posted on Apr, 16 2004 @ 09:44 PM
Chapter 29: Conflicts of Interest
Deus was cleaning his pistol when Intrepid knocked on his door. Pieces of gun sprawled out over his floor as DE sat cross-legged, brow furrowed as he
“Hey omae. What’s the word?”
“TDH is back. He’s calling squad leaders and staff sergeants in for a meeting in the command center. Don’t ask me why...Sauce sent me to get you to
Deus looks disconsolately at the mess of his floor. Mechanical bits, half-empty clips, stray bullets and shotgun shells littered the floor. He should
have been comfortingly lusting after assorted college women vainly, or sitting in front of his computer playing games and wasting his life. This was
not at all what he expected. Shoving himself to his feet, he followed his chatty assistant down the stairs, leaving his weapon maintenance for later.
JB was busy enough as is, and DE had realized it.
They descended the dank stairs, watching other bunker members. In Deus’s eyes, they fell into two groups- those who fought, and those who did not. The
fighters nodded to Deus respectfully as he passed, eyes strong. They all wore sidearms out of habit, and were generally wounded in some way. Non
combatants passed, looking at the ground and giving them a wide berth. Their shoulders hunched, they moved quickly and quietly out of the way.
The duo reached the command center. Intrepid broke away and waved, glaring at a non combatant who withered out of his path. DE closed the door behind
him, looking down the folding table at the eight people already assembled. With no chairs remaining, he leaned against a wall gingerly. His arm was
still stiff, but the wound was healing quicker than anticipated. Rest and good care had helped it along, but it still had a ways to go.
Demonhunter leaned back in a folding chair, frowning at Deus briefly before leaning forwards.
“People, Morden came and went. He offered us a truce.”
“Did you take it?” asked Saucerat, sitting to TDH’s immediate left. He seemed cool, calm, unconcerned. Gothique stared at him, wets a little moist.
She glanced at Deus, they simply stared at a spot on the table.
“What was the price tag?” rumbled JB.
“The prisoners, no acts of aggression or theft on our part, and the unconscious guy. He really bargained hard for him. I have not a single clue why,
but his batchall was amazing. I’m not going to tell you guys what else he offered, but let’s say he knows how to bend people.”
Surprised murmurs flared up as each squad leader and staff sergeant looked at the person next to them. The concept of TDH being bought could not be
fathomed. Their leader held up his hand for a second, and seeing the lack of response, slammed it down on the table. That shut everyone up.
“I’m sick of being cooped up here, always on the defensive. Springer and his boys spent the day reconnoitring the internment camp a ways down the
road. It’s still in operation, getting more prisoners every week. Seems to be a penal colony for political dissidents.”
TDH nodded to Springer, and the big man stood. He shifted from foot to foot, a little uncomfortable with public speaking.
“The defences are light, but put together really well. Four guard towers with machineguns, overlapping fields of fire, patrols in and around the
courtyard, electrified concertina wire, a garrison of about thirty-five rent-a-cops, and the forest cleared back to about two hundred feet. No one
could get across that without getting shot. There’s about two hundred locals there, breaking rocks.”
“Sounds like we plan on doing something about the camp, sir.”
“Damn straight, son.”
TDH and Springer looked at each other, then at everyone else.
“We’re going to liberate it.”
Everyone listened numbly, nodding as the pair spelled out their plan. DE felt a pang of jealousy at not being cut in on the assault plans, but that
soon faded under the concern for the well-being of his men. It was his duty to know what was going on. By the end of the lecture, DE was cold inside.
Everyone understood the plan, and stood to leave. He caught Sauce moving away, doing no more than he had to. He stared down his friend, expecting some
sort of response. There was none. His eyes were flat, emotionless. He moved past without a word, despite the shoulder DE threw him.
Deus knew better, but everything was getting to him. An assault. Sauce’s change. The people who didn’t look up to him anymore. The wounds. The
claustrophobia. The fact that he should have been happily in college, being a normal teen. Instead, he was stuck in a bunker, fighting for his life,
watching friends die. What a way to live, he thought to himself, if it was life at all.
Yep, I'm so hyped on caffeine that...well, despite studying for a final tommorow at 9 am, I managed to put this up. Sorry about the delay, but I'll
try to get another chapter up this weekend. ENjoy!