Victoria hesitated on whether to hand over the notebook, but in the end she just wanted to be rid of it. She had nothing to gain from keeping it and if the project started up again it would be on Franklin for not letting things lie. Victoria reluctantly handed over the notebook just to be rid of it. He moved to pull it away when the brunette suddenly clung to it.
"If I were you, I'd burn this notebook and bury the ashes. But you'll probably keep it, so if you ever use anything in here, be careful." Victoria warned him before relinquishing her grip on the notebook. It was likely that she had just stepped over the line by saying what she had, but she was not going to let something she had literally bled to get go without giving a warning about it. As the developer of the original project, Franklin should know exactly what he had just been handed, but she felt obligated to warn him anyway.
"I do not plan on using any of what is in here. I plan to either burn it or lock it away so that no one ever sees it again." Franklin assured her. Victoria looked at his face and determined that the older man was telling the truth, so she did not question him. She only hoped that he would eventually follow through with the promise to destroy it or to lock it away.
"I hope not. It's something that never should have been written down. Project Lacedaemon should never have been created." Victoria replied solemnly. There was no place for witty action movie one-liners in this conversation. Project Lacedaemon was morally repulsive and something that should have never been researched because it used up so many lives for something that was only an expensive pipe dream.
A "super soldier" would be much more costly to maintain than normal ones because in addition to food, equipment, training, and medicine, she doubted that Agent Lacedaemon was a one-and-done injection. She suspected that periodic injections of A-LAC would be needed to keep a "super soldier" performing at a super level. Then there was the cost of A-LAC... it was composed of special ingredients that could not be whipped up in a basement lab whenever supplies ran low. It required special facilities and highly trained chemists to make, so there were two more factors that drove up the price of the agent even more.
Assuming that the formula was perfected, the formula was kept secret from rivals, and the supply chain for the ingredients was kept secure, what did one get in return?
A stronger, faster, and tougher soldier who could still go down if hit with enough bullets or an explosive.
Victoria thought that the whole project was a colossal waste of time and money. Why bother with it when one could just spend the money on better training or better weapons or both? The brunette could see the allure of powering up a few of a country's best of the best, but using it as a quick fix for an entire army would be an expensive mistake.
"I analyzed the data at the lab in Sin and discovered that my son was dangerously close to completing his... work. He only needed another week and the formula would have been perfected. I shudder to think what he could have done with a perfected Agent Lacedaemon." Franklin said to her.
"He could have sold it to interested parties and would have made more money than Capital Crocus could hold in its borders. Or he could have used it on himself and become almost unstoppable." Victoria gave her own take on what Alexander would have done with the perfected Agent Lacedaemon. He would have sold it for large sums of Jewels or he would have taken it himself, stomped Abigail and Victoria into the floor, and then continued to make more A-LAC for sale. Now that Alexander Kerwes was dead, all Victoria had to worry about was people getting hold of his research and continuing it.
"There is that too." Franklin conceded.
"I noticed that as it stood A-LAC induced a whole lot of symptoms that ended with a fatal heart attack after forty-eight hours. It's good for creating a one-shot army of berserkers out of people you really don't care about and using them as bullet sponges for your people. Alexander did that with a big group of adventurers he had captured." Victoria opined about the imperfect A-LAC formula, hinting at the tactic's use to create an army of mutants that forced her to use high-explosive Grenade Launcher rounds to kill them all. She was sure that he saw the red-stained hallway where she had used the weapon to great effect. She hoped that she would never have to do that sort of thing again. It was every bit as soul-crushing as what she had to do in the Phaaz-coated village, which was probably the point. Alexander wanted to impress upon Abigail and Victoria that saving the mutants was impossible and that killing them was the only way to get past them with enough strength left to defeat the rogue scientist who had made them.
He also wanted to crush their spirits before the fight, but that did not happen. Victoria dug deep and killed Alexander Kerwes, but the mental damage had been done. Victoria would carry the memory of firing grenade after grenade into the mutants for the rest of her life... however long that was.
[Post Word Count: 924]
[Total Word Count: 1,733/3,500]