“Yes, M’Lord, I believe they will.  We have ordered the Worlar to alert us to their presence then kill them and bring their corpses to the Verifier which will return them to the complex for dissection and study.  To insure their cooperation we have promised the Scavengers additional snow rations.”


Tabir stood and in an agitated manner leaned on his console.  “And what if the logictates are wrong, Teis!  Tell me what you will do?”


Teis stared at Tabir.  I have heard rumors of his unprovoked outbursts.  I’ve seen this behavior before at the Bogota Complex with Lord Mateo.  It was the beginning of snow neurosis controllable now, but not seven years past.  “In the three years I have been Chief Analyzer, logictate conclusions had have an accuracy rate of ninety-eight percent.  I truly do not understand your concern, M’Lord?


“What guarantee can you give that every stalker will not be killed as were those earlier led by your prototype, Teis?  Need I remind you Proctor Cortezzo harbors the same doubts?”


With each word, Teis’s anger grew.  In a voice that was flat, unemotional and unapologetic he spoke.  “M’Lord only moments ago you praised my efforts.  I assure you, M’Lord, nothing has changed. All logictates predict success.  The Alliance scum will be dealt with.  On this I give you my word, M’Lord.”


“Your words bring me little comfort, Teis.  I need assurances I will receive every update no matter how insignificant.  I must be informed regarding all aspects of this mission as you would with Lord Salazar.  Anything less will be viewed as insubordinate and dealt with as such.  Do you understand my words now, Teis?”


Teis’s face showed no emotion.  Interesting.  He fears Lord Salazar will be made privy to information he will not.  Teis answered in a tight-lipped grin.  “M’Lord, your concerns are misplaced.  You will know every decision regarding the operation through a silent feed to your chamber.  A second silent feed will come from the Verifier, not only to Lord Salazar, but to you as well, M’Lord.”


“As it should, Teis, but from this moment on Proctor Cortezzo will be informed of all decisions regarding your plans.  Is this clear, Chief Analyzer?”


Teis shook his head in annoyance.  Damn him, damn him to hell!  “So I am forced to play wet nurse to this politico, M’Lord?  Cortezzo’s ignorance of the complex’s daily operations will only hinder the hunt for the mules.  He no more inspires confidence than a Lord’s whore!”


“Mind your tongue, Teis!”


Why such importance focused on a low-level politico?  This goes deeper than it should.   I will find out.  “M’Lord, Cortezzo was made Proctor two weeks past with the Atacama complex his first assignment.  I do not understand, M’Lord how one so inexperienced could have been placed with me as adjunct to the operations of the Kingdom’s most sophisticated hydroponics complex?  My sources tell me Cortezzo was no more than a low-level politico assigned to propaganda arm of the Mexico City Complex.”


Tabir gave Teis a steely gaze.  “And your point, Chief Analyzer?”


Teis felt his bravado rising but immediately reigned it in.  What is his endgame?  Why such focus on a low-level politico?  “I did contact Lord Salazar, regarding Cortezzo’s appointment, M’Lord.  He found it lacked merit, that the assignment was no more than a political marker coming due.  He wanted to know how one such as Cortezzo could be posted to an individual who was thirty years a War Lord then the complex’s Chief Analyzer for three standard years.  Based on this, M’Lord, I felt it prudent to contact Lord Salazar.”

© 2017, Raymond Tobaygo. All rights reserved.
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