Chapter 22: The Attacks Down Under

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Chapter 22: The Attacks Down Under

As General Coker was sitting alone, the reality of what they were planning to do was beginning to sink in. He had no hesitation, only feelings of past regret. Actually, a more accurate assessment was that he had feelings of regret and self-loathing. How could he have agreed to fund the downfall of his own species...quite literally, the rape of his own kind? The wall he had built up over the years was never much of a mental blockade. The mess of his personal life was a testament to that. In a futile attempt to maintain some sort of firewall, he didn't allow himself to learn any of the inner workings of what he was truly funding. Instead, he placed that unthinkable burden directly on the shoulders of Dr. Gregg Holland. 

The same Dr. Holland who was now going to help him make things right. Of course, the reality was that Coker knew that the guilt associated with the death and torture they had directly (or indirectly) inflicted upon their fellow Man would never go away entirely, regardless of the mental gymnastics he tried to employ. He also knew that the permanent stain these actions had on Humanity would never go away either. How could it? He had decided long ago that the lives of the few were worth sacrificing for the (supposed) betterment of the many. What of that betterment? A few trinkets of technology to help bring down a flawed Soviet society that in time would have crumbled on its own? And once that so-called threat was gone, why continue? Why allow external creatures to manipulate and mutilate our people...MILLIONS of them? Why? Because no one noticed, or at least no one seemed to care about the hundreds of thousands of people who 'went missing' without a trace each and every year soon after the ET meeting with Eisenhower. If no one noticed that, why not keep selling our collective soul for the temporary and inconsequential drug that is advanced technology? Coker knew that the real answer to all of this was that it would never stop...not on its own, anyway. It would require the actions of someone who knew what was going on, knew how to stop it, and had nothing to lose in trying. Coker also knew that he and Holland were those 'someones.'

Dr. Holland finally entered the secured room that Coker had been sitting in.

"Glad you decided to join me," said the smiling General.

Holland returned his glib comment with a blank stare.

"Four layers of security and interrogation...for me? Really? Nice touch adding the full cavity search. You are lucky I am a medical doctor and don't take things like that personally."

As much as he tried to hold it back, even the stoic Dr. Holland couldn't help but crack a small smile.

"See? See?! There it was...barely...but I saw it! You do have a beating heart after all!" quipped Coker. "That physical examination was just to make sure you didn't go all full cyborg on me. Given your history with those animals, anything was possible."

"Ok, funny guy. Can we just get on with this?"

"You got it, Doc. Let's begin..."

Coker was more than ready to do this and jumped right in.

"Since our last meeting, I've put a lot of wheels in motion. Before I brief you on that, I will need your help. We are now at the point where I need specifics about operations at the Down Under facility, especially at the lower, more secure levels."

Holland shook his head. "You do remember that I am retired and I have been so for years now, right? I can only give you what I knew then, which is almost assuredly not what is going on now."

"You need to learn how to relax, Doc. As I just finished telling you, a lot has been going on since we last spoke. Thankfully, I've been able to retain most of my clearances and still have access to many of my contacts within special ops. I also have intelligence at your old facility. Breaching their security will not be a problem."

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