It’s unusual that Dr. Mera would come to the GK Gamma bunker to talk to me in-person rather than sending a message. I can only assume it was because of the secrecy of what she was to tell me.
She skips any formalities and is direct, “You are to supplant El Ray as GK Delta leader.”
“When is this to take place?” I ask.
“As soon as I send directives to the DoD. Preparations have been made to make it appear as though you’re a Lieutenant Commander in order outrank Lieutenant El Ray.”
I give a grunt of disapproval that Dr. Mera recognizes.
“Something on your mind?” she asks.
“For what purpose are you placing me within GK Delta?” I respond.
“Simple. You’re to keep them on task and out of my operations.”
“I see. The same duties with which you had tasked Sham.”
“I no longer find Sham reliable. Some of the reasons you know about. Some he thinks only GK Delta knows about. Some he has shared with no one. He’s made his choice to defy me and now he has to accept the consequence.”
“I am not questioning your motives, but rather your methods,” I am quick to tell her. “The Deltas have grown up together and served together on a number of missions. Even if I outrank El Ray on paper, a new member will never be accepted in the same way he is. This disunity will be troublesome to your goals.”
“Oh, and what goals would those be?” she asks, probing to see what I know about her.
Fidelity to my superiors compels me to speak bluntly: “To keep Washington D.C. happy with your elite hybrid strike teams. An inferior GK Delta team may bring the unwanted attention of the DoD to the island and its experiments.”
“You make a good point regarding GK Delta’s team loyalty,” she says. “However, I can’t wait for you to rise through the ranks. I want this change done quickly.”
I’m curious why it’s so urgent, but it’s not my place to ask.
“Make me El Ray’s equal and I am certain I can prove my worth to the team and their superiors,” I tell her.
“Proving your worth to command won’t be a problem. I guarantee that,” she says.
“With all due respect, I insist you do not interfere. I will take command of the team fairly.”
“A matter of your warrior code of honor, huh?” she asks. “Fine. There’s just one more thing.”
Her voice was grave. “GK Delta must never find out they are experiments.”
“You mean they don’t know?” I ask. “How is that possible?”
“Simple. Their earliest memories are of life in the wild because after they were created we put them in the wild. Delta is not just a strike team, but a psychological case study. After the problems with past hybrids, the solution proposed was to give new subjects a foundation to believe they were freaks of nature rather than experiments. This allowed us to have the benefits of genetically-engineered soldiers without their undue involvement in top secret matters.”
I ask the obvious question. “Then how will I explain who I am?”
“You tell them you were another freak of nature who was found in Japan,” each time she says the word freak it stabs at my soul. “Given your actual upbringing there, it shouldn’t be too hard to convince them.”
Again, I sound my disapproval. “Keeping this psychological test going is forcing you to compound your lies. It would be disastrous for your soldiers’ morale if they were to find out the truth. I would not want to command such a unit as they would not be loyal soldiers.”
“This is why you’re going to prevent them from ever finding out,” she tells me ominously.
My history with GK Gamma seems like an obvious complication to me. “Certainly Sham–” I start to ask.
“I’ve taken care of Sham.”