Friday, September 18, 2009

Chapter 120: Preemptive

~ Just as Jaden placed the chip in Cmd. Tucker's hand the man glanced up to meet his eye and in the back of Jaden's mind a warning started to sound. As the commander inserted the computer chip into an adapter, and then into the console in front of him, Jaden quickly backed up to were Andrew and Takyle were standing, glancing around as subtly as he could. One member of the escort was typing busily at a second console about 12 feet away and the other two stood flanking the door, their eyes fixed on Team 6. Jaden looked to Andrew but he was busy watching the commander. Jaden cleared his throat nervously.

"So uh...what are you guys going to do with that chip, Commander?"

"We're going to win a war, thanks in no small part to your help," Cmd. Tucker answered absently. Jaden glanced back to Andrew to see if perhaps the longshot plan to get Andrew's attention with just his tone of voice had worked. With great relief he saw that it had; Andrew was giving him a quizzical look. Now that Jaden had his friend's attention he realized that he had no idea how to communicate his vague feeling of disquiet without attracting suspicion. He tried doing it with just a significant look and a twitch of his head in the commander's direction, but if anything that only increased the look of confusion in Andrew's eyes.

"Who is this war with?" Jaden asked.

"A group called the Caltens," said the commander.

"What started it?" For the first time since Jaden had given him the chip the commander took his gaze from the screen in front of him to shoot a quick glance back over his shoulder.

"It was a complex political situation, I doubt I could explain it properly."

Jaden watched as a series of maps scrolled across one of the console screens. He swallowed his timidity.

"Well why don't you try." By this time both Andrew and Takyle had their attention on Jaden, and Andrew seemed like he might be working out what Jaden was getting at.

"Look, I don't really have time for this right now. I assure you all of your questions will be answered later," Cmd. Tucker snapped impatiently. Andrew spoke up.

"Yeah, I don't think that will be good enough. I think we have some questions that you should really answer now. What are you going to do with that?"

The commander spun around in his chair to finally face them.

"We're going to use it for a weapon that we've been working on for a very long time now. Millions of our people have died in this war and this strike will put an end to it! Now be quiet so we can finish the job." ~

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