Operation story: 12-8

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Male Londinier B icon.png
Angry Thug
Injured Male Victorian icon.png
Maimed Citizen
Sarkaz Mercenary A icon.png
Sarkaz Soldier
Male Londinier B icon.png
Starving Thug
Norport Street Night
Norport Walls
Glasgow Gym

After operation

With the help of the "Trilby Asher," Siege returns to the boxing gym in the lockdown zone with Rhodes Island's people in tow, and is met with Glasgow members old and new. Meanwhile, Manfred makes a test of teaching Paprika that only hate can unite the Sarkaz.
<Background 1>
[Siege stands in the middle of the road in Norport Borough, which she is familiar with.]
Siege ...
It's really changed around here.
"Trilby Asher" Ruins, corpses, and Originium dust floating from the dead.
I imagine you Rhodes Islanders don't need me worrying about your protection, being Oripathy specialists and all.
Amiya This war has been creating new Infected without end... and life under these circumstances can only make it harder.
Ines They've been thrown into this chaos without warning, and they may not realize how cruel a fall it is yet. That goes for the pain of their illness, and the scars of war...
But they'll know soon enough, and twice over.
We all have a clear picture of how it infects and festers, how the people die in their confusion, or amass in their hatred.
And you've seen where that hatred leads, Doctor.
Doctor Reunion.
Ines War's given people a great excuse. Without the veil of daily life, things could get even worse.
Amiya Whatever reason it is, we need to stop Theresis.
...And Theresa.
[The Trilby Asher receives a call.]
"Trilby Asher" ...Roger.
It looks like we'll have to part ways for the moment. So goes our line of work–always piles of things nagging at you to deal with them.
Right. I think I'll be seeing you in a bit.
Stay productive, now.
[The Trilby Asher takes his leave.]
Indra Bleeding hell, he... he makes my hairs stand on end.
Not even old PC Whitman ever made me feel so sick.
Alright, everyone, chin up. Welcome to the HQ of we merry Glasgow Gangers. I mean, I can guarantee it WAS at least.
Don't know how Baird's been running the gym since we left...
Siege, Morgan, you not got anything to say?
Morgan I...
Indra, love... I think I stepped on something...
Indra Eh? Probably just someone's pet scarpering for the street aga...

The hell is... is that a...?
Doctor Amiya, don't look.
Amiya ......
I've seen already, Doctor. In those illusions from the past, I've seen sights still more tragic than the ones here.
We're here precisely to ensure the situation doesn't unfold that far.
The hatted man led us here, then permitted us to act freely on our own wishes outside of the deal we made. His goal is clear to us.
He knows we won't be content with letting all this be, and he hopes the people here will credit the Duke he serves with our actions.
But I don't care.
I don't care how the Duke wants to use us. I don't care what kind of prestige she's hoping to rake in.
I don't care if this will impact some other duke's fight for their people's affections, or compel them to act in whatever way.
All that matters is I cannot let this be.
This isn't some disaster taking place in a country, in a city, in a neighborhood unrelated to us.
This is happening to each and every living person.
Trust has always been a fragile thing, collapsed in a moment, ever harder to rebuild.
Quickly, Doctor. We might not have that many pharmaceuticals on us, but we have to make all the use of them that we can.
<Background fades out and in>
Maimed Citizen ......
Amiya There, that should be okay now.
Sorry, I'm not a professional doctor. This is just some basic first-aid.
We've stabilized your Oripathy symptoms, and stopped your wounds worsening. That's all we can do for now.
You need rest, and supplements. After that, it's down to luck.
Do you need us to bring you home?
Maimed Citizen No, no, no need!
Hunger knocked me out, that's all. Just, was sleeping for a bit on the pavement.
What... What'll you be wanting? I've got nothing to my name.
Amiya We don't want anything.
Maimed Citizen N... Nothing?
Amiya Go back home, sir.
[Amiya gave food to the maimed citizen.]
Amiya (Here's some food. Keep it hidden. Don't let anyone else find out.)
Maimed Citizen Wh–Who the...?
Alright, alright. I'll be out of here, then...
Amiya (You've gone too long without food. Don't eat too quickly. You need to let your bodily functions recover bit by bit first.)
Maimed Citizen Right, got it...
Thank you.
[The maimed citizen runs off.]
Ines Amiya, we have a lot of people staring at us.
Most of them with ill will.
Two groups are planning their moves and readying Molotovs.
Amiya I know.
But at the same time, the desperate have seen us too. And the ones hiding themselves in the dark, deathly ill, so have they.
Just the fact we're here might have been enough to relight a spark of hope in them.
Doctor After a violent collapse, any rebuild demands great care.
Amiya That's right, Doctor.
We don't need for the people to trust us, we need them to... reestablish their trust in each other.
That's what underlies a society coming back to life.
[Sounds of people running are heard nearby.]
Ines Someone's coming.
Siege Doesn't matter. I'm stood right here. I'll stand in front of you.
This is our street, and we're pulling her back out of this chaos and anger.
Dagda Doesn't matter who it is. Bring it on.
[The sounds are getting closer...]
Dagda Mind yourselves. Here they come.
[...as someone charges at the group, but...]
Morgan Hey!
Indra Is that–
Baird (Oi, watch you don't fuss about nothing, Hannah. Nearly socked you straight in the gob.)
(You lot show off like a circus. You want everyone here targeting you?)
(Come on. With me.)
[A group of thugs reveal themselves.]
Starving Thug They're gonna run!
Angry Thug Shit! The Glasgows got in first!
Starving Thug Surround 'em!
Ines Out of the way.
Siege Ms. Ines, don't take them on. Not for now.
I... recognize a few of their lot. It's just the fear and torture's driving them mad.
Nothing they need to pay for with their lives.
Baird (Head to the alley we used to bunk off at for snooker. Same door as ever.)
Siege (Got it.)
(Baird, we'll... see you at home.)
Come with me!
[Siege leads the group to escape from the thugs.]
Angry Thug Quick! Get a move on, don't lose 'em!
Starving Thug I... I haven't eaten for days, I can't run...
Angry Thug On your bike and get out of here, then! You'd eat dead people if you had any spine! I'm not your nanny!
Red ......
Angry Thug You wanna go?
Red Who are those people?
Angry Thug Eh? Who else are they gonna be? It's the Glasgow bastards!
Red The Glasgow Gang, are they.
Angry Thug Are we getting them together, or am I getting you?
[Red knocks out the angry thug...]
Red No, I reckon I've seen them before. And that one in the uniform...
Things here got more complex than I was predicting.
I need to move fast.
[...before leaving.]
<Background 2>
Sarkaz Soldier Is there a bigger ruckus in there today or something? Did a fire start again?
Paprika Should I go take a look, sir?
If a fire spreads...
Sarkaz Soldier Then it's no skin off your nose, little girl.
Do your own job. Don't let me see anything funny.
No one's going to look out for you here.
[Suddenly Manfred shows up.]
Paprika A... Aye-aye, sir!
Sarkaz Soldier Sir! What brings you here in person?
There's nothing you need to worry about here, it's all under control!
Paying no heed to the Sarkaz soldier's report, Manfred walks over to the foot of the blockade zone's wall, gazing far off at the buildings within.
Sarkaz Soldier Is... Is something off, sir?
Manfred ......
The war continues to proceed smoothly.
Paprika, what have you witnessed in these past days?
Paprika I...
They've just been–slaughtering each other.
No, it's not even that, really... they've just been... so scared.
Manfred Fear and mistrust divide a people. Pacts, customs and morals all collapse forthwith under extreme conditions.
The Kazdel of old attested to that.
Paprika Kazdel...
Manfred Hence do our two leaders take a stand.
Paprika You mean...?
Manfred What if I were to ask you–what can bind a people?
Paprika Maybe... patience? We can try and win people over, or use our own kindness to move others...
I think, as long as you have enough time...
Manfred She failed.
Any ties that such things build are too frail.
But he told me. The most efficient thing... is hate.
Manfred throws an indifferent glance at the young mercenary girl, her breaths bound tight by nerves, daring only to stare at the tips of her own shoes.
Manfred You have persistently been sharing your own supplies with those behind the blockade.
Paprika N–No! That was a Sarkaz! I thought...
Sarkaz Soldier What?! How could you–
Sarkaz who serve Victoria should make you even more sick!
Sir, I assure you, I will immediately...
Manfred Continue.
Sarkaz Soldier ...Sir?
Manfred We cannot have everyone inside dying of starvation yet.
In time... they will be of great use to the Military Commission.
<Background 3>
[Siege enters the gym.]
Siege Not much has changed around here.
Morgan, all your graffiti's still up.
Morgan I'm looking now. My standards must have been terrible back then.
Indra You haven't got much better, though?
Morgan Oh, you wanna go, Hannah?!
As the two argue, Siege and Baird look on, then make brief eye contact, and break into laughter, shaking their heads.
If you overlook the sealed-up entrance, the boarded-up windows and the weariness in their expressions, it might all seem like nothing's changed.
But everyone knows deep inside. "We haven't changed" is self-consolation at most, a kind of illusion.
Every minute and second that's ever passed has left an unquestionable mark on them.
Siege Long time no see, Baird.
Baird True that, Vina. Long time no see.
Siege The fact you're still around and kicking is probably the best news I've had in a long while.
Baird I've never said die, you know that.
Siege That I do.
Baird Vina, I'm... just as happy to see you back here. Happier than you could imagine.
I always believed you'd come back. We put up the sign for the Slobberknocker together and all, back in the early days.
Just, it's been hard for me to grin and bear it. In these times.
Siege I know.
Baird And I know you didn't come back just for my sakes.
Five whole years ago you scrambled out of here... I remember Norport was practically open season already, all those bastards after your neck.
Siege I... wasn't ready then.
I didn't want to tow anyone else into my business. It was leave or nothing.
Baird So? You're back here now, back on our street. Now you're ready.
Siege ...I hope I am.
The Rhodes Islanders want to look for that Sarkaz airship here. I'll be assisting them as a Rhodes operator and all.
But I've never stopped being a member of the Glasgow Gang.
I'll get you out of this mess. That's my duty to you. Always has been.
Baird Hah, same as ever, you are, Vina. Not one bit different.
Siege Hah. Just like it used to be, eh.
Baird Just, there's one thing. I don't know if...
[Cador and Delphine returns to the gym.]
Cador Baird, we're skint on supplies as is. Now you bring in all these people.
You want everyone to split up once we're done eating? Or are you hoping I'll go rob some blockhouse with security up to here?
Delphine Shut it with that, Cador.
Although our stockpile's definitely...
Amiya Please, it's okay. We've brought rations with us. We even have some surplus.
[Amiya shows Delphine the rations the group brought with them.]
Delphine Hmm. Not... the biggest amount, but enough to put us out of dire straits for now.
Amiya We can change this zone together.
As long as we can unite everyone on the plate...
Cador Pff. Unite?
Listen, Cautus runt, "unite" is an easy word to toss around. But you lot are more than welcome to try.
Fingers crossed... you're what makes the difference.