Episode 11: Fast and Furious
Jewel flops down into her seat before her computer monitor. Much like everyone else in the city, she was watching the trail of the century. The way the tide of the case turned stunned her greatly. But nothing stunned her more so than hearing the name of a file that she has seen on Q's computer many times.
The Eden Protocols.
She had asked Q, her mentor many years ago; just what were that file and what contents it held. Q would always brush her off, telling her that it was an old defunct project, canceled because of the Venjix uprising. She had taken his explanation as word. But now… now the facts don't add up after hearing Scott Truman explain just what role the Eden Protocols held in Venjix's creation.
Jewel slowly turns in her seat and looks toward Q's personal station. She stands from her seat and makes her way over to his computer. With shaky hands she enters the password necessary to log into Q's personal CPU. She quickly navigates through the files finding the said folder. She reaches into her lab coat and removes a small handheld hard drive and plugs it into an open USB port. She quickly copies the file over.
Jewel bites her bottom lip as she contemplates her next move. She knows that if she leaves, and takes this file to the authorities, she'll be branded a traitor to the remainder of the Alphabet Soup organization. She'll never be allowed to complete her own personal projects and will indefinitely be pulled from the Genesis Ring.
"No. He has to pay. The world needs to know the truth," Jewel states as she navigates through several more files. She highlights the rest of Alphabet Soups files that are dated back to at least thirty years and copies them over to her handheld drive. Jewel quickly erases her tracks and logs out of the computer. She pockets the hard drive and darts over to her desk to retrieve her own personal items. She knows that she will not be coming back.
"I have to get this data to Scott Truman."
Gemma had arrived just in time to see Scott and Doctor K emerge from the courthouse. There are ton of reporters asking Doctor K questions, but even if the Doctor had expressed desire to answer one or two, Scott is not giving her the chance. He is quickly leading her to the vehicle that they had arrived in.
"Scott," Gemma calls out over the noise. If he had heard her, he would not know since more than one person is calling his name out. So she tries a different tactic. "Eagle Prime! Eagle Prime!"
That does get Scott's attention. He turns and quickly scans the crowd, looking for her. Once he spots her, he motions toward her with his hand, signaling her to come to him. Gemma wastes no time in pushing through the maze of reporters. Upon reaching the vehicle, Scott quickly pushes her to the backseat with Doctor K. Scott then hops in the passenger seat and looks to the driver. "Get us out of here!"
"Where to sir," the driver asks.
"The garage," Gemma yells out. "We need to get to the Garage!"
Scott shrugs, looking to the driver with a smile. "You heard the lady."
"I very much would love to get out of this prison garb," Doctor K admits.
"I was listening to the trial over my smartphone as I walked to the Courthouse," Gemma remarks. "It was getting kinda heated."
"Yeah," Scott admits. "But I think that I managed to get the point across. After all, Karen is free in my care."
"The trial could still go in any direction," Doctor K crosses her arms. "We shouldn't count our eggs until they hatch."
"Right," Scott turns in his seat as he looks back at her. "But I am optimistic. Your story has been heard. And with the facts that I presented, once we bring the rest of the evidence to court tomorrow, you will walk out of there a free woman! People don't blame the gun maker, they blame the shooter. Once we reveal the identity of the person who made Venjix into a threat, you will be cleared."
"Some people may feel differently," Karen continues.
"You need to stop thinking that way," Scott grasps her hand. "You are free. I'm not going to let anything happen to you. I promise."
Gemma watches the two with interest, a small smile forming on her lips as she watches Karen's cheeks flush pink. She watches as Karen places her other hand atop of Scott's, nodding as if accepting his words. "Okay. I believe you."
The driver slams on breaks, quickly drawing the attention of his passengers. Scott turns and glares at him. "Excuse me, what the hell?"
"There… is something… in the road," the driver pales.
Scott quickly turns and his eyes widen. Standing in the street is a large, vicious Venjix Attack-bot. Scott turns to Karen and Gemma, his eyes hardening. "Gemma, make sure she gets to the Garage safe and sound."
"Right boss," Gemma salutes him.
"Scott, what are…"
"I've got a job to do," Scott tells Karen. "I'll be fine. I'll feel a lot better knowing that you are safe."
Scott quickly hops out of the vehicle and walks toward the Attack-bot. The driver of the transport quickly reels off in reverse, putting distance between them and the Attack-bot. Doctor K turns in her seat and watches as Scott and the Attack-bot disappear in the distance. People who were in the streets begin to run in a panic as well upon seeing the Attack-bot.
Gemma feels her phone vibrating alongside her leg. She removes it from her pocket and swipes the screen. "Hello? Gem?"
"Hey, we were watching the trial on the news! Awesome, huh?"
"We're on route to the Garage right this moment," Gemma remarks. "Scott ran into some trouble!"
"An Attack-bot," Gemma remarks. "Not even four blocks away from the Courthouse! Knowing Scott, he'll try to lead the Attack-bot away from the populace, but the streets were flooded with people who were outside the Courthouse protesting!"
"Blast! Well… I can go assist him! Just get here soon and…"
"I have Karen with me," Gemma cuts him off.
"Whoa, okay, that changes everything," Gem remarks. "Meet us at the Garage then; we'll be here waiting for you!"
"Roger," Gemma remarks. She leans forward the driver and informs him. "Don't mean to rush ya, but can we maybe get there a little faster?"
"Yes ma'am," the driver nods. Gemma turns back and looks at Doctor K after pocketing her cellphone.
"Doctor K… Karen," she touches Karen's' shoulder. "What's wrong?"
Karen turns to Gemma, her eyes are red again and silent tears are running down her cheeks. "I… I dunno… I am just so… for the first time in a long time… I'm so scared…"
Gemma quickly wraps her arms around the younger woman's shoulders in comfort. She can feel Karen trembling in her arms.
"So, Venjix sends another one of his toys, eh," Scott remarks as he and the Attack-bot circle one another in the middle of the nearby park. The nearby populace had left the area as they watched Scott Truman lead the robot away from the populated area. While many took off to seek shelter, many remained on the sidelines, watching with keen interest of the showdown that is inevitable between the two combatants.
"I'm more than a mere toy, I assure you," Terrorbyte sneers.
"So… you're not like the others. You actually have intelligence," Scott notes.
"And the mindset to destroy you, Operator Series Red," Terrorbyte chuckles. "My Master has given me plenty of data involving you."
"Then it seems that you have me at a disadvantage, because I know nothing about you," Scott raises his Morpher and Engine Cell. He had been expecting an attack at any time; he wanted to be prepared just in case. "But even then, you don't know everything about me! BACK IN GEAR!"
Gehenna slowly creeps into the building from where Cog had traced Chaz's message from days earlier. She concluded that perhaps she could find any relevant data from Chaz's residence as toward the location to the Genesis Ring. The building is a very fancy mansion. Gehenna shakes her head at its appearance. A small part of her that is still Summer Landsdown can only recoil in disdain at this lifestyle. The very building represents something that shouldn't even exist in this new world left from the Venjix holocaust, a class system.
"Such a lovely home," Gehenna spats with venom as her anger grows uncontrollably. "There are those out there in the city less fortunate, sharing supplies, trying to make what is left of this world work… and these people continue to live like nothing has happened… wait… why… why do I care," Gehenna shakes her head, trying to clear her thoughts. "I don't care about humanity or how they treat each other… right?"
Hearing laughter coming around the corner, Gehenna hops behind several large vases that are seated on the floor. The plants inside them shade her form from the newcomer's eyes. As they pass, Gehenna feels a sense of familiarity toward one of the three females passing by. She blinks her eyes rapidly, as if trying to clear her thoughts.
"I need to keep my focus," Gehenna growls. "If I keep spacing out like that, I will get caught! I will have Cog check over my cognitive receptors upon my return back to Base."
She quickly navigates throughout the mansion, making her way to Chaz's personal office, outside his campaign offices within his residence. She hides behind several pillars, watching several more of the mansion workers past by before sneaking into his office. It was locked, but the lock was quick to get around thanks to her right artificial hand and its many enhancements. Once inside, she locks the door again, and makes her way over to his desk where his personal computer waits.
"Now," Gehenna smirks as she takes a seat and turns to the keyboard and monitor. "Let's see what you are hiding Mister Winchester."
Gehenna quickly scans over the files. Thanks to the hyper processor that was implanted into her brain, much like Tenaya-15's, Gehenna is able to process the data all the more quicker than even the smartest human. She smirks as the location of the Genesis Ring is revealed to her… and more.
"So, Chaz is not working alone. Professor Cog was smart to not solely trust Chaz. There is a secret group that is planning a total coup of the Corinth's government, which employees many old Alphabet Soup scientists. That is where the Ring is located."
Gehenna quickly logs off and then proceeds to sneak back out of the mansion. Upon clearing the property, Gehenna removes a communicator from her belt and brings it closer to her lips.
"The Genesis-Ring has been located," Gehenna sends a command to the Grinders that she has hidden on standby. "Locate and acquire transportation and meet me at the location that I am uploading to you all now."
Outside the dome, as well as inside the dome, the hidden Grinders receive the information and they begin with their orders. Smirking, Gehenna replaces her communicator, giving Chaz's mansion one last glance before disappearing.
Jewel had managed to sneak out of the Alphabet Soup facility. She quickly navigated her way through the streets, trying to reach the Court House to locate the Commander of Corinth's forces, Scott Truman. She turns a corner and her eyes widen as she watches a horde of citizens flee the area.
"What's going on down there," she yells out, hoping that any one of the fleeing citizens would respond. Luckily for her, a tall African American male in a Postal Delivery uniform spots her.
"Robot attack Miss! Get out of here!"
"Is the Operator Series Red battling the robotic monstrosity?"
"The who now?"
"The Operator… Red Ranger! The Red Ranger," Jewel clarifies.
"Yeah, only him," the Postal Worker remarks as he draws closer to her. "We need to clear the streets! They are really going at it!"
"No, I must get to him," Jewel remarks as she quickly darts away, losing herself in the flood of people going in one direction, as she rushes through the tide, heading toward the battlegrounds.
When she finally reaches a clearing, she hides alongside a building and alleyway. Her eyes zoom in on the fight between the Red Operator Series Ranger and the vicious looking Attack-bot. Several cars are overturned, and scorch marks can be seen burned across several trees and on the street.
Scott has his Street Saber drawn and is relentless in his attack in trying to strike down Terrorbyte. The Attack-bot has its own arm blades drawn, deflecting each swing of the mighty Street Saber as it clashes against them.
"Growing fatigued Ranger Red," Terrorbyte mocks. "Your movements are growing erratic!"
"Thanks for the heads up," Scott quickly changes tactics as he draws his blaster, firing a shot at Terrorbytes head. The energy blast throws Terrorbyte backwards, knocking him into one of the over turned cars. Terrorbytes eyes glow red and twin energy beams cut out toward Scott, who raises his Saber to deflect the energy. The two twin beams of energy cut across the ground, heading directly for Jewel.
Jewel's eyes widen as sudden death quickly approaches her. However, luckily for her, Scott noticed her out of the corner of his visor, and he quickly twisted the Saber's blade, changing the direction of the beams. A fire hydrant is hit, causing water to erupt into the air, allowing it to rain down upon the area.
"You, get out of here," Scott yells to her. Terrorbyte used Scott's momentary distraction to rush forward and slice him across the chest with one of his blades. Sparks erupt off of Scott's Biosuit as he is thrown back, both his blaster and his Street Saber being thrown from his grasp.
Jewel quickly jumps backwards, content on waiting the battle out. She needs to get the information on her laptop to the Red Ranger. The answers to everything now lies with her. She looks down at her laptop and pulls it closer.
Terrorbyte leaps into the air, his blades posed to stab Scott upon landing on top of the downed Ranger. Using the treads on his gloves and boots, the wheels spin quickly, moving Scott out of harm's way. One of Terrorbytes blades stabs into the concrete. Scott quickly thrusts one of his legs outward, striking the backside of the blade, snapping it in half.
Both combatants use the next moment to put some distance between the other. As the two begin to circle each other once more, Terrorbyte stops as a message is delivered to him over his built in communicator. Terrorbyte takes a step back, and then backflips on top of an overturned bus, putting plenty of distance between Scott and himself.
"It's been fun Red Ranger," Terrorbyte leaps on top of an overturned bus. "But I must take my leave."
"Already? But I was just getting warmed up," Scott taunts the Attack-bot.
"Another time perhaps." Terrorbyte retorts. "I have new orders."
And with that said, Terrorbyte disappears amongst the fire and smoke, disappearing from sight. Scott contemplates chasing down the Attack-bot, but decides that he must regroup. He retrieves his Street Saber and blaster from off the ground. He spots the shorter African American female that he had yelled to earlier to get to safety, quickly making her way toward him.
"What are you doing," Scott's voice has an edge to it. "Why were you hanging around this area? You should have evac…" Scott stops abruptly as he takes in her attire. The lab coat. The rather awkwardness of her motions. "You… you are with Alphabet Soup…"
"I am, or I should say, I was," Jewel states. "I was watching the trial, much like many were within the City. After hearing your presentation and facts about the Eden Protocols, I did my own investigating. I found many files that prove your claims and would clear Doctor K of all wrong doings. I know the real creator of Venjix!"
"Why would you give this to me," Scott asks, uncertain. "How do I know that this is not some kind of trap?"
"I assure you, it is not. I have never had any reason to question my superiors at all, but when the facts didn't add up and after watching the court case… I need to do this. But I will need protection. Once my betrayal is learned of, Alphabet Soup will come for me. And if know Doctor K, then you know just how far Alphabet Soup will go to silence their... defectors."
Scott is quiet for a moment as he contemplates the situation. "Okay. I gonna take you at your word. When we get back to the Garage, I'm going to have you give up any and all data you can to my team. You'll work alongside them."
"Of course," Jewel nods her head in eager agreement. "Believe me, I want to help. Doctor Q has lied to us all."
"Doctor Q, eh," Scott frowns behind his visor. "Okay, if I had some doubts before, you have convinced me. Follow me."
Not too far away, hiding in a nearby alley way, the three Paleo Rangers watch as the streets from the shadows. While the other two observe the area, trying to track the Attack-bot, Terrorbyte, the Crimson Ranger watches Scott and Jewel with interest.
"Viral Venjix energy cannot be detected," the Cyan Paleo Ranger states. "The Attack-bot has left the area. Should we pursue the Operator Series Red Ranger?"
Crimson turns, standing before Cyan, blocking his view of Scott and Jewel as they disappear around the corner. "No. He too has fled the area. And there are too many civilians. Our actions would be exposed. Let us return back to base."
"Affirmative," the White Operator nods. As the Cyan and White Operator turn and walk away, Crimson turns and looks back at the area where his brother, Scott, was fighting Terrorbyte minutes earlier. He then turns and follows the other two Paleos.
It takes Terrorbyte only a few minutes to regroup with Gehenna at the location she uploaded to the Venjix Network. Upon entering the facility, Terrorbyte can see bodies littered all over the floor. Grinders have moved the giant Ring onto the back of a large Freight Truck using forklifts and their own mechanical strength.
Terrorbyte steps over several bodies as it makes its way over to Gehenna, who is watching the Grinders work. As the taller robot comes to a stop beside her, Gehenna raises an eyebrow toward him.
"Your distraction worked perfectly. No one here was able to activate an alarm. All the police and rescue teams where focused on the area where you were battling Scott."
"What is this place," Terrorbyte asks. "And who were these fools that are sprawled out on the floor?"
"This was the only Alphabet Soup facility in the city. And as for the corpses on the floor, they were all Alphabet Soup facility members. All accounted for, except for two."
"I assume that you are not counting Doctor K or the twins in that count, correct," Terrorbyte asks.
"Correct. As of this moment, Doctor K, Gem and Gemma are not our priority. Their time will come. Right now, we have to get this device to Master Venjix."
"Of course," Terrorbyte chuckles. "I can't wait to have another go at Ranger Red. He and I have… unfinished business."
"He is not to be taken lightly," Gehenna frowns. "He alone not only defeated Master Venjix once before, but he destroyed Shifter. Not to mention that he defeated Professor Cog once before on that Alternate Earth."
"Of course," Terrorbyte remarks as he looks down at his broken arm blade. "Next time though, victory will be mine."
"The Ring is secured," Gehenna barks at the Grinders. "Let's roll out! Set charges to destroy this facility! We cannot give them the means to start rebuilding the Ring!" Gehenna makes her way to the driver side of the Freight Truck as Terrorbyte walks around the trailer and hops into the back, to stand guard over the Ring. Several Grinders also accompany him. The others load up into smaller transport vehicles as they begin to peel out of the facility.
Gehenna smirks as she watches the facility explode in her mirrors.
Within the Garage, Mason Truman and the others are standing before the large television set within the recreation area of the facility. It was something that Flynn had purchased and placed within the building after Venjix's first defeat, two years earlier. It is a wide, 84 inch screen, can show several different channels at once. And it is, of three different news stations, each covering a different area. One of the screens was focused on the battle that Scott was engaged in with the Attack-bot and the other of the facility that just went up in flames all the way across the town where over a hundred bodies were found.
The third was at one of the entrances to the dome as it was blown apart by Grinders as they assisted a large Freight Truck escaping the city. The news casters have quickly placed the three events as being connected; all talk of the trial of Doctor K which occurred before this, momentary forgotten.
"What a day," Gem states.
"Three different events, all which are connected to Venjix," Gemma continues. "Not to mention the attempted assassination of the Colonel," Gemma turns to Mason.
"Venjix used the situation of Doctor K's trial to pull off an operation with the city," Mason glances at the chair that Doctor K is seated in. She is no longer wearing her prison garb; she is now wearing one of Gemma's spare jump suits; as that all her belongings were confiscated when she was arrested the week prior. It is a little baggy on her, due to her much shorter size in comparison to Gemma. "They all got into the city without being noticed."
"That is because all of our equipment was taken by Doctor Q by Chaz's orders," Flynn frowns. "We have no way to monitor the city. Not even now. I've brought equipment from my shop where I was rebuilding Corinth's Network grid, but there is only so much we can do."
"And apparently Commander Murdock has no real idea on to handle the situation. Not one single military personnel was sent out during the robot attack."
"Do you think Commander Murdock is on Chaz's payroll along with Doctor Q," Vasquez asks.
"I'd put money on it," the former Colonel states. "And to add to the fact that I believe that my would-be assassin was in fact Marcus. And he was wearing Ranger Biotech. The only other person who could create Rangertech aside from Doctor K…"
"Would be Doctor Q," Doctor K states. "He had access to all my data after my arrest."
"Exactly," Mason remarks. "We have one hell of a conspiracy on our hands."
"I will take a look at the data that you all have gathered," Karen states. She turns to go to her lab, only to be stopped by Flynn.
"Lass, go relax. We'll handle this. Ye must have had a tiring day. It clearly shows in ye face."
"No. I need to clear my mind. Getting my hands involved in something... anything..."
"You are going to rest Doctor K," Gemma states. "You are mentally and physically fatigued. It shows."
"Yeah," Scott's voice rings from the entrance of the Garage. Standing beside the Red Operator is Jewel, who is holding onto her laptop tightly. Scott crosses the Garage quickly and stands before Karen. "I'll take over now Gemma. Thank you for watching after her."
Karen slowly wraps her arms around Scott's middle. As she collapses against him, Scott can feel the tension in her body quickly disappear. Gem stares at the new arrival with curiosity present on his features.
"Scott, who is she," Gem asks.
"This is Jewel," Scott introduces Jewel to the group. "She works... Well, use to work for Alphabet Soup."
"Correct," Jewel states. "I was watching your trial on the television," Jewel turns to Doctor K. "Upon hearing of the evidence regarding the Eden Files; I hacked into Doctor Q's computer. I remember seeing that file once before. After hearing about the connection of the Venjix AI being corrupted by coding integrated from the Eden Files, I came to the conclusion that Doctor Q was involved."
"You willingly betray Q," Gemma speaks up, not quite trusting the new arrival.
"Yes. The evidence is clear, which I have enough in my laptop which should help put Q away. But we must act quickly. He has his own Project Ranger program up and running..."
"Yeah. We met one of them," Gem remarks, looking back at Mason Truman.
"Yes. Marcus," Mason nods, slowly turning to Scott. "Scott, your brother is alive."
"What," Scott's eyes are wide as he jerks his toward his father.
"It is true," Jewel turns to Scott. "I had not the time to inform you. Marcus' body was recovered three years ago, right after the dome was sealed by Alphabet Soup, alongside two other individuals. Cybernetics are laced throughout their bodies. Marcus and the others were then placed within a healing chamber which acts as an artificial womb to heal the individual. We call it..."
"The Lazarus Chamber," Doctor K pulls her face away from Scott's chest. "You were able to build a functioning model?"
"Yes," Jewel nods excitably; quite eager to share her knowledge with the famed Doctor K. "It is quite a remarkable process..."
"My brother is alive..." Scott is flabbergasted; he gazes down at the floor for several moments. He turns and looks at his father. "Marcus is alive."
"Yes," his father nods. "I didn't see his face, but his voice... his movements. It is him."
"We have to find him. Bring him home."
"We will. But now, let us look at this young lady's laptop. Between her evidence and what we have, we can build a fool proof case to clear Doctor K's name completely and have charges brought to Q."
"And Chaz," Scott frowns. "I am positive that Chaz must be involved somehow. He has Q in his employee."
"And Chaz forced my hand in my stepping down, using my knowledge of K's alleged creation of Venjix," Mason frowns. "This conspiracy is far and wide."
"Not to mention this… Covenant," Gem adds. "Remember, Marcus mentioned them when he… well. When he nearly killed you."
"Marcus tried to kill you," Scott looks at his father with wide eyes.
"Trust me, he was not himself," Mason assures him.
"Doctor Q has placed control chips in their skulls," Jewel states. "Marcus Truman, Carlos Riggs and Trevor Macon. Those are the names of the Paleo Rangers."
"Follow me," Gem tells Jewel as he steps up toward her. "I'll show you to the lab were..."
"We have been working on clearing Doctor K's name," Gemma concludes, deciding that she can trust Jewel.
"Yes, of course," Jewel nods and follows behind the twins. Flynn chuckles and limps behind the three, following them into Doctor K's lab.
Mason turns to Hicks and Vasquez. "Okay. Change of plans. We'll set up shop at the Eagle Squad hanger. If everything is gone to hell the way I expect, our conspirators will be attempting to do damage control. Which means they will be attempting to cover their asses and not worry about us. The media is parked outside this building. They wouldn't dare try to attack with all this media coverage."
"Right," Scott agrees as he hands his keys over to his father. "Here are the keys to the Hanger. However, we should all be on our guard. Hicks," Scott turns to his subordinate. "Get the Eagle Squad armed up and on alert."
"You got it boss," Hicks salutes.
"And you...," Scott looks down at Karen, cupping the right side of her face. "You are going to get some rest. Even if I have to put you to bed myself."
Doctor K's face flushes, as a small smile graces her lips.
Mason smiles himself, watching the two. He had never seen his youngest son ever look at anyone as tender or as intimate as he is now, toward the Doctor. "I see. Be as it may, I do believe I owe you an apology Doctor... Karen."
"An apology," Karen turns to the former Colonel.
"Yes. I blamed you for Marcus' death... for the state of the world. But now, with all the evidence that Gemma and Flynn have shown me… Now I know better. I apologize for the dismissive way I have been toward you for the past two years. If Scott could have seen past all that... I should have too."
"Thank you, sir. That means a lot to hear coming from you."
Mason nods. He looks at Scott and smiles. "Commander."
"Colonel," Scott nods. Mason, Hicks and Vasquez head off toward the dorm area, leaving Scott and Karen the last two within the recreation area of the Garage.
"So," Scott begins, tightening his arms around Karen's middle. "How does it feel to be a free woman?"
"Technically, I am still a suspect until formal charges are dropped, but... It feels good. You kept your promise."
"I told you," Scott pulls her close. "I make the impossible possible."
"That you do. That you always have."
"Now, let's get you to your room. You need your rest. I am quite aware of how tired you really are."
"Will you... stay the night with me," Karen asks, unsure of herself. "I don't want to be alone anymore. I've been alone for far too long..."
"I'm not going anywhere," Scott lowers his lips onto hers. Karen finds herself molding herself into Scott's arms. Since the first kissed they shared a week earlier, she has found herself craving his touch, more and more. With her guilt lifted and her heart now fully open, Doctor Karen Kay can allow herself to finally...
"Now," Scott remarks, pulling back from Karen slightly, his forehead gently pressed against hers. "Let me lock up the facility. Then you can rest. We're going to have an even longer day tomorrow."
"We're going to take down Q," Karen states.
"Provided all of Jewel's evidence is on point," Scott states. "Yeah. We are. And then after that... we find out just if Chaz has a connection to this Covenant and to Alphabet Soup. Then we are going to bring them down!"
Hours later, across town, the Covenant has gathered...
"We have a serious problem," Charles Winchester growls as he gazes across the large round table to his companions. "The Genesis-Ring has been stolen."
"That device was huge. How could anyone make off with it," one speaks.
"When did this thief occur?"
"Shortly after the trial was put off," another states. "During that battle between Scott Truman and an Attack-bot. The entire Alphabet Soup facility has been destroyed and the staff killed… aside from Doctor Q of course."
"Where is Doctor Q now," one of the men asks.
"In a makeshift lab at my estate," Chaz remarks from his spot at the table. "He is trying to figure out how it all happened and if anything can be salvaged in an attempt to rebuild the Genesis-Ring."
"Somehow, Venjix knows about the Genesis-Ring."
"But how," another growls. "No one outside the people in this room, and a few Alphabet Soup members knew of its existence!"
"Actually, Colonel Truman and Scott Truman knew about it as well," another member sits back into his seat.
"What I want to know, is who was in communication with that robot Cog," Charles slams his fist onto the table. "It had to be someone with knowledge of the Ring! Do any of you have any side dealings with Cog!" The members all shake their heads in a negative motion. Beside Charles, Chaz shuffles uncomfortably. None of the other members of the Covenant are aware of his own private dealings with Cog at all. If he were to save face, the group, including his father, must remain in the dark concerning his dealings with the malignant AI.
"It could have been a bluff," Chaz suggests.
"Scott Truman was on point with everything else he presented at the trial," his father sighs. "Besides, we have video footage of Grinders attacking the Alphabet Soup facility and killing all of the operatives and moving the Ring. No one other than ourselves knew of the location of the lab. Damn it! That Ring was our ace in the hole in holding control over this city!"
"We are slowly losing our grip on the situation," an older member of the Covenant growls.
"Perhaps we should take a step back. Continue on with our plans at a later time," another states.
"No," Chaz remarks, standing from his seat. "I am still in the lead in the polls for the election. We can still move forward. But we will need to find a way to grasp control of the situation. Colonel Truman is still alive, as is Scott Truman. As of now, we cannot act on either of the two now that they are aware that there are other Ranger Operators."
"Is it too late to have them... removed?"
"Any movement against them now would draw attention. For now, they shall be left alone," Chaz sighs.
"What about their evidence," Charles asks. "Is there any chance we will be implicated?"
"No. Not any of us," Chaz remarks. A few seconds pass before he continues. "Only Doctor Q."
"Well then," Charles leans back into his seat, frowning. "We will need to cut him off. Let him take all the blame."
"We'll need to have him silenced immediately following," the oldest member of the Covenant coughs. "We can't have him talking either."
"Of course grandfather" Chaz remarks with a smirk. "For the Covenant."
"For the Covenant," the group repeats, their voices echoing throughout the room.