Chapter 215 smoking gun

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“W-what are yo-“




Eugene was about to ask her what was going on but several people suddenly stood next to them.




“Abigail, can I have a moment of your time?”




 It was Captain Mclaren.





InoRyder was next to him.
Also behind her was Commander Dominic.
And then there was a strange woman standing there, too.








The shock of Garnier's passing is gone from Abigail's face.




 Next to her, InoRyder sat down.
She was as nonchalant as usual.
Considering the way she's been acting the past few days, InoRyder probably doesn't know about Garnier's death either.




“I was approached in front of the store just now.
It was an interrogation about the attack the other day.
The captain wants to talk to Abby as well.
Also, Commander Dominic is with him.”



“It's been a while, Abigail.
I haven't seen you since Christmas.
Are you and that petty officer getting along?”



 It was Dominic who asked that.



He is the Battalion Commander of Alpha Team.



In the military structure of 88, A team leader position, such as Fox and Delta, is assigned to captains.



On the other hand, larger groups like Alpha and Beta are led by majors and up, especially Alpha, which is responsible for the defense of the Fort and has a huge number of personnel.




“We both had a lovely evening that night.
And who are you?”








The woman with short hair and muscular features introduced herself.
Her voice was cracked and unique.
Her rank insignia identified her as a captain.





“Agatha is the captain of Alpha, but she's more famous by her other name, .
She's a nagging old hag.”



She is the actual captain who commands the Alpha's operational team.



“InoRyder, isn't old hag a bit too far? Well, you seem to be taking your time off properly, not unlike other workaholic Fox, so I'll let you off the hook for today, but next time I'm going to put you in the punishment cell.”




Hearing Agatha's voice again, it sounded almost hysterical.




If I don't get some proper rest, Whisley's going to shoot me in the leg.
He said he'd force me to stay in the hospital and take my leave.
I guess it's because Agatha keeps telling us to rest, rest, rest …….”




“I'm impressed.
But escorting civilians while they are on vacation is a shabby way to rest.
As I said, I'd better force you to take a rest by sending you to a punishment cell.”




“I'm just messing around.”





 InoRyder teases, and Dominic interrupts, pushing her shoulder.




“Abigail, I hear you've been asking around to the troops here and there about the 88 internal affairs, About the 89 defense, and especially about a soldier named Nigel.”




“……If that's true, then what about it?”





I thought something like that must be hard for you.”





 Dominic held back a laugh and clamped his mouth shut.





 Then Agatha folded her arms and looked at Abigail.





I haven't heard that name in a while.
Do you know that reaper?”

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 Agatha gave Abigail a sidelong look.




“She always does things on her own, breaking rules, ignoring orders, and causing collateral damage to her allies and always comes back alone, always the only one who survives.
Maybe you drew such unwanted misfortune because you dug up the grave of that cursed reaper.
Wakefield was a good guy.
Now how are you going to account for all this?




“Don't talk like you know her.
How much do you know about Nigel?”




Agatha's disdainful tone caused Abigail's shoulders to heave with a fiery aura.




“I know all about it.
After a platoon was wiped out because of her arbitrary actions.”




but it was a battlefield where they were being pushed around anyway.
I bet that the operation was a success because of Abigail.”








Agatha was miffed at Abigail's incisive response.





“Was it? Was the operation a success?”





The operation itself was a success.”




“So it was? Then why can't you look at Nigel's accomplishments in the war? You could say that the operation was a success because of her resourcefulness.”




“There is a difference between courage and savagery.”




“But in the end, the mission was successful with minimal casualties.”




“So you're saying that if the mission is successful, it's okay to disobey your superiors' orders and sacrifice your own men? Abigail, that's a very typical spy thing to do.”




“If Nigel hadn't been there, the damage would have been much worse.”




“That's just an assumption, Abigail.”



“Are you jealous? Are you jealous of Nigel's fame?



Agatha gave a small click of her tongue at Abigail's provocation.




you're still considered civilian.
You're not allowed to do whatever you want in the 88.
Even the reporters have the protection program that stated the interviews have to go through the public agency–“




“On the other hand, the autonomous government can't forbid me from talking to Big-sis, a civilian to another a civilian, either.”




 Eugene waved his hand in the air.



“….fucking journalist.”




“I prefer to be called a journalist with a backbone.”




“Alright ……
is that enough?”




 Mclaren, who had been silent up to that point, opened his mouth, and they both looked away at the same time.




“I don't have time to wait for you guys to finish bickering.
So please, do it on your own later.
So, Abigail, I need to talk to you about what happened the other day.
It was a big incident.
I have Commander Dominic and Captain Agatha from Alpha with me.”




“Didn't you already talk to InoRyder?”




“Yes, but it's a procedural thing to get more than one testimony.”




“They are questioning my testimony because I belong to Fox! That's discrimination! terrible! Aaaaahhh!”




InoRyder pressed her face against Abigail's chest in an exaggerated attempt to cry.
Her nose buried in her cleavage.
Deeper than necessary.

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This silly skit took all the tension out of the shoulders of everyone in the room.




“So, Abigail.
I heard you were meeting with second lieutenant Wakefield that night.”




 Mclaren asked.




“As the Commander said, he was talking to me about Nigel.”




“Do you remember being targeted?”




“I'd rather know why Wake was targeted.
The sniper was targeting Wake at the start.”





“Commander Dominic told me that you have been having a falling out with Central.
Is it possible that this was an attack by a central agent?”




“Not likely.” said InoRyder.




“How could a mere hitman from the central make that shot?”




 And then Agatha chimes in.




“Then it must be Fox who did it.” she interrupted.




This brought an ugly mood.




You bitch, even bullshit has some limits.”




 InoRyder stands up with an aggressive growl.




“I was just speaking for what everyone thinks.
There's no need to be offended.”




“Stop it, Agatha.”




Dominic corrects her, and Agatha steps back and clacks her shoes.




“You shouldn't have said that to the soldiers who gave their lives on the front lines without any proof.
Let me apologize on her behalf.”





 Abigail was amused by Dominic's surprisingly honest apology.




“You're more of a talker than I thought, Commander.”




Concrete evidence is important for everything.
You're a scientist so you should  know that, right?……hm?”




For a moment, she didn't miss the wicked shadow on Dominic's face.





An unspeakable unease stirred in the depths of Abigail's chest.




(What is it?)





 But she could not see through it.




The captain's interrogation continued.





 Eventually, Natsuki and Vani and the others, who had been waiting in the camper outside, heard something unusual and came into the Valhalla.





“Abby, what's going on?”




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“InoRyder, you're late.
Where's Caramel macchiato?”




Thus, Abigail's table is now crowded with more allies, but the uneasiness she felt earlier does not disappear, but only grows and grows.



Dominic's easygoing attitude was eerie.



“–By the way, Captain, did you find any unusual blade in Wake's belongings?”







 Mclaren's face turned curious at Abigail's question.



A strange-shaped black blade.
He said it was stuck in Nigel's chest.”





“The remains were taken away by the Military Police, but ……
the black blade that stabbed Nigel?”



 Mclaren could not hide his surprise.
Eugene, who had been silently taking his notes with his mind, opened his narrow eyes and said.
“Oh, t-“





“According to the report, Nigel was last seen fighting a black-armored knight, and there was evidence of a fight.
I'm guessing this is the knife the alien used in that encounter.”




 Dominic interrupted.




 At that moment, a light flashed in Abigail's eyes.




“I never said it was a knife.”








She continues, carefully studying Dominic's face.




“It's a weird shaped black blade.
I didn't recognize it as a knife.
It could have been a sword, an axe, or part of a spear, but how could you tell it was a knife?”




“If it was a blade that the Second Lieutenant could have been carrying secretly, it would not be a sword, an axe, or a spear, it would be a knife because of its size.
It's a simple deduction.”





“Yes, it is.
A knife would be the obvious choice.
Then again, let me check it out more closely.
Especially if it's alien equipment.
I've been analyzing enemy equipment, you know.
As a member of 88 researcher team, I'd like to take a closer look at that knife.
If you give it to me, I'm sure I can make a contribution to the 88.”




 At that moment, Dominic raised the volume of his voice as if he was waiting for it.



“–Oh, yes.
It's time for you to contribute to the 88.
Because you're an important witness.”




 The tone of the statement set off a flutter of alarm in Abigail's chest.




“Abigail, actually, the military decided earlier this morning to raise the level of your protection program.
From now on, we, the alphas, will be responsible for protecting you directly.”





“We still don't even know who the attackers were the other day, and we're definitely not going to let them get away with it.
I am much safer with InoRyder and the others.”




 Abigail immediately refused.




That would be a sign that you don't trust the 88, though, wouldn't it?”




“Yes, I don't trust them.
I don't know what they would do to me if I were locked up, I don't trust an organization that would mistreat a journalist.”






 Eugene nodded his head in agreement.




 Dominic looked at the two of them and chuckled, “I see.”




“Then I'll have to rephrase it ……– hey!!”



 He raised one hand and shouted out, and a large group of soldiers broke into Valhalla.
All of them with guns in their hands.




“Arrest this woman!”


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“Hey, hey! What's going on!?”




Suddenly, InoRyder and Vani stood up.





 Before they have time to respond, the soldiers rush straight to the table and surround them.




 Agatha, too, had a look of confusion on her face and was unable to move from her spot.
She, too, did not seem to have been told of this development beforehand.





“If you detain me in front of journalists without any evidence, the central human rights committee will not remain silent.
I still have connections over there, too.”





 At Abigail's threat, Dominic calmly rummaged in his pocket.





“–I have it, I do have a proof, Abigail.”




“There is ……
you say?”




“We have reasonable grounds to arrest you–“




 Dominic pulled out a terminal and held its screen up to Abigail and said.




“This is what we referring to as 'Concrete evidence'.”






 An image appeared on the screen.









She did the miraculous feat of suppressing her heart, which was about to jump out of her chest, by sheer force of will.




 Abigail tried to remain calm.




 Everyone eyes in the room were glued to the display.




 It began with an image of several men hurriedly rushing to the scene with guns out.
What was shown on the screen was probably the video of a surveillance camera installed inside some facility.
There was no audio.





 The men backed away with their guns pointed at the door.





 Immediately after, the door was blown open.




A gaping hole of blackness filled the broken door.




 Then a huge man wearing a paper bag and an apron slid in from the other side.







 InoRyder blurted out.




 In the video, the men were slaughtered by the Butcher one after another.




 Eventually, the monster disappeared into the back of the facility.




“This is footage from a few minutes before this incident.”





 The camera footage from the same facility was played.




It showed a blonde woman disguised as a man being invited into the facility.

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