Chapter Six: Judgment Night

The occupants of the table quickly fell to the floor the moment the glass shattered. Fortunately for them, the shooters were not going for accuracy; otherwise they would have been cut down in the opening barrage.

"What the frak was that?" Captain Alisa Stark asked.

"I think someone is either gunning for us or they were not fond of the special here at the restaurant," Major Mark Hunter quipped.

"Did the two of you bring your sidearms with you?" Mitchell Cain asked Hunter and Stark.

"Sorry about that, we checked them in once we boarded," Hunter said.

"I know that was my policy, but now I'm kicking myself," Karin Briggs commented as she began to move toward where the wall where the windows had been.

"Let's get over there," Cain said and the three of them began to crawl towards Briggs.

"I think she and I have spare weapons," Cain said as he reached into his ankle holster and removed a pistol that he promptly handed to Hunter.

"Here you go, Stark," Briggs said as she also removed a spare pistol and passed it to the pilot.

There was a commotion as a man approached the group. Cain saw that the man wore a black military style uniform with silver epaulets that marked him as a flag officer. He recognized the man and instantly knew that he was more than just that.

"Magnus Ah-Mun, how nice of you to join us," Cain said to the new arrival.

"Eastern Alliance…" Stark said, somewhat stunned.

"Yes, we are more than some myth like Adar said we were," he said. He motioned for two of his people to come to where they were. However, bullets cut them down before they had a chance to make to make it.

"Damn it, I may have to hold another recruiting drive before this is over!" Magnus said as he got to his feet, raised his sidearm, and fired toward the group that had killed his people.

Cain looked up and saw that two of the shooters now lay on the deck and showed no signs of life. "You're a good shot."

"Even after several ambrosia's I'm as good of a shot as any," he said as he ducked.

Several more rounds came through the section of wall where they were hiding, as well as above them to impact with the bar.

"We need to get away from here and toward the Governor's office; they may try to assassinate him," Briggs said as she got on her knees to fire a few rounds at the shooters, who had now taken cover behind the overturned tables in the plaza.

"Hey, Lucie, are you still here?" Magnus shouted after another volley of gunfire had strafed the bar.

"I'm here," Lucie Marais, the bartender on duty, said from where she had crouched behind the bar.

"It would seem we're not getting through the front door; is there another way out of here?"

"There's a service corridor at the rear of the kitchen," she called out in a voice that hid most of the fear she was feeling at that moment.

"That's our way out then," Magnus said and it was then that he began to move toward the bar.

"Cain, let's cover their retreat to the bar," Hunter said.

Cain nodded his head. "I think between the two of us we can keep their heads down; just remember that we need to conserve ammo."

"Got it," Hunter said it was then that he used his fingers to count down from three to one.

After the count of 'One' the two got up and began firing toward the overturned tables where the shooters had taken refuge. By now, the plaza had been deserted and only the bodies of the dead were there to witness the gunfight. As the two men provided the distraction, the two women began to make their way to the bar. Both Hunter and Cain took steps back as they fired so that they could cover their own retreat.

"Good work, gentlemen," Magnus said once they had made it to the bar.

"Take me with you," Marais said.

"If we leave her here then she's going to die," Briggs said.

"Yes, Ms. Briggs, I'm well aware of that. I was already planning to take her with us, I may be a pirate but even I have my standards," Magnus said somewhat more heatedly than he had intended.

The six made their way through the now-empty kitchen toward the rear of the room where there was a large door with 'Service Corridor' stenciled on it. Marais quickly entered the key code on the number pad and the door swung open.

"Let's get moving before those shooters grow a brain and try to storm the place," Cain said.

One by one, they entered the corridor with Hunter being the last one out. He shut the door and Marais was right there to lock the door back with the numerical password.

"Let's get to Governor Rush before it's too late," Magnus said as he took out a device that looked like a mobile phone and quickly hit the keys as though he was sending a message.

"At a time like this you want to send out a text message?" Briggs asked with as much credulity as she could manage.

"I'm sending word out to my people still on this ship to meet us at the Governor's offices, they are to offer their assistance in keeping him safe," Magnus said.

"Oh, good thinking," Briggs quickly said.

"Let's get moving," Cain said. As the group made its way down the corridor he thought to his conversation with Dante Solis, the man had the audacity to call him and essentially taunt him before trying to kill him. The man was either fearless or crazy. He realized that either one made him more dangerous than he had previously thought.

Admiral Kronus' Office:

Wallace heard the gunshots off in the distance as he neared Kronus' office. Whatever was happening here on the Olympica it was obviously something not good, "All right, guys; let's double time it to Kronus."

"Wait for me!" a woman's voice called out from behind them.

The three turned to see Carmen Bayonet, a member of Wallace's group of assassins, running towards him.

"Carmen, where have you been?" Wallace asked.

She shook her head, "It doesn't matter, and right now there are men with guns coming this way. They're shooting everyone in sight."

Tank looked at her and saw her arm was bleeding. "Did they hurt you badly?"

Bayonet shook her head, "It's just a graze; it hurts, but it's just a graze."

"We're heading to meet with Kronus; someone just blew up the Quorum of Twelve."

"Actually they blew up most of the Quorum. I think three or four survived," Heavy added.

"To be more exact they blew up most of the Quorum, but right now we need to get to Kronus' office," Wallace said.

"Arthur, hurry up; we're about to seal the door," a woman's voice called out from down the corridor.

Wallace looked and saw Nirmala Patel waving him to hurry to where she was.

"Like I said people, let's get moving!" Wallace shouted as he, Tank, Heavy, and Bayonet made a dash for the door.

"I was wondering where you were," she said when Wallace and his people reached her, "Come in, we'll do introductions once the door is closed.

There was a group of ten Marines huddled near the door and they eyed the newcomers with suspicion. Wallace began to wonder if they would have gotten this far if Patel had not been there to facilitate things.

"Seal the door!" one of the Marines called out.

"Yes, sir," another said before pressing a button that brought down a fireproof bulkhead that covered the wall where the door was located.

"Wallace, I'm glad you were able to make it," Fleet Admiral John Kronus said. He was sitting at his desk poring over the reports that were steadily coming in from various parts of the Olympica.

"I don't know how much you know but someone has blown up the Quorum of Twelve, maybe four of them survived but there's no telling how badly three of them were injured," Wallace said.

Kronus ran a hand through his white hair and let out a deep breath. "This has all the touches of a coup attempt. With that emergency bulkhead lowered we should be fine but other places are in trouble."

"What are you planning to do?" Wallace asked.

"I've sent word to General Maxwell on the Syrinx and General Hyde on the Valcour. Hyde has already assured me that she will send however many of her troops as she can to help. I'm sure Maxwell will do the same with his Marines."

"That should be enough to turn the tide," Tank said.

"It's just a matter of how quickly they can get here," Heavy added.

"Wallace, can you get any of you people from Amasen over here?" Kronus asked.

"I wish I could, but with the time it would take to get everything organized I can't promise they would be ready in time," Wallace said.

"It was worth a try. You and your people will stay here for now unless I need you somewhere else."

"I can assure you that my people and I are ready to assist wherever you send us," Wallace said with a reassuring smile.

"Good to know because if I send you somewhere then there will be some fighting involved," Kronus said before turning his attention back to the reports on his desk.

Olympica, Colonial Fleet Command:

The area that had once been the Second Class Gift Shop was in the process of undergoing a metamorphosis. Its formerly tan colored walls were now a utilitarian gray. The racks that normally contained merchandise had been replaced by various pieces of furniture designed for making visiting guests more comfortable. Two large televisions that had been in place when the place was a store were still there and they broadcast a mix of archived Colonial television programs and news reports from the impromptu network of journalists on the Olympica.

"I'd say this place is still a work in progress," Willis said as she and Adar walked up to the entrance.

"It may take time to fully convert it into a command center but at least they're making progress on it," he said as he stepped into the main entrance.

"Commander Adar and Colonel Willis," one of the enlisted said after she walked up and saluted the two officers, "I'm Petty Officer Hillary Gamble; I'm helping to oversee the conversion. Admiral Brannigan has been expecting you."

"Thank you, Gamble; how is the conversion coming along?" Adar asked.

"It's coming along as well it could be. We're close to where we can lay carpeting down and find a place for all of these retail fixtures we don't need," Gamble said as she glanced over at the spot where the unneeded fixtures had been set aside.

"I'm sure if you can't find any takers you can always find some way to repurpose it," Willis offered.

Gamble shrugged. "If it comes to that, then yes we can pull it off but I'd prefer that we just pass it off to someone willing to take it off our hands. I'll go let Admiral Brannigan know that you've arrived.

"Impressive woman, do you think we can get her on the Achilles once the refit is finished?" Willis asked.

It looked as though Adar was about to say something when there was the sound of automatic machine gun fire followed by screams and the sounds of untold number of footsteps running away.

"What the frak was that?" Adar said as he heard the sounds of gunfire erupt nearby.

"I don't know but it sounds like it's not that far away," Willis asked.

"This is a gun-free zone," Rear Admiral James Brannigan said as he walked up to where the two officers were standing.

"This is an interesting way of welcoming us to the Olympica. We haven't even been here for an hour and a firefight breaks out. Are you sure we're not on Canceron?" Adar joked, but by the look on the faces of the personnel nearby, nobody heard it.

"Marines, secure the room!" Brannigan bellowed to the group of six Marines standing guard at the entrance.

One of the Marines pressed a button and immediately a heavy iron gate began to slide down to seal the room off. It was clearly designed to keep people out but perhaps it would discourage the gunmen from trying to enter Fleet Command.

"Gods, is that even going to hold?" Willis said as she took stock of the ability of the gate to keep a determined shooter out.

"Maybe it will or maybe it won't, but right now it's all we have to try to keep people out," Brannigan said before adding, "Come with me to the back room, we need to get a hold of Admiral Kronus and tell him what's happening."

"Yes sir," Adar said as he and Willis headed through a set of double doors that led to what had once been a large stockroom. He saw Brannigan run over to what appeared to have been the manager's office.

Brannigan took a seat and quickly entered the number for Kronus' office. He was both relieved and surprised when Kronus picked up on the first ring.

"This is Kronus," the Leonisian admiral said in his business-like tone of voice.

"Admiral, this is Brannigan. We have a group of shooters that have opened fire near Fleet Command."

A quiet came over the phone before Kronus asked, "What steps have you taken to keep Fleet Command safe?"

"I've instituted a lockdown and I have six Marines that were here when the shooting began."

"Why were there only six Marines with you, are there any other personnel there?"

"We had construction personnel here in the back, along with a small group of enlisted personnel setting up our equipment. I have Commander Adar and Colonel Willis here too. There would have been more but we the watch was about to turn over."

"Understood, whoever did this knew the right time to try to storm your post. Keep that security gate closed and the Marines are to let nobody get through," Kronus said.

Brannigan rubbed his temples with his free hand, "I can do that, but what if there are civilians trying to get inside?"

"I think any civilian not associated with these people has already run away to find a safer hiding spot. I hate to say it but if someone is trying to find sanctuary with you then you should assume their motives are less than honorable."

He wanted to argue with Kronus but had a feeling it would not do much good, "I understand, sir."

"Keep me informed of any developments, I'm sending off a communiqué to General Maxwell requesting the Marines to come and help restore the peace," Kronus said before the line went dead.

Brannigan opened his drawer and pulled out his sidearm. He looked up and saw Adar and Willis standing there, "We set up a small armory down the corridor to the left. I want you to arm yourselves and be ready to shoot if these guys get through the barrier."

"Do you think it will come to that?" Willis asked.

Brannigan locked eyes with her. "That gate was designed to keep shoplifters out. I doubt it's going to do much against someone far more dangerous."

There was the sound of gunfire bursts coming from the front entrance. The three officers looked at each other and without saying a word; they left the room to prepare to repel invaders should they get past the Marines.

"I think we should have stayed the night on the Achilles," Willis said to Adar as they headed down the corridor to find the armory.

"Yeah and we would be missing out on the excitement, it's almost like we're recreating the Battle of Black River," Adar said.

"You do realize that the Marines at Black River held out against the Cylons only to be slaughtered once their supplies ran out?" Willis asked. During the Cylon War, the Colonial Marines withstood a withering initial assault from Cylon Forces along the banks Aerilon's Black River. The Cylons were advancing on the towns located along the river and it was up to the Marines to cover the withdrawal of the civilians as they fled their homes and scattered into the presumed safety of the rural areas. Sadly for many of the Marines, their supplies ran out. When they were sufficiently weakened, the Cylons came in and killed the survivors.

Brannigan poked his head out of the door. He saw that the six Marines had taken defensive positions, and were exchanging fire with the shooters. It looked as though the Marines would wait for the intruders to advance before they unleashed their fire. He went back through the door and saw that Adar and Willis had joined him along with the twelve enlisted personnel; all were brandishing their weapons and looked ready to put them to use.

"Where are the construction workers?" he asked.

"They're hiding back in one of the storage rooms. Their foreman said they have no intention of coming out until this is over," Adar said.

"Sir, I tried to reason with them but they're adamant that they are not going to leave that room," Gamble added.

Brannigan pushed back the group and headed down the corridor where the armory and the storerooms were located. He saw the door to Storeroom A was open and he guessed that was there the construction workers were located. As he got closer, he opened the door and saw the workers huddled near the back of the room.

"Who here is in charge?" he asked.

"I am," a middle-aged man said as he walked up to the door and said to Brannigan, "My name is Shane Cooke and no matter what you say, my people and I are not going to go out there to die for you."

"Who said anything about me sending you to your death?" Brannigan asked.

"I'm not a dummy, you need cannon fodder and what better way to get that than to use us civilians," Cooke said and the look on his face dared the admiral to argue with him.

Brannigan wanted to argue with him but he would lose valuable time doing so. "Come with me and I'll make you a deal."

Cooke looked at him skeptically. "What are you trying to do?"

"Come with me to the armory and you can get you and your workers some weapons to use in case we're overrun."

"Admiral, in case you haven't noticed, we're civilians. We have no part in your fight."

Brannigan got in close enough so that only Cooke could hear him. "Judging by the look of those people trying to break in here, I don't think there are any civilians here at the moment. To them, you're just another target. Now, I'm not going to force you to fight with me. I will, however, give you guns so you can defend yourself in the worst-case scenario and you may even get to take one or two down before they kill you. So swallow your damn pride and come with me."

Cooke took a step back and held up his hands in mock surrender. "Okay, Admiral, no need to twist my arm over this."

Brannigan did not say a word, if he had he would have had some very choice words to say to the man, and in truth it was not worth the effort.

Olympica Security, Main Office:

There was group of fifteen officers gathering at the entrance to Olympica Security in an attempt to stop the intruders from gaining access to the area. Normally there would have been a decidedly larger presence but with so many 'fires' popping up on the ship in need of their assistance the security force was spread decidedly thinner than many would have been comfortable with.

"Get to the armory and arm yourselves!" Rhoda Davis, the officer in charge of Olympica Security shouted to the officers still there in the main office.

"I take it that we're about to be invaded?" Lyndon Ewing said as he ran up to where she was standing.

"There were reports of gunfire and some of our people were gunned down. I don't know who these people are but I'd guess they're tied to Dante Solis somehow," she said.

"That was what I was afraid you were going to say," Ewing said as he shook his head in disgust. "I wish I knew how we let that bastard slip through our fingers back on the Jauron!"

Both he and Davis had been part of an assault team that stormed Dante Solis' ship, the Jauron, in an attempt to apprehend the man. The team was composed of a mixture of Olympica Security personnel, Colonial Marines, one Ministry of Intelligence officer, and one Colonial Fleet officer. The group managed to secure the Jauron but Solis had slipped away and had not been heard from since. While there had been no official word on which person was behind the attack, it was safe to assume Solis was responsible.

"Because he has an informant with inside information that tipped him off," Davis said as she slung her assault rifle onto her shoulder and made sure her body armor was adjusted properly. She remembered reports of police officers on Sagitarron who had been killed during the Hebron Riots because their armor had not been secured properly. That was something she refused to have happen to her.

"I would love to find out who those people are; then each of us can take turns 'guarding' them," Ewing said and truth was he did not care if Davis took offense to it or not.

"Let's not worry about that right now. The important thing is that we keep that group of thugs from breaching this office and gaining access to the Armory," Davis said as she took her rifle off her shoulders and aimed it toward the entrance to the main office.

"Looks like we have about fifteen officers here with us; the rest are out answering calls for help or providing protection to government officials," Ewing said as he looked behind him at the group gathered, with their guns at the ready.

"I had a feeling our forces were going to be spread pretty thin but that is worse than I thought it was going to be. Oh well, I suppose it's better than what we would have had if they had all left to help put out the fires," Davis said.

Ewing let loose a volley from his rifle and watched with satisfaction as one of the shooters went down. "Looks like we're going to be the ones to put this fire out."

"Yeah well here's hoping they don't push too hard. We can make them hurt if they try to storm us but we're stretched so thin right now I can't help but worry," Davis said as she ducked to avoid a round that nearly hit her.

"The good news is that we're trained for this kind of situation," Ewing said as he got out of cover to unleash another volley of gunfire.

"Believe me, when I signed on for this job I thought the worst I would have to deal with would be a drunk and disorderly or maybe a shoplifter. This is not what I thought I was signing up for!"

"Hey, Rhoda, is it just me or has it gotten quiet?" Ewing asked.

Davis was silent for a moment as she listened. "I think it has gone quiet."

"Please tell me that means they gave up and retreated," Ewing said as he allowed a smile to come to his face.

"We can hope," Davis said as she stood up to get a view of the entrance. What she saw made her blood go cold. "Grenade! Run!"

The intruders had thrown several stun grenades into the entrance's main lobby. The grenades quickly exploded with a dense cloud that carried a knockout gas. It quickly rendered all of the defenders of Olympica Security unconscious.

At the entrance stood Dante Solis with a satisfied expression on his face. He had changed his mind about going into hiding for the time being. Instead, he wanted to lead one of the strike teams and he had set his eyes on Olympica Security. Smuggling the weapons onboard had been surprisingly easy. Cubits still held value and there were people willing to accept them by looking away at crucial times.

He held a wireless receiver to his mouth and said, "All teams not engaged in combat meet me at Olympica Security; we just hit a weapons jackpot."

When this was over, he would go into hiding until his takeover had been completed successfully.

Several minutes passed as the fans in the main lobby began to draw the gas out of the room so that it could be eventually ejected out into space. With that done, Solis stepped over the threshold and looked around the room as though he was a conqueror who had just conquered a major city. After a moment, he took in the sight of the motionless bodies of the security officers. If there was any resistance found in this station then his people could easily deal with it.

"Faustin, I want all of these people secured in the interrogation rooms while they're still unconscious. We not only have the hostage card to play, but we can also find out if they have any information that could be useful to us."

He then stepped away from the mass of unconscious forms and began to search for Olympica Security's armory.

Henri Faustin watched Solis walk away and he fought an urge to shake his head. He was loyal to him and would do anything asked of him but this was something he could not understand. If he had done what he had intended, then Olympica Security would be a flaming wreck by now and all of its defenders dead by his hand. Solis had wanted to use the gas grenades instead of the regular explosive type his men had elsewhere on the ship. The important thing was to use brute force to overwhelm the enemy and bring them to agree to your terms unconditionally. This felt like a needless game of strategy was being played when none was truly needed.

Twenty-Eight Minutes Later:

Olympica, Governor's Office:

Aurelia Gilliam was escorted to the room by a pair of the Marines stationed at the door for his protection. Governor David Rush looked up from his desk and saw that the woman who most would easily call his political adversary looked decidedly shaken up.

"Ms. Gilliam, allow me to first say that I'm glad you're okay and to express my condolences for any friends on the Quorum you lost in the explosion."

Gilliam took a seat. "Thank you, Mr. Governor, I appreciate that. Did any of the Quorum survive?"

Rush nodded his head. "There are three survivors; Marian Sanders, Brooke Bowman, and Peter Halle. They are in Medical right now, in the Intensive Care Ward. I have assigned security to make sure nobody tries to kill them."

"That's a relief, I wish none had been killed but at least there were survivors. Especially Peter, I know his daughter will be thrilled to know he survived. Who have you assigned for their protection?" she asked.

It's a mix of the Marines and Eastern Alliance soldiers that are currently on the Olympica. I doubt anyone who tries to get to them will not succeed."

Gilliam's eyes went wide. "You have the Eastern Alliance here guarding you and guarding the Quorum survivors! How do you know they weren't behind it?"

"Magnus Ah-Mun personally contacted me and offered the help of his soldiers to assist in any way they could. I doubt he would attempt such a naked attempt at a power grab."

"You're right…" Gilliam admitted before adding, "Please forgive me, this whole thing has my nerves a little on edge. I just think about how I could have easily been there when the explosion happened. I spent months working with most of the Quorum and; truth be told I this whole mess unbelievable. I was in my quarters getting some rest. If I had gone to the conference room as I planned…"

Rush put up a hand. "Let's not worry about what could have happened right now; the important thing is that you did survive. I know we don't agree on much, if anything, politically but it is important that we have some of the governing body intact."

"Yes, you're right; what about Mrs. Alonzo? Wouldn't she be a target also?"

"The Eastern Alliance is keeping her safe along with her personal security detail from Olympica Security," Rush said and mentally he hoped it would be enough to keep Gloria Alonzo safe.

The door to the office opened and in stepped Mitchell Cain, Karin Briggs, Mark Hunter, Alisa Stark, Magnus Ah-Mun, and Lucie Marais.

"Mister Governor, I'm glad to see you're alive," Cain said.

"Thank you, Cain, it looks like you and your friends took some damage," Rush said as he looked over the group. Some wounds appeared to be cuts from glass or wood splinters, but he could not say with exact accuracy.

"I see Ms. Gilliam is alive too," Cain said as he brought his gaze to meet hers, "I'm glad that at least one member of the Quorum has survived. How are the rest?"

Gilliam spoke before Rush could say something, "We have three other members who are still alive but they are in critical condition at the moment. Delegates Sanders, Bowman, and Halle were injured in an explosion that tore through the Jarrell Conference Room earlier today."

"Probably about the same time the attacks started," Briggs said.

"Lucie, if you would like to go to one of the rooms and rest you are more than welcome to," Magnus said to a clearly shaken Lucie Marais.

"Of course, any room of this suite is available for her to use," Rush said and he received an approving nod from Magnus for his comment.

"Thanks, but I feel safer here with you. If you could get me some water, I'll just have a seat over there on that sofa," she said.

"Very well, I'll be right back with some water," Magnus said as he left the room.

"He's quite the gentleman," Stark said.

"For the leader of a pirate group he certainly is well-mannered," Hunter added.

"From what he tells it, the Eastern Alliance is not so much a pirate group to him as a 'private security firm' what dabbles a bit in the mercenary world," Rush said.

"Yet the leader of the Eastern Alliance was referred to in the media as 'The Pirate King'," Briggs said.

"I'm not saying he's not a pirate, but I think he's made a successful life for himself. Not too bad for a pilot that got discharged from the Colonial Fleet during the drawdown after the Cylon War," Rush said.

"You're telling me he fought in the Cylon War?" Gilliam asked.

"He served on the Solaria, Galactica, Athena, Queenstown, and Delphi, if I'm not mistaken. I'm sure there may have been others but those are the battlestars I can name off the top of my head," Rush said as he mentally tried to remember the details of Magnus Ah-Mun's service record.

"With the way he acts sometimes I wouldn't be surprised if he is descended from the ancient Borellian Nomen tribes that used to wander the Borella Desert on Caprica," Gilliam said with the dismissive tone many had become accustomed to hearing from her.

"What would make you say that?" Cain asked.

"During that tour of the Cylon baseship he captured, well, he and I had a bit of an argument. The way that man threatened me was just savage!"

"I have no doubt you did nothing to incite him to get angry with you," Rush said with the clear implication that he felt she was to blame for angering Magnus.

"Wait a minute, he captured a Cylon baseship?" Hunter asked.

"His people boarded it during a battle and killed all of the Cylons onboard, not that there were that many on there to begin with. Thanks to that, the Eastern Alliance has its own baseship and Cylon Raiders to go along with it. Mind you, both the baseship and the Raiders date back to the Cylon War so it's not the most advanced Cylon tech we have, but it can be adapted for our needs," Rush said.

"That's an impressive accomplishment," Hunter admitted.

For Lucie Marais the gravity of the whole situation was hard to take in all at once. She had been tending bar at the Grille when everything banked hard to port. This was the type of thing she thought she was leaving behind on Canceron when she accepted the job with the Colonial Line. Now here she was in the Governor's office with Magnus Ah-Mun, of all people, getting her water and making sure she was okay.

"I know you may be tired of this but how are you holding up?" Rush asked as he took a seat beside her.

"It's unreal, this has to be a nightmare of some kind," she said before adding, "Though I fear this is far too real for me to have just dreamed."

"I take it your dreams are usually not so action-packed. Just know that as long as you're here you'll be safe, I don't think you can find a safer place on the Olympica," Rush said as he tried to reassure her.

"Thank you, I just hope that when this is over I'll come out of it unharmed. You and Mr. Ah-Mun have been so kind to me," she said and she tried to manage a smile after saying it.

"It doesn't have to be an election year for me to show kindness. Speaking of our pirate friend, did you know him well before this happened?"

She nodded, "He frequented the Grille quite a bit. It was yesterday that he was having a drink with a friend, something owing him a drink from their time during the Cylon War. He was always very friendly to me and he tipped well too, I know the stereotype for a pirate but he was every bit the gentleman."

Rush was going to say something but a movement behind him caught his eye. He turned and saw Gilliam walking towards him. He promptly asked, "Is there something I can do for you?"

"I know you have a lot to deal with at the moment, if you'd like for me to I'd be happy to sit with Miss Marais and keep her company until I'm needed."

"Thank you, I appreciate that," Rush said as he stood up and made his way back over to his desk.

The door to the room opened and Magnus came back into the room with a glass of water for Marais.

"Welcome back, Mister Ah-Mun," Rush said.

"Thank you, Mister Governor, if you would permit me I'll be happy to send word to the Revenge to mobilize a landing party to help deal with these vermin that are trying to kill us," Magnus said.

Rush did not hesitate, "Make the call."

Marine Transport Ship Syrinx:

Brigadier General Otus Maxwell sat at the desk in his quarters on the transport ship Syrinx and looked over the message that he had just received. He had to wonder if it were even possible that, after the fighting they had been through on Ostarsis, that he and his Marines were about to be called into the fray developing on the Olympica. Dante Solis, a figure whom he knew little about, was attempting what amounted to a coup of some sort. He usually tried to stay out of politics but it was obvious to him that if the government on the Olympica failed, then anarchy would reign supreme throughout the fleet and there was no telling what a man like Solis was capable of.

That was something that could be explained as a form of bad luck for the Marines under his command. If the reports were true and this was not a prank of some kind being pulled on him, then it was necessary to use the full force of his troops to put down the fight that had broken out on the luxury liner.

"Colonel Krulak," Brannigan said to his second-in-command, "I want the every Marine in the regiment who was not injured, ready to deploy within half an hour."

Colonel Jake Krulak nodded his understanding. "I take it that this isn't some prank being played on you, sir."

Maxwell shook his head. "I wish it was somebody's sick idea of a joke, but I know Admiral Kronus would not have had that sent to me if it wasn't legit."

"We'll be ready for whatever is waiting for us over there," Krulak said before turning to leave the room.

"This may be more challenging than fighting the Cylons on Ostarsis," Maxwell said aloud as he took a seat at his desk. Killing the toasters was one thing, but this was an attack against the Colonials who had been fortunate enough to have survived the attack by the Cylons.

"Dante Solis, if I have my way, you are going to regret the day you were born," he said as he opened the drawer and removed his sidearm. It was an older model than the ones issued to Marines nowadays but the truth was, he would take his Curran-853 pistol over the newer models. It had served him well years ago when he had been fighting against the Green Army in the Demeter Jungle. Now he would take it with him when he and his Marines boarded the Olympica.