R. The Border Dispute

Chapter 6

Michael looked forward with the other recruits. There were three in total besides himself- while this group didn’t necessarily include any outstanding individuals, it did include Vincent. His unit was assigned to a plant over what was once known as ‘Massachusetts’ or however it was said. Now it was only known as area 6 to the ANI.

As Jess said, he was given guard duty. Even having just finished, they needed all the help they could get it seemed –as the Underground was smaller in personnel then a regular military- and he had been given specialized training over the normal recruit.

Despite his lack of experience with weaponry (supposedly). This assignment officially made him a member of Sx3 – the rest would only be gained from experience.

Michael wasn’t necessarily a fan of where the job could lead, but it didn’t mean he’d intentionally sabotage a mission just to appear weaker than he was. He would definitely fulfill his duty to the utmost. Perhaps Regean had seen that in him.

Even still, Jess having told the acting commander him that he was still lacking in the weapons knowledge probably gave him some extra time to adjust without feeling too pressured.

Once he was alone, Regean dialed his private line to his informant.

Despite the seemingly pleasant nature of the informant their relationship was nothing more a working one. He expected his informant to perform a promised act, while he in turn would fulfill his end.

For this reason, he cared little for social tact.

The informant seemed to be quite capable which would have made him wary- except that for now, their goals led in the same direction. His informant wanted one thing that he was aware of. His goal was to fund the independence of the territory under the condition that it would become a nation. After which – when treaties were made, the nation would favor the land agreements and trade agreements that benefited the informant. They’d negotiated the trade rights beforehand- so the only thing left to do now was the completion of the said nation.

Regean’s personal perspective was that the territory wouldn’t survive without strengthening itself with a government. Perhaps it was this, or his ambition to lead the said nation at its head.

So for now, Regean was fulfilling his own part – keeping his liaison informed of the current status of the mission.

Regean, of course, had tried to do his best to get a scope on who his informant might be- But there was little to go on. He had no means to trace all the details back to the source- despite Underground Technology – Regean only had so many resources at his disposal to complete the act.

Voices were easily changeable also – so instead he surmised his informant from the given information.

The events leading up to their meet were as follows,

Regean was one of five commanders amongst the Underground- in charge of military operations in the east – mainly operations involving the secret operations within the city.

It was no secret that he was dissatisfied after the consecutive years that Sosoa refused to form a nation amongst the Underground. With all his sway on the Underground- he could’ve. It was then that Sosoa had been approached once through a message that suddenly appeared on his desk. The message had read something like,

“I have a proposition in the forming of a nation amongst the territory – if there is any care at all in such an act, then you will reach me at this address.”

Regean after trying to surmise who could possibly have reached him, made the call of his pure diligence to protect the territory, but after the discussion, he found that his liaison wasn’t motivated by the same patriotism. Not that he expected it.

The man in contact was an ‘investor’ it seemed. A very tactful one, who funded conflict in return for financial gains. From what he could gather as of now, he figured the man was from ANI sector 1- someone with means, must have political influence, and a military background… While it seemed like a lot to go on, unfortunately, those with military backgrounds usually had political influence and means already… He’d narrowed it down considerably however.

After calling, Reagan got down to business. While he knew he had to keep the liaison informed he kept the details minimal.

“How are you, Bill?” the voice spoke.

“The status is green.”

The other voice didn’t seem the least bit upset by Regean’s businesslike approach, in fact they welcomed it.

“Very good,” the voice responded with something of a smile.

“I’ll be in the area to protect my interests in the matter…” the voice responded, “Let me know if you need anything… and we’ll arrange it.”

“Sounds good,” Reagan spoke. Even though it wasn’t intentional to be nice, the man hadn’t really left another option to the last statement. Even still Reagan ended the conversation.

“Bill Out.”

“Hansel out.”

Immediately after gaining the information, Jackson contacted Vincent. They were in the middle of transit, but Jackson knew this may give them their first lead- even if it meant that Vincent would have to leave the mission.

Vincent was already on his way with the group to the tower.

[Vincent…] Jackson spoke.

“Yes?” Vincent looked around the caravan that seemed somewhat attentive to the conversation. Rather than treat it like something serious he would have to play it off.

[The informant is most likely going to be nearby.]

“Do you have anything else?” (He meant anything else to go on and hoped that Jackson could pick that up).

[I was able to trace the com.] (That actually said a lot in itself. Coms used variable frequency communication – and the encoding was variably encrypted.)

“Oh, very good,” Vincent held down his enthusiasm. “What can you tell me?”

[He was in area 5 when he called…]

“Thank you- that’ll be fine.” Vincent replied and ended com.

Vincent looked at the crew. The caravan was soon to arrive which was good, but from there he’d have to find the informant. For one- they knew that he was an elite… business owner… investor for travel… area five… Which would limit it to twelve towers- most likely.

He would have to search the sector’s entrance database for sector two travelers. Thankfully they had information on the train system which could narrow it down. If he looked over the passengers for someone who met that description- it could make things easier. That was of course – if he didn’t take a black flight… if he couldn’t find it via the trains- then he’d have to look  it up…

He looked around the group to think about how they could accomplish the mission… Blackout was still important. The mission itself wasn’t too difficult- but only Michael in the group had the training for espionage required.

When the caravan stopped he would have to get of and take another train… and he’d have to ask Michael for his help after they went their respective ways so as not to raise suspicion of two others. Michael he trusted.

They approached the check point.

The power plant- being such a crucial factor to ANI nation, of course, would have security guards stationed before entering and a gate to watch it.

This is where the disguises came in. The vehicle itself would have to be one of the ones the guards were used to. or modified to look as such.

Which is what they did… It was a modified transport vehicle. From there they required the correct identifications to transport items and if they wanted to check the back for supplies- they had a few crates that would work as transport items- but would have to be requested from the inside, or at least match the description of a transport that was to take place.

Actually- each plant had Nightwing agents stationed from the past five years. Today was the day they would end up burning their identities and start entirely an entirely new life. Nightwing agents however were patriots in this regard.

Under the fake identifications and transport of the items matching the description on the list, the crew entered into the plant assigned. This was only the first step of course. The two drivers and four recruits in the back would have to go into their respective routes. change into specific uniforms to pass security checks and get deeper into the plant. Eventually the would have to get to the core itself – the most heavily guarded part of the plant to begin with.

Thankfully As this was only first strike, ANI defenses would be at their lowest. They would never expect an attack of this magnitude from the start.

It had been all carefully planned- for months this plan had been in the works, from the development of the d-core to the inside OWLS that would help them bring in the D-core to the reactor.

Two of the crew got out now- which left Michael and Vincent. Now was Vincent’s chance.

Everyone was given a synopsis of the plan before the mission began, and had been told to study the layout of the core.

Michael knew there was a big risk involved and that he was responsible to do his utmost to help the team. It wasn’t going to be hard. perhaps his post would even be un-eventful, but he treated it with care.

The vehicle approached the outer perimeter.

they went to the swtich point and entered into the new vehicle.

the food truck entered into the first grid point, after which they entered the loading bay. slowly the delivery began to unload the boxes one at a time. In one of the boxes was Vincent. He got out and broke off with MIchael.

they broke up into respective positions. Michael led Vincent through the initial cooridors while Vincent held onto the device. they would break up and Michael would hold a post mid-way into the sphere…

Until Vincent grabbed him at the shoulder with device in hand.

“you do it.” Vincent told MIchael after he had entered into the sphere.

Michael looked at it for a moment…

“wait… what?”

“you know the layout as well as i do…you’re as capable as i am,” he spoke as Michael looked at him flabbergasted at the sudden change in the plan.

“what are you going to do?”

“I’m leaving, something came up.  there’s something else i gotta do.”

that didn’t make much sense. more important than this? “i didn’t hear anything on the coms… is this a joke?”

Vincent handed him the Decorer.

Alright… i guess it isn’t a bad joke. michael looked at Vincent, trying to get a read- but the look from Vincent was almost expressionless, except for the short, “please…” that came after it.

“yeah, ok..” Michael spoke… “you owe me one big time…”

“yeah, ok,” Vincent replied.

What’s so important he’d leave mid-mission on the biggest strike?

Michael took the de-core, metaphoric baton, and watched Vincent run down the halls into another room.

Ok… what is it i need to do.  Michael laid out the schematics of a plan, point a to point b.

he looked around, stealth was optimal but he couldn’t avoid everyone.

the core would be in the upper room of the center chamber. He’d have to access it without  raising suspicions.

He walked past a relatively empty hallway Until he saw a group of people coming toward him.

A girl and her father it looked, and some of what it appeared to be workers-

He quietly hugged the inside of a doorway – until they turned into the hall that he was in.

oh geez… he couldn’t avoid this…

he stepped away from the door. after a quick glance at the sign. 412, breakroom.

The girl saw him first,

“hello,” he spoke to the group,

the girl looked up to see him.

She smiled at him- she was tanned, dirty blonde, a few freckles on a beautiful face.. he couldn’t help but be a little struck.

the older person gave him a glance, “that’s enough gawking,” he said

“uh… sorry,” he said and turned downward. He looked back to look past them. the group passed by as he moved back to his direction. a worker looked  back,

“did you recognize him?” Michael heard quietly as they continued on from one of the workers…

“he was probably an intern,” another said.

  1. whew. he’d have to get used to it.

the rest of it was pretty uneventful. He was able to avoid being spotted by the others that were passing by- by keeping his eyes open and avoiding any confrontation.

He walked up the room that would have the extra pair of inner chamber wear, protection and also disguise. He put them on and followed by entering into the inner chamber. supposedly the radiation here was stronger, and while the suit protected him from the increased temperature, he could almost see the waves going up from underneath him.

He broke apart into a hall and entered into a room where the OWL Tarin would meet him…

After a moment of waiting he saw a mask come up to him…

he gripped tightly onto the d-core.

It was Tarin…

He handed it over.

“you’ll need to get out of here quick…” Tarin spoke, “Jess should be outside with a card ready to help you escape. “i’m putting this in right away… it won’t be too hard to get out, but the security will step up quickly after the shutdown starts.

Michael nodded. he stepped back from the inner chamber and took off the mask from his face after leaving.

It wouldn’t matter if he seemed out of place in a moment as he walked through the halls. The whole shutdown would take the attention from him.

He quickly exited from the premesis gaining a couple glances from others as he exited.

He looked at the time on the walls as he entered into the front entrance.

he nodded at the guards as he entered his info into the exit.

one of them spoke, “wait, where are you coming from?”

“i think he was from the delivery crew…”

“can i see your i.d.?”

Michael looked at the time, thirty seconds… he wouldn’t have time.

Michael looked up: he gave a non-chalant shrug and kept walking through…

“hey wait…” he put his hands on michael’s arm, Michael pulled it away, and drop kicked him in the neck.

“security alert!” he said after a moment after MIchael rushed out.

Michael sped up to where Jess was supposed to meet him. She pulled up to him on a bike.

“hey…” she spoke. “where’s Vincent?”

“i don’t know where he went- let’s leave soon.” he said and got on the back of the bike.

she gave a quick glance over his shoulder and then gunned it.

they rushed towards the woods and through towards the tunnel that had led to the core closer by.

Michael looked behind him as he noticed the reactor lines slowly dimming down.

Soon the whole sector would diminish. Mission complete..

Upon arriving at the hangar with the group, Michael could tell there was an electricity in the air. Everyone was excited. He himself was somewhat enthralled about the fact that they’d been able to accomplish the mission.

They got off their helmets and gear, and looked around the Underground.

Michael saw Vincent pull up beside him a little after his own vehicle brought them there.

He looked towards Vincent who seemed to be in more of a deep-thinking mood than usual.

“Hey,” he saw Jaydon wave to he and Jess. “we’re supposed to rendezvous at the cafeteria at twenty-hundred-oh-fiver.”

Michael split up with Jess after a ‘i’ll see you there’ and then went to his room to get ready.

However he noticed Vincent looked a little grim and Tech was there to meet up with him and talk about things.

Jess seemed happy herself to be with him.

Micael was first of the group to get to the auditorium. It was set-up for a party, however, it was crowded so he just tried to find a place to sit and stay there.

The recap of the shutdown was shown on a screen in front of the audience at the Undeground cafeteria as everyone waited for what Rajin had to say.

He stepped up on a podium and his voice rang across the room as he spoke.

“Tonight was a success,” he said. “Sector Seven has taken a hard hit. While there’s more to come, i’m sure it’s nothing we can’t handle and this is the beginning of a new generation. What’s left… ?” he paused, “We’re going to work on preparing the boarder. The Allies don’t know what they have in store for them, but tonight, I want everyone to have a good time.”

Michael looked at the man who had spoken, Rajin Matthias.

“uniting the territory huh..?

“Yeah…” Vincent said with arms crossed where he was leaning against the pillar. “it’s always been part of his own plan to make the territory a nation instead. It seems that his plan is finally happening- Rajin’s now going to lead the territory to its freedom and take control of it as a nation. After the conflict ends, we’ll see what changes are in store for us.”

Michael figured it was better not to say anything about the change in the venue and stuck with the occurance that Vincent had been the one to help in the core issue. He watched Vincent walk off. He wondered what he was hiding.

Michael looked around him at everyone. It seemed as if the Underground had come to life. Peope were gathering together and conversing, it seemed, and there was music and dancing going on as well.

He spotted a familiar face, Jess sitting at a table and walked up to her.

“Hey you!” he said over the loudness. He had to yell to get her attention. She looked towards him and waved.

“hi,” she wasn’t her enthusiastic self… It seemed she was in thought as well about the whole future.

He put out his hand, “wanna go for a dance?” he said.

she looked at him for a little, “actually- yeah…”

He took her by the hand and led her to the dance floor. It had always been something he wanted to try but hadn’t learned more than some steps with his little sister or mom.

He held his arms out stiffly. She adjusted them grabbing him by the hands with her own.

“You do it like this!” she said clapping, and holding up her hands to his when the dance called for it.

After a little while the music got loud and the crowd grew tigher.

“it’s a little loud in here huh?” he held out his hand to her and she got up.

“yeah…i agree,” she said with a smile. It seemed she was back to her old happy self. As happy as you can be with a family member’s death so recent anyway.

“Wanna get out of here and go to the lounge?”

“I’ll follow you,” she said.

He held his hand out to her and they walked out. She followed behind him. He started heading towards the lounge area. hopefully it would be a little less crowded.

“So where do they have you posted?” he asked as the energy calmed down in the halls.

“After this i’ll be out on the field working with the towns to prepare for the Allied offensive… after that, i think i’ll be back on the mission to stop the train system. That’s an important one,” she responded.

Strategically speaking. it seemed that the Underground was preparing for some offensive. He wondered what was in store for the future. he’d help out as much as he could, but he wasn’t sure exactly where the Underground was headed. A full series of battles to defend the territory before an offensive? He wondered why the Underground was so extactic. He guessed the old man’s plan to stop the territory must have been well thought out. After all, they seemed to have O.W.L.S in ever sector.

“Ah… i see,” he responded. “i think im headed a little north of you, but maybe when we get time off we can spend it together.”

“that’s good,” she responded.


He worked on the candy-apple he’d taken with him as they kept walking. He held it in his mouth and showed her ‘no-hands’ and then did a cartwheel.

She chuckled.

“How about slurpees next time we see each other?” he said.

“Sure,” she responded.

The time went by quickly enough. As they reached the lounge he ran ahead, and found it to be almost empty.

They played a game together, where among the hologram room, he prenteded to be a character, and she had to guess- vice versa, followed by learning some of the small games he’d been unfamiliar with that were new to the culture. It seemed the underground had their own tabs on the modern advances that the Allies had to offer.

Eventually when they were all tuckered out, they decided to watch something on the projection screen with a few of the others that had come in away from the noise.

“i had fun,” she said. It seemed she wanted to relax just as much or more than he did. He was glad to see a softer side. It seemed tomboy, soldier, spy girl was a front for an ordinary, wanna have fun, one.

he smiled and gave her his shoulder for her head to lean on and tilted his head on hers.

“You’re all set to go, this com will keep me in touch with you once you get to sector 2,” Tech handed Vincent a com.

“I guess I’ll be leaving tonight then,” Vincent said.

“It’ll be sad to see you head. you’ve pretty much been part of the Underground for forever,” Tech replied.

“Yeah well, I’ll be back sometime i guess…”

Vincent went into the hall where he’d go to the lounge and try to enjoy the last of his day here before the mission tomorrow.

As he got inside he spotted Jess and Micael on the couch together while watching something on the proection screen.

Michael whispered something into Jess’s ear, after which he went up for a kiss. After kissing her on the lips for about five seconds mutually,

Despite Vincent thinking it was for the best, he couldn’t convince himself… and left the room.


He left to the ‘balcony’, a holographic projection room of a real life location, and stared over the edge.

About ten minutes later, Micael walked next to him and looked out as well.

“Hey dude,” Michael said.

Vincent kept looking forward.

“You like Jess…didn’t you. and you didn’t tell me…”

Vincent was quiet.

“I noticed you come into the louge and then leave. That was out of place no matter who you are- even for you it seemed like you were shocked,” Michael said while looking into the distance. He would wait for Vincent to reply or not.

“Yeah…well, I’m no good for her,” Vincent said- finally admitting the real reason he felt he shouldn’t be with her. After all of the things that had been done to him, he had no desire to burden Jess with his own problems and who he was.

Silence drifted off for a couple minutes. They both stared off into the landscape for a while.

“it’s a nice landscape.” Michael said looking out of the scenery.

“…yep… i recorded it from a while back,” Vincent replied. It was a place from memory that he’d actually travelled.


Well, where are you headed?”

“Sector two.”

“What are you going there for?”

Vincent thought for a moment. Lying to Michael wasn’t really thought he wanted or needed to do. He told him the truth- however only in a small hint of what he was actually planning to do.

“To protect the one I love.”

Michael looked at Vincent for a moment and then turned back to the landscape, “I know there’s more going on- if you need someone, let me know..”

“If I think i need your help, I’ll let you know.”

“Good,” Micael said looking out and then walked back to the party leaving Vincent to follow afterwards and go to his room and pack up the supplies.

Vincent packed his bags. In the empty room there was a sort of peace that allowed him to think. An emptiness consumed him- the kind of pain that came from a loss of hope. He felt it was a good time to write it out so he took a pen to paper and spent little while afterwards writing out his feelings on the ‘net’ and then packing it away.

I’m leaving
There’s something I must do
I don’t want you to be hurt- so I had to hide the truth
I care more about you than you’ll ever know
I want you to know
This is the hardest thing for me to do

“First things first, post a cash reward for anyone with information on the ‘Underground’ headquarters,” the General said. “let’s say… 100 million.. we want to show the people that terrorism won’t be tolerated and nip this thing in the butt. Put it all over the bulletins as well broadcasting on major news outlets every two hours or so.”

“Secondly, we want to smoke them out, they’re hiding in the hills- so we’ll place our men to reinforce across the border. We have no idea who our enemy is, so if we can get a few captives to give us info, all the better- initiate project -‘Cell’.”

“For now- we should treat this as an act of terrorism or a small rebel faction, we want the people to know that we’re handling it- the worst thing that we can do is lose the support of the people, and make two enemies out of one.”

Commander Jaymie had been brought to the president’s side as soon as the strike happened.

Who was he up against? the thought didn’t scare him that much- but it did annoy him to think that anyone would dare challenge the sector. Now was the time to dominate the board.

He currently had thirty -three thousand troops at his disposal, and while very few had ever experienced anything related to combat, it was mandatory for the population to join the military for a year and he would be able to call upon up to a million within the next year and a half if necessary.

In terms of numbers it would bea good match against an opposing territory, with perhaps a third of that initial amount. Perhaps it was possible to stall them out protecting the main areas while gathering information on the headquarters.

For now, he couldn’t afford to charge into the fortified hills, that were sanctioned with defense from the territory. They’d have to find the right approach to broach the hillside. while he didn’t know the enemy forces wherabouts, but he was sure to get some info soon enough.

While they could attempt to coerce the villages to work with the sector to oust the Underground, it was a sure thing that most didn’t even know the wearabouts of the main base.

So he’d have to tackle this another way. Because the territory woud fight them if they tried to force their way into the hills. they’d have to find certain routes accessible  and martial law the areas that they needed to take control of the area.


Everything was ready.

He’d have another guest arriving shortly as well. The one who’d helped him up the ranks was now coming to see how the situation faired. He couldn’t disappoint him. no matter what.

He walked to his quarters and got changed for the meeting and headed to the office room to meet up with the man.



Author: jackpennnovels

Hey there. I'm a 28 y/o aspiring author - looking to inspire youth and entertain the masses with fantastic stories. i enjoy travelling the world and understanding different ways of life- and my second dream would be to help others understand what it's like to live in different parts of the world- in the hopes that cultural exchange can open the eyes of those who've had theirs shut for so long.

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