|Enter the Rebellion, Stage Right
||[Jan. 9th, 2006|08:16 am]
“All weapons shipments for this month have been intercepted by Machine patrols. Several units between Sector-419-KA and the market have been compromised. Machine and OIS activity within these regions has increased in the last two weeks.” Lionel turned to Shajn, away from the crude chalk-drawn map on the damp basement wall.
Smoothly rolling a fresh cigarette, Shajn didn’t bother looking up from his desk. “Something’s up,” he said casually.
“Something’s up,” echoed Lionel’s monotonous voice.
Shajn lifted the bundle of paper and tobacco to his lips and the flare of a match broke the silence between the two for a second, before the flame was smothered with a hissssss by Shajn’s callused fingers.
A breath, dragging thick musky oxygen through a filter of dried weeds and ashes and then another breath of smoke. Shajn savored the taste, and allowed the menthol to settle on his tongue and in his throat, feeling it burn and soothe and the nicotine that felt good to be in him again. He takes another long drag and pushed out from his desk, standing.
Lionel watched as Shajn adjusted the lonely light on his desk and walked over to the wall. Dressed ever casually, Shajn’s appearance was one deception of many when it came to who he really was. As he poured his eyes across the map, tracing his fingers along key routes, Lionel stepped back and made his way quietly out of Shajn’s bare office.
Shajn Juron has lead the Dome 9 cell of the Machine resistance for four months and in that time has had an unprecedented rate of mission success. He surfaced and climbed on top of the chain of command after six months of service and has since become renowned throughout the underground. Lionel could tell he didn’t enjoy the attention much. It made things difficult. But there was nothing to be done.
It’s just what happens when you give people hope.
Even now, as Lionel winded his way around the soldiers and the new recruits, he saw it. Yanking open a rusty filing cabinet, and sorting through various incident reports, Lionel watched a boy running through slimey water with his sister. Their mother watched them from a step, a stray torch lighting all their faces. They were squatting in the filth beneath the dirtiest Machine sewer, treated to a life that made Machine prisons seem preferable and still, Lionel saw something in them. Vigor. Hope. Life.
Some of these people have started dreaming again.
And Lionel saw these people and he couldn’t help but feel a bit of that hope himself. But his face hardened and he slammed the cabinet shut and strode briskly back to Shajn’s office.
There was no room for emotion in the rebellion. No room for anything save cold, calculating Machine logic. That was Lionel’s use, and that’s why Shajn pulled him through the ranks with him.
Lionel played Shajn’s straight man, and he did it well.