The agent walked down the halls of the Redeemer. Crewers saluted him, the hero of the war, but for the most part he ignored them. Cassy walked at his side.
“So why did you come back Cassy?”
“Because I realized that I was wrong”
She was lying.
“It took you a year to realize that? You thought about this for a whole year?”
“No. Callion changed my mind with his Annihilator…”
She was lying.
“…And I couldn’t keep serving him on the Arc or the Annihilator when you were out here, fighting, dying for the real war”
Again, he knew that she was lying. But if she was here to kill him, well, he would kill her instead.
“Well, welcome back to the team. Lori took over your position as head pilot or vehicle technician, and Gina took over as the hacker. We can find something else for you to do though”
“Good. I don’t want to sit this out, and I don’t want to be useless. I am glad that you’ve accepted me back even after what I said”
“We need every soldier that we can get. With Callion’s reckless new offensive and his theft of all the best soldiers, well, we need more. So welcome to the crew”
“Thank you. If you don’t mind I’m going to go unpack my things and find my quarters”
He waved his hand and she walked off. He stared after her for a moment, then continued his walk. He was interrupted again by another arrival.
“You have a new message”
“I can check my messages myself Kral, so I’m assuming that this is high priority?”
“Yes sir. High as you can go almost”
“It bears the seal of the Colony High Council”
The agent looked at Kral. His face was serious.
“You are sure about this Kral? This is not a joke, a hoax? This is a message, for me, from the High Council?”
“Well, I guess I had better look at it then. I’ll be in my quarters”
The agent spun on his heel and dashed for the nearest elevator. A minute later he was in his quarters after a sprint through the ship.
He took a moment to compose himself before opening the message on the large vidscreen.
It was not a video-link like he expected, but rather simple text.
Sho is active again. Check the news. She butchered a group of technicians.
But that is not important. I have found someone who you need to meet. We are still on the Arc and need a way to get off. Send someone you trust.
It was not signed, but Jor knew who it was from. Lian.
Why she was back now, why the Butcher was suddenly active again, bothered him. It was a year exactly from the day when he had last seen her. It was too much to be a coincidence.
But stranger things had happened. Like the day that he had lost everything.
But for now he would do what Lian asked. He closed the message, corrupted the file, deleted it, and ran it through the secure message erasure system.
Then he memory dumped the footage of the last ten minutes from his room cameras, deleted that from the system, and destroyed the disk he had transferred them to before calling Kral to come to his quarters.
“Come in. May I ask you something Kral?”
“I want you to do something for me Kral”
“What is it sir?”
The agent looked at Kral. Such an earnest face.
“First, what is your first name?”
Kral looked a bit taken aback.
“Why sir? You haven’t asked for a whole year”
“Because now I am going to ask you to do something for me that is likely illegal, and most definitely treasonous”
Kral looked at the agent suspiciously.
“What is it sir? And why would you tell me this?”
“Because I trust you Kral, and because it is for the good of the Arc. I cannot be certain of this, and if it does not turn out to be for the good of the Arc I will submit myself to your judgement. I have prepared a disk” he held out a small drive “That has enough material to incriminate me in many crimes. Enough to have me executed. You can check it, its all there. I am not lying to you. But if you do this then I hope that this disk is not needed”
Kral reached out and took the disk but continued to look at the agent with suspicion.
“My name is Madock. But, what is it that you want me to do?”
“If you want to back out now Kral, that is ok”
“No, I want to know what it is”
“If I tell you you have to promise me to do it”
“And to not tell anyone until it is done, either way? If it turns out that I am committing treason, by all means, tell everyone. But until then you won’t?”
Kral began to look even more hesitant, but he nodded.
“I’ve come this far sir, I may as well go the rest of the way”
“Ok then. I need you to pick up two or more people and maybe some equipment for me from the Arc”
“The person who I know will be there is a known terrorist, has hacked the Arc computer systems so thoroughly that she could fake the message you just told me about, has three outstanding arrest warrants, is a known associate of the Butcher’s and saved my life. She is trustworthy though, and she says that she needs extraction from the Arc. She says that she has found someone that I need to meet. Now, that may be the Butcher herself, as this woman was going to be looking for the Butcher when last I saw her. But it may also be someone else. They may be a fugitive or a terrorist. Now I am sure that you have some questions. You may ask them”
Kral cleared his throat and looked down at the disk.
“I assume that most of the answers are on this disk?”
“That is right, including a full confession from myself about these affairs and all that has gone on in them. It should be sufficient to cover everything, but still, feel free to ask”
Kral nodded and pocketed the disk.
“I’ll check this out on the way to the Arc then. When do I leave?”
The agent nodded.
“I am glad that you agree with this. I sincerely hope that it is for the good of the Arc, and I am glad to see that you trust me enough to do this. I have a small Medevac ready for your use; it can leave whenever you are ready to go. I will give you her contact information, and will provide her with yours. Don’t contact her until she contacts you though”
“Will that be all then sir?”
“Yes Kral, that is all. Except, thank you”
“Don’t thank me yet sir. If there is too much treason on this disk I may turn you over regardless”
“I am sure that you would Kral. Just know that that disk has logs of the treason of others besides myself. Try and be impartial when you examine the evidence”
Kral looked first angry at what he assumed was a threat, then puzzled at the final request.
“I will try sir”He turned on his heel and left the agent standing there in the center of his room wondering at coincidences.