the Betrayal Chapter 23 snippet

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Keeping her eyes on the holovid news playing in the corner, Kate took a seat at an empty table. The anchor was the same one who had interviewed her on the Lexington three and a half years previously. If one was looking to make their career take off, she thought with a soft chuckle, then interviewing her wasn’t a bad place to start it seemed.

Looking at the menu, she couldn’t find it in herself to order something against the theme. With a push of a button, the first Fuller’s beep appeared on her table. She sipped at it while waiting the fish ‘n’ chips she had ordered to eat. Just what was happening in the news, she wondered as she leaned back in her chair, everyone seemed to be quite excited about something!

“This is Alicia moor with the Alliance News Service in San Francisco,” she said. “Separatist terrorists destroyed the Galactic Trade Center today with massive loss of life. The following holovid is disturbing and we warn you about it…”

Kate felt herself sat back upright in her chair, the enormity of what the anchor saying hitting home. The odds of it actually being separatist terrorists were remote, she mused, and it was more then likely to have been Carver’s bunch. However, it stepped things up into a level that made even her uncomfortable.

It was bad enough that they were using biological weaponry on someone, she thought with disgust as the holovid switched over to the attack. But now they’re killing their own people! If there ever was a place called ‘hell’ this is certainly starting to look like it!

Feeling her stomach tighten, Kate watched the image of the Trade Center appear on the holovid. Simultaneously, explosions happened on all of the buildings of the complex. Wincing at the sight before her, she watched the smaller buildings collapse, leaving the two main buildings standing. The loss of life from this was going to be staggering, she thought as she set her beer down.

Suddenly, without warning, she watched in muted horror as two cargo shuttles flew into the remaining buildings. Two massive fireballs erupted in the morning sky as they exploded on impact, the buildings shaking from the impact. Flames erupted from the buildings as Kate clenched her hands into fists, the rage bubbling up inside her.

The bastards! She thought, wanting to scream, to do anything in response to what she saw. What I wouldn’t give for a chance to kill Carver with my own bare hands!

Watching people fall to their death’s from the buildings made Kate’s arms shake from the squeezing of her fists. This was totally beyond anything anyone had seen, she told herself, and the ones responsible for it would have to be brought to justice! Even if it killed her, she was going to do everything she could to bring Carver and his cadre down.

Suddenly, with an explosion, the buildings started to collapse upon themselves. Feeling her jaw drop in stunned silence, Kate watched the two-mile high main building topped in a cloud of dust and debris. There was absolutely no way to imagine how many people were going to be dead from this, she thought as she leaned back in her chair.

Closing her eyes to think, she totally ignored the fish ‘n’ chips before her. The latest move that they had made, she mused, had completely changed to rules and conditions on the game board. Now they were going to have public opinion on their side courtesy of a manufactured terrorist attack!

And the job of defeating them has just become a hundred times tougher, she thought with disgust.

A sigh escaped her lips as she looked down at the food before her. While she was in no mood to eat now, she knew she was going to have to make herself eat. There was no telling just what kind reception they had left for her on Haven now. With the escalation in their plans, they were going to be desperate to make sure she died. It was the classic ‘dead women tell no tales’ situation.

I just hope everyone back on Earth really buckles down now! She thought as she picked at her food.


“Oh my God…”

Brooks fell back into the seat on her travel pod, the images on the news stunning her into silence. Who would have guess that Carver and his group would have done something like this, she thought. This action was so over-the-top, and so manipulative of public opinion, that it was going to allow them to do just about anything they wanted now! How was their little group supposed to stop them now?

Staring out at the crews working on the hull of the battle cruiser Renown, she felt her blood go cold. If they were willing to go this far, she mused, then just how far would they be willing to use the prototype for? While the information they had seen showed them some of its capabilities, it didn’t explain what it’s purpose was. Could they actually be planning on using it subjugate the entire Alliance, and then the Galaxy, to Carver’s evil will?

I just hope that Loving gets into that system soon, she thought as she chewed on a fingernail absentmindedly. Because we need to just exactly what the damned thing is for!
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