In many ways, it was a very old-fashioned room. Rows of shelves filled with books lined two full walls and much of a third, and were interrupted there only by the door through which Masunori Yatsumoto entered. The old-fashioned appearance was shattered by the huge Cortex system on the far wall, which was now locked on a screen saver that simply read “FEDERAL NETWORK” with an Alliance symbol.
She had entered almost silently, and he never turned his chair around. Regardless of that, however, he greeted her as she approached the massive desk in the center of the room. “Good evening, Asante,” he said, his voice neutral. His voice was always neutral; he never seemed to get angry, or happy, or anything else. At least not in her presence.
“Good evening, sir,” she replied. “I have news from Level 7. Robert Grawitzer has been murdered.”
There was a brief pause. “ That’s unfortunate. How did it happen?”
“The doctor was assigned to medical duty with a prisoner. Apparently, during this assignment he was killed by a small terrorist cell led by Doctor Edwards who then freed the prisoner in question. I suppose Mr. Meriweather allowed his personal feelings for one of his agents to override the suggestions he was given by his superiors at within the Project. Level 7 has been compromised.”
Another pause; she could imagine the look on his face as he considered the matter. “I suppose I should have seen that coming,” he said eventually. “His ethics has gotten the better of him in the past. Still, it shouldn’t cause any insurmountable problems. Did Dr. Edwards survive?”
“Excellent. The good doctor and I have a great deal in common, and I’d be very disappointed if I didn’t get the chance to discuss that with him before this is all over.”
She nodded, though he couldn’t see her, and said, “Of course, sir. Will there be anything else?”
“Send me the compiled report from this Mr. Black once you receive it from Persephone. Good evening, Asante.”
“Yes, sir. Good evening, sir.” She turned and walked toward the door.
She was about to exit when he said, “Asante?”
She stopped and turned. “Yes, sir?”
“Send the word to begin the Second Phase. Level 7 will have to be transitioned.”
“Yes, sir,” she said, and left the room.