The betrayal RW chapter 4 snippet 2

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A holographic image appeared on her desk, and Kate felt her jaw drop. It had been four years since she had seen the man before her. Was there ever going to be a way to escape the long arm of Intelligence, she asked herself with a shake of her head.

“Good day, Katherine,” Doctor Louis Matthews’ cultured voice greeted her. “I trust your health is fine?”

“Yeah,” Kate muttered, a slashing motion of her hand under the edge of her desk. If there was a time for everyone to be silent, this was it. “No thanks to you guys.”

“Now that’s not the right attitude to have, Kate,” Matthews said. “I did save your life.”

“For which I’m thankful, Doctor,” she answered. “However, I don’t appreciate having memories of mine stolen.”

“Well…” Matthews trailed off into silence for a moment. “That’s what I’m messaging you about.”

“You’re messaging me to try to tell me you’re sorry, Doctor?” Kate said. “It’s a little too late for cleansing of the soul.”

“‘Cleansing of the soul,’” Matthews repeated. “It’s funny you should say that…but that’s not why I’m talking to you.”

“I’m listening,”

“You need to come back to us, Kate,” he said. “The block that Reyes made me install is about to fail, and it could have disastrous ramifications for your health.”

“Like the fact that I might remember what you two raped from my mind?” Kate snorted. “No thank you! I don’t think I need to see you again.”

“Kate,” Matthews said. “Reyes doesn’t know I’m on com with you. The block was his idea, and his alone, that he made me install when we rebuilt you.”

“Which of course you, in your magnanimous way, never questioned,” Kate said, the sarcasm dripping. She could feel the eyes of her command staff boring into her but she didn’t care. “Why should I trust you now, Doctor?”

“Because the memories that are suppressed are what’s causing your nightmares,” he said. “Things could get worse, even a possible split from reality when you remember everything again.”

“What is there for me to remember, Doctor?”

“Even I don’t know that,” he said. “Reyes was the only one who decided what you needed to remember and not remember.”

“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, leaning forward in her chair, a smirk that could only charitably be called a smile on her face. “Why don’t you give me the code for entering the block, and I’ll have my ship’s doctors take care of it.”

The effort by her to keep from fully smiling was lost as she saw the anger rise in the doctor’s face. He was a terrible poker player, she noted, despite all of his cultured sophistication. The only reason he was talking to her was for someone else, and she was willing to bet her entire paycheck it was Reyes.

After all I have been through,
she thought with a snort. Matthews of all people should have known I 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 goddamned 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.”

“Stubborn bitch,”

“That I am,” Kate said. “But tell Reyes that if he wants to talk, he needs to do it himself. Good day, Doctor!”

“Kate, wait!”

There was something in his tone that made her stop. Never before had he sounded so desperate. What was it that they didn’t want her to remember? Did they fear her coming after them, she mused, with a murderous vengeance when she learned they were behind it?

“Speak fast, Doctor,” Kate’s tone was ice-cold. “I don’t have time for bull****.”

“Okay,” he said. “You win, Kate.”

“I’m waiting…”

“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-“

The sound of a dart gun firing filled her office. With a horrified expression on her face, she watched three darts strike Matthew’s chest in a neat triangle. In a starburst of crimson, he flew out of the chair and onto the floor.

“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 holstered his pulse pistol. “Since you know the truth about my memory blocking, I’m afraid that you’re of no use to me now.”

“You bastard,” 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 with a shrug as he sat down. “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?”

A soft cry escaped her lips as she felt the implications of what he said. Sitting back in her chair, she slumped down, feeling defeated. While she had suspected that, never did she expect anyone to admit it. 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.”

“Goddamn you,”

“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.”

Without further warning, his image disappeared from view. Closing her eyes, Kate rubbed the end of her nose in thought. People had manipulated her entire life, she mused, all for the game of power! Feeling the color rise in her cheeks, she fought back against the tears of rage that wanted to spill. Just how did you win when both sides of the game were against you?

“Kate,” Loving said as she fidgeted in her seat. “I’m so sorry,”

“Captain,” Paul said. “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 nearly a whisper. “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.”

She closed her eyes and tuned out the world around her. While she had always known Reyes wasn’t on her side, she mused, but to kill Matthews in cold blood! Jesus Christ! Was there anything that the bastard wouldn’t do? And then 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.

The sound of her ship passing through h-space comforted her as she thought. There had to be an answer to it all…
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