So there it was. Delgoro had been taken over by a cold-hearted killer. Now that killer was dead, but the board had to be removed. Browning had said that, shortly after his removal, the board he had assembled had slowly vanished.
Karnak Wilson had been the first to disappear. Then Meldon Mercon. And Safi ibn-Yalawa. King Moruo. Fendra Macks. And finally, Mort Vandeer.
With these six gone, the other five could be easily control. But not for long. As each began to inquire about their “late” colleagues, They too were removed. But not as violently. Instead, they were sent to the prisons.
And even the outposts had their prisons. These had grown out of the county and local municipal jails to become high security corporate prisons that would house, as was the case with the larger state and federal prisons, poor and homeless people. But they also housed those considered dangerous to whoever held power.
I figured that this would be where most, if not all, of the original board could be found. All we had to do was to take over these smaller prisons, absorbing their prisoners into our ranks, and we would hold the power. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Yet, we had to do it.
But, first, we had to take down Drobzetti. And his compatriots in Ballantyne. We had already wiped out most of his army, but we had to take him the rest of the way down. We had to remove him from power.
Our attack would spread out in all four directions: east, west, north and south. Of course, we also had regiments heading in the directions of north-east, north-west, south-east and south-west. In this way, we would take every outpost in every direction possible. Every small town was now ours for the taking.
Some would surrender, not having a standing corporate army or a strong corporate overlord from some large corporate board. Others, like Ballantyne, would put up a fight. Our jumper teams went on ahead, as they had done during our taking of our city. Their mission had not changed. They would still remove the boards who stood in our way, placing them in the brig back at HQ.
It was nice that we still had cells that were empty. each group of prisoners were housed in their own cells, cutting down on the chances that they would band together and try to overtake the guards. Each cell was separated from the others in such a way that no messages could be passed, or talking done between prisoners. They were completely isolated. And soundproof.
I, keeping my promise, stayed at HQ. I now had to rely on a few select spies to relay information back to me. Not being physically involved made me bored. I thought best when in the field, not behind a desk. My battle plans might look immaculate, but would they work in the field? I could only hope. I tended to paste a message onto each reminding my field Lieutenants to make them workable any way they could, even if it meant changing them.
But there was never any word that the plans were ever changed. But the attacks hadn’t begun yet. Or had they? I would just have to wait and wonder until they returned. If they returned.
Maybe I worried too much. But it was my lead they had followed. I had a lot to worry about. What if it all went wrong?
The sound of someone unfamiliar clearing their throat at my side drew me out of my thoughts. I looked up to find a robed figure. “Yes? May I help you?”
He/she smiled. “Dan Hargis?”
I looked quizzically at the figure. “Yes?”
She/he stretched out their hand. “I am Minister Demoria Lensch.” A woman? Or a man? “I am the colonial Minister of Justice. Our governing body sent me to help you with the task of setting up and conducting a war tribunal.”
I shook the hand offered. “When should we start?”
Another smile crept upon the otherwise emotionless effeminate face. “Right away. Why do you look at me that way? Have you never seen a female judge?”
I smiled back. “No. They executed the last female judge, CEO, and enforcement officer ten years ago.” I turned the conversation back to the task at hand. “How will we deal with these criminals, once they are convicted?”
Her countenance grew stern. “Though I usually do not advocate it, execution will be our only option. We do not need anyone from the old system left to pose a threat to the new government that is to be set up.”
I nodded. “I figured that. But I wanted to make sure. You have any special method?”
She smiled again. “Each of the judges I picked has their own execution team. These teams use only the most humane methods of execution. These teams are also qualified judges. If you wish, they can remain after all is done and you have your new government in place.”
I looked away. “How many–?”
She was still smiling. “One for each of the cities you took. They will remain in the main city to help hand down judgments and enact whatever executions need to be made. Their teams consist of six individuals each, not counting the main judge.”
I looked back at her. “Then, let’s get started.” I began to lead her down to the brig. “Right now, we have quite a few in the cells, but some are captives from the siege.”
She was unmoved. “The soldiers were only following orders. They should be released and reprogrammed. They are really no threat to the system once it is in place.”
I stopped. “I had intended to release all the soldiers. I only have them here in the brig until we can take the time to examine and retrain them all. The corporations have a tendency to implant obedience chips or program for sabotage. We cannot reprogram these threats. they are permanent, and many prefer death to the alternative.”
She nodded. “I see. Then we will begin by taking out the CEOs.”