Monday, September 22, 2014

Blood on the Stars - Part 1: Secrets & Lies - CH. 10 (3)

It was several moments of awkward silence before the doors admitted an older woman. She smiled politely at all the people in the room before taking a seat. It was her arrival that brought the two admirals to the table.

“So, we find ourselves in quite the situation here,” said the older woman. Her voice was soft and gently, but Hans sensed a strength behind it. “I am Counsellor Hardeto. I am charged with the Security of the United Worlds. The council decided that I would be the best person to mediate this discussion.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Counsellor. We are honoured greatly by your presence here today.” Altheia said and then bowed her head a show of respect before continuing. “I am Altheia. I am the current leader of the organization known as A Bloc.”

“Oh?” counsellor Hardeto raised her eyebrows and pursed her lips. “I thought it was a man by the name of Alfonzo.”
“It was until very recently your honour. Unfortunately, he has gone missing and we are presuming that he is dead.” Altheia couldn’t help but throw a glance in the direction of Admiral Falun. Hans had been watching the counsellor so closely that he knew she hadn’t missed the glance or its possible implications.

“I see then. I thank you for taking the time to attend this meeting. Please introduce your three companions and let’s keep this a more informal style of meeting, but, of course, it is being recorded as you were all informed prior to agreeing to attending. First names will be fine and you may address me simply as Counsellor or ma’am.” Counsellor Hardeto smiled at them. It was a warm and inviting smile and Hans felt himself relaxing a bit under her spell. She turned her attention to the Admirals now. “Please introduce yourselves for the record.”
“I am Admiral Falun. I am the head of Exploration and Expansion.” Admiral Falun spoke in a quiet mumble. He didn’t smile and he did his best not to look at any one.

“I am Admiral Georgio.” She sat up a little taller and looked down on the four people seated across form her. “I am in charge of Special Forces.”
Counsellor Hardeto nodded towards Altheia to begin her introductions. “As already stated, I am Altheia, current leader of A Bloc. With me are Hans, Honora and Duke. They hold no position within the organization, but they have been integral in bringing the information that has made this meeting necessary to our attention so that we were able to act effectively in the best interests of the United Worlds.”

“I have read the information that your organization has gathered and I must say that I am shocked at some the allegations within these documents. Only some of these claims are sufficiently supported, some are not. However, we will be looking into all claims, supported or not to get to the truth of the matter.” Counsellor Hardeto looked towards Hans. “You are the one who originally found the alien and believed that you were being watched by the government or the Armed Forces?”
Hans nodded, his feelings of ease disappearing at her icy gaze. “Yes ma’am. I am unable to prove such claims; however, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence that led me to believe that such was the case.” Hans, not really caring what anyone thought of it, folded both hands on top of the table.

He noticed the look that the three people across the table gave him and ignored the kick in the shin that he could only assume was form Altheia. Admiral Georgio seemed the most interested in his hand, but no one said anything to him about it.
“I see and you met the alien called,” Counsellor pulled a notepad out of her pocket and gave it a brief glance. “Ohaehim?”

“We all did Counsellor.” Duke spoke up from where he lounged in his own chair. Hans tried not to smile at the way drawled his words when he spoke. He sounded just like he had when Hans had first met him and Hans knew him well enough now to recognize that he was waiting for the Counsellor to give him a reason to respect her.
“And why did you not report it to the proper authorities? There are channels that you could have gone through that would have avoided all this fanfare and backstabbing.” Admiral Georgia asked, interrupting the Counsellor before she had a chance to voice another question.

Altheia glanced at the Counsellor before answering. It was obvious that she wasn’t happy about the interruption, but be she motioned for Altheia to answer the Admiral’s question.
“Although I wasn’t there at the time of the incident it has been related to me and as indicated by Hans just earlier, they felt that they were unable to trust the authorities and decided that coming to us was the best course of action.” Altheia smiled politely at Admiral Georgio and then glanced over at Admiral Falun who was steadfastly gazing at the table.

“Actually we did make an attempt to contact someone in an authority position, but that plan did not go as smoothly as we would have hoped.” Hans said, this time he fixed his gave on Admiral Falun who had yet to look at him. “We were informed, though, that are trust in this authority figure had been misplaced and that is when we took it to A Bloc.”
“I see. What authority was it that you thought best to take your story to then?” Counsellor Hardeto asked. She did not even once glance at Admiral Falun, but she hadn’t missed a thing.

“We initially tried to make contact with E&E under the belief that Admiral Falun was of an honest mien and would not betray such trust.” Hans was careful to keep the anger out of his voice, but he could not stop staring at the Admiral who was starting to sweat slightly.
Counsellor Hardeto turned slightly in her seat to look at Admiral Falun. “Is this so Admiral? Were you contacted by any of the people currently sitting at this table?”

Admiral Falun looked up at the Counsellor and said “No.”
“I see.” The Counsellor turned her attention back to Hans. “Yet you claim that you did make contact with the Admiral?”

“Not personally. Alfie – Alfonzo Ansanza was Admiral Falun’s personal aide. He was a close friend of mine back in Academy, ma’am, and he made the contact for us. However, the very next night he informed us that the Admiral was not to be trusted.” Hans bit at the inside of his cheek as he realized how weak it sounded without the proof to back it up. All they had was the word of a dead man.
Counsellor Hadeto glanced down at the notepad she had brought with her. Hans wished he could see what she was looking at, but it had been privacy screened so that no one else would be able to see it. Hans wondered what sort of information she might have that needed to be kept so secret.

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