Crow is not happy. He is far from being happy. He is outright pissed. Things haven’t been going the way he wants them to in regards to Shannon. For the second time, she managed to survive an attack on her life. And she has been unaccounted for after the hospital was evacuated. Shannon is proving to be a bit of a problem. Crow is not looking forward to the fallout of having one of his followers break rank and turn state evidence because it will cause nothing but problems.
Having an un-indoctrinated member drop out or otherwise leave isn’t a concern because they know and represent nothing. They are just dust in the wind. But having an indoctrinated member do roughly the same thing is different. They have inside information that could harm the New World Power, and Crow doesn’t want that. And having a member just want to leave is something that is frowned upon. It’s something that’s generally not allowed.
But if a member is allowed to leave, it’s better if they are a low ranking member, such as Shannon. But there is a process that they have to go through before they are allowed to leave, and a vow of silence is a part of that process. If the member is a higher rank, however, that is more of a problem because they pose a greater risk upon leaving. But turning state evidence is crossing a line that isn’t easily forgotten or forgiven and needs to be dealt with immediately and with great prejudice.
And with how the situation developed with Shannon, Crow felt like he had to deal with it personally because he perceived it as something that happened on his watch. He’s of the opinion that you have to cleanup your own mess. And since he feels like it happened right under his nose, Crow wanted to gain control of the situation personally before it got any worse. So he had to get his hands dirty before he was able to wipe them clean. It’s like fixing a busted sewer pipe; you have to get into the mess before you are able to wipe it clean. But instead of containing the situation, it actually became worse. It won’t be until later that he learns that Shannon is no longer in police custody, probably the only good news he got out of the situation.
Besides losing a member of the New World Power at the hospital, his cause is facing the possibility of being undermined by one of its own. The only solace that Crow can take from this situation is that the New World Power member who was captured at the hospital has some training in being a prisoner of war. With being a prisoner of war, your captors will do what they can in order to obtain information from you. And it’s not a question of if you are going to break, but when, so you have to know what to say when you break. Crow hopes that the New World Power member will be able to use the training that he has obtained to help protect the organization. And on top of this, there’s still no word about the missing New World Power member who was a part of the raid on the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research facility. Apparently, he knows how to disappear because no one is able to locate him, either friend or foe.
As far as the United States government is concerned, the best case scenario is for the infected individual to turn himself in to the proper authorities and have come into minimal contact, if at all, with other people. But as long as he stays on the loose, however, he has the potential of doing a great deal of harm. Even from Crow and the New World Power’s perspective, it would be best if the member was under collar; preferably theirs. Crow would have preferred if the biological agent was contained within a vial because it would allow for the greatest level of control. But he would take the infected member if the situation presented itself because it would allow him to have a great propaganda tool because it would show that the New World Power actually had an infectious biological agent in their possession. Actually seeing the biological agent in action would have a greater psychological impact upon the masses than just seeing a vial in someone’s hand because it can just be a bluff.
But either way, Crow wants to see the infected New World Power member contained because of the great potential threat that he possesses. He represents the potential of infecting a good number of people in a given geological area as well as spreading the infection globally because of the ease of travel that exists. And since Crow is responsible for orchestrating the attacks on the Biosafety facilities, he’ll most likely be held responsible for any negative fallout that would occur from the infected member’s activities. With the threat that the infected New World Power member represents, even weak and corrupt governments would do what they can to capture and punish those responsible for the situation, if only because the attack on the Biosafety facilities represent a black mark upon the government’s reputation.
All of this has put Crow into a pretty foul mood. And when things go bad, you tend to just focus upon the negative and overlook the positive, like what happened in New Mexico with De Soto. When he enters the apartment which he is currently staying at, there are a few people playing a fucked up version of canasta with T-Bone sitting off to one side reading a back issue of Scientific American. The back issue that he is reading is one of the magazine’s special issues dedicated to a single topic. This particular issue deals with multiple dimensions. When he sees Crow enter the apartment in a foul mood, T-Bone puts the magazine aside and indicates to the people playing canasta that they should stop playing for the time being and step out of the room.
As they leave the room, T-Bone approaches Crow and says, “I’m taking it that you are having a bad day.”
“Yes, I’m having a bad day,” Crow replies angrily. “Things are beginning to blow up in my face. One of the members who attacked the Biosafety facilities has gone missing and is possibly infected as another member has turned state evidence and my attempt to stop her was prevented from being fulfilled. Things are going downhill fast.”
“So, what are we going to do about it? Take a moment and think before you answer.”
Crow takes a moment and thinks. “Ok. The attacks on the Biosafety facilities led to the capture of all of the people we sent in except for one. That attack was a flop and there’s nothing that we can do about it. And there’s no word from the person who managed to escape, so we have to accept him as a lost cause.”
After a little more thinking, a look of revelation appears on his face. Continuing, Crow says, “We can deny it. We can deny any official connection between us and the attackers. We can claim that these individuals acted on their own accord and any connection that might exist between them and the New World Power is purely circumstantial. We could say that these individuals are nothing more than rogue citizens who followed us and believed themselves to be a part of something that they aren’t. But with the member who is going state evidence, there is still something that we can do about it.”
Thinking through the situation, Crow eventually comes up with an idea. “Ok. I want as much information as possible about what happened at the hospital after the attack occurred. The quicker it’s done, the quicker we can finish the job. We can still get her.”
“I’ll get right on it,” T-Bone replies.
(c) 2011 Bradley P. Thomas