An excerpt of a novel I might write, perhaps for NaNo. We’ll see–I like the idea.
“This is your result?”
The three men were generals—such was denoted by the myriad of colors that decorated their lapels. All three were tall, heavily muscled, and scarred from years of combat. All had bled for their rank.
The woman sitting across from them was positively civilian. Her clothes were modest—a simple outfit of loose-fitting gray clothes—all unmarked. But sitting at the far end of the conference table, she replied to the three men with a clipped voice—one used to being obeyed.
The men tried hard to stay serious, to stay stolid. But they failed, anger and embarrassment alternating on their faces.
Finally one worked up the calm to speak. “Twenty years ago a project was initiated—SPECF Special Action Directive 11—and placed under your control. Your sole control.”
“I take full responsibility for my result if you are trying to find somewhere to lay blame, general.” The woman nodded her head, the streaks of gray making her seem older than she was. “But there will be no blame. The project is a success.”
“So you claim.” The next general in line was heavily tanned. Fighting on one of the closer colonies no doubt. “Do you realize how much money the Directory has pumped into your science project?”
The woman leaned forward. “It will all be worth it. Every daih will be paid for in lives.”
“Ours or our enemies’?” The soldier’s voice was grim.
“I think you know which…sir. I have been investigated multiple times by your SD3. I’ve passed every test of loyalty you’ve put before me.”
The general, commander of the SD3 intelligence service, shook his head. “They mean nothing if the subject is aware of the test.”
“So I am a traitor because I’m smarter than your agents?”
“No one has accused you of being a traitor.” The third man spoke for the first time. His was older than the first two—his balding head the sign of a lifetime military man. “However there have been worries that your SD11 is merely an expensive ploy at gaining a personal army.”
The woman laughed.
The older man continued. “You started with 1000 infants—war orphans. Then, seven years later, you returned half to us.”
“Cutting the projected return in half,” interjected the tanned general.
“Then you did it again at year 14. Then again at year 17 of the project. You cut your army down to 125 men.”
“120,” the woman interjected. “I culled five more. They’ll be relocated to civilian occupations within the week.”
“120 men, then. Hardly the invincible fighting machine you promised. But perhaps enough for a personal army.”
“I promised the best. They will be the best. Better than any of your armies of 1000. ” The woman stood. “You will wait one more year. Then they will be ready.”
“We have waited a long time for your result, Clarisse Halling. Your Special Action Directive 11 Results need to be in the war, where they belong.” The old general’s voice was low.
“You can wait a bit longer. Think of it this way: you can keep your jobs for a year more before my Results oust your agents.” Turning away, the woman headed for the door.
As it hissed open, Clarisse Halling said over her shoulder, “And I remind you– Special Action Directive 11 Results is only a technical name. The name they will be known by—the name all will know them by—is…SADER.”