Helena and Kendra are called back to CIC, where a fleet of civilian ships are broadcasting Colonial signatures. Fisk is overjoyed, for a moment. Full of joy. They are not alone. Fifteen ships, he giggles, and the CAP already on an intercept. And as he's laughing, Cain is thinking. "Lieutenant, I want you to contact those ships' captains. Ask them to forward their crew and passenger manifests, along with their ships' schematics, and inventory of any weapons or spare parts." Kendra nods and leaves, and Helena continues. "Colonel, I want you to assemble teams of engineers and Marines, and have them board each of those ships." Fisk's smile falls as he realizes what she's saying, but he can't form the words to ask. "We're going to take everything we need from those ships." The comms relay battle took so many hits, they don't have the parts to fix the things they've got. You can't fight a war without planes, jumps, guns, munitions. You can't fight or win a war without weapons, without personnel. "Once they'll realize our intent, there's bound to be resistance, so we need to act quickly and decisively. Colonel, if you have a problem with any of this, I need to hear it now." Fisk's weakness is a swallowed "No," and everyone gets to work.
Fisk and Shaw and their Marines take a Raptor to the Scylla; they board in slow motion, on a death mission, among flashing lights and huddled innocence; Laird welcomes them with open arms, the answer to his prayers; the last time the Cylons found them, they lost four ships. He thinks this is the end of those losses. Fisk hands Laird, poor sweet skinny Mr. Laird, the requisitions for transfer to Pegasus: parts, materials, passengers. "Effective immediately. Your name is on the list." You can't drag a civilian Fleet through war when you don't know the enemy's strengths or weaknesses; this latest failure proves that well enough. If you are the war, if you are the razor, you take what you get and you go on.
Gideon was one of the shoftim, the magistrates after whom the Book of Judges is named. "Judge" is an inexact translation; it's more like a war king, somebody who, in time of strife, collapses the separated powers and assumes leadership of the tribe. The Gideon Massacre happened when Tigh, at his wit's end, with no President and no Commander in sight, assumed the role of shofet. Men died for coffee; they've died for worse. The Olympic Carrier was sacrificed on that altar as well. Laird doesn't know about any of this -- how it could be happening right now, for all we know -- and he doesn't know about Helena, or Cain's Law. "Wait. You want to take our FTL drives," he says, scanning the lists. "We'll be helpless." They already were. "You're gonna decide just like that who lives and who dies?" Fisk dances around the questions and considers his imperative: "You have to understand. We're at war. Military need must take priority." Laird complains, loudly, and among the shouts of the Scylla, Kendra steps up, burns off a little more. "Listen! All of you! We have orders to transfer the crewmen, and the equipment on that list, to Pegasus. We have no wish to harm anyone, but we will use force if necessary." Everybody in that room knows it will be necessary, but nobody can believe it. They surge.