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A Free Online Science Fiction Novel- “Liberty”- Chapter 28

General Leon Roberts, Ret. ECASF

By Blaine ColemanPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 5 min read
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Image credit: JosipPlecas-LiY0KIVeIjU-Unsplash

*Note- A short prologue is on chapter one. Each chapter has a link to the next to make reading it easier.

This is chapter twenty-eight of an online novel, Liberty, A Daughter Universe Novel.

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General Leon Roberts, Retired, ECA, or General to his friends, leaned back, propped his feet on his desk and studied the dark amber ambrosia in his glass. Scotch aged to perfection. One of the benefits of leadership, he thought and smiled. Although the General’s retirement pay was substantial, he had made most of his money from part-ownership of a weapons manufacturer; it never hurt to have a high-level position with your company’s biggest customer. His involvement was through a multitude of shell companies; his ties could not be known. If the Military chiefs ever found out he had used his position to send some large, lucrative, contracts to a company he owned, court-martial was a distinct possibility. At the very least, the loss of the military as a buyer would put the company out of business. A knock on the door pulled him out of his reverie.

“Come in.”

“You wanted to see me, Sir?" A younger man in military fatigues stepped into the office and saluted.

The General returned the salute then waved to the chair in front of his desk. “Have a seat.”

Wary, the man stood at attention, unsure what to do. The old man rarely told subordinates to ‘Have a seat’ and that had him worried.

“I said ‘Have a seat’, Morrison! Was that not clear?”

“Yes, Sir!” The man hurried to sit where his employer indicated. “What can I do for you, Sir?”

“I watch everything that goes on with the project, Morrison. And I know you’re not exactly a computer whiz, but you are former military. Army. But you have a shaded past.” The General gave Morrison a sideways smile. “Not that your little shenanigans matter to me. If fact, that’s why I hired you.”

“Sir?”

“It looks like I made a good choice. You didn’t discover the virus that was released this morning.”

“No, Sir. You have a good crew, General. Geeks, sure, but they’re good with the computers.”

“I saw you huddle with one of the hackers. What were you discussing?

“That was Max, Sir. I think they’ve found something, a virus someone sent to a remote location in the hills. Max said it looked like the control sequence for a Shiva but that the code was primitive. It could take control of an old-style Shiva but those were recycled by the “new” Shivas. I asked if it could be modified to control newer ones.”

The General’s eyebrows lifted. “And what did ‘Max’ say?”

“One of the hackers said that wouldn’t be a problem.”

The General smiled. Having control of such powerful machines would be a great way to display his Iron Man mobile attack and defense droid, IMAD. He wanted to sell it to the military and have his company build them. He needed the military sale to compensate for a great deal of factory resources he’d quietly used to build the one IMAD. When still active duty, he’d tried to convince Leadership to develop ground-based protection, but they refused to even consider the possibility of a ground attack; they believed the Air and Space Force could handle any potential threats. “That’s why I hired you to oversee those science geeks down there. It takes a military mind to recognize the importance of what your crew found. You saw the opportunity presented and investigated it right away, with the right questions. Those sciencey types down there would never have seen the potential of what they’d found.” He sipped his scotch and chuckled. “Then again, I haven’t told any of them our endgame, Morrison.” It isn’t my endgame, Morison thought. Knowing what the General had built, Morrison knew the “endgame” required an attack of some kind for the old man’s creation to fight off. “They’re working for the substantial pay they’re getting, and all signed the same NDA as you. Just in case any of them figure out what I intend to do. So, how long before Max has the virus’ modified and ready to deploy?”

“He said about twenty minutes. He had another hacker crack the encrypted frequency used by the newer Shivas while he worked on recoding the virus. I think he suspects something more than just developing new war games is going on, but he hasn’t asked. As far as the others are aware, we’re just testing another war game sim.” Morrison smiled “I suggested we plan out an attack on Golden Valley City in the PCA.”

The General smiled, checked the time. “Make sure your crew is ready to go, Morrison! It’s going to be quite a show, eh?”

A show? Is that what he thinks of what we’re doing- putting on a show? Morrison concealed his shock at the General’s cavalier word choice, although he should not have been surprised; the General had told Morrison about the IMAD he’d built, on “borrowed” company funds as soon as he’d signed the NDA. Morrison strongly suspected the General was mentally unstable. But for the money promised, with half paid upfront, Morrison was willing to overlook an old drunk’ personal problems. Even if that ‘old drunk’ was a retired General. Still, he had not thought General Robert’s ‘display’ was going to be so big.

“Yes, Sir. Quite a show, Sir. I’ll get the crew started immediately.”

The General stood and walked around the desk when Morrison stood to leave, slapped him on the back and laughed as he led him to the door. “What you did today shows initiative and initiative will get you far in this project. As will loyalty,” the General said with a wink.

“Thank you, Sir.”

After the Private left, the old man leaned back into his seat and picked up his scotch, took a sip and sighed.

Ambrosia, he thought, and a thin, feral, smile came to his face.

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Next

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This was originally posted on Simily.co.

Thank you for reading this and I hope you enjoyed it. I am also on Medium, Simily, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

Thank you for your time!

Sci Fi
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About the Creator

Blaine Coleman

I enjoy a quiet retirement with my life partner and our three dogs.

It is the little joys in life that matter.

I write fiction and some nonfiction.

A student of life, the flow of the Tao leads me on this plane of existence.

Spirit is Life.

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