Chapter 202 Abigail's Belief

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Tornio chimes in.





Perhaps she is The Fox's mad dog InoRyder?”




Tornio fiddles with his short mustache as he continues.



“She is a female soldier who often goes on rampages in Haven over the years so she was called the mad dog, but in truth, she just returns the favor tenfold when someone tries to pick a fight with her.
From what I heard, she seems to have been using it as an outlet from her sorrow nowadays, but as far as I know, she has never started a fight on her own.”




InoRyder's hands stopped.




“In the Fox Team sniper squad, there's a sniper, a spotter, and a hound called the Loyal Hound.
That is her role in the unit.”




“Loyal Hound? Never heard of it.”




Logan cocked his head.




“It's what they call it in Fox, the role where they follow snipers around the perimeter, chase down and finish off enemies just like a hound dog, and ……
are the first to bite the approaching enemy, and always die before their masters.
Well, in layman's terms, it's a flanker.”




“You know a lot, don't you, old man?”




InoRyder smiled wryly as she shuffle the card, and Tornio shrugged his shoulders.




“Once a hound dog decides to be loyal to its master, it will always remain loyal even when the owner meets its end.
It is a noble attitude to look up to nowadays.
If she protects Ms.Abigail and Ms.Abigail also trusts her, it will not be a problem.”




 There was a long silence after Tornio's explanation, and when Logan looked at him, Rutherford nodded.



“—- I understand —- So, let's start by opening our hands first.”





 Logan stood in front of the poker table and flipped a card.




“The Union Central Government UCEG and the Otherworldly Area Forces FORCOM are wary of the growth of 88.”




Gently, he tapped the card on the table.



“Just recently, Lieutenant General Penrose requested regional command authority over FORCOM.
In other words, he wants to single-handedly unite Stronghold and the surrounding forts closest to here.”




He flips the second card.




“88 already has the right to develop its own weapons and to arrange its own budget, which, combined, would give the lieutenant general enough power to organize an entire army here.
Then, naturally, something very concerning is  going to happen…”




“A coup.”




 Vani raised her hand and spoke up.
She sat at the bar counter and left her feet dangle in the air.
She was drinking soda water poured into a wine glass.





“– That would be the obvious thing to assume, but I'm not worried about that.”




 Logan shook his head.
Vani's mouth twisted in frustration mmmm…….




“This is a battleground area in the alien wars.
A coup would only wear us down, sandwiched between the aliens and the central.
There is no gain.
The lieutenant general is not stupid.
It's the extreme approach that we're wary of.”





Logan flipped to the third card.




“The lieutenant general is aiming for an all-out attack.”




 Abigail was surprised by this.




“all-out attack…..”




“It seems that the lieutenant general wants to destroy one of the other world gates while his old bone is still capable.”




Logan revealed the fourth one.




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“But UCEG wants to prevent that from happening.”




“Why is that?”




 InoRyder questioned.




“Isn't it better if someone with strong leadership is the one to lead the charge and succeed? The lieutenant general doesn't do anything that doesn't have a chance to win.
I think the central better be happy to have him take the command here. Him being in command has a much better chance of winning than a weak FORCOM that is always on the defensive approach.”




 InoRyder said sarcastically then Abigail replies to her.




“Because it's a gamble.
We should assume there is more than one gate in this vicinity.
The exact location and number are unknown.
If we force our way in, we risk losing the whole area.
It is good if we succeed, but the damage is too great if we fail.
If the forces centered on 88 fall apart, humankind will be forced to retreat from the front line.”




“The lieutenant general has, again and again, insisted on the assault and destruction of the gate by combined attacks.
Worse, some of the forts have recently begun to agree with him.”




“They're getting impatient and exhausted.
A battle with no clear direction.
The future is too uncertain.
It's only natural that they want to decide that it's time to end it once and for all.”



“That's right.
The lieutenant general has a point.
The gate is a bottleneck in their supply line.
But it should be done in collaboration with the central forces, and it would be too reckless to ignore that process.
FORCOM is reorganizing its forces, including new weapons, but it is too early to be sure.
The lieutenant general should know this, but he is already too old.
Perhaps his impatience with old age is making him more radical in his thinking.”




 The fifth and final card was the joker.




“UCEG has long wanted to reduce the lieutenant general's power.
There is no doubt that he is an extremely talented general, but his methods are too forceful and radical.
So this time, by supporting his opponent, Senior Secretary Rutherford, in the election for Secretary General in 88, they wanted to disqualify Yasmin, who is believed to be the lieutenant general's right hand and put a leash on her.
And that was my role to make this happen.”




“You're acting like an agent or something.”




“At least call me the Joker or something cool at least.”




 Logan scratched his head.




After a sigh ……
Abigail glanced at Tornio.




“But I don't see why Father Tornio is here if this's all of your stories.”




At Abigail's glance, Tornio nodded once and said.




“I'm going to be pushing for Mr.Rutherford in this election.”




“I thought you and Lieutenant General Penrose were close.”




“The lieutenant general is a little strange these days.”




 Tornio went behind the bar counter and began mixing drinks.




“The old Mr.Penrose was an idealistic man.
He was determined to turn the 88 into an invincible army and eventually send the alien corpses back over the gate and put a lid on them.
And for that to happen, he said, the morale of the residents of this 88 must be kept at the highest level, and he would make it a place where the residents could proudly say that they were proud to live and die fighting for mankind in this 88.”





 After saying that much, Tornio offered a fancy red drink with fruit decorating the rim of the glass over the counter.




“Here you go, there's no alcohol in it.”




 Vani accepted the glass and licked her lips.



“-I share those ideals and have contributed to the development of the 88, even though we're outlawed, the Sand Brotherhood did not get involved in drugs or illegal prostitution.
The lieutenant general was also a man who would not get involved in anything that did not benefit the 88.




 Tornio walks up to Abigail with a glass in each hand.




“Since the time of the military reorganization at 88, the Sludge Club has appeared.”




 As Abigail accepted the glass, Rutherford took over the conversation.





“The Sludge is clearly different.
It is undermining and weakening the 88 from within.
No former lieutenant general would allow such an organization to exist.
If this continues, the next generation of 88 will be weak to the bone.
Incapable to fight.”




“Thus, Secretary Rutherford's campaign is perfectly logical.
We have a chance of winning the election, but, we are missing one final step.”





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 Logan said and looked at Abigail one last time.




She sighed.





“–So, what do you want to do by revealing such super-secret information to me? It's the kind of thing I'd like to forget about when I wake up tomorrow morning, if that's even possible now.”




“Before we get into that, let me ask you something, Abby.
Why are you so obsessed with 88? It's probably a town that has nothing to do with you.
What are you trying to do here?”





 Abigail places her glass on the poker table.





 Suddenly, her eyes meet InoRyder.




“—- I mentioned to you that I had a sister.”





You said you were separated from her in 6…….”




“A female soldier Nigel who used to be called the Golden Grim Reaper in Fox in the this Fort might be my sister.”








 Logan gasped, and Tornio blurted out “What…….”





Rutherford also surprised as his mouth tightened.





“–Is such a coincidence even possible?”





That was all Logan could muster.





“I couldn't find any direct evidence, but I'm almost certain that's the feeling I got from asking around to the soldiers who knew her back then directly .
InoRyder said the same.”




“I also met with former Captain Garnier this morning.”




InoRyder drew a circle with her finger.




“…..So what about the DNA records when she was served in Fox?”




“There aren't any.”




“There aren't?”




“Nigel's DNA and other personal information no longer exists ……
right, Vani?”




 Verni nodded.




 Logan raised an eyebrow at that, and Rutherford, who was standing next to him, opened his mouth as if he remembered something.




“……Come to think of it, there was a time when the database crashed due to a power failure accident caused by overload during the 89 defense.”





“I doubt a power failure would damaged the database so easily.
How could a common fail-safe not working?”




Rutherford only groaned at Abigail's question.




“But the Golden Grim Reaper already……”




 Abigail interrupted what Tornio was about to say.




“I know.
But I do have questions about her last moments.”




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“What questions?”




“What is the cause of these unnatural things about 89 defense and what happened to her.
That is what I am trying to find out.
If there are no records, I'll do my own research.”




“Something like that is…….” Logan groaned, putting his hand to his forehead.




“Abby, I know how you feel, but it's a bit reckless to go on a big stand against the 88 and AASPINT for that much.
If you hire someone to investigate–“




“Logan, I–“




 Abigail took a deep breath and said.




“– I've lived my whole life trying not to remember the past.
Because every time I remember that girl's face staring at me and moving away from me.
keeps reminding me that I not doing anything at that time.”







“This is for me, too.
This is my first and last chance to put an end to my past.
It's also atonement for her……..
I want to know how she lived and how she reached her end.
I want to know everything with my own hands.”




“Abby ……”





“Looking back, that must be why I got into weapons development. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that I wanted to end this war as soon as possible and free the people trapped in the Fort by destroying that awful system.
It was the best thing I could do for my sister.”






 When Abigail finished speaking, the room was silent.
Logan stood in the middle of it.




“–It seems that Logan's eyes were right.”




 Rutherford placed a hand on his shoulder and opened his thick-lipped mouth.



Abigail, I would like you to help me expose the injustices of the current government.”








“The recent 88 have been suspected of distributing drugs and even human trafficking, especially in Haven.
And it is safe to assume that the lieutenant general is complicit in it.”




“You want me to find the evidence ?”





“To put it crudely, yes.
Our side is heavily outnumbered against Yasmin right now, but we think that is a rather passive approval of the status quo.
If the scandal is exposed, it could create a huge surge.
In fact, we believe that the dissatisfaction of the 88 residents will grow to such an extent.”




“And in return for my help?”




“I will assist you in your investigation.
With my authority, Ms.
Abigail will have a wider scope of investigations.
I smell another hidden Achilles heel of the Lieutenant General on the matter of the erased records of the 89 defense.
I think this could be win-win cooperation for both parties, don't you think?”




 –that would be helpful.




 Abigail chuckled inwardly at the offer.








Tornio approached Abigail, who was silent, perhaps seeing that she was unsure.





“We are not looking to overturn the current system.
We want to wake up Mr.Penrose through this election.
The election results are the real voice of the residents.
Besides, if he offends FORCOM any further, or worse, if he is replaced, we'll be in trouble ……
and I don't know what will happen.”




You're in the rare position of not being 88 residence, yet you have access to R&D in November, which is close to the heart of 88, and you also have access to the Lieutenant General and the Secretary General.”




 Logan took a deep breath and continued.




“-It's a risky task.
You can reject it if you want.
But rest assured that we will assist Natsuki and her brother no matter what.
I'll personally help you with the investigation on Nigel as well.  However If you succeed, FORCOM will assign you to an important position.
Even AASPINT will no longer be able to touch you.”




“Well ………”



(I have a feeling I could get better deals if I show a little more hesitation but…….)



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Abigail decided that this was the time.




I'll help you, and you can help me with my investigation.”





“Thanks, Abby.”




 Heartily, Rutherford and Tornio's shoulders seemed to relax as well.




“–Originally, I would have asked Secretary Rutherford to give you a reliable bodyguard, but it seems you already have the finest company.”




 Logan said, looking at InoRyder and the others.





 Abigail then confirmed how to contact them and how to proceed with the investigation.




“–Thank you again, Abigail.
I believe that you and I understand each other in our desire to bring victory to humanity and give the residents of the Fort a brighter future.”



“My pleasure, Senior Secretary Rutherford.”




 Abigail said her goodbyes and left the casino.




 She boarded the limousine that Tornio had arranged and headed for the building that housed her office.
In the car, InoRyder crossed his legs in an exaggerated manner and said.




“–That was quite a big deal, wasn't it?”




“I didn't see it coming, either.
I'm sorry I got you into this.”




“Well, well, that's not so cool of you.
So, where do we start?”




while we're looking into the defense 89 battle, we could follow the Sludge Club route, or we could try to stir up some rumors in the upper echelons…….”




“I know another guy who might be able to talk to you about the defense battle.”




“I think it's …….”




“Romeo's Wakefield.
He's the one who saw the dead body of senpai.




“Can you make an appointment?”




“I'm on it.”




“If you're looking for sludge, you can use Rudra.”





 Vani said.




“He knows a lot of people there.”




“Why don't you make your own move instead of Rudra's? He's on a regular mission, remember?”









“…..You calls him to take your place every night and commands him around……
or you an oni sister or something?”








 Abigail's giggle caught their attention.





“–Thank you, both of you.
But don't strain yourself too much.”




“—I see …..
So you laugh like that too………..”




InoRyder looked at Abigail's face as her expression shifted.

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