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232 The Closed Door Meeting, A Supposed Planning to Deal with the Aftermath

 Day 36 - 5:20 AM - Meeting Room, Port of Real Settlement Headquarters, Barangay Ungos, Real Quezon

It was early in the morning and the sun had not even peeked on the eastern sea yet, but the settlement was already busy. Most of the activities involved the military while some were the private groups going to start their day early. As for the refugees, many of them woke up early to work on the tasks given by the military within the settlement. It was to ensure that they would have better food for the day.

The Port of Real Settlement was divided into two sectors. The first was the residential area sector which was the majority of the settlement and the second was the military sector which occupied to entirety of the commercial port area at the northeast of the settlement.

Since the roads inside the settlement were narrow, the vehicles owned by private groups could not be driven inside unless they were leaving the settlement or going back to their dwellings after returning. It was to prevent road blockage during emergencies where the soldiers needed to use the roads to respond to the area location of the emergency.

As for the higher-ups of the settlement, they had their own duties to fulfill and most of them should have been resting this early but this time, everyone was informed to report at the Headquarters for a sudden meeting. It was to address several issues that rose because of the incident that involved the daughter of a Major.

There were ten people currently in the room sitting around a rectangular table. Five people were from the military, one from the US forces and four from the local politicians. Among these people was Major Alfonso and the US Mercenary, Jones Galley.

"Sorry for gathering everyone even if all of you were supposed to be still resting or was about to rest for the day."

The man past his fifty's wearing his formal military uniform and was seated at the innermost end of the table. He was Major General Zackaria Faustino, the leading person of this settlement.

As for his apology for calling a meeting at this hour, none of the people voiced any dissatisfaction. It was not because everyone here had a good relation with one another but they had already been used to this routine since the apocalypse came. They needed to address issues that came up as soon as possible or else, them, the management, was the ones to suffer the backlash.

Major General Faustino panned his sight on everyone and continued.

"This time, our preparations on the incoming entrapment operations had been cancelled. As you all know, we've been preparing to capture the ones behind the hunting of survivors and enslaving them which happened mostly at the Marikina-Infanta Highway. Yesterday however, Major Bautista's daughter had been involved with those outlaws by accident and the operation had been moved unreasonably early in order to rescue her."

The general turned his eyes at Major Alfonso Bautista which made the latter lower his head.

"Unfortunately, not only that our resources and manpower were moved but we received nothing in return. Not to mention that we also did not manage to get our hands on the leading person of the slave traders alive. This time, the ones at fault are Major Bautista and our hired mercenary here Jones Galley."

"But General, I can't be at fault right?"

Jones could not help but protest.

"And why is that?"

General Faustino turned to Jones with a stern eye.

"General, I'm not the one who killed or caught Drake right? I already filed my report."

"I already saw the report. But why did you not do something to stop that person called Mark?"

"General, don't be unreasonable. Do you think I'll risk my life that way? You already received the report from Major Bautista right? That group of outlaws were decimated and slaughtered into pieces. I don't want to end up like them."

The general's eyes were still skeptical towards Jones' statement but at least, he accepted the statement a bit. He then turned to Major Bautista.

"And you Major, what do you have to say in defense?"

"Nothing General. I'll accept any punishment."

"I won't punish you but please learn your lesson since it is better for you to work for the settlement than to be detained. Just please, rein in your daughter so that you won't have to move our resources and manpower for personal reasons again."

"But my daughter is also precious to the settlement, right?"

Major Alfonso tried to reason.

"I know that she's a valuable subject to the lab but if you ask me, she's causing more damage than good. This is the third time this week already and every time, there would be people injured. This time, it was already lucky that the ones injured were only her teammates. Actually, there are people already voting against letting your daughter remain in this settlement."

"But General!"

Major Bautista could not help but raise his voice and stand up hearing the general's previous statement.

"Major Bautista, you are also a precious asset to this settlement and that is why we let your troublemaker daughter stay but the damage that was accumulating because of her was about to exceed your contributions. If more and more people vote to evict her out, even I have no choice but to acquiescence to the desires of the majority. That is why I'm asking you to rein her if you want her to stay."

"Yes, General."

Major Bautista slumped on his chair obviously depressed.

The general sighed as he looked at the expression of his subordinate. He was also a father and of course, there was no father who would want to get his only living family to get evicted from the settlement. If that happened, for sure, he would also lose a loyal subordinate.

"General, is that all what you want us to see? To let us watch as you punish your subordinates?"

The seventy-eight year old politician at the right side of the table said which made the other three politicians nod in agreement. He was the incumbent governor of Quezon, Daniel Suero.

Even in this settlement, the military side and the political side had frictions.

"No, it's just to address the first matters."

The general ignored the snide remark and signaled his secretary to distribute a folder each to everyone.

"Please open the folders." The general said after the folders were distributed. "On the first page is the sketch of the leader of the outlaws that was killed just past this midnight, Elliezer "Drake" Volkov. The reason why we wanted to catch this person alive was to give a bit of rein against Death Valley Settlement and their people. Elliezer is the first son of the founder and the leading figure of the Death Valley Settlement, Adrik Volkov. Now that his son was dead, we should expect that he'll come for us suspecting that we are the ones that killed his son. As you know, they had eyes and ears everywhere. The news of his son being killed should have reached him by now."

"But we are not the ones that did it right? Can't we just handover the person that did it?"

One of the politicians with a lean body said with fear in his face. He was Congressman Wilf Everga. It was obvious that he already had confronted the criminals and suffered. The one to contradict the politician however was obviously Major Bautista.

"What are you saying? Are you siding with those beasts to save your own hide?"

"I'm just stating the facts! Those crazy bastards from that crime settlement will do everything to get their hands on what they wanted. I'm sure that they will do a lot of underhanded methods to make us suffer!"

"YOU! This is why you politicians are such greedy bastard!"

A heated argument between Major Bautista and the politicians came about but was immediately stopped by General Faustino. The general glared at the politician as his suggestion was out of military ethics. Although not everything was good in the military, they could not just do it arbitrarily like that. Especially that...

"Before suggesting something like that, please look at the next page."

Everyone turned onto the next page and unexpectedly, there was Mark's detailed sketch on the paper along with the information that was only known in Bay City and the report from Jones and the estatements from the other soldiers and Joash who had direct interactions with Mark before.

"This is the person in question. The person that singlehandedly killed over fifty outlaws along with their leader. Among those outlaws, ten are Mutators and more than thirty are evolvers."

After the general spoke and let the others read the information, Jones spoke with a sneering face while staring at the politician that suggested to hand Mark over to the criminal settlement. It was obvious that Jones had already read the information in advance.

"If you want to hand that guy over, you better prepare battalions of soldiers, some tanks and helicopters. Even with those, don't expect that you will be able to catch that guy without dying."

While everyone was reading the information, everyone could that read the papers for the first time, even Major Bautista, could not help but widen their eyes.

Saving General Perez's daughter and aiding the rescue mission by fighting an unknown even before he became an Evolver, rescuing over forty survivors in the mall they were trapped in, eliminating a group of armed escaped convicts just with him with his adoptive daughter and eliminating the leaders and men of two underground syndicates with just his one or two members of his group. Not to mention that he and his group accepted a mission from the military and successfully escorted a group of almost five hundred people to Bay City.

However he was gone and missing since then due to the dangerous task he took and it was to lure away two gigantic unknowns away from the people they were escorting.

After he was gone missing, his group became one of the pillars in Bay City and the higher ups of Bay City was still in the look out for him even though he was missing for more than three weeks already.

A person with achievements like this appeared in their settlement and in a grand fashion of annihilating a dangerous group of outlaws, singlehandedly and brutally. Not to mention, the information in the paper was already outdated. Along with the report from Jones, it was obvious that the person in question was way stronger than before.

Congressman Everga lowered his shaking hands after he read the information and report. It was the same for the other people. They were more inclined to believe that the report was a work of fiction than being real but unfortunately, it was within the records of Bay City and the report about what happened yesterday and this evening.

They would not be able to hand over someone this strong without dying first.

This time, one of the military officers spoke. He was Captain Edalgo Garcia and was one of the officers in charge of security in this settlement.

"If there is someone this strong, can't we rope him in to our side?"

"That is a good suggestion but how are we going to?"

The General asked.

"How about a honey-trap?" Jones suggested and looked at Major Bautista. "Major's daughter is a good candidate. She seemed to have some interests on the guy and the guy don't seem to view her negatively."

"What are you talking about?!"

Major Bautista stood up once more and shouted. Of course, his daughter being used in this kind of thing would infuriate the father.

"Chillax Major. It's a bargain for your daughter, really." Jones waved his hand and the others were intently listening to him. "Since she's about to be exiled, if she managed to rope Mark in, then no one will try to evict her anymore. NO ONE would DARE TRY. You get me? Even this old guy here can only listen to you."Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.

Jones suddenly pointed his thumb at the general which was obviously infuriated the old man. He was about to reprimand Jones but sudden panicked knocks on the door interrupted the meeting.

"Ahem. Come in."

General Faustino cleared his throat and anwered the knocking. A soldier came in and saluted in a hurried fashion.

"What's the matter?"

The soldier looked at Major Bautista first before facing the General and reported.

"It's Major's daughter, Karlene. She escaped the lab again in her berserk state and is on the loose. Three scientists and ten soldiers were injured in her escape."

As if orchestrated... General Faustino, the general's secretary, Captain Garcia and even Major Bautista slapped their foreheads with a dismayed expression.