The Betrayal Chapter 31 snippet
Rising in the center of Washington DC, like the bloom on a rose, was the Senate Building. A short building, only thirty stories, all the other skyscrapers around it dwarfed it. However, it was here that all legislation was crafted and made into law, making it the focal point of the entire fifty-planet Alliance.
Senator Andrew Rollins looked at Thad Brindle and leaned back in his chair. Things were starting to move too fast, Rollins mused, especially with Carver’s staged terrorist attack. Just today he had managed to get a damned espionage bill that allowed Intelligence to tap into civilians home security systems to spy on them!
They say the death of liberty comes in small increments, he thought with a groan. But it seems to me that it dies all at once now!
“So let me get this straight,” he said, his eyes on the small sensor scrambler on his desk. All Carver’s listening ears would get was a conversation about vacation spots for his staff. “Almir went and threatened Reyes, putting herself into a position to kill him?”
“That is correct,” Brindle nodded. “But in her defense, sir, he did do some nasty things to her.”
“I don’t give a damn if he killed her parents himself,” Rollins said with a sigh. “The woman was our key weapon and now she’s gone rogue.”
Rogue was right, he told himself as he rubbed his forehead in thought. Just what was Reyes thinking when he placed all those controls inside her head? Didn’t he have enough sense to realize that he could’ve gotten-and kept-her complete cooperation if he had done things with a much more gentle touch?
And killing Matthews was totally unnecessary, he thought as he looked at the ceiling in consternation. From what his reports were saying, the damn memory block was going to fail anyway…her will was too strong not to break it. What did Claudio think he was gaining by killing the one man who truly knew how her bionics worked?
“Sir,” Brindle said, breaking the long silence. “She might have been our weapon, but I know from personal experience that we’ve grievously injured her mentally.”
“That’s an understatement if I’ve ever heard one,” Rollins said. “Just what the hell was your superior thinking?”
“I honestly wonder that myself, sir,”
“Either way,” Rollins said. “We know she’s on Haven now?”
“Yes, sir,” Brindle said. “And Johansson’s got a five man death squad waiting for her.”
“Oh ****,” Rollins groaned as he placed his head in his hands. He ran his hands back through his hair as he groaned in frustration. “This can’t be happening!”
“I’m afraid it is, sir,” Thad said. “And if something isn’t done, I’m afraid she’s going to perish out there.”
“What do you think we can do about it?” Rollins stroked his chin in thought. “We don’t have anyone on Haven that I know of.”
“Actually we do,” Bridle said. “It’s just a question whether or not our asset can get into place quick enough to be of any use.”
“How long would it take the message to get to the asset?”
“With the new FTL transmitters,” Brindle said as he contemplated the time. “It would be a six hour delay.”
“Would it matter by then?” Rollins said. “If what you’re saying was correct, Almir’s been on the planet for an hour now.”
“I understand, sir,” Brindle said. “But it might help-it might not. It’s hard to say without doing it.”
“What do you think the odds of Almir surviving the fight she has out there, Thad?”
“Honestly, sir?” he said as he leaned back, stroking his chin in thought. “I’d say seventy-thirty that she’ll survive.”
“That’s better then I gave her,” Rollins admitted. “So, let’s save that asset for when we’ll need it, ok?”
“I understand, sir,” Brindle’s disappointment was obvious.
“Thad,” Rollins said in a compassionate tone. “I understand you still have…feelings for Almir. I really do, but we can’t afford to lose a limited asset while she’s ‘rogue’ from our plans.”
“I know, sir,” Brindle said. “She just wouldn’t be ‘rouge’ if Reyes had handled it differently!”
“You won’t get an argument out of me over that one,” Rollins said. “But we cannot afford to worry about that now. "
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