The Betrayal Chapter 24 snippet

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“Sir,” an ensign looked up from his security board in the Intelligence offices. “This is strange,”

Commander Lea Rickard sat forward in her chair and looked at him. It had been a quiet day so far, she mused, so it had better stay that way! Besides, nearly all of his alerts were false alarms anyway…

“Define ‘strange,’”

“Someone is accessing the TOR schematics, sir.” He said as his hands worked on his keyboard.

“There are people who have to access those files, Ensign,” she said as she leaned back in her chair again. The damned kid could find more things to worry about then anyone she had ever seen!

“I’m not finding any authorized codes, sir,”

Rickard sat back up in her chair with a start, her mind starting to race. Now that fit her definition of strange! “What?”

“I’m having difficulty tracking down exactly where the hack is coming from, other then its onboard Space Dock,”

That does it, Rickard thought as her hand slammed down on the com system on her desk.

“Get me Admiral Johansson!”


“A self-aware AI…”

Jennifer listened to herself think as she prepared the data dump. There was no way this ship came from strictly human technology, she decided. Just looking at some of the technology was enough to tell her it was way more advanced then Earth was capable of producing on her own. So, the question now remained: Who had supplied the technology?

“Tactical Offensive Response craft, or TOR?”

Feeling sick to her stomach, Jennifer finished preparing the date dumb. There was nothing more frightening, she thought, then the idea of Carver having a fleet of these ships! It would allow him, and Fleet, to do anything they wanted to do, and no one could stop them. If that wasn’t a recipe for disaster, she didn’t know what was!

Oh, Kate, I think you’ve stumbled onto something deeper then you ever imagined, she thought as she hit the SEND button.



Johansson rubbed his face as he listened to Commander Rikard’s report. The echo of his yell filled his office as his mind too started to race. It had to be that damned Almir, he thought, but how? They had sent her away from Earth to die, so how was she accessing the files?
How in the hell could this have happened, he mused, their security on the project was the best! There wasn’t a project in Intelligence that had a higher level of security around it, yet this one had been breached! This was something he didn’t want to have to report to Beatty, much less Carver!

“We’re trying to track down where it’s coming from,” Rikard explained, an audible gulp in her voice. The reputation of the Intelligence Chief’s dealings with people who failed preceded him everywhere. “All we’ve managed to track down is that it’s on Space Dock.”

Johansson turned to face the window in his office while he thought. Watching the clouds of rain and pollution float by, he watched the fires from the distant stacks. If Almir was on her way to Haven, he thought, then how could she have pulled this off? They had placed each of her command staff in positions where they could be watched, yet this still happened!

It couldn’t be! He slammed his fist into his other palm as everything fell into place. Oh my dear, Almir, that was a sneaky move!

“Commander,” he said as he turned to face the holovid on his desk. “Send a team of agents to the station security office on the double!”

“Station security?”

“Yes!” he said. “The person you’re going to arrest is Lieutenant Jennifer Loving, the deputy security chief.”

“Arrest the Deputy Station Security Chief, sir?” Rikard’s voice showed the amazement she felt at Johansson’s order. Was he really serious about arresting someone in that visible of a position?

“Do I need to replace you, Commander?” Johansson’s tone was as cold as space itself. “I want her in our custody in ten minutes!”

“Yes, sir!”

Almir one, he thought as the image disappeared behind him. Johansson one!
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