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Not the plan I had in mind

Posted on Tue Mar 2nd, 2021 @ 4:42am by Lieutenant JG Sarah Wilson & Chief Petty Officer Ronson Mitchell & Commander Savar cha'Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lieutenant Dean House & Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun

Mission: The Jungle
Location: Jungle

Ronson watched on helplessly as Dean was hit by the energy weapon, the impact sending him spining to the ground. Sarah was beside him in an instant and they all sought deeper cover. Haldeman demanded to talk to the Captain, who submitted to his demands lest he start firing again.

That wasn't particularly fun. Dean didn't usually cry out much. He'd been hit by things before. There was a little squeak or something like that though when he was hit. Also cursing out when it happened. It wasn't particularly hard to tell where that came from. Even if it wizzed by Haldeman's head, Dean could chalk it up to the injury. Also no one had ordered them to not fire back. Scooting a bit with Sarah but not before getting a shot off quickly. At this point however where they moved to, he didn't have a shot.

"Stay still damnit" Sarah swore at him, trying to ascertain how bad the injury was but hampered by the officer's movement.

He would not allow himself to be made useless. As he stood two steps behind his wife, his eyes bore holes into Haldeman while his mind ran through all of the ways he could tear the man down and break him. Remal was now a chained dog waiting for his moment or his wife's command to attack the intruder. He gritted his teeth and waited for a sign, any sign. Haldeman would come to regret shooting Dean and not me, he thought to himself.

Rhenora stood up to her old so-called friend. They had thrown barbs at each other for a few minutes. As the drone went dark she could read hesitation in his eyes. To be honest she expected to be dead right now and was tempted to get on the front foot and strike him first. She only had a small blade, and Remal was armed with a knife and nothing else.

Meanwhile, the Exec frowned as the feed went dark, the broadcaster scrambling to find alternate footage.

Haldeman stood easy but was ready to react at a moment's notice. He looked across at Rhenora, saw the hate in her eyes but she was listening and that was a start.

From behind Rhen, just to make her remember if for a moment that he had her back, "You say you were friends with this creep? I can't see how or why." Remal sneered at Haldeman, sizing him up for what could very well be a solid fight between the two men.

Haldeman ignored Remal, though he did make a comment all while keeping his attention Rhenora. "Sure is windy." He commented off handily.

Rhenora glared at him, feeling Remal tense as though a coiled spring. She was ready to fight to the death, her husband beside her.

"If you're here to kill me Haldeman, what's taking you so long?" She challenged.

"You have me wrong Rhenora, I'm offering you and your crew a chance out of here and back to your ship. All I ask in return is your help." Haldeman replied.

She didn't know whether to believe him or not, knowing that he was capable of elaborate deception. There was no harm in listening though - what else could go wrong?

"Alright, you have my attention"

He nodded, having her attention was a beginning. "I and my hunters who are the Manchester's security department or rather were and others of the Manchester's crew Are going to over throw the corrupt government here. We've been stockpiling weapons but have never had enough of a force to try until now.

" You want to stage a coup?" the Captain's eyes grew wide as she tried to wrap her head around the idea. "Is that even possible?"

He could see he had her. "I believe it is. After ten years my people have access to key areas but not enough muscle. Now we do with your crew. The people are kept in check by these games. They won't be a problem."

" So you're saying my crew are still alive? They haven't all been killed by your hunters for some grotesque amusement of a alien race?" There was a venom in her words she couldn't quite conceal. She still held him to blame for the injuries and deaths so far - their number unknown even to her.

"That is exactly what I am saying. Your crew is being held in a large stockade or holding pen and watching your progress or lack of it or were until I blocked the drones," Haldeman answered her.

She took a small amount of comfort that the majority of her crew lived.

"So you're not in control here? I thought you controlled everything in this jungle?" She was confused, if he was the game master - wasn't he in control?

"Control?" He laughed bitterly. "I'm loved by the people and hated by the government Rhenora. I'm a figure head a symbol of the game because I beat it and saved my crew and the government couldn't very well kill me without causing a riot."

" A role you no doubt enjoyed and relished. How many people have died by your jungle?" She couldn't help but wonder before dragging her unco-operative mind back to the present.

Scoffing, "He is no more in control than a hammer has control of the nail it strikes. He's a tool, and a joke." Remal was challenging Haldeman's role as a gamemaster and potentially as a former Captain. "Don't listen to him Rhen. He's nothing more than a sellout."

"Haldeman! Restore the drones or by the Gods I'll come in there myself and kick your ass. We're losing ratings!" The Exec's voice boomed from an overhead speaker mounted on the countdown timer.

Dean was wondering what was being talked about. There wasn't any more shots or the sounds of a scuffle so that was a good sign at least. Looking back to Sarah, "How's it look?"

Sarah probed the wound, it was mostly superficial and would heal without too much drama " Not too bad.. we just need to keep it clean, you should have full range of motion back in a few days"

Haldeman ignored Remal...again and spoke to Rhenora. "Better teach your underling manners Rhenora or I will." He said glacially. He spoke to the Exec. "Trying! There's a sensor overload!" His voice sounding contrite. and then blocking the feeds.

" Pay him the respect he deserves, Remal is my husband" Rhenora shot back, not accepting the disrespect for her partner.
" So tell me again how you plan on accomplishing this? It sounds as though your boss is getting a little cranky"

"I know and I'm sorry..... he's your husband. You could do better." Haldeman snapped back. "He's not my boss and he's all bark." He looked at Rhenora. "Are you going to help? Or.... do I find another option?" His rifle swinging around to face her though it was still pointed down.

"I don't react well to threats. You know that" Her voice was low and dangerous. Haldeman must be getting desperate if he was digging for threats.

"HALDEMAN, we're getting pulled if we dont show vision in 5 minutes. Fix the damned drones or we're all dead!" The Exec's voice echoed loudly from the speakers overhead.

"Clock's ticking Rhenora. What's your answer?" Haldeman asked.

"What choice do I have? Either I help you or you shoot me" Rhenora threw back at him, anger and frustration in her eyes.

"I know, we could cut off his dangly bits and feed them to the fishes, then serve the rest of him up for the boars." Remal seethed from behind his wife, relegated to his leash he did not in fact have a muzzle.

"None actually and I'm going to shoot you anyway." Haldeman replied, "Have to make it good for the cameras." He then clarified. "The cameras will come on and you'll all be lying 'dead' the retrieval team will come in and take you to disposal but actually take you to a weapons cache and we'll begin our coup."

There was a nod given to Sarah, she was just doing her job with what she had, so the comment under Dean's breath wasn't directed at her. "Damn well better not take a couple of days, or something is wrong with me," at least not if it was superficial. "We've got work to do."

Rhenora regarded Haldeman with a bemused expression "You just can't wait to shoot me can you" The wit was back despite her injury sapping her strength. " How do I release my crew once I'm there?"

"Not actually going to shoot you Rhenora. This where we see how good your and your crews acting skills are. There is a master control mounted outside the stockade. Use it to free your crew."

"If you want it to be authentic, you're gonna have to shoot. You won't get a reaction otherwise. Medium stun would do it" Rhenora challenged, doubting her own ability to play dead.

"Well.... I suppose." Haldeman replied and then fired off five quick shots downing Rhenora and her team, just as drones cameras came back online. Showing the bodies laying on the ground. 'It's done." Haldeman said. "Now get out of my office. I'll wait for the retrieval team to get here."


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