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 Silent Days (Part 1)

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Posts : 41
Join date : 2009-04-08
Age : 26

PostSubject: Silent Days (Part 1)   Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:03 am

Excuse me, Hacker.

He walked almost silently through the open, cold caverns and dimly lit. A breeze from deeper within seemed to blow through and past him. He lifted his cap and lazily scratched his head, then replaced the cap. While his hair was dark, it was obvious it was quite dirty of having lived in these caverns for several years now. He held his rifle tightly, looking around the caves carefully, as it was possible at any time that they might come.

This patrolling was part of his everyday routine, with the exception of one day everyone had off, which varied from soldier-to-soldier. He would walk from the entrance of the caves, through different tunnels each week (as he alternated patrols through the tunnels with other guards) and through the many lines of tents and ramshackle wooden buildings. At each tent or building, he had to knock or call out (depending on whether it was a tent or a building) and make sure the people inside were at least fed and had immediate access to necessary supplies. If they didn’t, he would make sure food or supplies were brought to them. Sometimes he did it himself, but when there were many deliveries to make, he’d have to ask some of his soldiers to help him.

He soon made a stop at one of the tents in the tunnel he was patrolling that day. He called out and was let in.
“Do you need anything?” he asked.
The boy and his mother inside stared emptily at him and his scar that ran from his left ear to his chin. This was not surprising as even though it was fifteen years old, it still looked like a fresh cut. As he looked at the family himself, his eyes almost began to water, as they reminded him of the son and wife he had lost more than a decade ago.
“Yes,” said the mother. “Could you bring us some food? My son and I have been for days without any.”

He studied them again. With this, he realized just how thin the mother and her son were. Not only did they remind him of lost family, but here they were, bony, thin, and weak in voice. He wanted to yell out in anger as the people who had been patrolling through this tunnel the past few days had the audacity to leave this family here without food for days. Someone was going to pay.
“I will,” he replied, holding back his anger. “Just give me a few minutes to get to the closest storehouse.”
“Thank you.”

He walked down the tunnel and looked around again. It seemed as if the tunnels themselves were angry, as the lamps seemed to make violent, rigid shadows against the structures and stalagmite. Water ran down slowly and painfully along the walls of the cave and disappeared into hidden crevices in the ground and edges. It wasn’t long before he arrived at the closest storehouse about a half-kilometer or so down the tunnel and scanned his access card at the door then walked in.

The storehouses were locked to the public for various reasons, as it was possible anyone who had not taken the security oath could be a spy for the alien enemy. Many people he used to serve with ten, twenty years ago had turned over their loyalty from the International Organization of United Nations or IOUN, and became part of the foreign invader’s armies. The same could happen with just anyone who lived here, so access to the storehouse was restricted for this reason. Plus, it was possible in a situation like this, human instinct would take over, and people would get greedy.

Inside the storehouse, he bypassed a few lower-class soldiers who saluted him almost absent-mindedly. Everyone was half unaware of what was going on anyways, as many wished what was happening never happened to begin with. He entered the food storeroom and brought out a small box with a week’s worth of food supplies, hanging his rifle on his back. He was soon stopped by another lower-ranking soldier.
“Sir?” asked the other soldier, saluting.
“Have you seen Patricia recently?”
“No. Why?”
“She’s gone missing.”

The higher-ranked soldier almost dropped his box. To avoid such an instance, he placed it on the floor beside him. “Are you sure?” His voice was relatively loud.
“Very sure, sir. No one is in her office right now other than a few soldiers who have secured the area. The entire remaining council is in shock.”
“Dammit!” yelled the higher-ranked soldier. He picked up his box and turned back to the other soldier.
“Ask everyone if they have seen any trace of her recently, Captain,” he ordered, holding the box under his left arm. “If anyone has seen her, tell me immediately.”
“Yes, sir.”
“Wait, do you know who had been patrolling this tunnel for the past week, Captain?”
“It was Robert Baere. Why sir?”
“Nothing. I was just wondering.”

They saluted each other and the high-ranking soldier left. He brought the box back to the tent with the hungry mother and son. They thanked him graciously and he waved farewell to them. Now that that was done with, there would be hell for Baere to pay. Depriving a family of food was something that he would not let one of his soldiers get away with.
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Silent Days (Part 1)
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