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A man in a suit walked from the testing facility control room, down a hallway, and into the video room. Damon, Hinotomi, Vic, and Colonel Saucher sat in large leather chairs. On the screen, the Dieous soldier marched through a thick wood. His head spun side-to-side as if the pilot was an oscillating fan. “Colonel Saucher,” the man in the suit said.
“Come in,” Jerry said. He waved his fingers to him.
The man in the suit removed a small gray remote-control device with four buttons and handed it to Jerry. “We have also found the raptor Ms. Yoritis mentioned. We currently have him confined in an examination room. Is there anything else you need?”
“Good to hear.” Jerry looked down the line at the other two. “Do you guys need anything?”
“No,” Hinotomi said dismissively.
“No, we’re good,” Damon said in a lighter tone.
“Sir!” the man in the suit said with an added solute. He marched out of the room.
Jerry rolled the controller between both sets of thumbs and forefingers. It was the size of an old iPod nano, with four red buttons against a gray plastic. He stopped his rolling, then pointed it at the screens of Dieous walking down the forest road. He clicked one of the buttons. An aiming reticule highlighted Dieou’s body and coated her in a red glow extending out to the trees around her.
Hinotomi buried her face in her hands.
Jerry clicked and held a second button under the first. A green box appeared on the screen. A beep came from the screen and an image of a missile bleeped into the box. He held it down for three beeps.
“Stop!” Hinotomi demanded. Her eyes red, and tears forming.
“Three missiles should not do any major damage to the armor, or your daughter, even if she is hit directly.” Jerry then clicked the third button. Far away a shaking and rattling of opening and then prompt firing of missiles shook the room they sat in.
“Damon!” Hinotomi curled her fingers around her chair’s armrest. Damon put his arm around his wife. He looked at her and told her she had to trust in her daughter’s skills, and their own skills of building Dieous. Hinotomi shook her head. Damon moved close and pressed her head on his shoulder and combed her hair.
Hinotomi slammed her fist on the armrest. “None of this is right, or correct.”
“I said she will be okay,” Damon said.
“Not just that, but this whole test. This whole cover up. Just all these events are not okay.”
“You were the one who helped bring Dieous to this point,” Jerry said. “If we do not cover this up, panic will surely spread and cause more damage.”
“I don’t care,” Hinotomi said. “This is not how we should operate.”
Jerry looked over to her. “What would make this okay to operate? Her permission,” he pointed to the screen. “Training? Exposing the truth? We cannot do that. This is not how we need to operate in order to succeed.” Hinotomi’s distraught energy did not change. “But we do have someone coming to help her train. Someone I’m sure you’ll approve of.”
Jerry pressed the final button. A countdown appeared on the screens. “Firing in five, four, three, two, one. Launch!” He lifted his finger. The missile icons in the box flashed out of existence. Far away, in a missile silo, three white missiles launched into the air. The fumes from their exhaust created temporary clouds behind them.