"Admiral Reyes,” the com officer interrupted. “We have a message for you being relayed from Ireland.”
Relayed? The only reason a message would be relayed was if the sender was on a vessel and didn’t know where he was. Who would be trying to send a message now? Did it have something to do with the current crisis?
“Patch it through to the plot, Commander,” Reyes said.
When the image appeared on the screen, a broad grin crossed his face. “Almir!”
“Admiral,” Almir nodded. “I need some assistance.”
“What have you got, Commander?”
“Sir,” Almir said. “I know what the Syndicate is up to and it’s not good.”
“What are they doing, Commander?” Reyes said. “If you’re contacting me like this, it must be big.”
“Sir,” Almir said. “They have an antimatter bomb and they’re going to use it on Wales to kill the President and his staff.”
“They’ll never get in there,”
“According to Ferini they have paid off several of the security staff,” Almir said.
Reyes felt his blood run cold. If the Syndicate were able to kill the President, it would throw the Alliance into chaos. That would give the Hilgarian ships free reign to take any planet they wanted too.
“Damn,” Reyes said. “The Hilgarian Empire has to be backing the Syndicate on this. Right now I’m looking at four task groups of their ships just waiting to cross the border.”
“Sir,” Almir said. “Ferini did say that a government was involved along with Kenbridge Industries was also backing him.”
Kenbridge Industries was involved? Damn, they were one of the largest arms manufacturers for the Fleet. The conglomerate would stand to make billions of credits if the galaxy went to war! Why didn’t he think of this sooner?
“It makes sense,” Reyes said. “They stand to make billions off it.”
“I’m on my way to Wales, sir,” Almir said. “I’ll arrive in a day and Ferini’s probably only a few hours ahead of me. Do you have any help you can provide?”
Help? How in the name of God could he provide any agents to assist her with this crisis going on? Damn that Ferini! He had played them all the fool and made sure Fleet had most of its assets out of position to defend the President. Damn, damn, damn!
“Your former Master has played this well, I’m afraid,” Reyes sighed. “We don’t have anything in position to be on Wales any earlier then two days.”
The silence on the other end of the transmission said it all. Almir wasn’t dumb, he had to give her that, but with they were now playing by the rules the Syndicate had set. If the President was to live, she was going to have to accomplish it alone with Thad the only backup.
And she’s probably walking right into her own death, he thought, chewing on his bottom lip.
“Understood, sir,” Almir said finally. “I’m on my own.”
“I’m going to break away from the Fleet and bring a ship,” he said. “But the earliest arrival will be two days.”
“I’ll rescue the President,” Almir said. “Just don’t forget about me when you get there.”
“I won’t, Commander,” he promised. “Good luck.”
The connection was cut and Reyes slammed a fist down on the plot. He ignored the stares of the bridge crew while thinking over what Almir had said. If Ferini succeeded, things would be worse then anyone could ever imagine! However, the only thing standing in his way were two agents, one a natural born killer, and the other a master with technology.
It’s inconceivable that we could be in this situation, he thought, but yet here it is!
“Admiral,” He said. “I need a fast ship placed under my command.”
“I can give you the destroyer Burke to command,” Stevenson said. “Good luck, Claudio.”
“Given the situation that the Syndicate has put us in,” Reyes said. “We’re going to need it.”
Kate closed the transmission and stared out into h-space. How could Ferini, of all people, managed to pull a scheme like this off? With the Hilgarian’s involved in the plot, everyone was looking in that direction while he slipped in the back door. Jesus, how could she have underestimated the man like this?
“This is going to be fun,” Thad quipped from the back seat.
Fun, was that we he was going to call it? The right word would be “suicide mission” if Ferini was correct in his boasts. Did Thad actually think they had a chance against the forces that were stationed at the retreat-if they were on the Syndicate’s payroll? Two of them versus probably twenty or more security and military forces-not a good match up.
“You have an odd definition of ‘fun,’” Kate murmured, never taking her eyes off the view outside. “I’d call this more like ‘Custer’s last stand.’”
“Between the two of us, Kate,” Who was he kidding, she wondered. “We can do better then you think.”
“Are you sure you’re not on drugs, Thad?”
“Think about, Kate,” Just what hell did he think she was doing? “You’re a natural born killer and I’m a wizard in taking down tech-we can do this.”
“There you go,” Kate shook her head. “Assuming I’m a killer again.”
“Kate,” Thad said. “It’s high time you stop hating yourself and come to the realization of what you are. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to be a killer-provided you do it the right way.”
“And just what makes you think that?” Did he have a clue how hard this conversation was?
“I saw the look on your face,” he said. “When you killed Adams-it was one of exhilaration. Don’t tell me that it wasn’t something you enjoyed.”
He was right of course, and that was what made the damned conversation so uncomfortable. How could anyone, if they were good, truly like killing another human? Didn’t that make her a psychotic person just like Ferini?
“You’re right,” once again, there wasn’t any point in lying because Thad knew the truth. “I did enjoy that.”
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