Chapter 35: Betrayal
"What!" Said the accused, stepping back a little. "You can't be serious."
"You have always been there. You have always had access to information on my condition. And then, to top it all off…" She frowned a little more to him. "You then tried to duplicate the very product that has been hurting me for years."
"I would never betray you RED!" Atom yelled as he stepped back. "I have been with you for YEARS!"
"And it took me years to understand." She stepped towards him but then quickly brought her leg up and aimed to kick her tutor into a wall. But Atom blocked it and held her still.
Rin still frowned at him. "The training I got with Dimiti… it's identical to the training you gave me. And I checked the records, you requested for your team to do that border patrol at Zumbe space port that day. You knew that was where the shuttle would end. You were there to find me."
Atom shook his head, looking back to her. "It was pure chance Rin…."
"No it wasn't. You were sent there to look for me. You have always known everything about me! You always knew exactly the right thing to do." She closed her hand into a fist and stepped closer. "Just tell me the truth Atom."
Trapped in the room with his student and the others, Atom could only stand and try to think. "R… RED I…"
"Atom, just tell us the truth." The commander said as he folded his arms. "Are you a traitor to the IFP?"
"No." He said at last. "I… I wasn't a traitor. Not… at first."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"I was not sent to Zumbe, I really was there by chance. But when I found you and when I found the lab, and we saw what you had gone through… I realised you needed help. No one knew what was going on, what we could do to help you RED!" He dropped his head to the floor. "So… I followed a trail from the lab and found Dimiti and I made a deal with him. For information on the Notriz… I would keep him informed of your condition. It made my blood boil to even speak to that man but I had no choice! I promised to look after you but I had no idea how!" His eyes stared at Rin before him, wide and filled with sorrow. "I'm sorry Rin. I only ever wanted to look after you. You're like a daughter to me but I had no choice."
The human stared at him then slowly stepped up and reached over, touching his neck softly. Atom slowly closed his eyes and leant into her hand until his lips touched her skin as Rin stared at him. She might not be a Taulan but Atom's Seon with her was real and she used it well. After a moment she stepped back and nodded. "He's telling the truth. So… you told him where to find me? You told him I was on Tarke?"
"I'm sorry Rin. I had to. That was the price of the final part of his formula. I didn't know he was going to try and…."
"What you thought he was going to just… going to let her go?" Sesshomaru growled, stepping forward and grabbing Atom by the throat, slamming him against the wall but the Inu's grip was soon broken by his wife, kicking him in the gut.
"Hands off Rookie!" She yelled, holding Atom up. "Atom, if what you're telling us is true, then you there is still a chance. How did you contact Dimiti?"
The Taulon nodded. "When I had information, I would send a message to a contact box on Kaon. I'd go back a few hours later and my answers would be waiting for me."
"Then this is what we do." RED said, turning to look at them. "You send a message to Dimiti, tell him I'm still alive and looking for him. When he comes to pick up the message, we go in and we deal with him. Agreed?"
Atom nodded even when Lizabeth and Darrick just stood unsure towards the back. But the IPF officers were soon ready and soon Atom left by public transport for Kaon while Rin, Sesshomaru and Samuel followed in the Defiant.
Kaon was the image of a modern planet, flying vehicles, every building touching the atmosphere and anything could be done on this planet. Finding the messenger box, Sesshomaru watched from a nearby roof and Samuel watching from the Defiant above while RED stood on the ground with Atom, looking at the box across the street.
Her tutor took a small breath and lifted himself a little. "Stay here RED, he might be watching."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, just stay here." He gave her a quick smile. "I'll be right back." He didn't wait for her to say anything else, just stepped out and began slowly making his way across the busy street.
With him gone from her side, RED lifted her com link to her mouth. "Samuel… is everything ready?"
"I have every sensor available on every angle of that box. Anyone goes near it, I'll know."
Sesshomaru cut into the conversation suddenly. "Rin, is it me or is Atom taking his time?"
Rin looked back at her tutor as he stood by the box, looking at it with the paper in his hand. It was strange. She frowned to herself and began thinking. "Samuel, can you see if there is anything inside the box?"
There was a moment but then the commander's voice came back, the urgency clear. "RED there's a bomb in that messenger box! GET OUT OF THERE!"
The woman hardly had time to allow it to register before Atom finally opened the lid and a concussive wave of energy blasted over the busy street. The first part was powerful and devastating, throwing people into the air and into buildings, metal cracking under the strain and anything small and loose was almost disintegrated by the attack but after the first wave, a second wave of blasted sound, the sound of the actually bomb with the sound of people screaming, cracking and smashing of anything caught in the power of the blast.
Rin had been far enough away that the box that it didn't reach her directly yet she was still knocked off her feet and took a moment in the dust and smoke to regain her senses when it was over.
The whole thing was over in just a few seconds, the blast, the damage, the attack, all over. A level of shock hit Rin as she walked towards the epicentre of the damage, where the messenger box and her tutor had just been. She ignored the sounds of the wounded and the screams of terror, she just stood there, looking at the deep crater that dug into Kaon's base.
The contact snapped her out of the trance and Rin found herself faced by her partner and mate as he held her shoulder, looking over her for injuries. He was also covered in a fine coating of dust from the blast but like herself he was unharmed. Rin shook her head a little. "He knew it was a trap."
Sesshomaru didn't reply, he just looked over her head at the damage. Then he gripped her closer and nodded.
Following his gaze, Rin turned to see what he had seen.
Stood over by a wall, inspecting the damage but he didn't appear to have seen them. He soon did and his face was pure terror.
In a matter of seconds RED and Sesshomaru were chasing after him, pushing past anyone in their way, not losing sight of him for ever a second. With people either trying to run away from the blast or towards it to help, the crowd appeared to just grow thicker and their target was getting away.
They had to find a new way.
Looking up, Rin saw the many ledges that made up the sides of Kaon's city and gave Sesshomaru a knowing smile. Together they climbed their way up and, without the people in their way, made good progress in following the old human.
Dimiti never thought to look up towards the cityscape to see where they were and so soon believed he had lost them and began heading for his escape. The Expert was waiting in a near-by dock and when he arrived, it was already preparing for take-off. Scrambling aboard, the doctor panted. "GO!" He yelled to his captain. "FOR HEAVENS SAKE GO!"
The door closed and the Expert took off into the sky, blasting its way through Kaon's automatic defences and into open space and from there, into warp.
As Dimiti got his breath back, he swallowed and stood, heading for the cockpit of his craft. "Are we being followed?"
"Good. The last thing I need is the Defiant on our tail. Radio Dreata and tell him to have transport ready to get me back to my lab." He let out another deep breath, still trying to calm himself down. "Dam that Taulan. He was meant to show RED where the box was and let her post the message. Instead, he goes and blows himself up!"
"You shouldn't speak ill of the dead."
Dimiti paused as he looked back at his co-pilot. "What did you say?"
"Atom was a good man. He just made the wrong choice."
Panic suddenly filled the doctor's heart as he saw the dust over the person's clothes and the clear defined femalely of him. He took a step back and reached for a weapon at his side but his hand found nothing. What he did find was that his weapon was being held by his pilot and aimed at him.
Quickly the pair removed their helmets and revealed themselves to be the very two officers he had been running from.
RED gave a cold grin as she lifted her own weapon to join Sesshomaru's. "Using the same craft twice Dimiti? You should know better than that."
The doctor backed up again, leaving the cockpit for the main part of the ship. "No… no you… you can't…."
"Doctor Dimiti Sitron, you are charged with over three hundred different offenses. Including murder, abduction, illegal chemical experimentation and generally making my life a misery." RED said calmly, stepping back with him, not once allowing him to move without her following. "Under direct orders of the IPF, we are to bring you into custody for trial and punishment. However… you know I won't let you live. You have known this from the very moment I escaped. You used my teacher, you harmed my child and you have taken EVERYTHING from me!"
Dimiti lifted his head up as he was held at gunpoint by them both. "Then do it RED. Kill me. Take your revenge. But as long you live, you will know that what you are… what your child is… is because of me. I MADE YOU!"
"No." RED corrected, stepping closer. "I am what I am because of Atom, and Sesshomaru… and everyone I have ever met or had the honour of fighting beside. You gave me strength. They gave me a reason. Now… kneel!"
Glancing at the other man in the room, Dimiti slowly lowered himself to the ships floor, eyes locked on the woman before him as she stepped closer and pressed the nuzzle of her blaster to his forehead.
RED stared back into his eyes but blinked slowly. "All those people you have killed… all the lives you ruined… you disserve worse than this." She took a step back, weapon still train on him. "Sesshomaru, cuff him."
The Inu was a little amazed by her compassion but moved to do as she asked, dropping his weapon to his side as he walked over to Dimiti and pulled his arms behind his back.
Just as he went to place the cuffs on the man, he jolted to his feet and charged over towards RED who had been looking away. He pulled something from his pocket and RED gasped just as the knife came towards her.
At the nick of time she knelt down and avoided his attack, while swinging her leg under him and knocking him down.
She didn't hesitate in blasting him this time, right in the chest.
Dimiti lay where he was for a moment, hand helplessly covering the wound as he looked up at RED who was staring back. She gave a small smile. "Increased alertness. My first trait."
Gasping, as if trying to speak, stared at her but then fell back where he was and fell still.
Rin looked at the body then at her partner. "You hurt?"
"He caught me off guard. I'm fine."
With a smile, she stepped to his side and held his neck to pull herself over for a small kiss. The Inu looked down sadly at her then nodded, pulling her close to his heart. "You were going to spare him."
"I'm not the only one who dissevered revenge for what he did. I just deserved it the most." She looked behind her at the body. "But he was right about one thing. He is the reason for what I am."
A hand closed around her cheek and pulled her back to him, forcing her to look up at him. "You made yourself who you are. Now… lets go home. Takara needs to see her mother."
Rin gave a smile and hugged him once more before heading for the cockpit and programming the Expert to head for the Alpha base.
Chapter 36: The Closing of Times