Last week, Tom managed to effectively end the democracy of the remaining US government in, what, 3 days? I am impressed. Though, I suppose, to be fair we have to admit that the forces of democracy were doing a very good job of screwing themselves.
So we open with the coup. And General Bressler is making it clear that he’s doing this because he thinks the whole tactic of “let’s hide and pretend the aliens aren’t there” is not the wisest of military strategies. Tom, however, has principles (apparently. Last week I seem to recall him ignoring the civilian authorities and urging Bressler to do the same. That was different. Somehow) and doesn’t want a new US built on a military coup (hey, just a reminder guys, ALIENS. Nation building is a pipe dream when your species is near extinction). Tom, Weaver, Hal et al get themselves locked up again, this time by the military. Honestly, in the middle of a military coup and you piss of the civilian government and the military. Impressive.
But there’s another proximity alarm before people can be locked up. There’s chaos and screaming because the lunch hall is full of Skitters (and no-one is firing?)! Of course, it’s the rebels – including Ben and Red Eye. Tom tells Bressler to order his men to lower their weapons – which he doesn’t do. So Tom stands between the Skitters and Bressler – as does Ann and Lourdes. Followed by Weaver and the entire 2nd Massachusetts.
Time for some diplomacy in a side office with Bressler, Tom, Weaver, Prestly, some extras and, of course, Red Eye and his little glow-in-the-dark translator, Ben. Time for an info-dump. The Ustheni (Overlords) are incredibly intelligent creatures that don’t need computers or the like – and one of them can have vast influence and control because of it. The Ovelord the 2nd Massachusetts captured was in charge of all military operations in the Eastern US and probably should have been killed. They also don’t share information with anyone but other Overlords because they work through Harnessed species which can’t, entirely, be trusted – which means if you kill this Overlord, all military operations in the area falls apart since they don’t keep back ups.
This isn’t just a great big “damn guys, you screwed up,” because they have a second crack at the Overlord. He’s going to inspect the creation of a big big big weapon at a place that, coincidentally, has nice, sneaky caves under it, ideal for an assassination. Except the Harnessed Skitters don’t have the weapons (they had Mechs before…) and their harnesses will be detected anyway… the humans, however.
Bressler doesn’t believe it and refuses to send any troops – and wants everyone back in their cages. But Weaver points out the 2nd Massachusetts can do it – and it’s not like Bressler wants them around being a nuisance anyway. So Bressler agrees – and when they’re gone he talks to his sergeant about hitting the Rebel Skitters.