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 Post subject: Invasion! Night 2/ Day 3
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:59 am 
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The day dawns, or does not dawn. It is raining heavily on the small, empty town. Lee drives around the town, picking up G-men and Marked, and bringing them all to the diner.

"A good way to start the day," Williams says when they all arrive. Cox and Anderson are busy making breakfast. A little less flamboyant today: Eggs and toast, sausage and bacon. They make individual plates for the four Marked, handing them out, and leave the rest on the stove for the looking worse-for-wear g-men.

"Jones, Cooper, O'Brien, Agnes, you're off until noon. Eat and get some sleep. I think we can handle these folks today."

The g-men nod greatfully as they plate up. Williams leans against the counter.

"As for the rest of you, you're welcome to stick around here or head to the high school," he says, lighting a cigarette, taking a puff and flicking the ash into a tray on the counter. "But to be honest, I don't think it'll make a lick of difference. They're tracking you, and they'll come for you whether you're here or a hundred miles from here."

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:15 am 
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Jason, circles under his eyes, but otherwise fine, scarfs down his breakfast, rifle leaning against the counter. When he finishes, he turns to the others.

"Right, first things first. Lets see how we fared the night. Gentlemen, you may want to shield your eyes."

Jason reaches out for the nearest marked.

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:10 am 
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Jethro shows up looking worn and haggard. He shows little enthusiasm for his breakfast, but eventually his plate is empty. "Ya know what's the worst?" he mumbles gloomily. "That moment 'bout two seconds after ya wake up, when ya remember. I had two seconds this mornin' where I didn't know that we was bein' invaded by aliens. An' then I remembered." He sits quietly for a while, then jams his hat down a little harder over his brow, as if steeling himself for what is to come.

"I don't see any point in goin' to the school," he replies to Williams, "unless we like gettin' wet."

As Jason reaches out to perform the test, Jethro braces against the oncoming visible and mental glare.

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:18 am 
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Cecil, being the nearest marked, reaches out to take Jason's hand. He waits for the glow, and tries to pick up the number of Controlled, as they did last night.

If it's one, we have a chance. his surface thoughts go. If it's two, out of four, we're in trouble. If it's one, we have a chance. If it's two, out of four, we're in trouble. If it's one... Round and round, the thought repeats continually through Cecil's head.

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:25 am 
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As Cecil and Jason touch, the glow around the Marked flares. Whether it's being above ground or whether their powers are growing, the Marked are bombarded by their senses. The moisture in the air from the rain, the sound each individual droplet makes as it lands against a surface, the feel of the squirming earthworms digging their way out of the dirt to avoid drowning. And the smells of the kitchen amplfy, each molecule of egg, meat, bread examined by the nose. If not for their obvious adaptation to the new sensory information, it could make one queasy.

And the surface thoughts come quicker, though still the Marked cannot go deeper. But the realization steadily comes to all: there are two Controlled today.

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:37 pm 
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Cecil shifts his grip slightly, keeping a hold on Jason's wrist. He looks like he's trying to take Jason's pulse.

"Jason." he says. "Who did you protect last night?"

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:46 pm 
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Jason meets Cecil's eyes. Let him take his pulse, he's got nothing to hide.

"Myself, again. I was hoping that whoever it was would try and brainwash me, but no such luck. I have an ulterior motive though. If worst comes to worst, I'm pretty sure I can kill all of you, but I need to be in charge of myself for that, not one of those who needs shooting."

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:24 pm 
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Williams slams a fist on the counter.

"Reign it in, Dubois!" he snaps. "You attempt to shoot even one person, and I swear you'll be playing this little game in chains, got it? This is the fate of the entire goddamn planet we're talking about, not just your own petty anger at the bastards who did this!"

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:50 pm 
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Jason is dead calm as he turns to face Williams.

"Relax Williams, I'm not going to start shooting unless we lose. And frankly, at that point, I'd recommended nuking the whole town, just to be sure, but something tells me that isn't going to happen. Despite the fate of the entire planet being at stake."

Jason takes a sip of coffee.

"I wonder why we're playing this little game that they've thought up, when those who designed it probably have no intention of letting us win. You said that this is a test to prove our worthiness as a species to exist. Well, the only way to prove that sort of thing in my experience is by killing anyone who says different. Anything else is just appeasement, and historically, appeasement has never worked for anyone, not for the Romans, and more recently, the Brits and the Germans. If the Brits had just attacked as soon as those Nazi bastards had moved instead of negotiating, they probably could have stopped the war right then and there."

A fork full of eggs.

"I also wonder "why now?" What's changed that makes them afraid to let us be, and continue as they've been doing? What makes us a threat? I think it's that we now have a weapon capable of harming them. We've grown some teeth, and if we ever find out about them, we're gonna bite, and bite hard, and never let go until one of us is dead. So they have to either let us go, or wipe us out, for their safety."

Another sip of coffee.

"You're right about one thing, I am very angry with those who did this. But so is everyone, I'm guessing. I try not to let it color my judgement, same as everyone else. But I'm not very good at this whole intrigue and subterfuge thing. No, I'm only good at killing people, and I happen to do it very well. It's why I became a soldier in the first place."

A slice of bacon.

"It's said, Mr. Williams, that when all you have is a hammer, all you problems start looking like nails. You once said that the objective of this game was the eradication of one side or the other. Either the controlled take over, or we the free wipe them all out. Those are good objectives. I intend to keep to them. I'll just be doing it my way. The American Way."

Jason smiles over the rim of his coffee cup, a smile that never reaches his eyes, leaving them as hard and cold as Emeralds frozen in ice.

"Give me Liberty, or give me Death, Mr. Williams. There is no middle ground."

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:31 pm 
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As the glow dies down and the realization that there are two Controlled settles on the Marked, Jethro utters a quiet malediction. So quiet, in fact, that the exact words used weren't quite discernible, but the tone was clear enough. He listens to Jason's replies to Cecil and Williams. "I ain't typically a pessimist, Mr. Henry," he puts in, "but unless there's more goin' on here than we know, Liberty gonna be hard to come by." He runs his hand over his forehead and through his hair. "It's two 'gainst two, but those ain't even odds. They're informed. We ain't. I wish I knew what t' do to even the odds. The glow thing don't go very deep." He sighs, leaning back in his seat in one of the booths, and rubs his chin. "I gotta think. Dottie seemed like a good choice yesterday, but now I ain't sure who I should vote fer." He puts an elbow on the table and rests his forehead on his hand.

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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:55 am 
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Cecil doesn't even bother to hide his disgust at Jason's cowardice. (Or what Cecil sees as Jason's cowardice, at least). "If you had - once - picked the same person as the Controlled had, we would have been safe now." he points out. "If you had - once - been unpredictable, we might have had a chance. But no."

He drops Jason's arm. "You should never have revealed yourself." he tells Jason, before turning on Jethro. "And you. You're wrong. You say that 'they' are informed, but 'you' are not. You're lying. You, me, Richard, we all know who the Controlled are. We all know it's not Jason; I know it's not me, so that leaves the two of you. And the two of you know who it is because the two of you are the Controlled."

Meanwhile, Cooper takes a sip of his coffee. He yawns hugely.

"And as for your lot -" Cecil addresses William, pointing at the G-man's face - "you're the worst of all. You came in here expecting this. You knew what was going to happen. And yet you're a bunch of incompetent idiots. What happened, did your bosses give everyone an IQ test and send the losers to take on this 'vital' mission?"

Cooper takes a bigger gulp of his coffee. He yawns again, and pillows his head on his arms.

"Do you want me to list the reasons why you're incompetent idiots?" adds Cecil, as William's face begins to turn an angry red. "Did you know that the Controlled will set up at night, vaguely glowing? Did any of your men even bother to look? No, you hang around outside, letting the people you're supposed to be watching sit there and reveal themselves while your men stand outside and have a quiet smoke - like O'Brien here. 11:34 last night, smoking and looking at the stars, while Richard sits there glowing away, revealing his identity to anyone who cares to just take a look through the window, for goodness sake. As for you, Richard, I'm voting for you today."

Cooper begins to snore.

"And there's another idiot." adds Cecil, pointing at Cooper. "He's had so many sleeping pills in his coffee lately, chances are he's going to start developing an immunity to them. But does he ever get the slightest bit suspicious? No, he does not. It's about time a competent agent took over from you clowns. I didn't want to come out of retirement, but I don't have much of a choice."

"Now hold on -" begins Williams, getting up. Cecil's hand moves with the speed of a striking cobra; suddenly, Williams is looking down the barrel of a pistol.

"Little memento of my service days." claims Cecil. "Sit down, and shut up. You've caused enough trouble with your incompetance already."

Cecil claims to be a Spy; and that he positively identified Richard as Controlled last night.
Vote: Richard

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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:57 am 
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Jason's own pistol is in his hand almost as fast as Cecil, the hammer on the magnum thumbed back. It's not pointed at anyone though. Yet.

"I once said that I wouldn't act unless I was sure. Well, I'm sure now. If what you say is true, I say we send Jethro to visit those Alien Bastards. He has a higher chance of being controlled then either you or Richards alone. If you're telling the truth, it's still one controlled down. If you're lying, we're still likely to peg one of them, since I figure it unlikely that you'd finger one of your own. Sound good?"

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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:36 am 
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Quickly, from behind the counter, Anderson and Cox whip out their .38 Specials, both pointing at Cecil. As Jason rises with his own weapon, Agnes and Jones leap to attention and aim their .38s his way. All are grim, any sign of exhaustion wiped away. Cooper snores. O'Brien scoots back in the booth, stunned.

Williams slowly lowers his cigarette to the ashtray and raises his hands to shoulder level, glowering at Cecil.

"Now, now, men." Lee walks around the counter and paces around Dubois, stopping a few feet from Cecil, his own Colt drawn but not pointing to anybody in particular. "Is this what we've come to? A Mexican stand-off? Hardly a civilized way to solve our problems."

He looks Cecil up and down, smiling mildly.

"If you ARE former CIA, though you may be a Controlled lying for effect, then we pegged you wrong," he said. "Williams assigned each agent according to his abilities and according to the reconnaissance we gathered on those chosen to be Marked. O'Brien was assigned to Richard there because O'Brien, as you can see, is a coward. He's typically a desk jocky, but we had to pull him due to a manpower shortage caused by this mess. However, we thought watching over THAT man," he nods at Richard, "would not get him in much trouble.

Cooper, whom I see you've drugged into a stupor, is still practically a trainee. But to watch over a quiet bookstore owner who plays fantasy games in his spare time? Williams considered it a good training exercise where he wouldn't get into too much trouble."

Lee chuckles.

"Of course, our background check didn't go as deep as it should have," he says, shaking his head. "But we weren't expecting CIA in such a sleepy town. Strange place to retire."

Before either of the Marked men can react, Lee whips around and shoots Jason in the left thigh. Jason cries out, stumbling, raising his Magnum to fire as he goes down. Lee swings his right leg around and kicks the weapon from Jason's hands. The Magnum clatters across the floor. Jason crumples to the ground. Lee, face mild, steps gently on Jason's fresh wound and points his .38 at Jason's right arm.

"Be still, or I will fire again. And it will be painful," he says with a light smile. "So sorry to attack former military, but you've turned out to be quite the disappointment. And you're more a liability than...Cecil? Really, you chose that as your moniker?...over there. Still, you have one thing in common: both of you are quite naive. Do you believe that this is the first town targeted? Do you think we haven't tried the 'kill first, ask questions later' tactic? Or watched for the Controlled and took them out ourselves? Do you know what the nonterrestrials did?"

His hand shook slightly, though his face was calm. He pushed his foot down a little, and Jason cried out.

"They called to every child of every FBI and Pentagon employee. All of them. Every one, even those without security clearance. Even those in no way involved in this situation." He smiles. "I suppose to be thorough. All those children, standing outside in their little nightshirts, eyes wide, smiling happily. And then..."

"Lee," Williams mutters, hands still up. Lee pauses, face blank.

"One third," he continues. "All dust. Chaos. Utter chaos. And now we know: we play their game. It doesn't matter if this is their little experiment. It doesn't matter if we all die in the end. It doesn't matter if they'll keep their word and leave us be when this is through. What matters is to survive, right now, as long as we can. Survive, and maybe we can figure out how to take out the bastards for good."

He lifts his foot from Jason's wound. Quickly Jones and Agnes run to Jason's side, Agnes taking a pair of handcuffs from a loop in his pants and catching Jason's hands behind his back, Jones examining the bullet hole.

"Need some supplies," he murmurs, rising from the floor and walking to the door. "I'll be back."

He walks off in the rain.

"To survive, we must play the game," Lee says, leaning against the counter and smiling at Cecil. "Dubois says liberty or death. I say, why not liberty and life? Put down the gun, retired. I would think you might have fired by now. I'm amazed at how cool your head is. CIA training or Controlled calm?"

Quote:
Vote:

Richard: 1 (Cecil)


Last edited by weatherwax on Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:04 am 
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"And if I had been Controlled, what good would Cooper have done then?" asks Cecil. "But... that explains a lot. Anyone with half a lick of sense is staying far away from this one, right? Because any idiot can play by the alien's rules. Anyone with enough imagination to be more than a glorified messenger boy knows what'll happen if he tries. And nobody wants to be the cause of a one-in-three chance of having his bosses children killed."

Cecil spins his gun about, puts it handle-first in Williams' hand. "Does that make you feel better? I don't actually want to shoot you. You've just made such a total mess of this so far... the whole lot of you should probably just take a sip from Cooper's coffeecup. Make it easier for everyone."

He spins about, completely ignoring any guns still pointed at him. "Jason. For once you've suggested something halfway sensible. I'll vote for Jethro if you do. Oh, and Williams? You can partially redeem your failure by checking the registration on that pistol. I could do with a bit of independent corroboration here."

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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:30 am 
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Lee smiles at Cecil, holstering his weapon.

"Yes. The bosses children," he says. "And Jones's. And Anderson's. And Williams's. And the children of the women in the secretary pool, and the janitors' sons and daughters, and the children of the lower level officers who never thought much of the stars. And...my daughter."

He looked down, still smiling. Anderson and Williams exchange a look.

"Lucky for my collegues, they're children were released," Lee continues. "They're children were safely released, thinking of nothing but minor nightmares."

He stops there, and does not continue. Williams clicks open the pistol's chamber and snorts.

"Empty," he mutters. "Wonderful."

He waves his hand at Anderson and Cox.

"Stand down."

They lower their weapons reluctantly.

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