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Tuesday, March 20

Dun Update

The ranking police captain introduced him. “This is Special Agent Beckem. He’ll be incident commander for this operation. I expect you to treat him with the same respect you would treat any local commander. You’ve all been specialty selected for this team because of your particular skill sets. We plan to put them to good use. Any questions?”

One man raised his hand. Beneath all the gear, they all looked the same: white, young, and capable.

“Yes?”

“Sir, no offense but we were talking before and we heard rumors that some of us have been exposed to the virus. Is that true?”

The men exchanged glances. The captain’s eyes narrowed.

Beckem cleared his throat. “I’ll handle this.” He stepped forward. “First, it’s not a virus. It’s a psychological attack. That’s the reason you’re all equipped with earplugs and tinted visors. Second, it’s true, I—“

One of the men stepped forward. “That’s right,” said Vallejo. “I was exposed to the video.” There was a hint of a challenge in his voice. “But I’ve gone through the full battery of tests and I came through okay.”

Beckem checked his sheet. How did he miss this?

It was Vallejo, the cop who had shot his partner to stop him after he was exposed. Having him on the team was a risk…but then wasn’t having Beckem on the team a risk too? Far as the psychologists could tell, Vallejo wasn’t ever really affected. But Beckem was.

The team didn’t know it. Threaver had picked Vallejo for the team, just as he had picked Beckem. And he knew why.


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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:07 PM


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