The Operative stood before the council, his hands and feet bound to the chair as his eyes carefully scanned his interrogators. The tribunal that sat before him was made up of two men and a woman. The man in the middle was tall with grey hair, resembling a judge or an aged preacher. The other man on the right had snow white hair, laid back along his bony crown. The woman that sat on the left had jet black hair with several streaks of grey in her hair. None were old, but they had all left their prime years ago. They stared coolly at him and he stared coolly back. His eyes held nothing, but his captors' eyes were filled with a venomous hate.

The grey haired man crossed his hands and leaned forward over the desk. "Sir, we entrusted you with this task of preventing certain information from becoming public knowledge in the belief that you would not stop until the task was done. Tell us; were we wrong to trust you with this critical mission?"

The Operative stared forward. "No sir", he calmly replied.

"Then why did you not succeed in killing this seventeen year old girl?" the woman said, her hand twisting a strand of hair.

"A better question", the third man spoke, "is why did you not finish with the job when she was within your reach?"

"I did not see it as necessary for more blood to be spilled. What she knew had been…"

"Publicized?" the woman dryly muttered.

The Operative looked at her and said, "Revealed. I did not find her to be a threat since the secret I assume you had me silence had been made apparent to the solar system."

"If that were the only secret she knew, you would not be here now", the white haired man said. "You would be in a cell awaiting execution for treason."

The Operative looked at him, his face revealing no emotion. "I had no knowledge of this."

"What were your orders?" the grey haired man asked, looking through his glasses at a piece of paper.

"To capture or kill the girl, with the use of any force necessary."

"And was there anything about the mission ending if certain secrets were leaked out?"

"No sir."

"Then why did you not complete the mission?" the white haired man asked, anger welling up in his voice.

The Operative did not respond.

"Very well", the grey haired man said. "For your crimes against the Alliance, you will be discharged from duty effective immediately and we decree death for the act of treason. And due to your vast experience with avoiding danger, we have decided that vaporization shall be your method of death. The execution will take place in twelve days' time." He waved his hand once and said, "Guards."

Four guards stepped forward and aimed their guns at the Operative. The fifth guard came forward with a needle and injected its contents into his arm. His face remained still as his vision grew blurry and his hearing dulled. He heard only four words before sleep overcame him.

"Bring us Charles Dante."