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CHAPTER 8 PART 2 TEIS’ DILEMMA
FROM CHAPTER 8 PART 1
“Salazar present. State priority’s nature, Chief Analyzer.” The Proctor was grim-faced. No acknowledging smile or pleasantries, his voice calm, stern.
Teis cleared his throat. “Six stalkers including my prototype from pod Traxx now overdue eight standard hours, Proctor. All logictates show,” he paused – moistening his lips with his tongue – “termination.”
A deep scowl covered Salazar’s face. “Do you realize the implications of your words, Chief Analyzer?”
Teis nodded solemnly. “More than you can possibly realize, Proctor.” He could see the heightened intensity in Salazar’s eyes.
“Their deaths, Chief Analyzer, how did they die?”
“The exact cause of their death is still unknown, Proctor. The mules escaped with a few flamers and of the fourteen that escaped all but two were killed. “Our trackers found a partially buried weapons cache approximately thirteen kilometers south of the complex which we believe armed the mules with laser rifles. Even with these weapons, two mules would not be capable of killing more than three stalkers, especially the alpha prototype.”
“So am I to believe these mules, these fourteen prisoners, in addition to escaping undetected, were able to destroy four Hunter-Killers and their crews? Is this what you want me to consider, Teis, is it?”
Teis’s reply was bitter. “Yes, Proctor, I do. As inconceivable as it appears, they did. I cannot deny this. Somehow fourteen mules were able to destroy four HK’s, while both surviving mules managed to kill six of my stalkers.”
The Proctor’s face gave no hint of emotion. “How is this possible, Chief Analyzer? Explain to me who supplied the arms?” Salazar waved his hand, stopping any reply from Teis. “Maybe it was the alliance that entered undetected to bury the rifles, hey Teis? Or possibly it was a Scavenger clan still loyal to the Alliance?”
“No, Proctor, it was not the Scavengers, for they had sworn their allegiance to me personally and to the Kingdom. In all my dealings with the T’Ming and Worlar scavenger clans, I have never encountered any signs of disloyalty. It had to be the Alliance. There is no other conclusion.”
A hint of menace in his voice, Salazar pressed the issue. “I know of your deep contacts within the Alliance. I know they told you two Alliance warriors, posing as gypsum prospectors let themselves be captured and were instrumental in the complex’s first escape attempt! Fourteen in total, Chief Analyzer! Fourteen capable of terminating the Hunter-Killers sent to exterminate them!”
Summoning his courage, the very courage that once made him the most brutal and feared 7Warlord, Teis stood defiantly and leaned forwarded on his console. “Proctor, is it not Lord Tabir’s responsibility to report to you on such matters? Is he not the one who oversees all operations within this sector?” Teis’s temper grew. “HE was the one that should have notified you concerning the escape and the fate of the HK’s, not I, Proctor! NOT I.”
Unfazed by Teis’s outburst, Salazar’s reply was a cold sneer. “Tell me, Teis, how did two mules terminate six stalkers? Yes, tell me, Chief Analyzer. Explain this to me Teis. How is such a thing possible?”
© 2016, Raymond Tobaygo. All rights reserved.
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