Predator One

Predator One by Jonathan Maberry Read Free Book Online

Book: Predator One by Jonathan Maberry Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jonathan Maberry
Tags: Fiction, General, Thrillers, Horror
of this place.”
    “Hooah,” said Top. He stepped out of the cell for a moment, then hurried back. “The other prisoners are in moderately poor shape. Lot of obvious wounds. Untreated cuts. Dislocated fingers.”
    “Some ‘resort,’” said Bunny, and then he shook his head. “I am having some weirdly conflicted feelings here, guys.I mean, our intel says that most of the prisoners here are actual scum suckers. Really-bad bad guys. And if I thought there was a bomb about to go off and any of these pricks knew where it was or how to de-arm it, then, well … shit. I guess I’d put my conscience on a back shelf and go all Jack Bauer on them. But that’s, you know, heat-of-the-moment stuff. Needs of the many and all that stuff.”
    “You walking in the direction of a point?” asked Top.
    Bunny looked at the door to the hallway. “Not sure what I’m saying.”
    We all got it, though. We were all warriors. We were all killers. But we were all, each in our own way, idealists. Working for the DMS will do that. It’s nudged us away from either the right or the left side of politics. I had my left-wing, bleeding-heart-liberal moments,and I had my hard-line conservative moments. Pretty much in equal measure these days. It didn’t exactly make me a centrist, and it certainly didn’t make me a libertarian—besides, soldiers shouldn’t play politics. I occasionally did appalling things because the situation was fragile and innocent lives would be lost if I didn’t act. All three of us had. Sam, too.
    And yet …
    The line between immediateneed and breaking the law is blurry at the best of times. And I’m not talking about the laws of states or nations. I’m talking about the laws of basic humanity.
    It’s so hard to decide how to think about it. When I first joined the DMS, I was appalled when Mr. Church used deception and carefully worded threats to psychologically coerce crucial information out of a suspect. Church broke the man.As a result, we gained information that ultimately saved millions, perhaps billions, of lives.
    Not too many months later, I needed to get a certain code from a man who was about to launch a series of designer pathogens that would have wiped out everyone who didn’t conform to a certain standard of acceptable “whiteness.” Again, billions would have died. He was an old man, and he was injured. However,the clock was ticking down to boom time, and so I did what I had to do. The information he ultimately gave to me stopped that genocide.
    So, how was this different?
    I don’t really know if I can answer that question. A lot of what was being done to these prisoners was part of a fishing expedition. The prisoners were believed to have knowledge of imminent or long-range threats against America.Due process was denied to them by the Patriot Act because the legal method can be used against itself. That’s something I understand, but on the whole I wouldn’t wipe my dog’s ass with the Patriot Act. It was quickly written and is poorly thought out, bad policy. People on both sides of the aisle should be working together a little more diligently to replace it with something smarter and saner.

    This prison, the Resort, was illegal. No doubt. Any useful intelligence obtained was, in fact, saving lives. However, it was funneled through certain Agency channels for the career benefit of a select few.
    Does that matter if the effect is still the saving of lives? Sure, but how much is something that still needs to be looked at.
    Is the systematic and continual torture of prisoners justifiedif they do, indeed, have guilty knowledge and if that information is crucial to saving lives?
    That’s what had Bunny’s gut clenched. Mine, too. And Top’s. Standing there in that cell, with no one around but varying degrees of criminals, it was hard to pin your sympathies to the right wall.
    I sighed and called it in. Church said that a medical team was on board the chopper.
    “What about the

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