Chapter XXI

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Cenerea, 3rd planet from the star Letria. Regalius, The Homeland, Central Region,

The Capitol City, Chancellor's Capitol Building, Chancellor Santum's Office,

Forty-One and One Third Cenerean Years Ago

Harold rolled his sleeve over the bandage as he traversed the steps toward the large front doors of the Chancellor's Capitol Building. He was hoping that the incision would not bleed through the white formal material. Lifting his eyes from his aching arm, he stopped, frozen in place by the sight of two large orange banners that were the color of the evening Letria flanking both sides of the entrance. Printed on the flowing auburn material, Harold could now clearly see a fist with a very recognizable depiction of Geneticus splashed over it. "What the fuck is Connor up to?" he muttered under his breath.

Harold entered the building and instead of presenting a badge, he was now able to simply swipe his wrist over some newly installed pedestals lining each of the doorways he passed through. Regardless of the convenience of the activity, Harold still found it no comfort for his troubled mind as he realized he would never be able to forgive himself for what he experienced today.

The elevator ride to the top was relatively uneventful, almost normal. When the ornate, glass doors opened with a ding, Harold calmly exited. He found himself standing in a ridiculously oversized entry room complete with a lovely view of some well-endowed beauty seated behind a desk.

As was the case with the building's entrance, a wall covering in the same orange, black, and red markings hung on the far wall. That same symbol occupied every flag stand that lined the room, stands that at one time probably held the flags of the varying Regions before assimilation. Now, there was just that one.

"The Chancellor will see you now, Mr. Bouri," the woman said with a smile, still seated behind the desk.

Harold nervously entered the room and was instantly greeted by the large, toothy smile of one Connor Santum, feet propped up behind his massive T'choulian Darkwood desk. "Mr. Bouri! I was thrilled when you called. I was not expecting to hear from you for a while."

"Well, sir..." Harold said, looking around for the proper seat to sit in. "I, uh..."

"Please, Harold, sit where you like. You are the one doing me a favor here."

"Thank you," he said sitting in a soft velour chair near the front of the finely carved desk.

"So, what have you brought me?"

Harold closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

"Is it that bad?" Connor asked sitting up, the humor lifted from his voice. "This seems serious."

Harold opened his eyes. "It is, sir. I believe I have uncovered a massive conspiracy right under your very that threatens the Chancellorship, sir."

Connor's eyebrows came together like curtains. "How so, Mr. Bouri."

"It seems a Colonel in the HDF who works at the Univ-Trans facility might be your hacker."

"Give me his name!"

"Patience sir, there's more. He's an Arcturan slave."

"So are several other high ranking officers in the HDF."

"I understand, Chancellor, but I located some disturbing footage as well as a copy of what I believe is the very virus used on Lieutenant Gil's fightercraft in his online storage."

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