I'm reading and struggling with bits and pieces of the book *Mal'cev, Protomodular, Homological, and Semi-Abelian categories* by Borceux and Bourn. At the moment I'm having trouble with:

**Theorem 1.3.22** Let $\mathsf C$ be a unital category. For all objects $X,Y\in \mathsf C$, the set $\boldsymbol{\mathsf Z}(X,Y)$ of central morphisms acts transitively on $\mathsf C(X,Y)$, where the action is given by addition.

The only bit of the proof (page 38) which seems relevant is the observation that given $z\in \boldsymbol{\mathsf Z}(X,Y),f\in \mathsf C(X,Y)$ the cooperator $\phi_{z,f}$ is the composite $\phi _z\circ (1_X \times f)$. How does this show the action is transitive?

The transitivity of this action seems strange to me in concrete terms - it's saying every two arrows $X\rightrightarrows Y$ have a "difference" which is almost well defined, and I don't see what's going on here unless $\boldsymbol{\mathsf Z}(X,Y)$ is a group... What am I seeing wrong?

**Added:**

**Definition.** A unital category is a finitely complete pointed category such that the unit injections $j_i:A_i\to A_1\times A_2$ given by $j_1=(1,0),j_2=(0,1)$ where $0,1$ are the zero and identity arrows are jointly extremally epimorphic.

*Example.* The unital algebraic varieties are unital categories.

**Definition.** In a unital category, arrows $A\overset{f}{\to}C\overset{g}{\leftarrow}B$ are said to *cooperate* if there's a unique arrow $A\times B\to C$ making the obvious diagram with the $j_i$ commute.

*Example.* Monoid homomorphisms cooperate iff their images commute pointwise, i.e $f(x)g(y)=g(y)f(x)$.

**Definition.** An arrow is central if it cooperates with the identity on its codomain.

*Example.* A submonoid is central iff its contained in the center of the monoid.