The air cars flitting by the window unnoticed. Nighttime in San Francisco always was a busy time. However, it wasn’t as busy as certain people in Fleet Headquarters were.
Sitting back in his chair, Johansson read the files before her. It had chaffed at him that it took two days to get the files on Abernathy, but now that he had them, it was worth the wait. Smiling to himself, he settled in for the read.
My, my, my, he thought. You have been a bad girl!
Alex Abernathy had been born on Earth, he noted, and that was the last positive entry in her file. Thrown out of school at the age of eight for trying to kill a boy, she had been made a ward of the state. Educated in state schools, she had taken to the military teachings like a fish to water.
She had spent time in the marines, he thought, chuckling. Received a dishonorable discharge for beating a superior officer. And this was the woman that Carver had put in charge of the Secret Service?
“Are you having fun?”
Johansson nearly leaped out of his seat with surprise. Looking across his desk, he saw Abernathy sitting. Her black uniform was immaculate, the Death’s Head in perfect place.
“How did you get in here?” he demanded. “No one is allowed in here!”
“How I got in here is not important,” she said. “But what you’re reading is.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he lied.
A chuckled escaped her lips, but one that was without any humor. Looking at him with cold eyes, she made his blood run cold. He was a dangerous man, he reflected, but she made him look like a kitten in comparison!
“You’re looking at my background,” she said.
“How do you know that?” he asked.
“Do you think I wouldn’t have my own files flagged for my attention,” A shark like grin crossed her face. “Especially when someone from Intelligence tries to access them?”
A chill ran down his spine as he looked at her. She had totally out-maneuvered him, he realized, and he was now in a dangerous position. This wasn’t someone to play games with; he was going to have to deal with her straight up if he wanted to survive.
“So I am,” he said, sitting the reader down on his lap. “Why are you here?”
“To make sure we understand each other,”
“That you will stop looking into my past,” she said, crossing her legs.
“And if I don’t?”
“Then it wouldn’t be difficult to arrange a ‘accident’ for you,” she said, smiling coldly.
“Do you know whom you’re threatening?” he said, pursing his lips. “I am the head of Fleet Intelligence,”
“That would make it easier,” she said. “Since we have infiltrated your own people.”
“Come now, Bernard,” she said. “Don’t you think I know of your people trying to infiltrate my organization now? Well, I’ve have people in yours for years now.”
Johansson felt his jaw drop. Just how had she gotten her people inside? He thought he knew everything that happened in his organization, but obviously he was wrong.
This is very troubling, he thought. How do I play this one?
“Cat got your tongue?” she said, reaching across to pick up the reader. “Consider this your only warning. If you try to access this again, you can guarantee you won’t live to regret it.”
With that, she left his office.
Johansson watched her leave, his mind racing in conflicting directions. She could kill him, and get away with it? That meant that Carver had thrown his lot behind her. Maybe, he told himself, the best thing to do would be to get out dodge!
Moving with shaking hands, he gathered his belongings. If he did things right, he could catch an Intelligence courier ship in orbit and disappear. By the time Abernathy knew what happened, he would be long gone!
Typing at his computer, he downloaded the files he had into another reader. This would give him something to read while he was on the run. Hopefully, he told himself, he would find something that would allow him to return triumphantly!
He stepped out of his office and into the corridor beyond.
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