The Betrayal RW Chapter 3 snippet
“We have a problem,”
Rear Admiral (retired) Claudio Reyes groaned at he looked up from his desk. A large, heavyset man barged into his office, his clothing disheveled as was normal for him. If Louis Matthews weren’t so damned brilliant, he mused, then he would have eliminated him a long time ago over his sloppiness.
With a single glance at the doctor’s face, he knew that the quiet day he had been enjoying was at an end. Why was it, he wondered, that he had a sinking feeling that it was going to involve one Katherine Almir? That was because it generally did, he reminded himself with a snort of contempt.
Sometimes I wish we had never put the damned cybernetics in her, he reminded himself as he watched Matthews plant himself in a chair across from him.
“What kind of problem would that be, Doctor?”
“It appears my fears are turning into reality,”
“About the memory cap you programmed into Almir’s cybernetics?”
“Yes,” Matthews rubbed his forehead in thought. “Her nightmares were the first sign, unfortunately.”
“I thought you said she couldn’t break through the programming, Doctor,” Reyes growled, his forehead wrinkling.
“She shouldn’t have,” Matthews agreed. “However, as I told you three years ago, the nightmares were her mind trying to rebel against it. We both knew that, which was why we removed her from Intelligence to try to take the strain off the programming.”
“Well it obviously didn’t do enough then,” Reyes muttered. “Because you’re telling me this. So, what is your telemetry saying?”
“She’s unconscious right now,” Matthews said. “However, for how long I can’t tell you; what I can tell you is that the memory block is failing.”
“Doctor, Doctor,” Reyes leaned back in his chair, his head in his hands. “That’s bad news for both of us.”
“I don’t think you do,” Reyes said, a cold edge to his voice. “She’ll come after us both if she remembers.”
“I would think Carver and his cadre would be at risk too,”
“Oh, they are,” Reyes said. “However, the fact that I ordered the programming into her cybernetics will have her coming after me specifically. God, what a mess!”
“We shouldn’t have placed it there in the first place,”
“I couldn’t disagree more,” Reyes sighed. “I needed the control over her if she is to accomplish her task.”
“That’s understandable, sir,” Matthews said. “However, we violated the right of a individual to be able to have control over her own mind. Don’t you think she has a right to be angry at us?”
“I don’t give a damn if she’s angry with us or not,” Reyes said. “The entire galaxy is about to plunge into a nightmare of darkness, and she is the only person who can stop it.”
“But at what cost to her?” Matthews countered. “In all the plans you have made, sir, honestly you have never taken that into consideration.”
“She’s expendable,” Reyes said.
The room fell into silence as Matthews soaked in the admiral’s last command. Feeling his eyes harden, Reyes watched the other man fidget in his chair. While he was brilliant with cybernetics, he thought, the doctor had always had a soft spot when Almir was concerned and it was damned inconvenient. He alone know how much was truly at stake and the life of one woman compared to trillions in the galaxy was a small price to pay.
Just why couldn’t the doctor see that for himself? He fumed silently.
“How long do we have before the block fails completely, doctor?”
“I’d say days,” the doctor shrugged. “Maybe hours, I can’t predict it fully. It wasn’t supposed to fail anyway.”
“You’d better hope that it doesn’t fail, Doctor,” Reyes said, his voice colder then the space outside his window. “Or you might be the next one terminated.”
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