The Hunted Chapter 40 (Final Chapter in its entirity)

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Two Weeks Later:

The trees outside of Intelligence headquarters were beautiful but boring to look at. With a sigh, Kate turned from the window and looked back at the empty conference room. Why Reyes had called her here for a meeting when no one had shown up was a mystery.

It had to have something to do with the actions she had done while stopping Ferini. However, which ones was the question. Was it the destruction of the Games Complex, which had cost the lives of thousands, or some of the multitude of laws broken before that?

Either way, the end justified the means. If Ferini had been successful in assassinating the President, then God knows what kind of administration would have taken his place. As it was, the Hilgarian’s had invaded the Barton Republic anyway. In response the Alliance had done nothing except to run convoys to the Republic with supplies.

Why they weren’t doing anything about the bastards I don’t know, Kate thought.

To hell with them all, she reflected while sitting down in a chair. If no one was willing to stand up to the Fuhrer then that wasn’t her problem. No, the only things she was worried about was a charge of mass murder for putting the black ice victims out of their misery.

There was no way I could leave them like that, Kate thought while leaning back in the chair with her hands folded behind her head. And they can’t charge me with mass murder because I warned everyone what would happen if they tried to disarm the explosives too early!

Behind her, the door slid open and Kate refused to stand up. If they no one could arrive on time, then why should she stand up for them? After everything Thad and her had sacrificed for both the government and Fleet, a bit of respect was in order.

“Commander,” Reyes said with walking to the end of the table. “So nice of you to make yourself at home.”

“I’ve been waiting for two hours for someone to show up, sir,” Kate said. “Where is the review board?”

“There will be no review board,” Reyes said. “You’ve got me instead.”

Oh gee, Kate thought, just what I wanted to hear!

“Right now, Commander,” Reyes said. “You’re a bit of a hot potato. Publicly the President is condemning your actions on Necko, as is the Hilgarian and Barton governments too. However, privately, all three are happy you rid them of a problem they couldn’t deal with-which is why I’m here.”

“Oh?” Kate said. “Why is that?”

“You’re too visible to be a effective field agent anymore,” Reyes said. “So I’m giving you a transfer to the regular Fleet.”

What? The man had to be kidding! A transfer from Intelligence was something she had desired for over a year. Damn, if Kate had known something like what had happened was what it had took, then she would have found Ferini sooner!

“I understand, sir,”

“Oh I don’t think you do, Commander,” Reyes said. “Because you’re still going to work for me…just in a more covert role. No one will ever suspect you’re still working for me when you command a starship which is something I’m counting on.”

Damn, Kate thought, I knew it was too good to be true.

“Yes, sir,” she said.

“You will take your orders and do what Fleet Command says,” Reyes said. “But you will also be carrying out missions for me that are related to what Fleet has for you, do you understand?”

“Yes, sir,”

“Off the record, Almir,” Reyes said. “You did a great job for the Alliance and that’s why no one is drumming you out of the Fleet. But make no mistake: what you did on Necko, no matter what the motives, was terrible and if it hadn’t been for saving the President’s life, you would be in prison, understand?”

“Yes, sir,”

Reyes slid a date crystal across the table to her. Kate looked at it with feigned disinterest. Inside, were the orders that would transfer her to a new assignment. Where it was, what it involved, she had no clue until Reyes finished briefing her.

“Gather your things and head for earth,” Reyes said. “You’re to report to the Hood as XO in three days, Commander.”

Kate stood up and saluted the rear admiral. “Yes, sir,”

“Good luck, Commander,” he said. “War is in the air and you’re going to be very valuable to us, understand?”

“Yes, sir,”

“Dismissed,”

Could you believe it, Kate thought, I’m going to be the XO on a battlecruiser? Damn, who the hell would have thought it just two years ago?

Kate crossed the room and the door opened to let her pass. With a backwards glance at Reyes, she stepped through and the door closed behind her.
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