonials?" asked Q Junior, drawing attention to the elephant in the room.
Jean closed her eyes briefly. "We cannot condemn tens of thousands of colonials and hundreds of Cylons and centurions just for the sake of one spy."
"The needs of the many vs the one," added Q Junior in a grave tone.
Logan nodded, his expression grim and thoughtful as he looked at the view-screen and the three raptors. "We have to tell Lee and the others." Q Junior gave him a startled look.
"With all due respect, captain, he will flip his lid."
"Better it happens now and here, then back at the fleet." Logan looked at Q Junior. "Get everyone apart from Baltar and our new guest Paul summoned for an urgent meeting. We don't have much time for what I have in mind to work." Q Junior turned back to the comms while Jean walked up to Logan, a worried expression on her face.
"And what exactly did you have in mind?"
Logan regarded her for a moment and told her.
Six felt on edge as she waited in the CIC. She had stared at the chronometer several times; it was now more than half an hour since the vote and the decision to agree to Dr Grey's terms. She had hoped the female doctor would be back by now with some good news. Maybe she was arguing with the stubborn colonials on specific terms of the agreement.
Six wondered how Baltar was holding up.
"Six, I would like to have a word." She almost jumped out of her skin at that strange familiar dark voice in her head. A dark voice she had hoped never to hear again.
"Walk away to a private room and pretend as if nothing is amiss; the lives of everyone on board this basestar depends on what happens next." Six calmly walked out of the CIC and headed towards the room allocated to her while trying to keep her breathing even.
It seemed to take forever before she got to her destination. She went to the bathroom because that was the one place a listening device wouldn't work…especially with the taps and shower on. After the water started flowing, she sat on the clean floor below the sink with the running water.
"Okay, I'm here."
"Thank you for acting so promptly. We have a problem. One of the Eights…her designation is Sweet Eight, and she is still working for Cavil. She wants the alliance to go ahead so that she can give the coordinates of the colonials to him." Six froze.
"How…how can you be so sure?"
"Do you really want me to answer that question?" Six shook her head before the question was completed.
"No…no, forget that I asked." She paused. "When you say she is still working for Cavil…what was the most recent job she did for him?"
Phoenix-Jean told her, and Six was speechless for a long moment in shock before her feelings were replaced with pure, unadulterated rage. Six slowly stood up, already envisioning immediately planting a bullet into Sweet Eight's brain.
"Wait. There is a better way. You need to convince Nat to play along for a while."
"For what purpose?"
"Killing Sweet Eight without showing the Free Cylons irrefutable proof will cause divisions in your faction that you can ill-afford." Six reluctantly listened to the rest of what Phoenix-Jean had to say.
Six sat back down. "Fine, tell me what to do."
Sweet Eight could barely keep her excitement in check when Nat announced to the basestar that they were jumping to new coordinates to meet up with the rest of the colonial's refugee fleet of over 200 ships. Eight thought the colonials must be really desperate for them to align themselves with the Cylons. Too bad it was going to lead to their demise.
This mission was going to get her far with Cavil. Maybe she could get a leadership role after this whole mess was over. She wished she could add Earth's location to the data dump, but she couldn't be too greedy. After all, even Caprica Six hadn't been able to get that information. But Sweet Eight was going to get on the Xavier one way or the other. She already had a pretty wicked viral program ready to use on Xavier's AI that would give her complete control of the Earth ship. Sweet Eight bet she would accomplish more than Six ever could.
Sweet Eight noted how excited and concerned the other Cylons were. Little did these idiotic sheep realize that their days were numbered. When the jump was made, one of the few Sixes quickly informed a grim-looking Nat that 206 transponders represented the entire fleet and the Xavier. Sweet Eight casually wandered over to the DRADIS screen and promptly noted the coordinates, then looked around to find everyone's attention fixed on the display screen.
"The Xavier is staying between us and the rest of the colonials. Captain Logan has sent a message that we're all to wait here as they refuel." Announced one of the Twos. This was the best time to send a transmission while there was a lot of fear and confusion, especially from the colonial side. Sweet Eight left the CIC.
She quickly got to her quarters and retrieved her epadd, which she had hidden beneath a specific metal panel on the floor. She swiftly typed in the current coordinates and then ejected the thumb-nail memory device that contained data concerning everything from the failed rebellion to their current location. Sweet Eight left her quarters; there was no one in the hallway. They were probably all trying to get to one of the many viewpoints to gawk at the Xavier.
The perfect scenario for her. As a spy, chaos was always the best time to do one's work.
Now all she had to do was find a communication node with no one around it. After a few minutes, that proved harder than she realized. So far, all the nodes she had come across had either a team of two Cylons or two centurions repairing the devices. She wasn't surprised, this bucket of bolts known as the Almira should have been decommissioned years ago, but it was still flying. She fully expected it to fall apart at any given moment; no wonder so many parts of it needed repairs. Just when she was about to give up, she found a vacant node close to engineering. She inserted the chip and used her palm print to trigger it. She waited as it began to transmit. The bar started to run down quickly and stopped just before 97%. Sweet Eight stared at it.
The message would only be sent when it got to 100 %. What the frak was wrong with this node?
"I trusted you." Nat's voice made Sweet Eight freeze, and she turned slowly to face the leader of the Free Cylons, Six, Boomer and three golden centurions.
Sweet Eight stared at them. How had they approached her without being heard?
Had they deliberately herded her down here by having the other nodes occupied? How the frak had they known what she was planning?!
"Nothing to say?" asked Six, whose expression was livid. She had her pistol in her right hand, the business end pointing to the floor, but Sweet Eight knew how fast the six could fire.
"I…I was just checking to ensure everything was in working order," said Sweet Eight while she frantically tried to figure a way out of this mess.
"So, if we check the data in that chip, it won't contain these coordinates or all that we have discovered recently? Or the fact that you're the reason the Threes were boxed and the rebellion failed?!" demanded Nat. Boomer brought out an epadd and tapped on it.
"That node is slaved to this epadd." Sweet Eight felt chills on her spine as her sister Cylon continued to browse the contents of the padd. Boomer went still as she kept reading; her eyes widened with shock. She passed the epadd to Nat. When Nat's expression changed to pure anger, Sweet Eight felt her heart sink. The six finally looked at her.
"Caprica Six. You were right. It's all here. All the proof we need to show she betrayed us all and was prepared to do more of it. You have my permission."
Six's cold smile filled Sweet Eight with doom. "Wait!" She held up her right hand while praying no one was paying attention to her left hand.
"I can be useful to you! I…I can tell you what I know about Cavil, about what he is really planning! Without me, you don't have a chance at survival…." Six rapidly shot her through the head when Sweet Eight tried to shoot Nat with the gun in her left hand.
"Request denied." Said Six with grim satisfaction as she walked over and looked down at the dead female Cylon. "By the way, I always knew you were left-handed."
She nodded at the centurions who began to remove the corpse.
"Do you think she'll get it to the resurrection hub?" asked Nat as Boomer looked on, her expression pensive.
"For her sake, I hope not," calmly replied Six. "Because if I find her, I'll keep killing her until she goes insane. Let's tell Dr Grey that the mole has been eradicated."
Six and Nat began to walk away before Boomer called them.
"Did Dr Grey say anything about me?"
Six stopped, then turned and walked back to her.
"And why are you so concerned about that?"
Boomer was nervous, and both Sixes could tell. "You told us she can see into minds. Frankly, I didn't believe you…until I saw what Sweet Eight was about to do and what was on the epadd." She paused. "Is she really that powerful?"
Six stared at her for a long moment. "You and I have never been friends for so many reasons, so take this next piece of advice very seriously. Do not do anything that would make Dr Grey's Phoenix look deeply into your heart or mind…for we both know what sins you hide." Then she and Nat walked away from a very troubled Boomer.
Logan tried not to tap his foot as he waited with the others in the tense silence. It had taken precious minutes before everyone agreed to his plan of tricking the spy into revealing herself to the Cylons.
After convincing Lee, Kara and Sharon that he wouldn't put the colonial refugee fleet at risk, he proposed getting the basestar to jump to their current position and wait for the spy to reveal herself when she tried to send a message. However, they had to convince the Free Cylons that they were at the refugee fleet's real position.
Hence the reason for the illusion that graced the view screen.
Logan looked at the holoprojections of over two hundred colonial ships. Those holograms had been Q Junior's brilliant idea. In order to trick the Cylon spy, the young q had rapidly replicated hundreds of fake transponders to mimic the colonial ships' unique jump drive signatures and launched them into space while projecting images of the battered ships around each device. Even though he had warned the colonial officers on the three raptors what to expect, most of them had been shocked by the real-looking display of the colonial ships.
Then all they had to do was wait.
"Captain," Logan turned to a grave-looking Q Junior.
"The Almira is hailing us." Logan nodded.
"Put them on."
There was silence for a long moment before Nat spoke. "You were right; Sweet Eight tried to send a message to Cavil. We stopped her in the act, and she has been eliminated."
Logan saw Oma's shocked expression, Laura didn't seem surprised, but Lee was frowning.
"How sure are we that you did that?" asked the CAG before Logan could speak.
"I can confirm Nat did as she stated," said Dr Grey in a grave tone. Logan glanced at her, worried; she was greatly disturbed by what had just happened. Lee also gave Jean a concerned look, tinged with a hint of fear.
"So, she's really dead?" asked a suspicious Kara.
Sharon sighed. "Unless she made it to the secret resurrection hub." Everyone looked at her. "That's if it's range."
"True," agreed Nat. "However, she's no longer in any position to do this alliance or us any more damage." She paused. "Will the alliance continue?"
Logan looked at Lee; the CAG was pensive for a long moment, then he exhaled.
"Yes, the alliance will continue."
Logan suppressed his sigh of relief as Nat kept talking in a calmer, relieved voice.
"Thank you. So, what's next?"
Hi everyone. I hope you're all doing well. Writing this chapter has been a bit hard. I had to rewrite a couple of sections a couple of times. Wish me luck with the next one. I'll start working on it soon.