--donation bonus (day #27, post 3/5)--
“I must agree,” said Meriwether. “This whole situation could have gone terribly awry. I should have liked to be let in on the plan as well.”
“You darling boys,” she said, smiling sympathetically. “This was no plan of mine.”
“What?” said David.
She returned a frown of her own now. “Gabriel, Charles, and Martin are dead. And so too would Meriwether be if he had not come here when he did. Honestly, I thought this was somehow your mad plan.”
The brothers exchanged looks.
“I was only having David watched as a precautionary measure,” she said. “Ostensibly, I did it for your protection, but frankly, I wanted to be sure you were not pulling one over on me.”
David narrowed his eyes. “You also planted bugs in here, didn’t you?”
“My apologies,” she said with a nod.
“No need for that,” said David. “Your distrust has apparently saved my brother’s life, if not also my own.”
She tilted her head a little. “It would seem that we have all deceived each other so thoroughly that not one of us has any idea what we are accomplishing anymore.”
David rubbed his forehead. “This. This is why politics terrifies me...”
Chapter Sixty-One: ‘To yield no ground...’
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“Everyone! Hello! My name is Desmond, and my friends and I will be kidnapping you today!”
A crowd of about fifty soldiers looked at him as he stood on the dais on one end of the base’s conference hall. Their faces were a wild mixture of anger and fear and horror. Clearly, they still required a bit of homogenizing.
“Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘Kidnapping?! That doesn’t sound very fun!’ But you are mistaken. We’re going to have a grand, old time. Trust me! I have experience with this sort of thing!”
The reapers floated among the soldiers, watching and listening, sizing them all up, while the other six servants hovered around the perimeter of the crowd--the shepherds who had gathered the flock.
“You may notice that we’ve taken all your knives and ammunition and given you unloaded guns. This is because we don’t need you fine fellows to do anything other than march around and look pretty.”