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by Ersa
Rated: 13+ · Novel · Sci-fi · #2156363
Taylor gets to know Dr. Kincade and meets Mordred's master. She wishes she hadn't.
Ch 9: The Good Doctor
Taylor didn’t remember loosing consciousness, but she must’ve since the next she knew was Dr. Preston leaning over her with a pen light. The back of her head ached a bit, but didn’t seem to be bleeding.
“Please follow the light,” the doctor instructed, moving the light.
She had no difficulty doing so. He nodded before putting the light into his pocket.
“No signs of a concussion, that’s good considering that you hit your head against the stairs pretty hard. You were bleeding a little bit, but it was nothing serious and fixed with a quick application of liquid skin. Twenty years ago, you would’ve needed stitches.”
She sat up on the bed and looked around the infirmary. There were still a couple of people at the end of the room, but they looked better than when she had previously seen them. However, someone was missing.
“Where’s Moran? I’m pretty sure he procured some injuries when those soldiers jumped us.”
“Surprisingly, the only injury he came out with was a small cut across his throat from the chain of the cuffs when you pulled that move to knock him down.” He sat down in a nearby chair and sighed, rubbing his temples. “After I checked him out, Auburn sent for him.”
“I didn’t know that Auburn ever did any interrogating.”
“I don’t suspect we’ll be seeing him again.”
“Oh.”
She felt sorry for Moran, even though he had tried to kidnap her. Execution wouldn’t only mean the end of his life, but his total erasure from any databanks, including any pictures connected to the Net. If he had any family that cared, they would suddenly find him missing, as if he had never existed in the first place. She wouldn’t wish that on her worst enemy. Knowing Auburn and given who Moran was, it wouldn’t be a dignified or painless death.
“How’s Mordred?” she asked, getting her mind off the subject as quickly as possible.
“He hasn’t come in at all, even to visit his remaining injured subordinates. That’s very unusual for him.”
She sat up, let her feet hang over the edge of the bed.
“Do you think Auburn ordered him not to come?”
“I seriously doubt it. When he gets his hands on someone, he tends to not give Mordred orders.”
“Then why wouldn’t he visit? Doesn’t he visit those injured under his command every day?”
Dr. Preston took off his glasses and set them on his desk. She noticed that he look tireder than usual.
“The day’s still not over. He might be busy elsewhere, like the gym or shooting range. Once and a while, he oversees the training. I bet that’s it.”
--
“Set up more targets, Sergeant.”
The Sergeant couldn’t help but gulp when he saw the smoking remains of what had been the shooting range before Commander Mordred had activated his arm cannon. The others who had been there before had fled.
“You’re up to your quota, sir. Anymore and the others won’t have anything to pratice on.”
He had never seen the Commander shoot that many targets in one trip to the range, ever. The Commander almost seemed… emotional over something.
“You are correct, Sergeant,” he replied as his arm cannon turned back into a regular arm.
“Sir, I’m sure Taylor’s awake by now if you want to visit her and the remaining injured.”
Honestly, the Sergeant was surprised that he wasn’t in the infirmary waiting for her to wake up. The cyborg did seem fond of her, even if he didn’t really show it. He didn’t understand exactly what Taylor meant to the Commander, but he had the sneaking suspiscion that neither did he. However, it seemed clear to everyone, except the Commander, that there was some kind of connection between them.
“I am busy today, Sergeant. Instead, I am sending you down there to check on the still injured soldiers. Explain to Dr. Preston about the situation and ask him if he could keep Taylor overnight.”
He nearly sighed.
“Yes sir.”
--
Taylor helped Dr. Preston attend to the remaining two patients, seeing as she had nothing else today. She could hear Moran snark about helping those she was supposedly was against, but she pushed it aside. These two had never done anything to her, even if they were a part of the Force. Apparently, she wasn’t the only one who noticed the doctor’s tiredness.
“Hey Doc,” the guy with his leg in the cast started, “You look really tired. Is something the matter?”
He simply patted the soldier’s shoulder before attending to the woman who had both arms in casts.
“Oh, does that mean Lord Auburn did something you didn’t agree with?”
“You’re in here way too often, Wizaoki,” he replied, “I fear the constant doses of pain medicine maybe affecting your mind.”
“My mind’s fine, Doc. Everyone in the Force knows that you don’t agree with Lord Auburn’s policies.”
“Get some rest, Wizaoki. You only need a couple more treatments before that leg of yours will be as good as new.”
As the doctor walked off, Taylor followed him, mind buzzing with questions. She waited until they were out of earshot to voice them.
“If everyone knows you disagree with Auburn so much, why are you even here? I thought Auburn doesn’t like dissent, especially in his own headquarters.”
“Here, come with me.”
He led her into the storage room, past all the boxes of medicine and tools, to a door in the corner. In the tiny room was a cot, much like her’s, and a dresser. Dr. Preston shrugged off his coat and put it on the door. Needless to say, she was a little shocked.
“This is where you sleep?”
“I used to have an actual room, but Auburn moved me out in favor of extending the camera room. He might let me speak my mind, but it’s not without its little consequences.”
He hung his tie with his coat.
“Please, make yourself at home, wherever you can. I’ll go find a chair.”
It didn’t take him long to come back with a folding chair. She settled on his cot.
“Doc, why’d you bring me back here?”
“I just didn’t want to be overheard by the patients. I don’t care if the people watching hear it, they’re used to it.”
“What if someone comes in?”
“I have a beeper connected to the door that will let me know if someone comes in.”
He unbuttoned the cuffs and rolled up his sleeves.
“So, you want to know why Auburn lets me stick around despite me being less than a loyal minion?” Dr. Preston sat in his chair. “Well, for starters, I’m the one making sure that Mordred continues physically functioning well. You could say I’m his mechanic for his non-organic parts.”
That did make sense. Even though adding cybernetics had been around for a couple of decades, there weren’t very many people who were experts in maintaining it and making sure the body didn’t reject it. She figured that Auburn would only want the best for his cyborg commander. But still, surely there would be someone that he could find that wouldn’t be bad mouthing him at each opportunity. There had to be another reason Dr. Preston was here.
“You aren’t here by your own violation, are you? What does he have on you to keep you here?”
He sighed, placing his hands on his knees.
“I am from a city not too far from here called Seraphim, or it was before Auburn took over. Now it’s Townshsip number whatever. Anyways, in the city there’s a big power plant that provides a lot of energy to the nearby region and my family is also in that city. If it somehow had an “accident”, the whole city would probably be wiped off the map.”
It didn’t take her long to connect the dots.
“Does he usually stoop to that level?”
“You don’t have to worry about your family. As far as I know, I’m the only one he does this with. So, I’ve been in his service for seven years because of that. And despite what it might seem, Auburn doesn’t despise dissent. He despises those who talk dissent but aren’t willing to stand up for their supposed beliefs, those who lack the courage to hold onto them.”
“In other words, he likes the challenge.”
He nodded.
“But I will warn you, he gets annoyed after a while and lashes out, so I wouldn’t press your luck when you meet him.”
“When?”
“I don’t think he would’ve let Mordred keep you if he didn’t want to meet you at least once.”
“Hm, hadn’t really thought about that.” Then something occurred to her. “I thought he didn’t like Southerners.”
“He doesn’t like multiple of them or the way the region itself looks. But one on one, he probably doesn’t hate them more than he hates anyone else.”
That fact really didn’t comfort her any. Now she had someone besides Colonel Lafei to worry about. Great, just what she needed.
“Taylor?”
She looked at him.
“Huh? Sorry, I just…”
Dr. Preston smiled.
“It’s all right. I’m the one that probably needless worried you.”
A beep sounded in his room.
“Perhaps that is Mordred.”
Taylor wanted to agree with him, but she had a feeling that the statement was just wishful thinking. She followed him out and wasn’t too surprised to see the Sergeant standing in front of the desk. Behind him, stood another man with his hands in his pockets, rocking on the balls of his feet. He was quite a bit younger than Dr. Preston. He had blond hair, but she wondered if he dyed it.
“Hello, Sergeant.”
“Hey Doc. The Commander sent me here to check on Wizaoki and Simmons and to ask you if you could keep Taylor overnight. He says he has a ton of things to do.”
Dr. Preston sighed.
“Wizaoki and Simmons are doing fine and should be out of here within the next week. I’ll look after Taylor tonight, but I expect him to come pick her back up first thing in the morning.”
“All right, Doc. I’ll tell him.” Before he turned to go, he noticed Taylor. “See you later, kid. I’ll tell him you’re fine.”
“Thanks, Sargent.”
With that, he walked out of the infirmary and the man behind him moved up to the desk. Dr. Preston’s fists tightened at his side.
“What are you doing here, Lupin?”
The other man leaned on the desk, shaking his head.
“Kincade, is that anyway to speak to your collegue?”
“If you came to annoy me, then you can leave. I don’t have time to play games with you.”
“You obviously do have some extra time on your hands, seeing has how you’ve removed your coat, tie, and rolled up your sleeves. You’re not the type to look so unprofessional on the job.” The man scooted some data pads aside so he could sit on the desk. “I did come down here for a reason, despite what you might think.”
“What reason would that be?”
“First, I think I should perhaps introduce myself to the young lady with you.” He held out his hand to her. “I am Dr. Lupin Green.”
She shook it.
“I’m…”
“Ms. Taylor Lockheed, I know. There’s been quite a bit of talk about you going around. Heard about that nasty business with that Rebel. How’s your head?”
“She’s perfectly fine,” Dr. Preston interrupted, “Now I ask again, Lupin, why are you here?”
“All work and no play makes Kincade a dull boy,” he chided, wagging his finger, “How’s the family?”
“I haven’t spoken to them in three months, as you well know.”
“What’d you do to get your monthly calling privileges taken away this time?”
A change came over Dr. Preston. He grabbed Dr. Green’s collar and pulled him in closer.
“State your business here before I throw you out.”
Taylor had never seen the usually calm minded doctor angry before, and she had to admit that it was a bit frightening, although this obnoxious jerk was kind of asking for it. Apparently, it didn’t scare Dr. Green, who began chuckling.
“Someone’s uptight. All right, Kincade. It’s about our mutual patient and I don’t think Auburn wants any other ears listening in on it, if you know what I mean.”
Dr. Preston let go of his collar.
“Taylor…”
“You don’t have to explain. I know when I’m not wanted.”
He nodded before traveling to the back with Dr. Green. She sat in the chair next to the desk, waiting.
“Hey, hey kid!” Wizaoki called, “Um, Taylor! Yeah that’s it! I need to talk to you!”
Taylor walked over there.
“Do you need the Doc?”
“No, I’m fine. You just looked really bored over there, so I’d thought that we should be bored together.”
Wizaoki was a tall, lanky brunette in his early twenties, probably not too long out of cadet school. He always seemed to wear a smile despite the fact that his leg was in a cast. She hadn’t ever talked to him one on one, having rarely been in the infirmary.
“All right, but for your information, I’m not a kid. I’m nineteen.”
“Really? You don’t look like it.”
“I get that a lot, but you can still call me a kid if you want to. Everyone else does. What’s Dr. Green’s job? He’s obviously not a medical doctor or Dr. Preston wouldn’t ask what he’s doing in here.”
“He’s the Commander’s programmer, makes sure his internal systems work at optimal efficiency.”
She had a feeling what about their “mutual patient” that Auburn wanted them to discuss and suddenly felt a bit sick. As she suspected, Mordred was programmed to obey Auburn. That just seemed wrong. It made her wonder about who he was before he got all his parts. He had been with Auburn since the beginning, but surely he had a life before this whole thing. Yet, only Dr. Preston treated him like he was someone more than the Commander.
“Did you really get in a fight with Colonel Lafei the other day?”
“I wouldn’t call it much of a fight, but she did hit me. I don’t she likes me.”
“She doesn’t like anyone, especially if they get chummy with the Commander.”
“A bit jealous of him, is she?”
“That’s what I’ve heard.”
A sudden crash interrupted their conversation. Taylor quickly got up and went toward the storage room.
“Hey Doc, is everything all right back there?”
Dr. Green came flying across the desk. She barely had time to avoid him. Dr. Preston came out of the storage room, breathing hard and hair out of place.
“Get out, now.”
The programmer got up, holding his nose.
“Fine, but this conversation isn’t over, Kincade.”
He staggered out while Dr. Preston took a deep breath and smoothed down his hair.
“What was that all about?”
He shook his head.
“Nothing that you should be concerned about. So, how about I order us some dessert?”
--
Mordred returned to his room later than usual, having been running around all day, making sure all the systems were set back to normal after allowing them to go crazy when Moran made his dash to freedom and cleaning up after Auburn. When Auburn called him down, he had found his master cleaning off the handle of his cane.
“He didn’t know anything useful,” he explained, before pointing to the still corpse in the middle of the room, “Initiate the usual procedure.”
“Yes, Master.”
He sat on his bed and peeled off his jacket before folding it up neatly. As he did, he looked over to Taylor’s cot. It was better that she was not here. She would most likely be upset at him over the whole thing, and that would only cause problems. It would be better for her to calm down a bit before he saw here. Besides, the Sergeant had said she was up and alert.
That was good enough for him, or at least for most of him.












Ch 10: The Big Boss
Sometime in the early morning, Taylor found herself woken up by the door to the infirmary opening. Her still sleepy mind registered the flash of Dr. Preston’s white coat going out the door before she fell back asleep. The next time her mind kicked back on, someone was shaking her. She opened her eyes and yawned, looking at who would dare awaken her while she was still very sleepy.
“It’s a bit early, Mordred.”
“It is the time I usually wake you up.”
He handed her something. Upon further inspection, she realized it was her hairbrush. Once she used it, he set it down on the desk and dragged her out of the room.
“Where are we going this time?” she grumbled, still half asleep. “You have another Rebel prisoner your boss wants to try to use me to soften them up?”
“No, Lord Auburn has requested your presence for breakfast.”
“Will you be joining us?”
“No. I have patrols to organize and go on. With Moran gone and without leaving us any leads, we are forced to attempt to seek them out.”
For a second, she wanted to comment that it seemed more like he was being used as bait to draw them out, but it wouldn’t do her much good and he wouldn’t say anything about it. So, she let him lead her to where she assumed Auburn slinked about.
She wasn’t sure what to expect. Auburn himself had never really been a widely discussed topic where she had grown up. All she knew about the man himself was that he had a cane and was older than fifty, maybe at least sixty. But one thing she knew for sure about him was that she would have to be careful. A man who drastically changed the country in seven years didn’t do that by being nice and honest.
“So last night, why’d you leave me in the infirmary?”
“I was busy getting everything back to normal. I had no time for you.”
“Are you sure that it wasn’t because of what happened with Moran? Feeling a bit guilty?”
He stopped. She managed to avoid smashing into him.
“I have told you before, I have no such things as emotions or feelings. It just was not logical for you to be with me yesterday.”
The Commander started walking again.
“Whatever you say,” she muttered to herself as she followed him.
It wasn’t much longer until they reached their destination. As the door opened, Mordred held his hand out, preventing her from entering. He stepped in first before allowing her in. She had always had pegged Auburn for the throne room type, but this room looked more like a combination of an office and dining room. There was a gigantic window that had a view of most of the Capital. The vehicles traveling looked like ants from this height. A cough interrupted her observations.
Dr. Preston laid in front of the desk, curled up in the fetal position, holding his ribs and coughing. His face was bloodied and his glasses shattered. Some red strained his coat around where his arms were and his knee didn’t seem to bending in the right direction.
She started toward him, but stopped when she saw someone sitting behind the desk. The man had white hair, but looked as fit as a thirty year old although he was probably twice that age. He had a cane in hand, wiping the handle off with some kind of wipe. The silver gleamed once he removed it. A simple toss landed red stained wipe in the mini-incinerator. No doubt the wipe had contained some kind of disinfectant. How sanitary of him.
Mordred stood passive, as if he didn’t hear or notice what could be considered his friend lying on the floor, bleeding and coughing. When the man’s eyes flickered to her, she swallowed the lump in her throat and started approaching Dr. Preston. This time, Mordred grabbed her shoulder, stopping her. It didn’t take her long to realize what he was waiting for, an order.
“It’s all right, Commander. She’s simply concerned about the good doctor.” He smiled, a genuine gesture of gladness, but not without a hint of malice and eagerness for a new toy. “Needless to say, Dr. Preston and I had a slight disagreement right before you two came in. Take him to the infirmary when you leave and put him in the pod for a couple of hours. He’ll be fine after that.”
Taylor assumed he was talking about a healing pod, which she hadn’t seen in the infirmary, but it would mend most of his injuries to where he wouldn’t have to be on bed rest in order to heal. The man stood up, and started to walk to the front of the desk. She found herself unconsciously backing up, Mordred only responding by releasing her shoulder.
“Commander, please, introduce me to this lovely young lady.”
She didn’t understand why an introduction would be necessary. He no doubt knew her name and she knew who he was. So why stand on ceremony? Did he think she was stupid? No, she wouldn’t even be meeting him if he thought that. Dr. Preston said he liked a challenge, until it annoyed him. She wasn’t sure if she could avoid that part.
“Master, this is Taylor Lockheed.”
When she didn’t moved, he nudged her forward a bit. Of course, his nudge sent her stumbling forward a couple of steps. No doubt he had done that on purpose, seeing as how he had never really exerted his augmented strength on her before. It took all her inner strength not to jump when Auburn’s hand grabbed hers and he bought it to his lips. Revulsion settled in her stomach, but she could tell that his watchful blue eyes were watching for a reaction.
“A pleasure indeed, my dear Ms. Taylor.”
When he let go of her hand, she suddenly found her voice.
“And you’re Auburn.”
“Do I fit any of the rumors you’ve heard?”
She couldn’t help but smirk.
“Actually, there weren’t any rumors about you. I guess there were better, more important things to gossip about.”
After a tense moment, he turned his attention back to Mordred.
“Commander, you and the doctor are excused. I wish you luck in your endevor.”
“Thank you, Master.”
He collected Dr. Preston, lifting the man as if he weighed nothing and walked out, without even so much as a glance back. Something in her wanted to run after him, beg him not to leave her alone with this man, but she knew it would be futile. Besides, he needed to get Dr. Preston to the infirmary as soon as possible. There was no telling how long he had been bleeding on Auburn’s floor.
“Such a good soldier, wouldn’t you agree?” Auburn went over to the table, pulling out a chair. “Join me for breakfast, would you kindly?”
“Why do you bother asking when I don’t really have a choice?” she asked as she sat down in the chair, allowing him to push it in. “It’s either this or I don’t eat, right?”
“I wouldn’t have done anything that drastic, after all there’s nothing more annoying than a growling stomach.”
He placed the napkin in his lap and began putting food on his plate. She also retrieved some food and placed it on her plate. Most of breakfast went by in considerable silence, with Taylor really having nothing to say to Auburn. Oh, she wanted to tell him exactly what she thought of him, but what would be the point? It wouldn’t changed her situation and no doubt he had heard it all before, and probably in much more colorful language than she would ever allow herself to use.
“Do you and Dr. Preston have “slight disagreements” often?” she finally inquired.
“We do often if not always have verbal arguments, but physical confrontations happen rarely.” He lifted his glass to his lips. “Unfortunately for Dr. Preston, I did not like feel like being lectured today. Is the food to your liking?”
“It’s fine,” she quickly replied, “Don’t get much company up here, do you?”
“No, and I prefer it that way. It reduces assassination attempts greatly.”
“And raises you up as a distant enigma instead of a flesh and blood person that can be beaten, as if some overlord in his dark tower surrounded by his servants.”
A twinkle of amusement showed in his eyes.
“I suppose, albeit more romantic than my thought pattern would ever be, your assumption would be correct.”
Okay, everything was going smoothly so far. She had the feeling that this certain meeting was meant as a test, so he could observe her reactions and see if she would be worth his time. He wouldn’t be dropping any bombshells during this encounter. She wouldn’t talk to him unless he asked her something, or she got bored enough to say something.
--
The morning’s search had turned up nothing, not even a picture of a badger. Since it was nearing noon, Mordred had decided now was a good time for a lunch break. After all, the soldiers needed to keep up their strength.
As he kept watch, the Sergeant came to sit next to him, eating a sandwich. This struck Mordred as out of place, since the man rarely ate with him, choosing to eat with his comrades. This meant he had something to say.
“What is it, Sergeant?”
“Did you pick up Taylor or leave her with Doc?”
“If you must know, Lord Auburn volunteered to look after her today. She is in good hands.”
He nearly choked on the bite he had just taken.
“Are you sure, sir? I mean, I’m not questioning Lord Auburn’s abilities or anything, but…”
“It is my duty to do whatever he requests, no matter what it may be.”
The Sergeant nodded.
“I know. I guess I don’t understand why he volunteered.”
“It is not for me to question his motives, only obey.”
Suddenly, a cry from one of the soldiers on the perimeter of where they had stopped interrupted them. The Sergeant quickly scarfed down the remainder of his sandwich and bought out his weapon. Mordred scanned the area, identifying at least a dozen bogies incoming. He transformed his arm and took out his light blade.
--
The silence between them had continued for hours somehow. Auburn sat behind his desk, looking over something, leaving Taylor to entertain herself. She managed to start up the projector and found an old show she had watched when she was younger, a show that wasn’t allowed to show on the public airwaves anymore. After a while, Auburn looked up from his business.
“Ah, I see you found my contraband file,” he commented, “Although from what I understand, somehow it’s not banned in the Southern sector thanks to some hackers getting into an old TV satellite and sending the show over old TV ways. You know, I think if those hackers put their skills to something more useful than hacking old satellites in order to get pass the government airwaves for banned things, I might take you Southerners more seriously.” He stood up. “But I guess that’s what you people want, for me not to pay attention. And I’m starting to think that’s what all this silence has been about.”
“Maybe I just don’t have much to say to you.”
Auburn chuckled.
“You?” He poked her shoulder with the end of the cane. “I seriously doubt you ever lack anything to say.”
“Hey, watch where you’re poking that thing!” she warned, not appreciated being poked by a potentially deadly weapon.
Suddenly, she found the handle of the cane pressed up against her neck, cutting off her air way for a split second before just settling on her throat. She didn’t really have time to even think about what had just happened.
“I would watch that tone if I were you, Taylor. As Dr. Preston told you yesterday, I can only stand so much before my patience runs out.”
Taylor regained her thought process and knocked the cane away.
“Anyways, I’m guessing that you like these things despite banning public access to them. What’s the matter? Afraid they’ll get wise to what you’ve been doing with them?”
“The last thing I need is another rebel group on my hand.”
“Especially one that the public may actually sympathize with.”
That got a warm chuckle out of the leader of the country, much to her relief. She didn’t really want that cane shoved in her face again.
“You sound like someone I used to know, a philosophy professor who taught at a local college.”
She wondered if he was talking about Socrates. The description certainly fit him.
“I can tell you already I’m no philosophy expert.”
“I don’t expect you to be.”
Auburn went to his desk and picked up a data pad before returning.
“This is yours, I believe.” He slid it over to her. “For some odd reason, Intelligence turned it over to me for further examination. I found nothing of use on there, so I return it to you, Taylor. Although, I admit that I enjoy your little sketches and cartoons you have stored on there. You should show me some once you decide which story idea you want to pursue. Any of them would be fascinating, I’m sure.”
“And you wonder why no one likes the government,” she replied, “Snooping around the Net is one thing, but that was a blatant violation of privacy.”
He waved her statement off, sitting in a chair at the table.
“What’s done is done. If you want to be upset at anyone, let it be the Commander for not checking up on it after he delivered it. But then again, he’s been rather busy, hasn’t he?”
She looked out of the window, trying to think of a reply. A plume of black smoke caught her attention.
“Uh, what’s on fire over there?”
Fires in this day in age were few and far between, with most buildings being fitted with anti-fire foam systems, which nearly always put out the fire before it became a problem. Most fires took place in old buildings without the system or outside. Due to all the buildings in the way and her unfamiliarity with the layout of the Capital, Taylor couldn’t tell where the fire exactly was.
Auburn, obviously confused, walked over to the window.
“That’s over by the park. They must’ve been ambushed by some Rebels.”
Not a hint of concern was in his voice, which didn’t surprise her. Everyone was simply an ends to a mean for him, even Mordred who showed more loyalty to him than anyone else did. As for her, she guessed that even tyrants needed amusement once and a while. So, she decided to change the subject.
“There’s a park in this megapolis? I thought this was a giant hunk of unattractive metal, aside from the middle of the Entertainment Mile, which is fake grass anyway.”
“It’s a leftover from the past. The hobos have to have somewhere they can live, after all, and I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. I’ll admit it’s probably in need of tending, but I see no need to allocate funds or personel to perform that task.”
“Why don’t you pay the hobos to do it?”
“Because all the hobos that live there are people who have been erased from the records.” He grinned when she didn’t immediately respond. “What? Did you think I executed all of the erased?”
“That’s always the indication I got, since it seems like nobody ever hears from them again.”
“Good. That’s what I want people to think.”
The discussion was put off when a comm rang. Auburn looked at it.
“Hm, it’s the Commander’s personal line. He’s never called me before, I always call him. You know your way back to the infirmary from here, right?”
“Uh…”
“It doesn’t matter. If you get lost, ask somebody. Now go, shoo.”
She shrugged before heading to the door.
“Oh and Taylor, don’t bother trying to walk out of the building. The security staff won’t stand for it.”
The door slid shut behind her once she left.
“That was odd.”
Auburn settled behind his desk before pressing the com.
“All right Arthur, what do you have to say this time?”
“I just wanted to let you know that poor Commander Mordred’s been temporarily shut down. I won’t do anything to his programming, but it might take him a while to reboot, so send your goons to pick him up. Meanwhile, I think I’ll just take a couple of your people with me. Oh, and this time there were definitely civilian casualties.”
“You know I don’t care about that.”
“But I do know it annoys you when I take your stuff. Well, I guess I better be going now, seeing that Mr. Dullsville is fixing to boot up again. Toodles!”
The comm cut off. He drew a long sigh before pressing a button on his desk.
“Get me Colonel Lafei. I have orders for her.”
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