The Shadow Upon Us
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THE WAR WITHIN
THE SHADOW UPON US

At the end of the hallway, O5-2 cried.

Something had been overshadowing her for weeks, enveloping her mind, her soul. As ridiculous as it sounded, something out there had found her.

Nobody knew yet, not even Jacob. She would tell him when she was ready. She would tell them all. They would know about the rage, about the infuriating rage. And the crying, of course. And they would help her.

O5-2 could feel it right now, festering inside her head. Influencing her thoughts, subtly shifting her cognition. "Conquer", it whispered. "Dominion".

That's what it wanted, as far as she could tell. It wanted to take over. It wanted everything under its feet, at it's unwavering, cold-blooded command. As far as this thing was concerned, everything else was unimportant.

She didn't now where it came from, or where it would go when she was dead, or if she was just going insane.

The crying continued. It would probably never stop.

The morning sun pierced O5-2's eyes unexpectedly, and sent a short-lived burst of adrenaline into her bloodstream. It was a new day, and the second all-nighter aftermath in a row.

She had piles of work to do. Apparently O5-3 had authorized a morally questionable attack on the Insurgency. It was one of their bases to the southwest, completely destroyed. Everyone was dead.

O5-3 denied everything unless pressured by Jacob.

O5-10 had supported this fully, and gave O5-3 strategic advice. Not that the crafty son-of-a-bitch needed it.

Of course, there was nothing else to do. The base had been reduced to ashes. O5-3 did what he did, and nobody could do anything about that. It was less about the action, O5-2 thought, but more the willingness to keep it quiet from the rest of the Council that infuriated her.

They tried to contact Fritz. Alpha-1 got a nod and a sigh. He never cared.

But there we go, case closed.

Adelaide cried that night too.

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