(Board Room, Yathru Corporation Headquarters, Rak’kun City, Maccara)
The fighting inside the Yathru building was going well. The Marines were steadily advancing up the building, going floor by floor to eliminate the security forces. The remnants of Wesker’s Strategic Target Acquisition and Retrieval Section team had been caught trying to use an executive elevator to the garage. Unfortunately for them, Raven had already directed a squad to meet them, and they had been quickly taken down by a rocket launcher the moment the elevator door opened. Explosions in a confined space are not great for barely armored infantry.
Now, I was leading my squad towards the board room where all the Yathru executives were huddling, trying to hide and wait out the battle. According to Raven, they were still desperately trying to order up new troops that didn’t exist anywhere except on paper, trying to get reinforcements to somehow stem the tide. As if that was going to happen.
Finally, we were at the last hallway. Ten security guards stood there, in light combat armor and blasters. They were clearly frightened, but that was fine. I wanted them to be afraid.
Raven’s analysis of their weapons came back. Low-yield blasters, designed for unarmored targets. In my armor, I could tank them easily enough. But I decided to play with another facet of my new sorcerous powers. “I’ll handle this, girls.”
Physical Psy Power
Cost: 400 PP + 600 PP Reserve
Increases your mental processing and physical reaction speeds, to allow you to react to situations far more quickly than an unenhanced individual could. At current Sorcery skill level, increases your reaction speed by (DEX)%.
My DEX was currently sitting at 354. That meant my reaction speeds, which were already heightened by DEX, were further increased by 354%. Time seemed to slow slightly. As I extended the blade of my energy sword, everything seemed to be going in slow motion.
One of the guards yelled, and blaster bolts began making their way towards me, slow enough that I could see their path. My blade moved, intercepting the first couple shots, deflecting them, causing their energy to splash violently against the walls of the hallway. No, it wasn’t that the bolts were slow. My reactions were simply too fast.
I began walking forward, not needing to take any defensive stance for foes of this quality. More blaster bolts fired, and I deflected them all, my energy sword moving easily to intercept the bolts as I advanced. I decided to try something fun. With a flick of my wrist, the next bolt got reflected not into the wall, but into one of the other guards, killing them. The next shot, I managed to reflect back at the sender, hitting them center mass.
One of the guards started to panic. He turned, and began banging on the blast door to the secure board room. “HELP US!” He was screaming, desperate to get inside the room.
I deflected more blaster bolts. This was fun, but I wanted to try something else. I motioned with my hand, closed fist raised up, and one of the guards flew up to ceiling, hitting with a thud from the impact. As I passed under him, I waved my sword up, cutting him in two.
When the next guard fell from a reflected blaster bolt, I was almost in melee range. Only four guards were still trying to stop me now, the other two desperately trying to open the door, against the wishes of those inside. With a wave of my hand, and a telekinetic pull, the four guards who still had some fight in them lost their weapons, the guns clattering to the ground behind me. Their shock froze them momentarily, but that was enough. They all fell to my blade.
One of the two tried to turn, a Gauz male. I wrapped his throat in telekinetic force and lifted him into the air. With a wave, I threw him against the wall as his throat was crushed to paste.
The final guard, an Ihm male, did not even have the courage to look death in the eye, it seemed, still banging on the door, desperate to escape. His hope ended when I stabbed him through the spine, the blade penetrating through both him and the door until the hilt touched the guard’s back. His agony only lasted moments, as I drew the blade to the side, slashing his heart.
Now, all that was left before me were these blast doors. As my companions joined me, I began pressing on the hilt of the blade, slowly carving a circular hole in the door. It took almost a minute of concentrated effort, but soon there was a perfect circle carved in the blast doors.
With a telekinetically enhanced kick, that circle went flying into the board room. I could hear the shouts of shock and alarm as people tried to dodge the massive object. From the sounds, one person, at least, was not so lucky.
I ducked slightly as I stepped into the room, careful of the still-molten edges of the hole I’d cut in the blast doors. There was a bloody splatter on the far wall of the board room, where the plug had hit. Scanning the room, it looked as though the only faces not present were Wesker and Zwellspn’cer. I knew Wesker had fallen from the building after I took out his shuttle, so that meant the CEO would be the splat on the wall.
“Ah-ahem. Welcome, Mister Mollen. We have been expecting you.”
The speaker was the shipping director, Gl’dman. She seemed to be doing her best to try and ‘handle’ the situation. I decided to show her how we would be handling things. Her scream as the energy sword cut her down caused all the other board members to scream in terror (or, in one case, beg for mercy). All their voices were swiftly silenced, one by one, until the only sound was the humming of my energy sword. A flick of the switch, and the blade extinguished, and silence reigned.
(Flag Bridge, BSN Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi, Maccara orbit)
“Master, welcome back.”
I nodded to Virstina as she welcomed me to the bridge. “Thank you, Commodore. Are all our people off Maccara?” The battle had been won, any forces capable of challenging us swept aside, and the executives responsible for starting this war personally seen to.
“Yes, sir. Though the Marines sent to the site that the Yathru operatives were trying to reach uncovered some disturbing news. Apparently, the research facility we tasked Second Company to destroy was not the only research facility studying the bioweapon from Tsk’neth.”
Great. That was just great. “How bad is it?”
The knelfi woman shook her head. “At the moment, containment systems are holding, and power has not been interrupted, despite the fighting, thanks to independent generators. Unfortunately, all of those will be destroyed if we deploy Greenwave as planned.”
I sighed. “So, not the worst-case scenario, but it would be rather awkward if we blasted all other sources of the bioweapon, and then left Maccara to become a prime source of it. Well, that complicates things substantially. Options?”
Virstina shook her head. “Unfortunately, they are limited, if we wish to abide by the terms of Corporate Warfare. The facility’s primary access is in a mansion outside Rak’kun City, but the facility itself is located underneath the city, deep enough that even ground-penetrators would have trouble getting to it.
“First option would be to send in Marines to sterilize the facility manually. But that opens us up for more casualties on our side, and even a small mistake could see an accidental release of the weapon. And, frankly, people would question why we need to bother with it.
“Second option is to ignore the corporate warfare regulations, and use enough ground penetrating nuclear weapons to open up the facility to the surface, and then forcibly sterilize it. This has the best chance of success, but would be resource intensive, and would undermine the work we’ve done to carry this campaign according to the bylaws. But we would destroy the weapons.
“Third option is to collapse the access tunnels with explosives, sealing the facility as best we can, before launching Greenwave. However, unless we forcibly evacuated everyone from the facility beforehand, then there would be potential carriers to be infected. Or, they would try and escape, and let the nanites in. And once Greenwave gets to the facility, the weapon would be released. The chance of a catastrophic release is nearly certain.
“Finally, we just… do nothing. Use Greenwave on the planet, as planned, and leave warnings for everyone who might want to land. The weapon would be released, and the likelihood of the population surviving with both their technology failing and having to deal with the undead bioweapons… Well, it isn’t good. But, strictly speaking, they are not our responsibility.”
I nodded slowly as Virstina ran through the options. Frankly, none of them were good ones. So far, we had been lucky, as far as casualties went. Sure, we’d taken some. That was unavoidable in war, even when you were going up against bush league foes. But, across all theaters, we had only lost 6% of our people, with another 13% wounded to some degree. 19% total casualties for such a large operation was a great number, and I didn’t want to go screwing that up.
Still, I couldn’t just bury my head in the sand like a politician who chose to ignore the implications of their decisions. From a business standpoint, as well as one of my own personal feelings, then it was simplest to just go with the fourth option. But, if we simply used Greenwave on the planet and called it a day, then the likelihood that the civilian population of the world would be slaughtered and turned to the undead was near certain, especially since they would not have access to any of the technology they relied on. It would be kinder to simply line them all up against the wall and shoot them.
So, yes, it wasn’t technically our problem. My problem. But that didn’t mean that I wouldn’t be to blame for all the deaths if I did this. But there didn’t look to be any better options, that still protected my people. And, when it came down to it, I cared more about my people than the civilians on the other side.
A calm came over me. That was it, wasn’t it? The simple truth was that I did not care about the people on the other side as much as my people, and so I would work to protect my people, first and foremost.
I took a breath. “Very well. We won’t risk any more of our people on this business. Are the special munitions loaded and ready?”
“They are, Master.”
“Then you may fire when ready.”
Virstina nodded, accepting the situation. “As you wish, Master.” She turned to the officers who were watching, and said, “Ensign Fletcher, signal the fleet. Special munitions to fire in thirty seconds.”
Thirty seconds later, a single torpedo was launched from the Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi, her sister ship, the Kunwu, and the ten Knight-class destroyers in the group, each named after a mythical warrior from old Terran history. Twelve torpedoes, to cover a world, and take it from the age of space and technology, and cast it down into the stone age.
Oh, sure, Greenwave only destroyed post-industrial technology, but on a planet like Maccara, there wouldn’t be any pre-industrial technology around. And the population wouldn’t know how to build any of the old technology, anyways, since those skills would have been lost a long time ago. It was, in essence, a less violent way of bombing them back to the Stone Age, but this time, there would be zombies to contend with.
As the torpedoes launched, I took a breath, and then said, “Raven, compose a message to the Corporate Court, and copy to the Free Worlds Alliance Assembly. Inform them that, as of this moment, the corporate war between the Yathru Corporation and Black Star Company is at an end. We will not be pressing for any sanctions or indemnities upon Yathru, beyond the funds, materiel, and research that we have already seized. All Black Star ships will return to their previous posts.”
“As you wish, Admiral.”
“Then, comprise a second message, direct to the Assembly, and put in a formal request that they consider using Exterminatus-class weaponry on Maccara at their earliest convenience.”
“It will be done.”