CHAPTER 13

Jack Hammerson sat in his darkened office, the only illumination coming from the screen on the desk in front of him. The display showed only two weak life-sign signatures, one almost nonexistent — vegetative. Its blinking lights whispered: mission failure, over and over. Deleting the project files, he switched off the computer.

He remained, unmoving, in the dark. His body could have been carved from stone. As if finally remembering he needed to, he drew in a long, slow breath, then switched on his desk lamp. He picked up the folder and flipped it open.

Arcadian Project — human trials not yet authorized.

Closing his eyes, he sorted through his options. He thought of his promise to Jim Hunter all those years ago. But if he could have brought him back, then. . Who knows how things might have turned out?

Sorry, Hunter — some of us were made for war. He’d decided. Hammerson picked up the phone.

‘It’s me… Ready the lab. I’ve got someone for you.’

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