Cavil's Run – The Fall of the Twelve Colonies
06 – Virgon
"…and following the Quorum meeting next week, the President will visit Virgon to officially lay a reef on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, then will visit Hybernia on the first official visit by a sitting President for over 15 years. Vice-President Chellis has arrived in Colonial Two ahead of the ceremony due to start shortly."
The news anchor adjusted his tie and turned to a different camera. A split screen appeared, showing him on one and a pretty brunette on the other, a starry backdrop of real space behind her.
"Amazing achievement, wouldn't you say Rebecca? A sitting President visiting Hybernia."
"That's right, Tom, an amazing moment. VNN of course will be covering the events as they happen. Right now though we're here for what the Virgon military has been gearing up for for months. As we all know, today marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, the event that saw the end of the Cylon war. Now decades later the Colonial Military have prepared a special commemoration, including the appearance by several vessels that participated in the war, and numerous veterans who served to protect our way of life."
Rebecca glanced out the window behind her. The massive shape of a Battlestar flashed into existence, and began extending its flight pods. She smiled to herself for timing the arrival just right.
"And right on cue the Battlestar Majestic arrives. Yes, the royal battleship herself. During the war she spent much of her time idle in orbit, defending the planet from the odd Raider attack, but her claim to fame came from that infamous and daring assault on the Cylon occupation of Hybernia, and the amazing yet tragic rescue of the royal family. Even after forty years the speech made by King Henry still leaves a lasting impact on those that were fortunate enough to see it live-"
Outside the orbiting station a myriad of Battlestars, Gunstars, freighters, transports, passenger liners and support craft all hung in orbit as dozens of Vipers from various military vessels performed manoeuvres, formations and flybys in front of visiting dignitaries and television cameras. Images were being beamed all across the colonial star systems for anyone that would care to watch; despite being a major anniversary of the war, projecting viewing figures indicated the current generation simply weren't interested.
The Majestic turned to join in formation of the older Battlestars, of which only three of the nine present actually served in the war. Several non-descript transports of the era also joined the formation, joined by a passenger liner said to contain over three hundred surviving veterans. The old warships were flanked by the larger and newer Battlestars, who joined in the formation ready for the ceremonial orbit of the planet.
"It truly is a stunning sight" said Rebecca, looking out of the glass blister on the side of the space station. "The fleet makes you proud to be human, and sends a message to all Cylons everywhere that if you come back… we're ready for you."
A small laugh came from the back of the blister. Rebecca waited for the music leading out into the commercial break to end before she stormed off camera to the culprit.
An older gentleman was standing near the back holding a portable sound recording desk. He looked up as Rebecca approached, smiling politely.
"Was it something I said?" the man said.
"Frakking… Cavil, you're the sound technician. I know Charlie pulled out at the last minute but you came highly recommended. Please don't frak things up for us. This is a big day."
"Bigger than you think" said Cavil.
Rebecca shrugged and went back to the window, checking over her notes ready for the next live cross. She glanced out into space and saw the Battlestars beginning to head for the dark side of Virgon. It was then that she felt a presence over her shoulder.
"Oh back off, I'm not interested."
"Don't flatter yourself Rebecca" said Cavil, looking past her out the window. "Not everything revolves around you. And that this network is the best because it has the best shots, the best coverage, the best… music and graphics that play out into the ads-"
"Get back to your seat, they're coming back in thirty seconds."
Rebecca was taken aback. "No? Excuse me? Did you just say no?"
Cavil ignored the comment, and went the extra step of pushing Rebecca out of the way. Instantly Jonah, the cameraman locked his camera off and moved to her aid. When she waved him off he turned to Cavil.
"I think you owe the lady an apology" said Jonah.
Without taking his eyes off the window, Cavil turned and fired two shots at Jonah. A pair of bullets burrowed deep into his chest and he fell back on the deck. Too scared to run, Rebecca pushed herself back into the wall as far as she could.
"Rebecca, you should come up here… you're gonna wanna see this."
Nervous, Rebecca joined him at the window and looked out.
At first she couldn't see what Cavil was on about. Then she spotted it; blue flashes in high orbit began to appear. FTL jumps. Lots of them.
"Who are they? I thought everyone in attendance was already here?"
"I thought you said you were ready for us…?"
Rebecca glanced at Cavil, a cold, dark thought gradually taking over her mind.
"Rebecca, everything OK up there? What's Charlie doing next to you?"
Before she could speak Cavil grabbed the mic off Rebecca and turned to the camera.
"Sorry Tom, my name is Cavil, Charlie couldn't be with us tonight. Something about being dead tired."
Tom sat nervously in his chair, not sure where this might be going.
"OK, well Cavil, is everything-"
"Everything is fine Tom" Cavil said, smiling like they were old friends. "I was merely pointing out to Rebecca that it looks like the Colonial Military have planned some sort of demonstration for the viewers at home. Some unexpected targets have appeared in orbit and if you look out the window behind me you can see a pair of Battlestars are already moving to intercept."
Cavil handed the mic back to Rebecca, who smiled to play along. "Interesting Tom, I have nothing on my schedule about this. But it does look like that-"
A bright flash from out the window caught her attention. She turned to see one of the two Battlestars pulling to the right after being struck by what appeared to be a high-yield nuclear warhead. As she watched, three more flashes filled the skies, and she forced herself to turn away.
"Tom… I don't know what's going on but there's something-"
Tom had his hand to his ear and suddenly stared straight at the camera, alarmed. "Sorry, Rebecca, have to cut you off there… we're getting disturbing reports from Picon and Caprica… and now Tauron… massive explosions have been registered from those colonies. We're talking nuclear here. We'll try and get a live link up with our affiliate in those colonies soon but-"
Rebecca butted back in, reading off her portable tablet computer. "Tom we're getting a report up here that Admiral Nagala on the Battlestar Atlantia has taken command of the fleet. Reports coming in that vessels of an unknown configuration have been seen in orbit and in the atmosphere of Virgon- OH MY GODS!"
Large detonations were becoming visible on the surface of Virgon. Clear skies above a region on the eastern seaboard of the equatorial continent were brightened by a further nuclear blast. Rebecca suddenly realised what this meant.
"Tom… get out of there…"
Rebecca watched as the newsroom shook violently and suddenly vanished from view, being replaced by nothing but static on the monitor.
"Tom…" said Rebecca, hoping it was just a temporary glitch.
"He's dead. Like everyone else" said Cavil. "Now come back and look out the window. There's a lot to see."
Worried at what this Cavil person actually was, Rebecca forced herself to crawl back to the window. What she saw reminded her of rough video footage taken forty years ago.
The colonial parade around the planet had ended abruptly, all vessels jumping out of formation and back into the main arena. Rebecca could make out the mighty form of the Atlantia firing repeatedly at the nearest enemy ship, which was starting to buckle under the weight of the onslaught.
Below, Rebecca could just see the Majestic targeting another ship, which exploded.
"Yes! Way to go Majestic!"
Cavil snorted. "Lucky shot. This battle will be over very soon."
"Oh? And why is that?"
"Because we're about to play a card that will reshuffle the deck slightly. Keep watching."
Outside, Rebecca saw a squadron of Viper bank high and fast towards the main group of enemy fighters when suddenly they seemed to lose all engine control and drift at high speed towards their targets. Rebecca put her hand on the glass and whimpered as the entire squadron were destroyed at point blank range.
"What the hell happened to the Vipers?"
Cavil smiled. "Oh? What makes you think it's just a Viper issue?"
Rebecca looked back out the window to see a Mercury class Battlestar suddenly bank left in an uncontrolled spin, and collide with the frigate trying to get out of the way. Above that, three enemy vessels – which she was sure now was Cylon in origin – a single Battlestar was sitting helpless between three Basestars, being pounded on all sides by warheads. Below, she could see the skies of the once blue and green globe of her homeworld turning a stagnant dark brown.
"Why…?" said Rebecca, pulling back from the glass and looking at Cavil.
"What do you mean why?" said Cavil, looking out the window and admiring the destruction. "You tried to condemn us to extinction forty years ago. We're simply returning the favour."
A blast near the window rocked the station, throwing Cavil to the floor and dropping his gun. As he got up he saw Rebecca was already holding it, pointing it at his head.
"Nice. It won't make much difference though. Soon you won't have anywhere to live. Your kind will become extinct."
"There are 29 billion humans in the four star systems. It'll take even you a while to murder us all."
"You have no idea how many there are. You have no hope, no salvation, nothing."
Rebecca glanced back out the window, keeping the gun trained on Cavil.
"At least they aren't doing too badly."
Cavil crawled to the window and looked out. The Battlestar Majestic was continuing to firing, taking down another Basestar as it charged through the crowded battlefield.
"How the frak can they do that? Our backdoor should've taken care of all colonial vessels."
"The Majestic has a proprietary computer system. Not aligned with the rest of the military. I doubt you'd considered that."
Cavil smiled as he spotted something above them. "No mater. We'll kill them eventually." He turned to face Rebecca, who was nervously pointing the gun at him. "Ready to meet your maker?" he said.
"What-what do you mean?"
Cavil stepped out of the way. "Come see for yourself."
Rebecca moved past him to look out. She didn't see it until it was too late.
The flaming hulk of the Battlestar Atlantia, her hull twisted and burning from repeated nuclear strikes, was on a collision course with the station.
Rebecca screamed and tried to run, but Cavil grabbed her, dropping the gun in the process. He dragged her back to the window and put her face on the glass, forcing her to watch the thing that would kill her in a matter of seconds.
"Smile human… you're about to become history."
The Atlantia slammed into the station, ripping through the docking ring and ploughing head on into the central column. Her momentum slowed as she encountered resistance from the shattered structure, but components inside the dying Battlestar not secured down went hurtling forwards, tearing through bulkheads and any unfortunate human still left alive.
Two of her eight reactors, which had become damaged when the ship hit the station, went critical, causing a devastating explosion. The engineering section blasted outward like a blossoming flower, sending her engines in all directions, one of which collided with another Battlestar. The blast sent the Atlantia deeper into the station, breaking it in half.
Finally, a handful of nuclear warheads streaked out of the nearest Basestar and put the Virgon space station out of its misery. The bright star briefly illuminating the skies above Virgon as the one-sided battle entered its final stages.
Virgon-Cavil entered the room and sat down.
"I just took a Battlestar to the face" he said.
"I rode a building down as it collapsed" said Tauron-Cavil.
"I flew" said Sagittaron-Cavil.
"You win" said Virgon-Cavil reluctantly.
"How's it going out there, brother?" asked Aquaria-Cavil.
"Nicely. Having forty percent of the Colonial Military in one place made it very easy for me. It was also fun watching the ships go boom."
"Well, we're halfway there" said Picon-Cavil. "Lets see how the rest of this experiment plays out."
Next Colony – Aerilon