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40px-Terminal.png This article, Stories from the Sigmaverse/Schadenfreude, was written by Brodie-001. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.
1306 Hours, March 31st, 2558

HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6, Sydney, Earth


"Get off me!"

"Cut his mic, cut his mic! You're done!"

"Listen and you will find the tru-"

Alexander Redford flicked a switch, and the monitor switched off as the host quickly wrapped up the disastrous interview. It wasn't every day that a man was arrested live on air, after all. From his office deep within HIGHCOM's facility, the black-suited ONI agent had watched with undisguised glee as Benjamin Giraud's claims of conspiracy and widespread crimes against mankind were torn down, leaving the man looking more like a crackpot conspiracy theorist than a genuine journalist.

Everyone involved has played their part magnificently, he nodded to himself, tapping a code into his desktop keyboard. A second monitor flared to life, beeping as a connection was established with his team on Barrier. After a few moments, the feed from a camera placed within the back of a truck appeared and a green light flashed up, indicating that the COM channel was open.

"Lieutenant, do you copy?"

Sat alongside several other heavily-armed men, Lieutenant Mudan turned towards the camera, straightening up in his seat. Slumped over and shackled to two of his comrades was Benjamin Giraud, a black bag placed over his head.

"Yes sir. We've got him."

"So I saw. How far are you from the extraction zone?"

"Ten minutes out, sir. Are we proceeding as ordered?"

"Negative, there's been a change of plans. I want Giraud kept alive."

"Sir?"

"I'll have a Prowler meet you in Barrier's orbit within the hour. He's to be taken to Midnight."

At this, a few of Mudan's men exchanged looks. As they had prepared to take Giraud into custody, the orders were to take him to a secure location where he would be killed and disposed of while an official story was prepared detailing his arrest and imprisonment. Many would regard it as a better fate than being left alive in ONI's hands, especially with the rumours about the Midnight Facility.

"Copy that. We were forced to sedate the target, so he'll come around in about six hours or so."

"Plenty of time, then. You'll be contacted once you leave the planet, Lieutenant. Redford out."

As the COM link switched off, Redford immediately began typing up a message of congratulations, addressed to one Commander Michael Sullivan of ONI's Section Two. While he had never met the main in person, he had been contacted by him recently with a request for assistance in ensuring the safe capture of Giraud, having no doubt heard of the BRUTUS division and its efficiency. After discovering what the wayward journalist was attempting to do, Redford had accepted without a second thought and quickly established an acquisition team while Sullivan handled the management of data that would crush their target's efforts and discredit him in the public eye. All things considered, the operation had gone rather smoothly.

Giraud deserves this, Redford thought to himself. His 'truth' would have done nothing but re-ignite a war against the Outer Colonies and damage the fragile peace we're trying to maintain. If the man had any respect for maintaining stability, then he'd have gone with what he was ordered to do.

Redford paused for a moment as he prepared to notify Sullivan about Giraud's transferal to Midnight. It had been a last-minute addition; a bit of spite against a man whose actions could have done irreparable damage to not only his organisation but Humanity as a whole, but one he stood by. Perhaps in time, he could be of use to ONI again.

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