“What’s your poison?” the bartender said looking at the young man with the soldier’s aura. At the moment it was only eight so it was slower and the bartender thought it may be an interesting conversation to say the least.
The modern bars didn’t have too many regulations. Nothing that inhibited the function of the laborer though- no permanent damage… otherwise, hallucinogenics and highs were on the table. Bartenders were probably some of the higher paid as it was a popular hang-out – and came from the business class degree.
“Can i just have some Hot Chocolate?” the man responded with a straight face. Even still, there were common alcoholic beverages that included chocolate so the bartender was only slightly amused.
The bartender mused the familiar beverages that included hot-chocolate- there were plenty, but the two he could think of… “You talking about a Five-spice or a THC?.”
”Sorry- it’s not a joke.” the man said, “Hot chocolate’s my favorite drink. Just a regular hot-chocolate- little bit of cream if you have it..”
“Yeah, okay,” the bartender said. If the man had wanted hot-chocolate, he should’ve gone to a restaurant/cafe… or just bought his own. Even still, the bartender kept this to himself and looked in the back for a standard pack of hot chocolate.
He placed the drink in front of the man who’d turned his attention to the screen.
“That’ll be eighteen CAR,” the bartender wasn’t going to simply make a non-standard drink- he’d have to charge for the cheapest alcoholic drink that included hot-chocolate which was 18 CAR.
“Oh?” the man raised an eyebrow, but fished into a pocket for a card which the bartender took.
Initially the bartender had a scanner for the arm currency- but the man must have been an immigrant without an imprint on his arm.
“Thanks,” the man spoke as the bartender returned the card.
The impression he made on the bartender was still a good one – nothing that stood out- polite enough it seemed- which was uncommon for youths nowadays.
“You’re military right?” the bartender spoke while cleaning a glass.
“Oh?” the young man looked impressed.
“I get all sorts around here,” he replied to the impressed appearance the man gave, “yeah you must be from out of town too…hmm…”
The bartender seemed to be thinking while the young man just observed.
“Sector seven huh?”
“Oh, you’re good,” the man replied. “how could you tell?”
Actually there were a few signs, demeanor, clothing, appearance, but most of all – the accent. If not for that, he could only guess at best, since the others could be coincidence.
“Oh,” the young man spoke before the bartender needed to reply. He covered his own mouth signifying that he knew that it was the accent that gave himself away, “i guess that’s something i’ll have to work on…”
“You’d be popular with the ladies if you kept it,” the bartender replied.
The young man just gave a shrug. From the shrug- the bartender could tell that he was still hung up over someone.
The man turned his attention back to the holovision located in the corner…
The bartender too, turned his attention.
The projection displayed a newscaster and a popular diplomat discussing something uninteresting. the bartender wasn’t really into the politics but did like to keep up with current events. Despite the topic being about some faraway events, it seemed pretty heated. Oh now that he thought about it, the young man was from the same area- perhaps that’s why it grabbed his attention.
The bartender looked around the scene. His bar wasn’t too busy at the moment – not at this time of day.
A few others were at random tables, but he was one of only two people at the bar, the other was a girl who had just sat down.
He watched as a young woman dressed… nicely sat two seats from the young man and turned her attention to the bartender and glanced at the young man.
The young lady ordered a drink and then turn her attention to the young man.
“My name’s Rappa…”
“Hello Rappa…” the young man replied and took her hand, “Vincent.”
The bartender watched as they talked on a bit. Vincent didn’t really talk himself up too much even though the woman seemed beautiful and interested. Instead he simply let her talk while asking basic questions.
“What do you do?”
“Oh? How do you like it?”
“You know how it is- in ten years i’ll actually be able to do my job rather than the eight years of education and apprenticeship.”
(some impressive conversation by Vincent. perhaps mocking the irony of something- ANI
Suddenly there was a commotion to the side… A police officer had a young kid pinned on the side. The kid looked to be part of the underworld- somewhere between ten and twelve perhaps.
The bartender wasn’t too surprised by the occurrence- there were plenty of youths in the underworld… mainly because they were kicked out of society. However, it seemed that the man named Vincent wasn’t too familiar with it.
“What’s going on?”
“It’s just a local street urchin… they sometimes try and steal food or peddle items…” the young woman said. “If the police find them, they round them up right away. ”
The bartender, like the woman didn’t think much of the occurrence, but it didn’t seem to sit well with Vincent.
“It seems somewhat abusive..” Vincent replied. “wouldn’t it be better to find them a good home?”
“Would it?” the woman replied. She seemed not to have thought much about it before.
“if you’re going to be a teacher… you should care for all types of kids…” Vincent spoke. After the confrontation which shocked the beautiful woman.
“Uh, excuse me…” Vincent spoke in front of the bartender spoke to the lady. He handed the bartender coin for the lady and walked towards the officer.
“That looks like it would hurt…” Vincent spoke as he took the officer’s baton from his belt and studied it… it seemed like it would work by electrocution- and a few other items looked they were meant to net their targets.
“Ah i see…” he said after having studied it. The officer himself was too surprised by the sudden advance that he didn’t initially do anything.
“Zap!” an electrocution came out of the baton as Vincent held it to the officer.
The officer backed up a bit- attempting to get his bearings. He shook his head- definitely worse for wear.
By the time the officer came to- however, the
Thankfully the setting wasn’t anything heavy- but by the time the officer came to Vincent had already taken out the cuffs and attached an arm to a leg- After which a sort of electrical tape wrapped around the officer… locked by his own cuffs.
On the t.v. in the background- the bartender watched as Vincent looks at something. He walked up to the bartender and asked about the current conversation.
“…Citizens of sector two,” the diplomat spoke on a newscast, “Is it our responsibility to stick up for those who are unable to defend themselves. If we do not, chaos will reign. Therefore, I ask you to support the campaign against rebels. Take pride in your nation…”
A politician was talking to the newscaster about sector seven and the blackout.
“Who is that?” Vincent spoke pointing to the politician.
“Robert Pennworthy,” the bartender replied. In his own position he wasn’t sure what to do besides answer the question. “He’s been a forerunner for a united military for a while now. Load of crap i say- let two deal with their own problems…”
Vincent glanced back to the bartender and flipped another two CAR coin in his direction.
He then walked out of the bar with the urchin waiting for him.
Jadon had been captured. This was the worst thing possible for those of the ‘Underground’ -the base would have to be moved immediately as the most crucial strength to the Underground was its secrecy.
Thankfully – an good thing about the base was its mobility…
Jadon consoled himself with this thought – still he hated himself for putting that obligation on the Underground.
(It wasn’t his own fault per se. Had Jadon known that a specially designed unit for capture had been hired by a joint operation between the ANI president, military chief and outside consultant- maybe he would have worried more about himself rather than the Underground.)
A group of four including himself were tied together and forced walking towards a certain facility in the hillside behind enemy lines. Despite having come here by a group of militants. It seemed to be hidden even from other ANI. After reaching a certain checkpoint- they were dropped off and the normal group of military left- instead followed by another group.
Jadon wondered what the implication was as he was forced towards the facility at gunpoint. The military that had their group at gunpoint as they walked single file were dressed in one colored military gear with no ranking or signifying marks to distinguish them.
Jadon looked around trying to gather as much information as possible. They must have been some sort of mercenary group.
Torture. It was Jadon’s first thought after piecing the details together. He hoped he would keep a strong front for the others as he was the most senior within the unit that was captured.
As the entered a certain dome building, glass doors opened and closed at certain points in the hallway. Jadon looked for an opportunity to escape, but with feet and hands bound now- he could simply walk in small steps and it would be hard to gain momentum. Although there seemed to be a sort of key located on the guard.
He pretended to trip and brushed up against the guard- managing to take off the keys that were attached to the belt.
“Sorry…” he spoke. The guard looked at him strangely and then picked him up with force and lined the group up again to enter into the final chamber.
Jadon tried to think about how to best make an escape as the guards began to tie them down into chairs. It would probably be now that was the best time to make a move- Even still he wasn’t sure- but at least if he took the chance he’d be the one to suffer if he failed rather than the team.
As he was being pushed into a chair- he twisted to the side and then headbutted the guard into the seat. As his hands and feet were tied down – he used his elbow to knock the guard out.
He managed to move the key from his hand to the electronic lock on the brace of his feet. When he held it up to the lock -however – it simply gave off a red light and a beep and remained locked.
From behind he felt a prick. He turned around to notice a man in a lab-coat and specific glasses looking at him.
He got woozy quickly and the scientist moved Jadon into the chair the guard had fallen into. (after have removed the guard)
The scientist looked him up and down and picked the keys off of him.
The scientist chuckled, “sorry- this key doesn’t work for anywhere here… that was Steve’s home key.”
He strapped Jadon down to the chair alongside the three others. (end edit)
“I don’t want you to feel too uneasy,” the scientist spoke to Jadon as he started to attach some things to his body and skull. “Even if it ends up a failure -because of you- we will contribute great things to the advancement of science… and don’t worry- human subjects in your condition are very very valuable to us… we’ll make sure we use you all to the most of your potential.”
Jadon felt like the scientist was trying to console him somehow, but it just made things worse.
Jadon wanted to be strong for the others though. He looked around and saw that they’d already begun working on the others as he began to hear one of them scream.
As Michael’s potential was still to be determined- he was given the more menial task of staying inside of the hole and watching over the sensors.
While the sensors would alert all of the group members of anyone within the vicinity, having someone inside of the pit allowed for the more detailed mapping and visuals of what the sensors were picking up.
The other three used the opportunity to go into town and relax.
Michael didn’t have anything against it – except for the fact that he was given the duty of watching over the monitors every day shift, while they would only take over during the night when they had to go to sleep anyway.
Even still. Michael knew it was an important position and watched over the monitors with care.
In the position he was in, he wouldn’t know exactly what the enemies movements were so he was unsure about how realistic it would be for the enemy to come this far north- even still, based on the current events over the past two weeks- it was definitely a possibility.
It was on day three that Michael picked up something on the sensors.
He zoomed into the area that the sensors picked up activity with three different small cameras that shaped themselves like bugs. with the rounded lens, it could grasp a three dimensional shape and with lasers they could pinpoint the specific details of the objects in question.
It seemed a group of ANI soldiers were on the move – as an entire camp of perhaps thirty or so alongside of a couple machines were moving into the territory.
Before gathering details he thought it would be best to relay the emergency to the others.
“Calling J, Cat, Steve…” He spoke. From this point he would wait for a response.
It was probably thirty minutes or so. He assumed they were busy with something- even though he wasn’t sure yet- the only thing he knew for certain was they weren’t at the pit and most likely in the town.
Meanwhile he gathered the details of the A.N.I. personnel.
“What’s the report,” he heard J. speak on the com.
Michael responded, “Thirty-two in total- led by a sergeant- they seem to be moving some sort of object. From what i gathered it’s a device that will allow contact through the dispersion fog back to base. Where were you all- i tried contacting you guys…”
“That doesn’t matter,” J responded, “Contact HQ.”
Michael didn’t really care about their reasons. He already knew that they’d been spending their days out on a lake or going to the nearby town to browse the stores and hang out. They were pretty bored, just like himself.
“I contacted them… they ordered us to sit tight and wait for them to arrive.”
“You should’ve waited for me to contact them,” J replied.
Michael figured J would say something like that- so he’d prepared in advance. He wasn’t going to get upset, but he wasn’t going to take the blame either, “I couldn’t get a hold of you and time was a factor.”
J couldn’t really respond to that, so instead he just ended the conversation, “We’ll be there in an hour.”
“So this is your home huh?” Vincent spoke to the urchin.
“yeah,” the urchin responded.
He looked around at the door to an abandoned warehouse. He could care less about their situation- if they wanted to stay here or didn’t. besides he had other stuff to do.
“Alright, well- take care of yourself,” he said as he attempted to leave.
The urchin pulled at his sleeve as he knocked at the door.
“Who is it?” the slit opened up. After looking through the slit- the door opened.
“Wait! who’s this! Jeb did you-!”
The boy retorted- “no it’s okay… he helped me escape.”
The doors opened up and –
“It’s really okay…” Vincent said. he really didn’t want to get involved with whoever was behind the door- and he began to try and pry away from the urchin’s grip.
As soon as he did however- he was attacked by darts coming from the surrounding buildings. He skillfully dodged them and sent back a couple coins of his own to the directions the darts came from.
“ow!” two voices spoke. One of the voices was female as the footsteps came near him.
The two eyes prying from outside of the slit opened the door completely and called out to the two voices surrounding the outside of the building.
“it’s okay guys- put down the darts…”
The two people came out from the edges of the buildings- hidden well behind boxes and other things.
“Hey, who is this?” one of the girls spoke looking at him. She looked to be fifteen or so and had gotten hit in the head. She was wearing a hodgepodge of different clothes to keep warm it seemed including a scarf and goggles.
“What’s your name?” the kid named Jeb spoke.
Vincent looked down for a moment in exasperation, “Uh, Matthew Dublin.” He figured now was a good time to use his fake identification as any.
“Alright, Matthew, if that’s you’re real name…” the girl with the goggles spoke. “we’ll let you in then.”
Vincent looked upwards for a moment and then gave up as they pulled him in.
Regeant wasn’t well spoken. When he called a meeting of five- it was because it was pertinent to the territory. Of course, that’s what the preparations had been for beforehand. There was now no other option for them than to listen to what he had to say.
“Our first course of action: we must unify the territory.”
The other four leaders were:
“Gorvin Walker” older –rugged leader type southwestern, (tx/az)
In the southwestern area- protected by Gorvin Walker- 59 years old.
“Telmun Portsmouth” the oldest by far and well respected for his wisdom. Northern territory, but stretched into central territory. Involved in most decisions as the final say. Known for diplomacy, convincing bandits not to attack defenseless villages- rather negotiated taxes and saved many lives. Afterwards when they came to collect – he was able to fight them back and subdue the entire area.
“Sara Samma,” a middle aged woman- who’d defended her section of the territory well – very tacit- and also very good at handling disputes.
and the youngest,
“Igor Plotu,” Only thirty- he’d been a part of the upper decisions and was elected Sousa’s replacement.
They were no fools. In fact, it was likely that one or two of them suspected Reagan of his involvement in Sousa’s death- however – seeing as the territory had a crucial need for Reagan’s strategies- now wasn’t the time for pointing fingers.
“What is it that you mean?” Sara Samma spoke.
Regean hoped they could see reason with his explanations.
“Without a united territory- we will always be seen without leadership or government, we won’t be able to unite our ideals or make clauses in the interest of the territory… we will be seen as barbaric…”
“Was this your plan all along, Reagan?” Telmund spoke aloud- but more to himself than to the group.
Regean knew they had no evidence of sabotage -“it was inevitable… after Sousa’s tragic death, it should be apparent the lack of respect they have for the territory.”
The group was quiet to this.
Gorvin pounded his fist as he looked Reagan in the face with a cigar, “You put us in this position you bastard!”
“I actually like the idea of a new government,” Igor spoke.
The rest were quiet after the response from Igor.
“Without all five- we can’t move forward and could very well lose this war,” Regean spoke, “unity is the only option…”
The shrugs and disgruntled silence informed Reagan that they knew he was right.
“All in favor?”
“Do what you will… Regean.”