“Is – is that it?” the Secmaster asked. He seemed terribly unsure of himself today. Not particularly suitable for his position. Satasha wondered how he would make excuses for it later.

“It does look like it worked,” Satasha said. “All pseudo-neural activity has ceased. At least according to Hellard’s monitors.” She tapped a few times on the screen. “Of course, it’s also possible we just broke the equipment.”

“Good work, Secminion,” Slaiton said from behind her. Satasha had almost forgotten he was there. He had been uncharacteristically quiet. Everyone was acting not themselves today. Of course, it was a rather unusual day.

“Thank you, Commissioner,” she replied, as expected. Perhaps she was supposed to feel proud. Nobody else seemed to have gotten the grasp on this like she had. But instead, she felt sad. A little guilty. Not something she felt often.

Was this the right thing that they had done? Hellard had seemed to think it necessary to have a kill switch. The others had agreed. And she hadn’t expected Hellard and Slaiton to ever agree on anything. But why had Hellard been so insistent they use it? He hadn’t explained. Just told her to “pull the trigger” a few minutes ago.

Had something happened with the negotiation? Had he even tried?

A drop fell onto the display pad. Satasha wiped it away quickly. Maybe nobody had noticed.