Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Page 1522

((Double Wednesday -- Page 1 of 2))
Morgunov had descended so far into his own madness now that he hadn’t left his laboratory in thirty years. The lunatic might of course still show up one day and surprise everyone, but he certainly couldn’t be relied upon to do that.

And Dozer? Jercash couldn’t say he fully understood what he was planning, but the old bastard seemed to have grown so paranoid that his actions had become indistinguishable from cowardice.

And sure, Gunther and Dunhouser had been much more reliable--each one a powerhouse in his own right, with plenty of strong and loyal followers. But that was about all they’d been. Men of action. Not men of forethought.

Certainly, losing both of them at once had been a major blow to Abolish’s military strength, but it was for the best. Weapons you couldn’t control were never truly part of your arsenal, anyway.

Jercash felt quite good about his decision to delay his own men from answering Dunhouser’s request for reinforcements. He couldn’t imagine a better outcome, unless Jackson had died along with them. At least now, some genuine direction might be able to take hold.

It was still a bit crazy to him, though, the fact that Gohvis hadn’t shown any interest in picking up the pieces left by their deaths.

Had he known that this was what Jercash wanted? It seemed like he had, but how could that be? Did Gohvis simply know him that well? Pretty unfair, if so.

Even if the Monster didn’t make for a very reliable or even consistent ally, the sheer enigma of that man had never ceased to pique Jercash’s interest.

Then, of course, there was Ivan. For the time being, rescuing that stupid asshole was probably more trouble than it was worth, what with Iceheart being the one guarding his frozen head.

Ideally, Jercash would be able to raise someone up to take Ivan’s place as head of all the intelligence divisions--a few someones, actually. Rather than putting all of their eggs in one basket, as Ivan had done, it would be much more effective to share the highest levels of intelligence-gathering between multiple heads. Voss, Xen, and Caster had already taken to their new positions pretty well, but it was still early days, and Jercash had several backup candidates in mind.

Still, he’d probably want to go retrieve Ivan, eventually. That was going to be a pain in the ass.

Oh, and he supposed there was Vanderberk to consider, too, but fuck that guy. At least he might be useful if Kane really did show up.

Jercash doubted that would happen, though, and even if it did, he’d taken precautions. Teams of scouts had been patrolling the area forty miles out for the past few days. There would be plenty of warning, in the event that Kane decided to show his fat face here.

And besides, Jercash had a couple new toys in the bag over his shoulder that he wouldn’t mind testing on a truly worthy adversary. He’d never been the most bloodthirsty--compared to his comrades, at least--but it wouldn’t do to shy away from conflict too much. That was how wolves became sheep.

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