Still covered in orc blood, Merrick entered Captain Baker’s office. His filthy appearance was a stark contrast to the cleanliness of the office. The desk had been cleared of any documents. Which meant the situation that had resulted in Merrick’s summoning was not a good one by any means. The look on Baker’s square-jawed face didn’t help matters either. The man sitting in that chair was one of the few that Merrick could begin to respect, which was why that look almost intimidated him.
“Sit,” the Captain said, and Merrick obeyed. “Is there a problem, Captain?”
“Of course there’s a god-damned problem, Hayes! Sixty orcs just attacked the Wales base!” Baker’s North Irish accent provided the perfect underline to his angry tone of voice.
“I and a few others successfully repelled the attack, sir,” Merrick said, expecting praise. “We suffered no casualties or wounded, sir.”
“That doesn’t mean much coming from the bastard who provoked the attack, now does it?”
Merrick was suddenly thankful that Baker wasn’t able to see the face underneath his gas mask. “I don’t understand, sir.”
“Don’t play dumb with me, Hayes! You’d think I would have a psychic as unpredictable as you without having a way to watch them?”
Merrick froze at that. He hadn’t thought of that. Why hadn’t he thought of that? All of his plans were reliant on there being no other psychics in the SAS. How could he have made such a basic oversight?
Baker continued when he saw that Merrick wasn’t going to speak. “I don’t know what the **** you’re playing at, Hayes, but you’ve just caused a hell of a lot of problems for us.”
“The public won’t care, sir. To them, we just repelled a group of terrorists, sir,” Merrick said. He had to salvage this somehow, some way.
“Oh, and is that what we should say to the UN? ‘Oh, it’s okay, those were terrorists!’”
“Tell them what you always do, sir. It was an isolated incident and we are unsure of the cause.”
If it was possible for a man’s head to burst from anger, Baker’s was getting close. “Absolutely not. I can’t keep covering for you, Hayes. The first two times you did something like this was enough, but know you’ve provoked a direct attack on the United Kingdom! We’re likely to go to war, now, because of you!! Do you honestly think that excuse will fly this time around?”
Merrick stayed stiff in his chair. He appeared calm, but this was not the case in his thoughts. His plans were this close to being exposed. His efforts were falling apart because of this one mistake.
“I didn’t think so, Hayes.” Baker gave a long sigh. “The military court will decide what to do with you. Until then, you’re confined to quarters. Coutts will escort you. Get out of my office.”
“Yes… sir.” Merrick stood and walked to the door. Thoughts rushed through his head as he did so. He had to do something to salvage this! He couldn’t let Baker go to the court with this. There had to be some other option! He went through all the possible plans with each step he took, but he eventually arrived at the only real option he could take as his hand fell on the doorknob. His actions would not be reported to the court. Couldn’t be reported. So, Merrick didn’t open the door, nor did he leave.
“Did… did you just lock the door, Hayes?” Merrick heard Baker say.
“Very observant, sir.” Then Merrick heard Baker’s head slam into the desk in font of him. And again. And a third time. He turned around, took his blood-covered ice pick from his pocket, and approached the dazed Captain.
“That’s all,” Merrick said, placing his hands on the table.
“That’s all?” Oakley repeated. “Surely, there’s more you can tell me? About Captain Baker’s death, your own motives?”
“Any other pertinent facts regarding my case can be found in my trial records. I doubt I was brought here to recount my crimes, unless that’s how you work.”
“No, of course not.” Oakley glanced at the clock; it had been two hours. “That’s the end of this session, Mr. Hayes. You may go back to your cell now.”
Oakley remained seated as Merrick stood, walked over to the door and let the guard pull him to his cell. Charles waited until the two pairs of footsteps faded away, and then he picked up the phone on his desk and dialed a number.
It wasn’t long before Oakley’s call was answered. “UK military court. How can I help you, Dr. Oakley?”
“I need access to the evidence from case 35267A.”
“You’re working on that psychic, Doc? I’m sorry.” The unnamed voice went from neutral to sympathetic. Then it returned to neutral as the person behind the voice continued. “Any specific pieces of evidence?”
Oakley thought for a few moments before the answer came to him. “I’ll need the gas mask he wore and the ice pick he used to kill Captain Baker.”
“Right, we’ll have that for you within the week. Good luck.” The phone line cut off and Dr. Oakley sighed. This idea of his was a long shot at best, but he was willing to take any risk to cure Hayes of the numerous psychoses he was afflicted with. And besides, if this didn’t work, what could?