Memoir: Commander Kepner's Ultimatum

«The following message is broadcast across the Fleet on every military wireless receiver and every TAC channel at 1440 hours on 15 April 2042 AE.»

"Men and women of the Fleet: I am Commander Rudolph Kepner of the escort carrier Areion, and I have taken command of this battlegroup.

"At 1438 hours, Commander Laughlin was executed for acts of treason against the Colonial Military. Colonel Pewter, Colonel Ionis, Major Hahn, Major Willows-Cavanaugh, Captain Makinen, Captain Bia and Chief Petty Officer Damon are in custody for mutiny, sedition and colluding with the enemy in a time of war. The executive officers of Corsair, Cerberus and Praetorian, having endorsed these treasonous acts, have been subdued so as not to interfere with our mission.

"What is our mission, you ask? The time for planning garden parties with Cylons who murdered our friends and families by the billions is finished. The time of giving aid and comfort to enemies within our ranks is finished. The time for cowardice, for timidity, for fleeing like so many confused sheep — that time is finished.

"This is a time for heroes. This is the time to fight.

"Amplified by the ships in this Fleet, the Gun is finally ready to strike a crippling blow against the Cylons. As such, I am ordering our battlegroup to jump to the heart of Colonial space. There, we will take the fight to the major Cylon outposts on Caprica, Picon, and all the rest. We will eliminate their foundries, annihilate their troops, and destroy the resurrection depots that grant them their profane immortality. We will strip them of their bodies and render them mortal at last.

"Make no mistake of it: our mission will be hazardous. But should we die, we will die like men, like warriors, winning sweet vengeance against an enemy that has destroyed everything we hold dear. Our other choice? To limp along out here in the hidey-holes of space until the Cylons pick us off Viper by Viper, while our spirit is sapped by some foul plague of their engineering. Well, I am no coward, and I say that if humanity is to go down, we shall at least take the Cylons with us.

"Some among you will undoubtedly object. Before you do, know this. Colonel Pewter and the others are being held safely and securely aboard this vessel. But should this treason spread — should you launch any attack against my ship, attempt to jump away, or refuse to comply with these directives — we will execute one of your Department Heads every thirty minutes. Their lives are in your hands and, though they do not deserve your loyalty, they will suffer the consequences for your disobedience. And if you require additional incentive, know also that my people have access to the launch codes of Cerberus' nuclear missiles and are prepared to detonate them on my orders. If mission preparations are incomplete after six hours have elapsed, we will not hesitate to do so.

"I know in my heart you will make the right decision. I know brave and righteous humans still exist in this Fleet. And together, we will see our mission through to the end.

"Your Commander has spoken. Kepner out."

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