2.20: Beyond the Headline (Segment Two)

Broadcast: Monday 4 February 2041ce
Network: ECNN on NewsNet Quantum

[Commercial ending in Three… Two… One…]
[Roll Video: V’Num Interview Clip Seven.]

Unidentified Voice
Why don’t you want to join the outside world?

V’Num
No… Safer here.

Unidentified Voice
Safe from what?

V’Num
Her… She sees. In dreams… She comes to me. Laughing and mocking me. Taunting me for surrendering. Reminding me that the day is coming.

Unidentified Voice
What day is that?

V’Num
When the Dark God chooses the Queen of Sin’s successor… Then the Wolves of Aberdeen will gather in their vast numbers.

Unidentified Voice
To do what?

V’Num
To cull the sheep.

[Newsroom Live.]

Juan Vesperz
Welcome back to Beyond the Headline.

Joining me here in the Toronto studios is Retired NES Navy Admiral Valarie Hendrix, former commander of Sky Watch for the Northern Plains region… Which is everything from Kansas and Missouri into Saskatchewan and Alberta, including Aberdeen. Glad to have you with us again, Admiral.

Admiral Hendrix
Always a pleasure, Juan.

Juan Vesperz
And live from Pittsburgh, Congressman Moore of the Tennessee Fourth, junior member of the Nuclear Recovery and Disposal Committee. Welcome, Congressman.

Congressman Moore
Thank you, Juan.

Juan Vesperz
And from our West Coast Office in Reno, Colonel Vac of Reno Command Tactical Planning, formerly the Watch Commander for the SWS Territorial Forces in South Dakota where she dealt with the Aberdeen raiders personally for several years. Welcome to Behind the Headlines, Colonel.

Colonel Vac
Thanks for inviting me.

Juan Vesperz
Colonel, we just watched a clip coming into this segment of an interview with a young raider who was captured several years ago, while you were Watch Captain I believe.

Colonel Vac
I hadn’t stepped into that position yet, but I was serving in South Dakota. I remember when that happened. Seventy-Sixth Territorial won the day.

Juan Vesperz
Does what the man… V’Num his name was… Is what he was saying in line with your own experiences with the raiders?

Colonel Vac
I’d have to say no, Juan, but mostly because we didn’t really have too many conversations with them. They will fight to the death, or until they collapse or are, in the case of V’Num, tackled by nearly a dozen troopers and succumbing to the sheer mass of them all.

And as I recall, it still took nearly ten minutes to get him restrained properly.

Juan Vesperz
V’Num says in that interview that he surrendered.

Colonel Vac
And as you can see, the SciCorps psychologist is sitting in the cell with him. He’s not cuffed or chained or, as far as I can tell, medicated. He’s passive in his cage. For him, being captured was surrendering, and now he sees himself as a failure who will either die in his cage or, he believes more likely, be put out of his misery when this ‘heir’ of Aberdeen prophecy rises to take over the world.

But this behavior isn’t the rule, but rather the exception. There are seventeen other raiders in custody, and every one of them is in the top twenty list of most dangerous prisoners. Each of them is in triple max isolation from every other prisoner, including each other. We had to build, I remind everyone also, build a prison using pre-Invasion standards to keep them incarcerated because the criminal element that the raiders represent are nearly non-existent in today’s society and couldn’t be handled as most others currently incarcerated.

[Check Note Page Three.]

Juan Vesperz
Yes… In total, raiders had killed thirteen prisoners, eleven of whom were serving sentences under twelve months and were deemed on track with their rehabilitation work, when Terran Accord Security Council recommended the ‘Aberdeen Protocol’, requiring complete isolation for all raiders who are captured.

V’Num, of course, being one, possibly the only, notable exception.

Colonel Vac
He was already semi-housebroken by then.

Juan Vesperz
Probably a more accurate assessment than any of us could know.

Coming to you, Admiral. Can you summarize the observations made by Sky Watch over the years?

Admiral Hendrix
To go back to the founding of Sky Watch nearly fourteen years ago, there has always been an effort to obtain an accurate accounting of the Aberdeen population, but there were limited resources for that at the time. The number of observation craft, both in and out of atmosphere, was growing, but we also had Invader movements to record and observe.

Later, as central Europe and both coasts of North America became stabilized, the number of such craft available grew significantly.

Now, our early observation determined that there were over two dozen nomadic packs. Their numbers were originally estimated high but were also observed to decrease over time. Once Sky Watch obtained full global coverage, we found the estimated population of that time to be only slightly higher than originally projected.

But we were still also dealing with an estimate.

Later, we found the nomadic packs were themselves divided into six larger groups, orbiting one another while routinely moving around within Aberdeen itself.

Juan Vesperz
But do they have the numbers to do what V’Num believes they will one day do… To rise up and conquer the world?

Admiral Hendrix
I very rarely ever use the word ‘miracle’, but this is truly an instance in which it would apply.

Even with their nuclear warheads, they are limited to only three. Those three may provide some advantage at first, but they’d have to bring them out to retain that advantage. Either by ground transport, which would be easily identified and targeted, or fired from one of the many silos within their claimed borders.

Now the latter is not as horrific as it sounds. Remember that our fighters have gained thirty years in technological development. The rockets, if they even still function, are flying on technology that is at least fifty years obsolete. And Sky Watch has its eye on them.

The moment Aberdeen attempts to truly flex a muscle, it will be the beginning of their end.

Juan Vesperz
Most reassuring.

However, Congressman Moore, I believe you disagree.

Congressman Moore
Indeed.

First, let’s not overlook the near-identical sit-and-wait methodology we see in the war effort against the Invaders.

Juan Vesperz
You suggest a different strategy?

Congressman Moore
Well, where the Admiral and I agree is on the chances of Aberdeen using their nuclear weapons in a successful strike. If they wanted to cause the most damage, they’d slip the warheads to one of the hives still operating around them and irradiate it. The creation of three hives like the ones in Texas and Russia would set back the war effort in the northern plains by decades.

Which, of course, brings me to the minority report filed by Nevada Resistance nearly two decades ago.

Juan Vesperz
You mean, of course, the concerns raised by General Melaku that Aberdeen has already moved their warheads near or even to their intended targets.

Congressman Moore
Or, she stressed, far enough outside of Aberdeen’s claimed borders as to be somewhere no one would think to look.

Juan Vesperz
So, what is your preferable course of action.

Congressman Moore
To poke them with a stick. Goad them into action. Give them reason to move their warheads and then pick them off just as the Admiral says we would. Sky Watch does have its eyes on Aberdeen, and their numbers are pitiful.

Juan Vesperz
And what if the minority report is correct?

Congressman Moore
Those warheads are no more than a hundred miles from their borders, though likely still within their borders. Locating them will be easy once these criminals are forced into action.

Juan Vesperz
When we return, our guests will begin their round table discussion, starting with several key elements in the last Assessment Report on Aberdeen filed last month by Admiral Farahmand, current Sky Watch Commander for the Great Plains region, and Admiral Hendrix’s successor.

[Queue Commercial Set Two.]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s