"The Betrayal" snippet from Chapter 5
“So I should just trust you,” Kate said. “Hop right over to your planet and let you screw with my mind again?”
“Eloquently put as usual,”
“I tell you what, Doctor,” Kate said. “Why don’t you give me the code for entering the block, and I’ll have my ship’s doctors take care of it.”
Kate fought to keep from smiling, but lost, as she saw the anger rise in Matthews face. For all of his cultured sophistication, she noted, he certainly wasn’t a good poker player. No, it was obvious he was talking for someone else, with Reyes being the one he was talking for. After all they have been through, Matthews of all people should have known she wasn’t going to just walk into whatever lair Reyes had waiting for her!
“You don’t know what you’re up against, Almir!” Matthews hissed, the culture gone from his voice. “Don’t be so god****** stupid!”
“I don’t know ‘what I’m up against?’” Kate asked. “That’s funny, because I’m trying to learn why Albright’s work is in the hands of Intelligence right now.”
“You have no idea what is really happening, do you?”
“No I don’t,” Kate admitted, licking her lips. “But I’m going to find out what it is.”
“That I am,” Kate said. “But tell Reyes that if he wants to talk, he needs to do it himself. Good day, Doctor!”
There was something in the tone that Matthews used that made her stop. In all the time she had spent with the Doctor, he had never sounded so desperate as he did then. What was it that they didn’t want her to remember, Kate mused. Or was it fear that she would come after them with a murderous vengeance for what they did.
“Speak fast, Doctor,” Kate’s tone was ice-cold. “I don’t have time for bull****.”
“Okay,” he said. “You win, Kate.”
“When I got clearance to rebuild you our cybernetics, Reyes wanted something to keep you under his control,” Matthews said. “He envisioned you as a super warrior for him.”
“And that’s why he blocked my memories?”
“Along with add-“
Matthews never finished his statement, as Kate heard the deafening sound of a pistol firing. In a single, horrifying second, she watched a bullet strike Matthews. His chest exploded in a starburst of crimson as he went flying back out of sight of the holovid camera. The sound of his body striking the floor reverberated throughout Kate’s compartment.
“He never did know how to keep a secret to himself,”
“Reyes,” Kate breathed, the rage building in her chest.
“Unfortunately,” Reyes said as he entered the screen, his pistol still smoking. “Since you know the truth about my memory blocking, I’m afraid that you’re of no use to me now.”
“You b******,” Kate said. “You didn’t have to kill him!”
“Oh but I did,” he said with smile. “I can’t afford to have you know everything I had done.”
“So you betray my trust,” Kate said. “And then kill the man who did it for you. How ingenious of you to do so, have you realized that you’ve been on the com long enough for me to track your position?”
“Oh I expected you to, Almir,” Reyes said, sitting down in the seat Matthews had been in. “And I’ll be waiting for you.”
“What makes you think I won’t turn you into Fleet Command for murder?”
“Because they want you dead worse then I do now,” Reyes said. “Who do you think has been trying to kill you?”
Those words hit Kate like a ton of bricks dropped off a tall building. She leaned back in her chair, flabbergasted at the very thought. While it had been something she had suspected, never did she expect it to be true. If they wanted her dead too, she mused, just what did she have to lose in her life anymore?
“Come now, Almir,” Reyes said as he lit a cigar. “As big as your mouth always has been, you don’t have something to say? The cat got your tongue?”
“Why should I believe you?”
“You don’t have to,” he admitted. “But look at what is going on and tell me if it isn’t the truth.”
“Oh he will do that,” Reyes said, blowing out smoke. “But I really need to be going…when you have the guts to see me, you’ll know where to find me.”
The image went blank, leaving everyone in the room in stunned silence. Kate rubbed the end of her nose in thought over what had happened. People had manipulated everything in her life, on opposite sides of a power struggle! Color rose to her cheeks as the rage built inside, tears threatening to spill. Just how did you win a game where both sides are against you, she wondered to herself.
“Kate,” Loving said, her voice showing the concern she felt. “I’m so sorry,”
“Captain,” Paul said, his voice no longer showing any lack of courage. “I think I speak for all of us when I say we’re in with you until the bitter end.”
“Thank you,” Kate said, her voice soft, almost defeated. “It means a lot to me.”
“Kate,” Reynolds said. “I’m going to work as long as it takes to try to crack the code on your processor. I’ve always known there were sections that were blocked off, but I never…”
“Thank you, Lisa,” Kate said as she leaned back to stare at the ceiling. “You all are dismissed.”
“Kate,” Loving said. “Do you need anything?”
“I’ll be better off alone,” Kate said. “How long before we arrive at Beta Scorpii?”
“At our current speed,” Paul said. “Six hours.”
“Keep sensors tuned for any unknown vessels,” She said. “I’ll be on the bridge before we arrive.”
Closing her eyes to the world, Kate listened to everyone file out. She had always known that Reyes wasn’t on her side, but to kill Matthews! Jesus Christ, she fumed, was there anything the bastard wouldn’t do? And now he tells her that Fleet Command was behind the attempts
on her life?
Just what the hell did he put me in the middle of? She thought.
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