We Concerned Few


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September, 2003


Peter King was always a little on edge when September 6th rolled around.

It was the Task Force Command Conference, after all, so nearly every single MTF commander would be in the same room for several hours. If someone wanted to deal a serious blow to the Foundation, it was here and now.

Then again, the reason the TFCC was hosted at Site-17 was because of how secure it was. The outer defenses alone could stop any conventional army, and there were more than enough contingencies for anything anomalous.

That didn't stop King from darting his eyes around frantically, looking for anything that was even the slightest bit suspicious. His main concerns were the personal body guards some of the officers brought. Any one of them could be an Insurgency spy, and any one of them-

"Peter."

King turned to his left. Morgan, his GenSec partner, motioned to his right arm. He looked down, and noticed his hand grasped around the handle of his gun.

"Sorry." He said, loosening his grip. "Just a little jumpy."

"I can see that." Morgan replied. "You need to relax, Pete. I've watched over a hundred of these meetings. Believe me, you'd find more action down at the morgue."

King sighed turned back to the crowd. The commanders were all engaged in light conversation, discussing about things King couldn't quite make out. The conference hall itself was square shaped, with a large round table in the center.

"Please find your seats." A voice echoed through the room. "We will be starting shortly."

The chatter hushed as the commanders made their way to the table. The sound of chairs scrapping on the ground reverberated as they sat.

"Thank you all for coming this morning." A commander standing in the middle said. "For the record, this is the 142nd Task Force Command Conference. The date is September 6th, 2003. In front of you is a pamphlet containing the subjects we will be going over today."

Several commanders opened the sheaf of papers and skimmed through the contents. A scoffing and groan came from a few of the officers to King's left.

"We will be starting with a continuation of Omega-1's proposal to redirect funding. You have the floor."

The commander who was speaking sat down as another one to King's right stood. The man had short gray hair, and the uniform he wore showed signs of wear and tear, unlike the uniforms of the other commanders which where in pristine condition.

"I would like to start by reminding the commander of Gamma-5 that my name is Parker, not Omega-1." The man said in a gruff voice.

Henry Parker was the commander of Omega-1, Law's Left Hand; the personal task force of the Ethics Committee. He was also the only officer in the room King knew the name of.

Most commanders kept their actual name classified to anyone under senior officer. A few let middle class agents know, but no one let any of the low ranks know their name. No one besides Parker. King wasn't 100% sure why, but his demeanor suggested Parker wasn't a fan of keeping things secret.

"As a little reminder, we ended last year's meeting with me suggesting a series of funding changes. The biggest take away was redirecting all funding from Delta-4 into ways to get our men into the field faster."

"He means decommissioning an entire task force so Omega-1 can have more money." A commander spoke up. King turned to the man who spoke. The name plate in front of him read 'Delta-4.'

"Delta-4 is the stupidest task force ever conceived by the Overseer Council." Parker replied to the Delta-4 Commander. "They should've stopped when they named it 'Cannon Fodder.'"

"We're not Cannon Fodder anymore." Delta-4 said, standing. "We're the Minutemen now."

"Call yourself whatever you damn please, it won't change the fact your entire purpose is to send in our boys to needlessly die."

"Gentlemen…" The Gamma-5 commander said. "Remain civil. Delta-4, Omega-1 has the floor."

The Delta-4 commander scoffed at Parker, then sat down.

"As I was saying, last time we met I told you to give me a year to figure out how to best redistribute funding from Delta-4 to other elements of MTF. The two main outlets are R&D and transportation. Getting our task forces someplace quicker and arming them with the necessary equipment should hopefully make Delta-4 obsolete. Thus, making the need to send brave men and women to die in the unknown obsolete. The pamphlet goes into greater detail, about 7 pages greater, so I encourage you to look over it."

A few of the commanders flipped through the papers. The Delta-4 commander, along with several around him, did not.

King leaned towards Morgan.

"You think they'll pass it?" He asked.

"No clue." She shrugged. "Parker's popular, but with that popularity comes people who will do anything to see him fail. Still, if there's one commander who could get a task force decommissioned, it's him."

That was true. Parker was one of those commanders everyone had an opinion on. Most of the file and rank held nothing but absolute respect for the commander. King had heard stories of Parker joining his soldiers during missions, even taking point. Considering most commanders sat behind a desk giving orders, King could see why so many would look up to him.

There were also many at the top that respected, even admired, him as well; only for different reasons. Parker was, by all accounts, a tactical and strategic genius. Whether it was a large scale assault or a small scale operation, he knew exactly how to approach it and was able to predict exactly what the opposing force would do. Apparently, it was common for other commanders to have Parker look over their plans before enacting it.

However, for as brilliant and charismatic Parker was, he was also doubly opinionated. He gave his unfiltered thoughts, he swore, he came to meetings in his combat-scarred uniform. To the elites of MTF, he was unprofessional and disliked, with the only saving trait being his mind. To the common footsoldier, he was a charismatic leader whom they would siege the gates of hell with.

"Are there any officers who would like to second the proposal?" The Gamma-5 commander bellowed.

"I second."

King looked at the woman who had spoken up. It was the commander of Lambda-12.

"The motion is now on the floor." Gamma-5 announced. "We shall take it to a vote. All in favor of Omega-1's proposal, the decommission of Delta-4 and redirecting funding into R&D and transportation, say aye."


Site-32 was one of a handful of garrison sites. Unlike most facilities under Foundation control, the sole purpose of a garrison site was to house MTF agents and act as a staging ground for operations. It also held no anomalies, which allowed for more luxuries in the budget.

Luxuries such as the high end bar Cornwall was currently seated in.

"Everyone misses you, you know."

"Oh I'm sure." Cornwall said, stretching back in his seat. "With me gone, they actually have to work for cases to get resolved."

O'Connor smirked at the detective.

"So how's being the left hand of the law?" She asked, raising a glass of water to her lips.

"Boring." Cornwall replied. "Investigating mundane ethical violations isn't nearly as fun as solving the murder of a type green."

O'Connor sat back in her seat.

"So you DID read the file."

"Of course I did." He said. "I saw your name attached to the report and wasted no time in reading it."

Cornwall picked up his own water and took a sip.

"You probably could've solved it in half the time I did." O'Connor said.

"Don't doubt it." The detective said wryly. "Still, you did a good job. Better than anyone else in the Analytics Department could've."

"Thanks." O'Connor replied. "I appreciate it."

The two sat in silence for a few minutes. There were a few more agents in the bar with them, making light conversation neither could make out. Some classical music was being played in the background, acting as ambiance.

"Why did you leave the department?" O'Connor finally asked. "We need a good mind like you, and it doesn't sound like you're enjoying your time with Omega-1."

Cornwall didn't answer immediately.

"Parker asked me to join, said they weren't getting enough funding to hire competent detectives. Besides, for as boring as the job is, it is so incredibly important. Without people like me, bad things would go unpunished, and bad things gone unpunished leads to even worse things happening."

Cornwall leaned back in his seat.

"Plus, there's a bit of prestige that comes with being apart of a -1 task force."

"Detective." A third voice said.

Cornwall and O'Connor turned to an older lady standing outside their booth.

"Oh, my apologies." The woman said. "I should've been more specific. Detective Cornwall."

"Yes Mary?"

"Parker's back from 17. He wants to see you."

Cornwall smiled. "Thank you Mary, I'll be up in a few."

Mary returned the smile and walked away. Cornwall looked to O'Connor and sighed.

"Welp, duty calls." He said standing.

"I suppose it does."

"You gonna stay at 32 any?"

O'Connor shook her head. "Nah, I'm wanted back at Site-06. The trial of everyone involved in the 5002 fiasco is next week, and they want me there to give my testimonies. Then, it's back to 88 until my holiday leave."

Cornwall stepped out of the booth and turned towards the bar door.

"What dates are you off for the Christmas?" He asked.

"December 22nd to January 3rd. I also have November 26, 27, and 28 off."

"We'll need to meet up during that time."

"That we will." O'Connor said.

Cornwall smirked. "Have a good day, Ellen. And Good luck on any cases you get."


"You wanted to see me Henry?"

"Cornwall!" Parker said happily as the detective entered the office. "I did. Have a seat, my boy."

Cornwall sat down opposite the commander. Smoke billowed from the large cigar in Parker's mouth. Unlike most rooms in Site-32, Parker allowed smoking in his office. Cornwall reached into his coat and pulled out one of his cigarettes.

"Light?" Parker offered.

"Please." Cornwall replied as Parker held up his Bic.

He breathed in the fumes from the cigarette as Parker lit the tip. The two of them sat back in their chairs, relaxing.

"So how was 17?" Cornwall eventually asked.

Parker didn't reply.

"Oooo. That bad?"

"Pride is a dangerous thing." Parker said. "It keeps you from doing what needs to be done simply so you can be right."

Cornwall shook his head. "What was the final count?"

"14 to 24."

"Huh, well that's 12 more than I thought you'd get."

Parker let out a singular, scoffing laugh. "I was hoping that providing a detailed outline would convince enough of them to pass the vote, or at least build enough momentum to try again next year. But we weren't even close. Now, I'm afraid the only way to get that damn suicide squad abolished is for an op to go so horribly wrong that even the mules can't ignore it."

Cornwall laughed. "You aren't one for politics."

"No I am not." Parker admitted.

It was raining outside. Cornwall could tell because of the large window behind Parker's seat. His office was on the top story of Site-32, along with all the offices of the commanders stationed here.

"You didn't call me here to gossip about stubborn MTF commanders." Cornwall said.

"No I didn't." Parker replied. "I brought you here because I have another case for you."

"That's what I assumed." Cornwall eyed the beige folder sitting under Parker's arms. "Alright, hand it over."

Parker didn't move.

"Cornwall, this case is different."

Cornwall frowned. "How so?"

"Because if these containment procedures are unjustified, the research team will be facing execution."

A heaviness fell over room has he realized the gravity of the situation.

"That serious?"

"It is." Parker said solemnly, sliding the folder to the detective. "Everything you need to know is in this file."

Cornwall took the folder and opened it. He skimmed through what little info that had.

"Most of it's redacted." He said, looking up.

"That it is."

"If I'm to investigate it, shouldn't I have the uncensored version?"

"You should."

"And?"

"I put in a request for the full document 3 times. 3 times it got denied."

"We're the Ethics Committee."

"No, we're Law's Left Hand." Parker corrected. "We only have access to what the Ethics Committee deems necessary."

That's when it hit Cornwall.

"You think someone on the Committee is violating the code?"

"Wouldn't be the first." Parker said. "Which is why I'm putting my best detective on this… sensitive… case."

Cornwall nodded and stood.

"I'll get this figured out."

Turning, the detective made his way to the door.

"Cornwall…" Parker called out.

He stopped and looked back at the commander.

"If this is an inside job, I want to know who so I can personally shoot that son of a bitch in the head."

Cornwall nodded, tucked the file under his arm, and stepped out the door.


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