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72 Book 4 - Chapter 130
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Daedalus
Author :Skully_
© Wuxiaworld

72 Book 4 - Chapter 130

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Chapter 130: The Defenders

Y: 2143 - M2

Daedalus Financial Position: +14,340,000 bitcreds

<break>

Daedalus left the building.

The committee sat in stunned silence as the members from Daedalus stood and filed out of the room. Nothing like this had ever happened before in their long history, nothing that had been recorded in any case.

"I will contact the police," the opposing counsel stated.

And within a moment several members of the committee shouted, "No!"

The opposing counsel sat with an apprehensive look on his face. He recognised from their response that the suggestion of malfeasance held water. Otherwise the local authorities would be on their way - if not the ADF military police. (ADF is American Defence Force which constitutes all of North and South America)

"Leave," the chair ordered the opposing counsel, "And you are under a gag order for all that transpired here today." Unlike Daedalus Military they did not use threats.

The five committee members were unnerved and began a frenzied discussion.

"What will we do?"

"We have no choice."

"The corporations will not be pleased."
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"Daedalus is their problem! We don't need to make it ours as well."

"I never knew they were so… how did they dig up all this dirt so quickly? I was unaware of some of it! And I've been here for twelve years!"

"It doesn't matter. They are a tsunami and we are but a little boat. We will move out of the way and survive. We will navigate the corporations after we survive Daedalus." The Chair spoke.

"Do you think they will cut us from the exodus?"

"They can't. If you own space on the spiral, it's a fait accompli. You only need to be aware and be able to afford space on a craft."

"Unless you are deemed a destabilising influence." The second chair said with a wary tone.

"I feel like leaving now," the fifth, and youngest, chair said.

"Until the spiral is complete, it is far from cheap. Do you have an extra hundred million?"

The fifth chair hung his head, "I can't even afford the initial. I needed the extra income this chair provides."

"What if you sold everything?"

"You know we are forbidden to liquidate; the economy will collapse, and all assets will be worthless."


"Hmm, I thought someone your size may be able to get away with it,' the second chair stated.

"There is an organisation that is watching us all closely," The Chair stated. "Do not act rashly."

"This day just keeps getting better," the fifth chair said, "and which one of you degenerates is raising clones only to kill them?"

There was a blank stare and absolute silence in response.

"I don't think that is an appropriate subject for discussion," The chair intoned before he moved the meeting on.

"Daedalus' entry into the regional southern European division. All in favour?"

A unanimous, "Aye," followed.

<break>

Daedo ordered the hovercar to the offices held by Barran's family in New York. Barran sent a message to everyone as the group. They were in two cars, which zipped underground before zig zagging seamlessly through traffic to their destination.

Barran: you can wait in the foyer or nearby, but only Daedo and me are in the meeting. They haven't agreed to more.

Barran's nerves had been building since he agreed to meet with his family. As soon as he found out about the New York trip, he responded to his families repeated attempts to contact him. He had applied and succeeded in his effort to emancipate, but his family still wanted to meet and discuss.

As the autocar pulled up, they could see the building was named Huawei.

"This is it," Barran stated.

Vannier asked, "Their offices are in the Huawei building?"

Barran nodded.

She looked at Daedo, he didn't seem phased by this revelation or perhaps had he known all along. And even if it did concern him, would any of that concern show on his face.

Barran arranged access for himself and Daedo and they left the rest of the group behind as they made their way through the restricted area to the travelator.

Due to the massive downsizing of the human white-collar workforce the officers were spacious or packed with computing appliances. Some were off-net to protect company intellectual property. These were physically protected with radio frequency and other electronic protection as well as physical breach prevention measures.

The entire tenth floor was Barran corporation. It possessed living areas, meeting rooms and entertainment areas. When in New York the Barran family conducted business and stayed in the one location.

They were guided by a robot to a windowless section which overlooked the city. It was an indoor-outdoor lounge that possessed a veranda stretching out an extra ten metres from the building with no visible edge protection. There were a few other floors like this above and below.

They were met by the familiar sister; Morganne. She was an attractive seventeen-year-old U2 cadet this year and would turn eighteen during the year. Her long blonde hair had been cut to shoulder length, and it bounced as she walked towards them.

"Merry Christmas little brother," she said smiling and showing her pearly white teeth.

Barran replied, "Funny har har." He'd missed the family Christmas gathering.

"Come. Sit, relax, we can begin in a minute. Would you like drinks?"

"Water. For both of us,' Barran replied knowing exactly what Daedo's response would be.

"Boring," she said and with a flick of her wrist as she ordered the drinks.

Daedo put his finger into the glass and around the rim. His bodysuit sampling the contents for immediate analysis. The act did not go unnoticed by Morganne who peered at him. She didn't appear offended nor apprehensive, just curious.

"I guess water is easier to test for foreign elements,' Morganne observed.

Huawei were known for their expert espionage technology and they were in the Huawei building.

"Not testing your's brother?" Morganne asked.

Barran grinned while he downed his water. "Why would I? Anyone who dared to drug me better kill me." Instead of putting his empty glass down for a robot he handed it to his sister.

She sighed at his immaturity and took the glass like a good host, they both knew, she was ordered to be. She placed it down on a surface for a robot to retrieve.

Instead of handing her back her glass Daedo threw it at the open space. It flew like a missile until it hit an air wall which pushed it up into the sky and into a waiting automated retrieval system which consisted of hundreds of elastic tubes.

"Hmm," he said as Barran and Morganne gawked at him. It did not take long for Barran to burst out laughing at the seemingly spontaneous, out of character act.

"I see our systems are being tested," Reece Barran, CEO Barran Corp stated as he arrived upon the trio. "We can begin as soon as Lady Alvia arrives."

"Inform her to arrive now," Daedo stated. "She is in the room to the southeast making us wait due to an adherence to an archaic human interaction strategy."

"She can hear …" Barran began to say before nodding and cutting short his own sentence.

Morganne and Reece looked unperturbed. They were used to games.

Another thirty seconds passed, and she didn't show. Daedo stood and turned to leave with Barran following his lead.

"You're going?" Morganne asked.

Barran replied, "We're busy sis."

It was at this point that her bluff was called and Lady Alvia made her entrance. Rather than acknowledge what was happening she merely apologised for running late.

Daedo nodded and made his way back to the indicated comfortable seating. He sat on the edge of the chair rather than lounge back. His back straight like a rod.

Daedo: If I fall asleep again. You're on your own.

Barran: Will you?

Daedo: We can't currently calculate accurately. The conditions are similar. The metrics are the same. There is a real risk.

The five sat in what was almost a circle with several small tables to place eats and drinks. A mild breeze blew through the space, it was artificial, but it was still cooling. The floor itself radiated warmth, the two contrasting climate controls were an inefficient use of energy. But to the Barran family; energy was an abundant and cheap resource.

"Thank you both for coming," Reece began. "We have been really concerned about Brice and the fact you are here Daedo really shows you care …"

Daedo interrupted Reece, "Communication and manipulation techniques are a waste of our time. State your questions, requests and desires and we will answer honestly."

Barran smiled but gave no other outside sign of joy. He was looking forward to this exchange very much.

"We'd like to have a discussion with our son and then a larger round table. This is where we would like to start," Reece stated.

"Denied. We will conduct discussions with this group from Daedalus Military. Your side may remove or add members that belong within your group.' Daedo replied.

"But Mr Daedo, we are family," Lady Alvia said, "you can't deny a family reunion, we haven't seen Brice in almost six months."

"That is an incorrect statement. He is a member of Daedalus Military and no longer your ward, we can deny a family reunion, it is within our power." Daedo responded. "You are continuing to waste time. There is much for you to gain her today. All you need to do is ask."

This statement stunned Lady Alvia, Reece and Morganne. The last thing they expected Daedo to say was they had much to gain all they had to do was ask. They knew very well how wealthy Daedalus now was. If Daedalus continued their rise, it would one day be part of a big four, instead of the current big three. The only unknown was whether the current players would destroy or cripple them.

The Barran family were not on Daedo's level of thinking. While they used effective strategies that were considered old school or traditional. These strategies simply did not work on someone like Daedo. But they weren't stupid.

When out of your depth, Reece Barran knew the best move was to ask opened ended questions and let the powerful speak. "What should we be asking for?"

"You should be asking why and how this why applies to you," Daedo said.

"Please," Reece said with a sweep of his hand indicating Daedo continue. Barran was now stunned, in a few moments Daedo had his belligerent, ignorant family eating out of his hands. Deep down the real reason saddened him, it wasn't because they had come to a realisation and respected Daedo as a leader. It was the capital and power he now represented.

"In the interest of efficiency, we will speak only to aspects that pertain to your family. You are being kept in the dark. Information has been withheld by those you presumed were allies. Not only are you not part of the elite who are departing the planet. Due to your limited capital you weren't informed of the exodus or its details. You think there is a future for you past 2149. There is not. You will die the same as the 99% of humans who exist on UBI. The only difference is; they know they are not part of the elite."

"Wait, what?" Morganne loudly exclaimed. "Are you still going on about the alien invasion conspiracy?"

Barran sighed. His family were fools willing to be fooled. Even his highly intelligent sister. "Listen," he breathed, "if we're smart enough to build a troika reactor. If we're capable enough to bring your academy out of the pit." He pointed at his sister when making the statement. "Don't you think that his words are worth serious consideration?"

Reece hung his heads in his hands. Lady Alvia was too stunned for words. She sat staring at Daedo like he was an alien.

From beneath his shelter of his own hands Reece asked, "Can you prove your words."

"Yes," Daedo said. He brought up a clip of the meeting with the big three and played it for them. And while it played they recognized the powerful men at the meeting and the words those men spoke - broke them.

"We suggest you do not record this. It could put your lives in danger." Daedo simply said. "Any other questions?"

Only Morganne could speak, her young mind was more flexible than her parents, "What - can - we do?"

The answer was obvious, "Prepare to fight for your lives."

"How could they do this? Why?" Lady Alvia finally broke her silence.

"We are still investigating," Daedo replied. "We possess only speculation."

"What is your speculation?" Morganne asked.

Daedo looked to Barran and back to Morganne, "You are not safe recipients for this information."

"What does that mean?" Morganne said.

"We currently have an armistice. We do not wish to jeopardise the status quo. To do so will benefit no one." Daedo replied.

"How can we continue? What do we do to prepare?" Morganne asked.

Daedo said, "We will provide you with a strategic outline which you can assess and utilise at your own discretion. I can send it now if you wish."

"You have it prepared? You knew this meeting would … of course you did." Morganne said in distress.

Daedo didn't tell them he only took a second to prepare as he possessed ample data on their capital and current capabilities.

Reece and Morganne quickly assessed the outline by reading the executive summary.

"Fold ourselves into Daedalus military? Seriously?" Reece asked.

"You have too many deficiencies to survive on your own," Daedo replied.

"And you want us?" Morganne asked. She sounded humble and sincere.

"No, you are not needed" Daedo answered. "We do this for Barran's morale. He would not like to see you suffer."

Barran turned his head to face his friend. Daedo always said he could read his mind, and this was proof. As he had always talked negatively about his family. How they irritated him and how he hated them. But Daedo knew. He knew. That deep down. He would want to save them.

"Geez. Daedo. Seriously how are you so …?" Barran quizzed. He was lost when it came to choosing a superlative.

"What will happen to valuations, to the markets, if they all leave?" Lady Alvia asked. She was still stuck in the old world.

"Mom," Barran said seriously, "does it matter? Really matter? What use is all the money in the world if you're dead?"

"I suppose …" her thoughts trailed off.

Daedo began to lecture the Barran family, "There is a chance this meeting is being recorded despite our countermeasures. We are in a Huawei building. We calculate that giving you this information will not cause disruption. However, you must act in a logical and reasonable fashion otherwise the risk of you being deemed a destabilising influence will rise. And if rises high enough, they will remove you."

"Their plan is for the economy to continue. While there will be a level of self sufficiency and possible integration into an alien economy. Their contributions on earth will carry forward into the new paradigm. A destabilised economy on earth in the last days will hinder the exodus and is undesirable by both sides."

"If their side is exodus what is our side?" Morganne asked.

"We stay and fight. We will save as many as we can. That is our mission." Daedo replied.

"We are the Defenders," Barran said, helping his commander out by providing single word to describe their side.

"God help us," Alvia cried and Reece put a tender hand on his wife's cheek. "I just realised we're being protected by children."

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