Agent Walker had seen a rough month. He was beginning to realize that his cause was losing. Everywhere he looked, Plasma was set up to crumble, and with it, everything he believed in.
But it wasn’t crumbling yet. Agent Walker knew he couldn’t let it.
The Imperial Senate was run by the two main parties: the Republics and the PLASMA (the Party for the Liberation of AStentians and MArnolians, an outdated name from the time when humans had enslaved both native species). Always opposed to each other, the dispute between the parties had spiraled into a full-scale war between two forces aligned with each party, the Pulse and the Plasma. The fight was very nearly an even match; while Plasma had better trained and equipped its agents, Pulse had better technologies and was better funded.
But when one small group of people disagreed with both parties, the dreaded elites of the Delta Force rose. They were independent of the politics and instead sided on the decisions that they believed would stop the destruction of the empire. Unfortunately, this meant that they tended to ally with Pulse, although there were times when the Plasmas had enjoyed interactions with Delta. For this reason the Pulse had the slightest of advantages.
Agent Walker stopped in the hallway between mission control and the meeting rooms to think about the upcoming disaster. The Republics were about to pass the laws that had the capability of causing both PLASMA and Plasma to be destroyed.
Of course, the PLASMA party had no idea, and in fact, even most of the Plasma agents did not know the significance. To them it was an innocent and generally desirable bill designed to change the balance of power in the empire by removing some of the power of Emperor Vao. A five-sixths majority in the Senate and a unanimous vote by the Lesser Elders would pass the bill, and it looked an awful lot like it would go through.
However, Vao was vital to the balance of the empire. While the Republics won most of the Senate votes due to the number of Republic senators, very few laws written by them passed by Vao. Emperor Vao was the wisest of the Elders’ Council, the body of seven elders who decided if the laws would pass. Whenever the six Lesser Elders agreed with a law, Vao would examine it in close detail, and in his great wisdom would make a choice, explaining fluently how the law was, or was not, in the best interest of the people of Lylan, and thus pass or veto it.
If the Republics wanted anything significant done their way, they would need to eventually dispose of Vao.
Agent Walker was one of the few who made the realization that this proposal fell under a section of the Lylani Constitution, which established that any decision regarding the Emperor, the Elders, or the Senate would have to be made by the other two bodies. Namely, Vao would have no say in this vote. If it were to pass, it would be as if the Republics would become the Emperor and gain the power to make all the decisions in their interest.
Including wiping out PLASMA, and, when they were gone, Plasma.
The situation was grim for the Plasma agents, though nobody was able to make it obvious that something was not right. Walker was especially frustrated as he walked down the hall in the underground Plasma base. Plasma wouldn’t do anything about it because they were blind to the threat. He was sure that this would be the end of his country as he knew it.
Until someone called out, “Agent Walker? May I speak to you for a moment?”
Walker looked back at the higher-ranking agent who had just passed him. “Yes, Agent-Prime Michaels?”
“You know about Smokescreen, yes?”
Smokescreen was the code word for the law itself. Walker nodded and turned toward him in interest.
Michaels looked both ways to see that nobody was around them, eavesdropping on the conversation. “Now, I know that you’re frustrated lately about it, so I thought that I would include you in on this. I’m assembling a group of agents to do something about that. We have an operation ready. We need you for your insight there.”
Agent Walker was intrigued. “Tell me more.”
“Negative,” Michaels dissented. “Top secret. The details are sensitive and affect the overall success of the mission. All you can do is to pledge your loyalty to the group and cross your fingers.”
Walker, though suspicious, knew that it was a risk worth taking. He looked over on his shoulder to the flying squirrel sitting placidly there. “What do you think, Fuzzball?”
Fuzzball chittered, a look of determination in his eyes.
Agent Walker smiled at Agent-Prime Michaels. “The operation is a go.”