Note: This chapter follows the events of Chapter 18 of Deus Ex's My
Sleep is tough to come by these days.
Sometimes it’s downright impossible. Too many days and nights have run into one another as we’ve been trapped here, fighting for our lives, just
trying to survive while we ready ourselves for the battles ahead. I guess I feel the pressures more than most. Maybe that’s because I feel responsible
for all those who answered my call and came to the bunker seeking refuge from the madness the world had descended into. I grieve too for those who
couldn’t answer the call, whose fate was already determined by other forces beyond our control.
It makes me fight harder and harder each day. It makes me push myself farther than I’d thought possible. And it makes me think more and more of the
consequences my actions may have as I dole out the responsibilities and duties to the brave men and women who have come here.
It makes sleep a luxury, but often times, one that I don’t relish, as the nightmares have grown more frequent as my guilt weighs down upon me. The
guilt of so many deaths is fresh in my mind as the dead and the dying call out to me for answers and for help in my every waking hour and my every
That moment between the land of dreams and the waking world is often my only comfort, however brief it may be.
I was almost asleep when the call from Lysergic came across the intercom.
“TDH, we’ve got company and they say we’re looking at a serious situation, chief. You’re needed up here.”
I let out a deep sigh and pulled myself together as I stepped across the room to answer through the communications panel by the door. “I’m on my way,”
I breathed. After a moment’s thought, I added, “Get the staff together for a meeting about the situation. Nobody else hears a word until I do.”
“Ahead of you already, DH. They’re on their way to the Command Center now. We’ll be ready when you get here.”
“Gotcha. DH out.” I looked at my watch and saw I hadn’t been in bed more than a half-hour. I pulled on black sweatpants and a hoody before pulling my
hair back and limping up to the Command Center. These hours are starting to get to me. I’m still not healed up from my last trip, and I’ve been
dealing with dissension amongst my command staff. To be honest, I’d like to crawl into bed and stay there for 30 or 40 hours.
But sleep is tough to come by.
As I step through the door, I see Lysergic and Deus Ex talking at one side, with a lot less open hostility than the last time I saw them together.
Looks like my talk with each of them worked things out, or at least got things under control. I’m hoping I got them to see that they can agree to
disagree so long as they stay respectful of each other’s position and responsibilities. Time will tell how that works out, but it looks like they’re
friendly again for now. It’s a good thing, too, because I sure don’t have time to deal with any petty infighting.
“Grab a seat everyone.” I try to look calm, but I know on the inside that I’m more nervous than ever. I’m sure I won’t like the news I’m about to
Lysergic passed out folders to each of us as we took up seats at the table. This may not have been the White House Situation Room, but we certainly
had all bases covered for our ragtag group of rebels and resistance operatives. RANT, our Head of Internal Security, had left his customary spot by
the vault door to the house to sit in, joining my Lead Sergeants, Springer and DE, on one side of the conference table. John Bull, our Quartermaster
of the Armory, and Lysergic, my second in command, took their spots on the other side as we awaited our Chief Medic, Parrhesia.
As she came through the door, I felt a bit of uneasiness from her, but I couldn’t place the reason. It wouldn’t take long to find out what bothered
“He didn’t make it,” she stated soberly as she sat at the end of the table, alongside JB.
Looking around the table, I asked, “Who didn’t make it?” Opening my folder, I saw who. I paused in shock, not sure at first that I was reading this
right. “Lieutenant Jones? What the hell is he doing here?”
DE spoke up, animated as always. “He came to warn us about an attack. We intercepted him on his way into the grounds. Gothique and her squad found him
first, TDH.” His hair hung low, trailing down in front of his eyes, making him hard to read at times.
I asked, “Are you saying Gothique just shot one of our allies?” DE glared at me, as though I’d insulted him personally instead of questioning the
actions of one of his teammates.
Lysergic interrupted before either of us could speak again though. “Actually, the Lieutenant was already wounded when they got to him.”
I took a deep breath and looked at my second. “What happened?”
“According to his report, his unit and their base were overrun by choppers. Came out of the night like ghosts riding the wind apparently. Looks like
Blackhawks and nightvision, chief. Unless you have some tricks up your sleeve we haven’t seen yet, we’ll be overmatched if they hit us the same
Everyone was looking to me for some kind of answers now, and I had none for this problem. Nothing new at least. “Okay boys and girls, looks like we’ve
got a new ballgame. DE, Springer, I need you to get your troops ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice. I want one squad on deck at all times. Leave
is a no-go right now. Everyone is on duty until further notice.”
I let the words sink in before continuing.
“We’re not going to have many shots at taking these things down if they come for us, people. And if they get inside our perimeter, that’ll give them
another advantage. We’ll be outgunned and out manned. We can’t afford to get into that situation. I want our best shooters ready. Sleep is going to be
tough to come by for a while, so take advantage of whatever naps you can get. RANT, you and your security team have to make sure that all entrances to
the underground are sealed if there’s a breach in our perimeter. We can’t afford to lose the whole shootin’ match.”
I looked to Parrhesia and JB, who both seemed calm and ready for whatever orders I had. Kinda unnerving to know they seemed to have faith in what I
had in mind. I could only hope my plans were worthy of that faith.
“Parrhesia, I need you to get your team ready for triage in case we’re hit. Make sure they know their jobs forwards and backwards. I’m not lookin’ to
lose anymore people. JB, I need you to make sure everyone who’s weapons trained is armed with at least a sidearm until further notice.”
Lysergic spoke up, “What about me?”
“Same as always, man. You’re coordinating everything from the Command Center. If we lose one of our sergeants, either topside or down here, I’ll need
you to be ready to step in for them. A big job, I know, but I know you’re up to it. I’ll be readying myself for wherever I’m needed. My door’s open if
anyone needs me.”
A silence fell across the room as they all looked around at each other. I stood up, looking at each of them. “They may come for us, but we will not go
quietly in the night. We will not allow the people depending on us to fall. We will not fail, for our failures directly affect our friends and loved
ones here in the bunker. I have faith in each of you to do your best, as you always have.” I smiled as I looked each of them in the eye. “Now let’s
get to work.”
Everyone walked out to their posts, except Parrhesia. After the others were gone, she spoke up.
“DH, with your knee as bad as it looks, we can’t have you limping around out there slowing the others down. I know you’re in charge here, but I have
to recommend you stay off your feet for a few days.”
“As much as I’d like to agree, a few days won’t heal up a lifetime of injuries to my knees, darlin’. I appreciate the thought though. So don’t worry
about me. I’ll be fine. I know how much I can push and just how much I’ve got left in the tank. I might not be pretty but I know how to be effective
even after my body quits.” I smiled, trying to get her to relax, but I could see she wasn’t buying my bravado.
“We’ll see how well you heal I guess. I just hope you’re right about knowing your limitations.”
As she walked away, I thought about how much I needed to rest. Rest would help me heal and that would all make me more effective when it all came
But sleep is tough to come by these days.
[Edited on 3/14/2004 by TheDemonHunter]