Chapter 22 snippet (brand new writing)
First Space Lord Thomas Majors wasn’t a patient man. The amount of his impatience was of legendary status around the Admiralty. To many, it had been an amazement that he had managed to climb the chain of command. However, due to a knack for playing politics, and despite his impatient nature, he had managed to become First Space Lord, a position he had held for ten years now.
Watching the date disc had been an eye-opening experience for him. Even though it had come from the Syndicate, he groused, the information had been useful. How in the hell they got so deep into Fleet Intelligence when MI6 hadn’t was something shocking. He would have to make a note of it so he could get to the bottom of it.
Leaning back in his chair, he contemplated the consequences. Fleet Intelligence was behind this, he told himself, and there was no doubt about that. However, that left him in a dilemma: did he help Almir stop them or leave her on her own? If the ship in question were indeed hunting her, she would need every bit of Ducharme’s battle group to survive.
Decisions, decisions, he thought, drumming his fingers.
With a sigh, he looked at the man across the desk from him. Known simply a ‘M’ he was the head of the MI6 operations, and was his Chief Intelligence officer. As impatient as Majors was, ‘M’ was secretive. No one had ever seen the elusive Intelligence Chief anywhere outside of the Admiralty. Where he lived, what he did in his spare time, were all legendary myths around the building.
“How can an organization like the Syndicate have better Intelligence then us?” he asked, keeping his eyes on the spook.
‘M’ looked back at him with cool, blue eyes. No one who ever looked in them claimed that they saw anything there. People say the eyes are the windows to the soul, with ‘M’ they were just as hidden as everything else was. It was no wonder no one knew anything about him, Majors mused, because he was so damned impossible to read!
“As you are aware,” M said, “They, while a secret organization, have some really deep pockets supporting them.”
“That’s been a question people have been trying to answer for years,” M said. “Back to before mankind ever left the Earth.”
“Either way,” Majors said. “How could they learn so much that we weren’t?”
“I imagine they threw some heavy money at certain people,” M said, shrugging. “And once you’re hooked to the Syndicate, we all know there’s no way out.”
“That puts us in a jolly good spot,” Majors grumbled. “With Almir being the only one who can help us.”
“That’s turning this into a bloody wanker for sure,” M said. “I’m not fond of giving a loose cannon like her much help.”
“A ‘loose cannon’ eh?” Major’s chuckled. “I hate to burst your bubble, but that ‘loose cannon’ might be the only one who keeps us out of war.”
“Is that necessarily a bad thing?” the spook said. “Eventually, sir, war is going to come between us and the Alliance. Carver’s desire to rule the galaxy isn’t going to allow for anything but.”
“I know that,” Majors said, sighing. “But we’re in not shape for that war! The Prime Minister understands what’s coming, but getting the Houses of Lords and Commons along is the problem. There is no stomach to fit in the people yet.”
“We could create it with this incident,” M said.
“We don’t have the ships to compete,” Majors said. “And if this file is correct, the newest ships they’re building will clean our clocks.”
“I’m afraid to say, sir,” M said. “I don’t have any resources of the type necessary to keep those ships from launching.”
Majors fell silent, thoughts racing through his head. What if they didn’t do it themselves, but left it to someone else to do? A smile crossed his lips as a plan worked out in his head. There was a way to make this work, he reflected, they just had to keep Almir alive long enough!
“We won’t need to use your resources,” he said, the smile never leaving his lips.
“I’m not sure I understand, sir,”
“First off,” Majors said. “I’m ordering you to use everything at your disposal to keep Katherine Almir alive! She must return to Earth.”
“That’s a tall order, sir…”
“I don’t care!” Majors said. “We’re going to do our part in the Fleet too…so don’t worry.”
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