|It Began with Luck: Captain's Story
Author: Milkymoon101 PM
The Directorate is at war, and they need help. Dr. Gromov finds Z, also known as Subject Seven, the one man who might save them. But he might just destroy the world in the process.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Sci-Fi - Captain & A. Gromov/Engineer - Chapters: 11 - Words: 11,546 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 05-14-12 - Published: 03-14-12 - id: 7925339
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 9- Guns and Traitors
I entered through the rusty gate of the gun range. It was owned by the Directorate (what wasn't these days?) and was not in very good condition seeing as it received very little funding.
Due to my ANNET deficiency, I didn't have to serve in the army, but things weren't going well there. The Directorate forces had started drafting people who had already served. Since they had already been in the army, they went through a shortened training period. There was a chance of me being drafted, too, even though I have had pretty much no experience, so my boss signed me up for separate training.
The gun range was very close to the dead zone, so it was advisable to wear gas masks. It was cold there, and had a lovely view of the wastelands caused by ICM bombing. Several years ago, enormous uranium deposits had been found in several places around the world, so nuclear weaponry was a large aspect of this war.
With a quick greeting to the guard in the storage room, I grabbed my mask and sniper rifle. Putting on the mask, I walked onto the range. Some other people were practicing at the far end of the range- a man, probably a paranoid veteran, and a woman in large purple goggles. I headed for the target I usually practiced on. It had many holes through it, since nobody bothered replacing the targets from time to time.
I loaded the rifle and shot at the target. It was a direct hit. I smiled smugly. I'm a pretty good shot, if I do say so myself. The gun range is the only place I can actually focus. I can escape my nightmares there. I feel more awake, no matter how little sleep I got that night. If there was any job option there- anywhere but the office, even the dead zone- I would take it in a blink of an eye.
I had just fired my second shot – this time a little bit off target, unfortunately- when I heard the gate squeak open. I turned to look and nearly fell over. It was Seven, accompanied by a couple of guards.
It had been a week since our previous encounter, when he had asked me for directions. It had been unnerving enough with the goggles alone, but with the full gasmask it was too close to home. He had a German accent, he had the mug, and I had heard he was being called Captain now… At first I had refused to believe it, even though I had been slightly suspicious since the first time we met, but now I couldn't deny it anymore. He was the man from my nightmares, the one that had been making my nightmare-life hell since the day ANNET went on air.
HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?
"What are you doing here?" I shouted across the range. One of the guards turned to speak with him, probably advising him to avoid speaking to the "invalid," but he walked towards me anyway. Oh God, I shouldn't have said anything.
"Zee question is what are YOU doing here?" He yelled back.
"Training. I'm assuming you are too, Captain." I said, emphasizing the title. He was definitely Captain, all right. Maybe a bit less arrogant and mental, but still.
"Why yes, he is," Another voice said authoritatively. Oh NO…
Gromov walked in through the gate, looking around cautiously. He looked uncomfortable outside of the G-Cube and his office. He was wearing a rather feminine-looking jacket with a furry hood instead of his usual lab coat, and a gasmask with orange goggles. He was hugging himself from the cold, and looking around as if afraid that something would jump out at him.
"Seven is here to start his training. He needs to be able to shoot. Basics like that. He is going to be Commanding Officer, after all," Gromov explained.
"You're one to talk, Gromov," I sneered. "I bet you've never used a firearm in your life!" I fired another shot at the target, this time hitting it spot-on. Hopefully I sufficiently scared the two of them by doing that.
Gromov shifted his weight nervously. "Guns are for brutes," he said lamely. "I prefer to fight with intellect." Or he was just scared he would shoot himself by accident if he tried.
Gromov, Seven, and the guards headed for the storage room to select a gun. The purple-goggled girl waved to them. Seven waved back. Did they know each other? I went back to shooting,
Seven exited the storage room carrying a gun of some sort. I couldn't identify it on sight. He went up to the target next to me. Lovely.
"Do you even know how to shoot?" I asked, still concentrating on my target. I was doing well, considering I had gotten about four hours of sleep. Blasted nightmares.
"It was part of zee testing," He said, fiddling with the gun.
"Thought so. What was it?" I asked, looking over at him.
"Russian Roulette. Don't ask." Okay… More proof that Gromov was a madman.
I noticed that Gromov was standing near the gate with one of the guards. He was still looking uncomfortable, glancing around every few seconds. Paranoia much?
Seven loaded the gun and fired. He hit the target nearly dead center. His luck, surely. He looked at the hole in the target distastefully.
"I prefer tea as a weapon," He said.
"Hot beverages aren't much good on the battlefield, Seven," I pointed out. Though it had acted as a pretty effective weapon in the past… Well, in my nightmares. I didn't say that aloud, thankfully. People think I'm crazy enough as it is.
"Iz zat a sniper rifle?" Seven asked.
"And your name is Snippy?"
"Snippy-Sniper! Zat's nice." He said happily. "I'll call you Sniper." Another thing from my nightmares. I was getting increasingly worried.
Suddenly, the gate burst open. Gromov yelped as several armed soldiers entered.
"Move over, Dr. Gromov, there's a spy in our midst. He's been passing information to the ICM!" One of the men shouted. The man on the far end of the range grabbed his gun, which had been lying on the ground next to him. The rest was chaos. Captain stood motionless as the fight unfolded. Eventually, the soldiers won. The man was lying on the ground. I wasn't sure if he was unconscious or dead. They carried him out.
Gromov looked as if he was about to pass out. I clutched my gun tightly, looking around the range. Seven was still standing stiffly, staring at the gate through which the soldiers had gone through.
The lady in the purple goggles walked up to us. "People are deluding themselves if they think that it's all fine and dandy here in the Directorate City," She spat. "It's still a war zone here. Things like this happen all the time, but people ignore it. They're too wrapped up in their frivolous lives."
The guard in the storage room came out. "We're closing down for the day, folks!" He yelled. In silence, Seven, the girl, and I put away our weaponry. I preferred to store my mask at the range, but the others took theirs with them.
We left the range as a group, too disturbed by the previous events not to. Now that Captain had unfrozen himself, he looked extremely angry.
"Zat iz zee kind of people I had to deal with," He growled. He was holding the mug, which I hadn't noticed before. I assumed Gromov had been holding onto it for him.
Gromov had taken off his gasmask as soon as we left the range. He was very pale, and looked extremely shaken. He turned to Seven.
"This is why I found you," He said, laughing nervously. "You'll save the Directorate, Captain! There'll be no more of this when you lead our forces! Glad you're enthusiastic."
We reached the subway station I had come through. The woman left us with a brief goodbye, heading left once we were inside. The guards and Gromov left on the next train without so much as a goodbye. Seven went with them, muttering a "Guten nacht, Sniper," to me as he boarded. I waited around for my line, running back to the grungier part of the Directorate City. It was a rater long trip- my neighborhood was on the opposite side of town- and I had trouble staying awake on the way. Thankfully it wasn't too crowded.
That night I had a nightmare that was even stranger than usual. I was hanging upside down in some sort of a destroyed train solving a Rubix Cube while waiting for Captain, who had evidently forgotten all about me.