Director Nero stood in his office, fuming at the aftermath of the sneak attack. The man in front of him stood as still as possible without making any sound in hopes that Nero’s wrath would not be directed upon him. It was a pointless hope.
“Second Officer, where is your commanding officer?”
“And the First Officer.”
“Dead as well, sir.”
“So, the chain of command falls to you then?”
“Tell me why you and your men are so incompetent.”
“I have no answer to that, sir.” Nero slammed his fist on his table. He breathed for a second, then flung the table on its side, spilling the contents about the room. The officer jumped. He cautiously stared at the wall behind the heaving director.
Nero took a few deep breaths, and then said calmly, “Officer, tell me the damages.”
“Yes, sir. Forty-nine dead, and twenty-three wounded. Five of the dead and thirteen of the wounded were scientists. Of the intruders, only two were found dead. Dr. Johan Hektate was last seen in hallway B-16 headed towards the morgue in hallway C-14. Sergeant Andan Bach was found dead in said morgue along with Julia Parkins, both bodies mutilated. Alicia Whitehill’s body appears to have been mutilated as well. The experiment Number 7 is no where to be found.”
“Bach is dead?”
“Yes, sir. He appears to have been shot in the face multiple times, and his side has several stab wounds.”
“Bach is dead,” Nero repeated. He grew more and more agitated. Suddenly, the door to the office burst open.
“Nero, tell this man to stand down! I’m safe, and this whole ridiculous thing is over. I don’t need his protection anymore. It’s frankly annoying. I have work to do. Someone tell me where Seven is, and that stupid man, Bach.” Dr. Hektate walked across the room with a security officer trailing behind him.
“Johan,” Nero’s voice cracked, “Bach is dead.”
“He’s dead?” Johan Hektate stared at Nero’s pale face. A look of realization crossed the doctor’s face, and he let out a string of profanity.
“If I may ask,” the second officer said, “Sir, why is it a problem for Sergeant Bach to have died. He didn’t have a very high position in the People’s Army. Surely, they won’t be that concerned.”
Nero head whipped to stare at the man, looking about ready to murder him. Johan raised his hand at Nero, then turned towards the officer.
“It wouldn’t be that much of a problem if that’s all he was. If that were truly the case, all that would have happened is a slap on the wrist and a pay reduction. But no, Bach had to be the grand nephew of General Viscous Bach.”
The officer paled. “We’re all going to die,” he said.
“Director Nero,” another officer said as he hurried into the room, “A status update.”
“We have a soldier who identified the attackers. He said that they are probably the highly skilled mercenaries who are referred to as the Cakemen.”
“The Cakemen? I know they cross the border all the time, but why would they be all the way out here?” Johan said.
“It appears they were looking for Number 7.”
Johan grabbed the soldier’s collar and shook him. “What do you mean, they were looking for Seven?”
“Sir, they were seen carrying the experiment as they fled, sir!”
Johan shoved the man to the floor, then spun on Nero. “Did you know about this?”
“I knew he was missing,” Nero said shakily. Johan punched through a wall. The room grew still for several minutes.
“Tell them to leave,” Johan said quietly, his fist still in the wall.
“What?” Nero said.
“Tell everyone to leave.”
Nero looked at him for a second, then nodded to the three soldiers in the room. They left the room hurriedly. Nero turned back to Johan.
“You have a plan?”
Johan sighed and took his fist from the wall, shaking off the loose plaster. He walked over and settled on the couch.
“It’s completely ludicrous. It probably won’t work.”
“Tell me anyway. Either we go with whatever crazy plan you’ve got or wait for the USCU to come kill us, and honestly, your plans tend to work no matter how ridiculous they are.”
Johan took a few deep breaths and said, “It’s pretty simple, actually. We start a war.”
“What? Johan, even for you, this plan is messed up. We can’t just fight the USCU.”
“That’s not what I’m talking about, Nero. The CNA and the USCU have been at odds for a long time now. They’re practically dying to have an excuse to go to war with eachother. The only reason they haven’t is that they don’t have an excuse, and more importantly, they’ll only start one if they’re sure they have the upper hand, especially the USCU.”
“Where are you going with this? How is this relevant to our situation, now?”
“Look, the USCU isn’t ready, but the CNA is. Everyone knows they’re on the last stages of testing the photon bomb. All they need now is a spark, a spark which we just so happen to have. And if we can get the CNA to start the war, the USCU can’t possibly have time to track us down when we go into hiding.”
“You mean Alicia?”
“Yes. The CNA know’s that we’ve been working for the USCU. If we drop off her body on their doorstep, along with a note that confirms their suspicions that we were the ones that kidnapped her, then the CNA’s bound to demand that we be handed over to them.”
“Johan, that’s not any better than letting the People’s Army get us.”
“No, the USCU wouldn’t hand us over.”
“And why is that?” Nero said, getting annoyed at Johan’s roundabout way of describing his plan.
“You should be able to figure this out. You’ve dealt with them so often.”
Nero glared at him. “Just tell me already.”
“For one, we’ll be gone by then, and it’ll hopefully take time for them to find us, time they don’t have when dealing with an enraged CNA, who will have just been handed the perfect excuse to start a war on the pretense of justice, something the CNA loves. Two, we know all the USCU’s secrets when it comes to Project Whitehill and experimentation on regeneration, something just about anyone would die to get their hands on. The USCU won’t want to just give that to the CNA. Of course, I doubt the CNA would just accept it if the USCU tried to hand us over to them dead.”
Nero sat still for a few seconds, mulling it over. He rubbed his face as he sighed.
“Alright, looks like this is our best shot.”
Johan laughed, “Looks like we’re starting a war.”
AN- Sorry it’s been a while since my last update. School started to catch up to me. Bleh.