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927970 No. 927970 ID: f04f1a

Wiki: https://tgchan.org/wiki/The_Path_of_a_Hero

Part two; Good, evil, and true love. The greatest lies in history.

Chapter one, demon in iron.

Borya's journal, pt:1.

"My mind is swirling, chaotic. I've decided to write out my situation in a 'private' journal, with the hope that it'll help make things clear. I'll be burning these texts immediately after writing, so as to insure they are kept from prying eyes.

It's been three days since my meeting with the president. Fucking Boswell. To think, my parents voted for that prehistoric reptile.

My abdomen has closed up well, and should be entirely healed soon.

I've been given new quarters. A reasonably-sized single-room dwelling in the Brig. There are toiletries, a single chair which is bolted to the floor, a bed also affixed to the floor, complete with sheets and a pillow. However, there is a distinct lack of any sort of sharp or edged object (they wouldn't even trust me with a pen, so I'm writing with a crayon). Either they don't want me committing suicide, or they're being careful to keep me unarmed. (As if I'd need anything more than my bare hands.)

Training has yet to begin. I'm not even sure what it will consist of. I'm tired of waiting. Whatever the training is, it'll still be preferable to sitting in this windowless room for eternity.

I haven't seen Karma again. I hope she's alive.

That is all."

Moments later, a piece of paper is torn from its notebook, and set alight with sparks from jimmy-rigged electrical wires. It is thrown into the sink, where its solitary flame burns a lone vigil in the darkness.

In the darkness, deep below the cold steel deck.

Where a demon sleeps.
No. 927973 ID: 2202fb

You can easily slit your wrists with a deep papercut, so you can rule out suicide watch.

So, whats the plan?
No. 928029 ID: 094652

We got a message from your subconscious:
>Good, evil, and true love. The greatest lies in history.
Words of wisdom.
I wonder if true hate should be on that list. Maybe. Sometimes your greatest enemy is the one you have never heard of in your life. But anger? Anger is more real to us than you are, "Anger is power, unleash it".

... Well, unleash it later. For now, something something melt your crayon and splatter it on the floor. Ask for another crayon. Repeat the process until they think you're dumb enough to eat crayons or clog the sink. Later, you have a bunch of wax to glue something with.
No. 928171 ID: 44edad

Borya's journal, pt: 2.

There is no plan.

I've schemed and thought and strained every cell in my brain trying to come up with a way to escape, a way out.


Too many soldiers, too many guns. Security is too well trained... And they have Karma.

It torments me, this attachment I have to her. It's illogical, unreasonable. I hate this feeling.

Everything is just so unclear.

It's been a week since my meeting with the president. Training has started, and I've gotten an idea of the scope.

Here on the misery, they have collected members from the most elite militaristic forces on the planet.

American Green Berets, Delta-force, USMC Scout Snipers, Navy Seals, and FBI SWAT, English SAS, French GIGN, German GSG-9, and so on.

They intend to train me in the skills of all these forces. As well as supplemental Martial Arts training.

If only Mark could see me now.
No. 928222 ID: 2202fb

Lol, so Rainbow referring to the organization in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six series are the ones training you.
No. 928227 ID: 094652

This doesn't add up.

The military brought a literal child psychopathic murderer in chains directly to the president, pushed you to talk to and insult each other, then tortured you and Karma to intimidate you into her intent to make you a supersoldier that will continue killing not-horrible-people, all while WW3 is on the horizon and any increased tension, and they did this right in front of all of the President's supporters and military. I don't care if you were speaking to the worst dictator in history, that was a semi-public orchestrated event that borders on the outright moronic; no matter how sadistic and spiteful her entourage, someone in that audience is going to look back at this as a completely horrible idea that (A) will get various related and unrelated people annoyed and swayed and killed in horrible ways, (B) is an indicator of the president's obsession with turning people into monsters, (C) will eventually turn on them just like you're planning to right now, (D) is indicative of other equally insane and short-sighted projects with a short fuse and dumb oversight, or (E) means now, they have to work with YOU. Any of this will hurt President War&!+(# in the long run.

If they were smart about this they would have kept relative anonymity, made Wall your only contact with the government so you would focus your hatred on him while they observed and experimented on you from one-way mirrors and security cameras.

So, can you remember anyone else who was in that room? Think back.
No. 928380 ID: eaf4ea

Borya's journal, pt: 3.

Three weeks on the misery.

They let me see Karma, just once, and only for a moment. Just enough to know that she's alive and kicking.

Training is grueling. I'm drilled in marksmanship, fieldcraft, PT, urban combat, espionage, informational warfare, psychological warfare, etc. Hell, they're even teaching me things that directly violate the Rules Of Armed Conflict.

On that note. A new group of Spec Ops has arrived here on the Misery. They come from Myanmar, they don't have emotions, they take and follow every order without question, and that's the extent of what I know. Well, aside from the things they're teaching me.

Ever wondered how many bones you can break before a person goes into shock? Most of them, it turns out. These people from Myanmar are unashamedly teaching me torture techniques. And beyond that, they're instructing me in a brutal style of melee martial art.

Looks like I'm shaping up into the perfect soldier just as planned. These idiots, they might as well be arming the Russians.

Kome is on about some crackpot idea that the president is going to be impeached or some shit because of her display in front of me. We're on the brink of a world war, no one gives a shit if the president's morals are entirely pure. And even if the public did, the only people present for her petty display were elite soldiers and her most trusted inner circle. And if you get right down to it, no one gives a shit anyways. I'm a stain upon the fabric of this great nation of ours, a danger to the community. No one would say it outright, but everyone would be happier if I was just left to die quietly in a hole.
No. 928432 ID: 694af6

We're slower to respond, I think they've been pumping you with drugs. Look for a neutralizing agent when they're busy.
No. 928435 ID: 167b66

This is the likely to be the most specialized and the most capable part of the military you're thinking about, they can't be stupid enough to not be aware that you're plotting against them. As of now they're probably less interested in your views on them and the world and more about the training you get, why they're doing this before some brainwashing stunt to keep you loyal is probably beyond a lot of us, but it is highly likely that it's intentional. Be aware of them pulling any switcharoo and fucking you over mentally, with intent of curbing your rebellious manners, and it's very probable that they're gonna do it suddenly, as in with one event that will change you in some way (like making you think you heard something shocking that you think they didn't want you to hear).
No. 928436 ID: 167b66

Basically, expect to be played like the protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2 got played (an awesome video game you should have played, makes one question how much choice does one have when it comes to their free will)
No. 928462 ID: 719d94

Those guys from Myanmar almost certainly have emotions, they just don't show them. Not having emotions makes it harder, rather than easier, to make decisions and get things done. If you don't experience boredom, frustration, stress, fear... you're likely to just continue considering your options as nothing pressures you to actually choose one. Not a positive quality in spec ops who need to think on their feet.

Similarly, you should probably accept that you don't need to understand or care about her emotions to value Karma's well-being. Love sucks like a chest wound, but if you can't get over it they'll keep treating you like a tool, and it's hard to get over it without first calling it like it is.
No. 928516 ID: a463eb

Day 33.

Upper aft deck, marksmanship training.

You're training with a Navy Seal, Nick Wallace, an expert sniper. He's apparently got 213 confirmed kills; Sounds like bullshit to you, but there's no denying he's deadeye accurate.

You are holding a Remington MSR chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. When equipped with a 5-25 digital scope, as it is now, it has an effective range of 1,800 meters. Just short of your current target sitting at 2,000 meters away.

It is a ceramic disc affixed to a buoy. The ocean is turbulent, and your target bobs and sways erratically.

"Concentrate, focus on your target. Tune out any and all distractions. Inhale, get the target in the crosshairs, exhale, and squeeze the trigger." He says, as he watches your intended target through Scout-binoculars.

You inhale.

Briefly, in this moment of absolute focus, it seems all your thoughts and troubles flash before you in a great cacophony.

You exhale.

Slowly, like the creep of death, you begin to depress the 2.4 lb. hair trigger.

There is a bang. Great and terrible. It thunders out across the endless expanse of the cold sea, it echoes in the grey stormy sky, and it permeates your very soul.

In an instant, faster then the beat of a heart, it's as if the world suddenly made sense.

You feel peace.

As a red-hot piece of lead spirals towards your target faster than the speed of sound, you feel clarity.

As the perfectly balanced instrument of death in your arms jolts with the recoil of a high-caliber Match-Grade cartridge, you feel absolution.

As a three-inch ceramic bullseye target is shattered into a thousand pieces by a projectile delivering the kinetic energy of a charging rhino, you feel.

And as you cycle the bolt of your rifle, you smile.
No. 928549 ID: ab08d4

this is quite a controlled environment, you have little to no pressure to do this quickly, there are no bullets flying and possibly 20 mortars pointed at your location, and human flesh (or really anything you'll encounter on the battlefield these days) wont shatter like that ceramic plate did, and you wont have time to take in that "feel", you'll just have to get the fuck up and run because you'll have the entire army going after you. Don't cling on this feeling because you it will get you clapped either by the enemy or by higher-ups (from your trainer to the highest general there is) if they see that you're getting off doing this. They will make you life difficult and erase that little bit of humanity you do have, so you better start getting prepared in any way you can, because you're likely about to regret that they didn't run out of places to put bullets in you.
No. 928551 ID: 094652

Careful, they may have drugged you to enhance euphoria-inducing endorphins when you accomplish murder tasks.

I wonder if this is the big conspiracy; ancient generals drugging their armies to feel pleasure at genocide instead of disgust at killing their own species. And then instigating a world-wide war on drugs to keep common people from realizing this is THE standard warrior training in a nutshell.

Either way, it's obvious you've picked a class. I think it's a good class. So don't shoot THIS instructor in the face.
No. 928577 ID: 2202fb

>euphoria thing
yeeah this sounds about spot-on. If you dont want to be an instrument of others, you must fight against how you feel regarding this sort of thing. Once you start to go along with it mentally, they have already won. Fight against any positive feelings regarding any of it. Especially innate things like how you like killing and power.
No. 928593 ID: d5f094

Day 34.

7:34, Lower brig, Borya's room.

You just... you really don't get it do you?

It wasn't about the fucking rifle, or the feeling of hitting home on the target.

It was something about that moment, that utmost peace, the perfect concentration, that allowed me to make sense of the bullshit emotions and chaotic thoughts that have been fucking with me for weeks!

It finally made sense, all of it.

I love Karma, I care about her. And that's all that matters, everything beyond that is inconsequential.

Like you wanted.

Or that's what I thought.

I'd finally figured it out, and the second I find peace, or some semblance of it, you fuckers try to take that away from me!

You tell me this feeling of clarity is to be shunned, that it's just some mind control trick those assholes are pulling on me.

Is this what you want? Do you want me to stop feeling anything again? Do you want me to become paranoid? Stop trusting anyone? Because I can do that, believe me, I can do that. I spent my whole life doing that.

You tell me to accept emotions like love, like happiness. And the second I get close to that, you pull it out from under me! You tell me to fight these emotions, you tell me to fight innate emotions!

Make up your fucking mind!

You just... Augh!

You stand up from your bed and whirl to face the steel wall.

You clench your fists, you grit your teeth. You try to breath and ignore this anger.

It doesn't work.

You strike the wall with all your anger.

There's a sickening crack, and white-hot pain lances up your forearm. You can barely feel it past the rage boiling your blood.

You lower your hand from the wall, and collapse to your knees, hanging your head. Silent tears streak down your face.

Just... Please.

What do you want from me?

I just... I can't anymore. I just can't.

No. 928596 ID: ab08d4

You'll be ok, you've been shot and left on this place, it can't really get worse (because any worse and you'll break, something they dont want a super soldier in training to do) and we're not telling you to not feel anything, in fact, the more the better, just don't let anyone in on anything, not even Karma, because if they find out, they'll really make you wish you we're short in the face by that 50.bmg you're makin'. just act cool and no breakdowns (crying, punching walls and such, it will alert em to your feelies) your feelings (assuming there's gonna be some) might help you decide what to do, after all, fighting to survive for someone else is easier than doing it for yourself.
No. 928620 ID: 719d94

Ah, at the time, the source of that elation was unclear. Some of us may have misconstrued. I apologize for any distress.

However, you seem to have confused our intentions, as well. We don't want you not to feel, feeling is a necessary process for functional living entities to undergo. There's a difference between suppressing how you feel, ignoring how you feel, and choosing not to act on how you feel. The first two are both unhelpful and unhealthy. The third, however, is an extremely valuable skill that will probably be critical to getting through this situation they've put you in.

Through leveraging your angry outbursts, they've learned what (and whom) you care about, that they can use against you. They've taunted you into leaping into their arms... fists and teeth first, of course, but they're still dragging you around by the nose.

But it's fine to rage, so long as you choose carefully when and how to act on it. And it's fine to love, so long as you choose carefully when and how to act on it.

I don't currently have any suggestions for you, for those whens or hows. I'd just like you to think about it, and I hope that doing so can help you.
No. 928624 ID: 094652

Let me make this as clear as I can:

You are outbrained.

The Mother@#$%ing President and her cluster@#$%ed entourage of soldiers, assassins, politicians, doctors, scientists, pilots, psychologists, pilots, expendable madmen, almighty janitors, occultists, Russian/Indian conspirators, and tiny blue men from the magical kingdom of Mars are all here, and they are here to science the hell out of your brain until you're their perfect puny patsy, their Gavrilo Gorilla with a Gun, their Lee Harvey Oswald for their Mayor McCheese.

Humor aside, the President and her conspirators are trying to brainwash you, and worst case scenario, YOU will be the assassin who sparks WWIII, only to be quickly captured with a simple trigger phrase, and publicly sentenced to death by the very people who ordered the hit.

It is OUR job to make this process as convoluted and painful to them as humanly possible by keeping them guessing about the nature of your psyche. They will trip over each other and that buys you time to develop the RIGHT skills to survive their machinations.

What else can I say, I'm a paranoid voice in your head.
No. 928638 ID: 2202fb

Basically, feel how you want, but dont go along with their plans mentally. It seemed like you were happy bc of the instructor and the gun rather than just a moment of clarity.

Clarity is good.


What kind of planes do they have on this boat? Anything VTOL? If so, it shouldn't be too difficult to take one solo as far as the actually getting airborne goes.

So here is the idea: wait for piloting lessons if they haven't started already. Once you feel comfortable flying, you will want to break a bone. While they are getting it set, you go apeshit and get to a plane. Fly somewhere remote and land.

2027 would mean it will probably be an F-35B, which is stealthy enough that as long as you cut off all outgoing signals, you should be more or less invisible to air defenses as long as you dont attack.
No. 928643 ID: c967e6

Flying anything is super hard without prior experience, flying a 5th gen fighter without prior experience is so impossible you might as well wish a unicorn to existence and fly away on a rainbow. It's unlikely they'll teach you how to fly at all, it takes very long and they have other people for that. There's no f35b's on aircraft carriers (at least the us ones) there's only f 35c's (no STOL) and despite the f35 being labeled as easy to fly, don't hope to know how to do it. If they notice a jet taking off without permission they'll shoot you out of the sky in the blink of an eye. Just take the boat or wait till they get you to land for some special training session and then just run.
No. 928644 ID: c967e6

And friendly aircraft have special systems that allow the friendly radar to see you no matter how stealthy the aircraft is, and considering it was mentioned that Borya's not a fan of areal combat it's safe to say that she won't know how to turn that system off, hell they'll likely be able to shut down the plane mid-air or even take direct control over it, this is the future and every plane likely has an autonomous mode.
No. 928648 ID: c967e6

Technically not OUR job, just your's. if you decide to join their efforts feel free, and if you're willing to fuck 'em over feel free to do so too, just remember whatever happens to you and however you pull this off (you either completely ace, or flop dismally), it's off to you. We, the strange noises, cracks, yells and whistles you hear deep in your head are gonna stay here whether you do join 'em or not, possibly after you get killed too, don't do that tho, after all do you know that not breathing will get you killed.

Take this as you will...
No. 928650 ID: 2202fb

The plane has those systems, not the carrier, and they can be turned off (though we still run a pretty high risk of getting shot down).

Ofc, we dont know how to fly yet, but that is presumably something they will teach us.

This may not be an aircraft carrier and could be a landing ship. They look similar to someone unfamiliar with military ships.

This was a longshot, but we dont really have many other options at this point.
No. 928680 ID: 8eaf98

Hello! I'm a new voice. Honestly, Karma can probably handle the 'massages'. If you show no signs of caring about Karma, they lose reason to keep hurting her, of course, it will probably get worse before it gets better. So if you are 100% sure you can keep your exterior stone cold this is a potential viable option.
I doubt that they will kill Karma, she has value similar to you and they no doubt noticed her loyalty to you (usage of prior option may jeopardize that) and may be attempting to leverage that loyalty to get her loyal to them via you.
Remember words are cheap, and, in this place, so too is most action. So what you did with your "primary psychologist" that made "you sick just to think about" can probably work here too. Enabling you to get out of here sooner rather than later, though a sudden 180 in behavior would be uncalled for and suspicious. An approach of gradually appearing 'resigned to this fate' could work.
>Wait, how did you use an emoticon when you're a disembodied-... We shall never speak of this again. OK! =D =P

No. 928740 ID: 38e49f

You wipe away the stray tears dripping from your chin, and take a moment to recollect yourself.

Focus, breath... Focus.

>We're not telling you to not feel anything, in fact, the more the better, just don't let anyone in on anything.
>If you are 100% sure you can keep your exterior stone cold this is a potential viable option.
Okay. I get what you're all saying. You want me to keep my emotions to myself? That makes sense, if I can keep them guessing, I can maintain some level of control. I can do that, I can definitely do that. I maintained a stone cold exterior for my whole life up until a little more than a month ago.

>What else can I say, I'm a paranoid voice in your head.
You're right. You're only being logical. And I suppose you have kept me alive this long.

>Basically, feel how you want, but dont go along with their plans mentally.
I'll make a concerted effort to resist their control. So far, they haven't made any attempt to befriend me or gain my loyalty. Nothing overt, at least.

>Fly away in a plane.
No go. Even if I knew how to fly, they have a plasma Trophy system that surrounds the entire Super-carrier. I would be boiled in my skin before the aircraft exploded.

>Clarity is good.
You have no idea.

>Hello! I'm a new voice.
Oh good, my schizophrenic psychosis is getting stronger. That's exactly what I need right now. Well, welcome to the club. We're all batshit crazy dysfunctional fools, but we make it work, most of the time.

Guys I... You... You're all assholes, and I hate you all with a vengeance; but you're my assholes.

That didn't sound right.

You're all bastards and fucking degenerates, but even still, you've been more help than any person I've ever cared to meet. And you've stayed with me.

...thank you.

Tomorrow... Tomorrows gonna be better. I think... Maybe.

We'll see.
No. 928750 ID: 8eaf98

>nothing overt
Unfortunately, anything overt is kinda, well, obvious and easy to ignore...
>And you've stayed with me.
We hope to continue that trend, but if we leave at some point without your consent... well this is an apology in advance.
>Tomorrow... Tomorrows gonna be better. I think... Maybe.
With thoughts like that, it might just be different, if nothing else
No. 928760 ID: 13cd18

In order to avoid additional trauma and suffering, it would be wise to use common sense provided by most of the cracks, whistles and yelps you hear in your mind, and more importantly, life(well not live, more like: prepare mentally) like every day is your last day you'll get to take a break and have some freedom, assume that every next day is gonna be extremely painful, extremely brutal and soulcrushing (to the point where you just wanna jump off a ship or attack a guard or two just to force them to put you out of your misery brutal and hard). This way you could avoid any mayor mental harm at the expense of stress and worrying (although you said these aren't you problems). After all, you can't be disappointed if you have no expectations to begin with. Just pull it together, you're a tough little bastard and this is gonna be the beginning of the mountain of BS we're gonna go over, so why not take your fellow sailors with you and make them just as miserably in their attempts to curb your rebellion.
No. 929057 ID: 355206

Day 35.

10:23 AM, Upper deck, med-bay.

"What exactly did you say happened to your hand?" Asks a medical officer as he treats the injured appendage.

"Steel wall." You reply in a deadpan.

"And how did a steel wall fracture nine bones?" He asks.

"That's classified." You reply.

He looks at you askance. "Right."

It takes about ten more minutes before your hand is properly treated.

"Don't strain it, and it should heal fine." He says.

You give a vague nod before hopping off the medical table and heading for the door.

It's a nice day out, relatively. The sun is blotted out dark clouds, and it's fairly chilly, but there's also no rain, and the sea is calm.

You're walking along the upper deck, enjoying the fresh air, and are about halfway back to your room, two armed guards it tow; when an unarmed marine (a captain by his patch) approaches you and salutes. "Package for you, Miss Burkouskie." He says, handing you a parcel. He then turns to your guards; "You both are dismissed." He says.

Your guards look at each other in confusion, before saluting and heading off towards the Command center.

This is suspicious.

You make it back to your room without incident, and the guard at your door lets you in without comment. Very suspicious. He didn't even note the absence of your personal guards.

You plop down on your bed and carefully open the package. It's wrapping is drab, brown paper. But contained within is a polymer safety case, the kind guns come in.

You save yourself the disappointment and don't even hope for a gun, as grand as that would be. Instead you read the note attached to the outside of the box.

It is written in a beautiful, excruciatingly precise cursive.

"To Miss Burkouskie,

I would first wish to apologize for my behavior during our last meeting, I understand that your current predicament might be cause for great distress, and your anger is justified.

However, I would also wish to stress the necessity of your treatment. You are more important than you could know to the future of this great nation of ours, and as such, regardless of your feelings on the matter, I must insist that you comply with the orders issued to you. For the sake of the American people.

On that note, the enclosed package should contain a new uniform. One more befitting your position. Once you have donned it, head to the armory, they will equip you properly.

As well, you have been promoted to Private First class, and may now freely move around the ship; excluding restricted-access areas.

Again, I apologize for your treatment and my actions. But trying times require unsavory measures.

Yours in faith,

President Boswell.

And that's the end of the letter. Boswell really-... *sigh* No comment.

You suppose that's why the guards were dismissed. Looks like you can move around mostly freely now. A strange move on the presidents part, perhaps she wishes to build trust with you? Or maybe she's simply incompetent. Who knows.

Upon opening the polymer case, you find that it indeed contains a uniform. It is a peculiar type of camo consisting of dark brown, tan, and olive drab, with flecks of navy blue and black stripes. It almost seems to shimmer, but you suspect a trick of the light.

You don the uniform. It's fairly well sized, and of Army cut, but they've obviously left much room to grow.

The patch sown onto the left arm is of a design you've never seen, it's a skull with a bullethole through its forehead, and a vertical dagger behind it.

It also comes with a beret. The beret is black, and has the same strange skull patch embroidered on it.

Not a bad looking outfit, all things considered.

Part of you wants to immediately head off for the Armory. Yet you also might want to head for some other part of the ship, now that you have freedom of movement.

Let's see... You could head to the Cafeteria, as you're feeling a bit hungry. There's the Observation deck, if you wanted a moment alone and a place to think. And lastly, you could head for the section of the Brig where they keep Karma, perhaps they'll let you speak with her now.
No. 929058 ID: 094652

>You are more important than you could know to the future of this great nation of ours
Right, I'm hedging my bets: 95% confident on the "expendable assassin" theory, 5% for the heck of it on "sleeper magical girl assassin" theory.

>For the sake of the American people.
Like you said, Borya: when was the last time she personally met with an American person to make amends for her ruthless choices, and not a military psychopath?
No offense of course.

>you find that it indeed contains a uniform
Oh good, she didn't put Karma's left nipple in that thing.

>Where to
Cafeteria; make them think the brainwashing worked and don't go straight to Karma for the next week. Also, you're going to need food for your hand.
No. 929061 ID: 8eaf98

>>929058 what is this! Kome? a voice of reason!? What is this headspace coming to!
wonder if that 'trick of the light' is actually some sorta advanced camo and reaching the armory is actually a test to see if you can.
No. 929065 ID: 719d94

Going straight to the armory might give them the impression that you're planning on actually doing what they want. I don't think we quite want to give them that impression, but instead that you've considered your options and are willing to do what they want. Cooperative, but not necessarily obedient.

Could the cafeteria or observation deck be described as on the way to the armory? If not, is there another location we could detour past that would be worth stopping at?

And as kome said (it hurts) we probably shouldn't jump at the chance to visit Karma. Hopefully they won't ship us straight off to a mission without another chance to visit, but if they do that's just part of the price we have to pay to get dignity and respect out of our captors. Show them no weaknesses.
No. 929073 ID: 2202fb

I like Kome...
No. 929094 ID: 4e9b87

Don't visit any suspicious places (armories, hangars, prisoner areas and such, just take a walk around the bridge or do something (un)productive, as other voices have said, anything that takes you a bit closer to possible means of escape will be noted as a unsuccessful attempt at brainwashing you, and don't take the note too seriously. While she seems to have a grasp over the fact that you're a hyper-capable sociopath, don't let her thing you're still pissed and loose from her chains, then again, if you act too compliant they may thing that you're faking it, which in turn will make then change your routine to a more severe one, so your best shot at this would be to keep an snarky, ever so slightly pissed off attitude (don't take it too far, because they'll think you've gotten comfortable) when talking to staff, make random 1000 yard stares at random people (not the more important ones tho) and generally be silent until you're asked something. Don't make a fuss, when Karma's mentioned feel free to give anything from a "if it dies, it dies" "look" at the news to "she's a threat and a traitor", whatever suits you.
No. 929101 ID: 8eaf98

>>929073 I do too. He just typically isn't a voice of reason; he is usually more a voice of entropy.
No. 929750 ID: 80c195

Right. So the plan as it stands is to keep them guessing. Follow commands well enough, but still show a little resistance. Cooperative, not obedient.

>wonder if that 'trick of the light' is actually some sorta advanced camo and reaching the armory is actually a test to see if you can.
I wouldn't put it past them. I wouldn't even be surprised.

>Could the cafeteria or observation deck be described as on the way to the armory? If not, is there another location we could detour past that would be worth stopping at?
Both the Observation deck and the Cafeteria require a significant detour from the path to the Armory. The only places worth note between here and the Armory are the engine room and the lower hanger. Neither of which I have reason to visit.

For now I'll head to the Cafeteria.

You knock twice on your door, the sign for 'let me out'. "It's not locked." Comes the voice of the guard outside. Well that's not normal. He's under orders to keep the door locked at all times while you're in the room.

You indeed find the bulkhead unlocked, and step through.

The guard salutes you. He's never done that before. "You are free to come and go from your room as you please, ma'am." He says.

You give a half-hearted two-finger salute back. "Understood. See ya, Maverick." You say. Eliciting a slight cringe from him at the use of his last name.

It's a short walk through the dark steel guts of the ship to the cafeteria. Alone with your thoughts and the staccato of your footfalls on the metal floor, you take a moment to collect your thoughts.

Along the walk, you pass several soldiers, all of them salute to you. Including the door-guards that would have previously stopped you. There's a look in their eyes, almost... Reverence. Something's up.

You arrive at the cafeteria; a large, well lit room where most of the floor space is taken up by large steel tables, occupied by what must be at least 70 people at the moment. A long window peers into the separate kitchen area, where various cooks can be seen busily preparing various 'meals'.

Nearly the entire occupancy of the room turns to look at you when you walk in. All at once, the constant din of the room dies as all attention is directed your way.

You ignore the looks, and stride over to the kitchen window.

On the menu today is various flavors of dysentery, diabetes, and food born illness. You opt for microwaved cardboard with a side of 'who ate this before me?' a cup of chlorine/fluoride dilution and a spherical GMO. Also known as a hamburger with a side of chili, some tap water, and an orange. The soldier who serves your food, young private, stares at you the entire time as if he was looking at some magical creature.

There's something going on, though you have no idea what. For now you take your tray of American chronic illness and sit down at the table with the least people.

It's four minutes, twenty three seconds (you counted) before the moment you've been waiting for finally arrives.

A man dressed in Navy fatigues walks up to you. He is bearded, sporting a tight ponytail, and exuding an aura that could only be described as rugged, sort of like Bigfoot, but Caucasian. You look to his shoulder, and are somewhat surprised to see a trident patch, the very same issued to Navy SEALs.

He motions towards the seat next to you. "Can I sit?" He asks.

"Don't know, haven't seen you try." You say, eliciting the heavily masculine equivalent of a chuckle from this man who looks for all the world an overgrown Tolkienesque dwarf. "But to answer you more satisfactorily; no, I don't mind if you sit." You finish.

He takes a seat, and for a fleeting, beautiful moment, you dare to hope that you will have to suffer no further social interaction. Yet these dreams are shattered like glass by the rough, grating sound of this great primordial hominid attempting to construct a sentence. You aren't really in a great mood, right now.

"You must be Borya." He says.

"Nail on the head." You reply somewhat caustically.

"Bad night of sleep?" He asks.

"Bad weeks of sleep, bad food, bad mood, bad company." You say. You'll admit. Even for you that was tactlessly blunt.

"Oof. I'm not that bad am I?" He asks, seeming to find your words more humorous than hurtful. Even going so far as to show a small smirk. Well, sort of. It's hard to tell past the facial hair.

You sigh. "No. No you're not. But as a general rule, company is unpleasant in this infernal place. This has so far been the most pleasant conversation I've had this week." You say.

"You seem less than pleased to be having it." He says. A surprisingly sharp remark.

"Just because something is the best among its peers, doesn't necessarily mean that it's good. You'll forgive my ill temper, I'm feeling less than up to polite conversation today." You say, sighing heavily.

"Than we'll skip the polite part. I'm Joseph Gould, Navy Seal. I'm supposed to train you in survival techniques, but I thought I'd meet you first, get to know who I'll be training." He says, still sounding friendly. You feel some credit is due for his persistence.

"Well then, allow me to illuminate for you the finer points of my biography. I'm a high-functioning sociopath that feels a deep and genuine loathing for humanity as a whole, I enjoy reading and occasionally staring into space contemplating the hell that is human existence, I refuse to drink anything out of a cup with a lid on it. Your turn." You say.

He gives a small chuckle. "I'm a Survival specialist born and raised in Alaska, I enjoy eating things that I've killed myself, swimming in ice-cold water, and watching sitcoms from the eighties. I find the smell of lavender deeply disgusting. Now, from what you've said I assume you haven't made many friends here on the Misery." He says.

"I envy your powers of deduction." You reply.

"Well, I have made a friend or two. And I was wondering if you'd be interested in meeting some of the people you're going to be training with." He says.

Hmm... On the one hand, this could be a ploy to try and get your loyalty. But on the other, this could be a good opportunity to make some friends, maybe buy yourself some sympathy. You don't really want to socialize, nor do you want anymore friends. But you could easily fake it.

This food really is terrible.
No. 929893 ID: d5fbf4

The guy sounds genuine, tho don't go too far, and while you're at it try to make a friendship with him, you may absolutely despise the idea of such a thing but have you ever tried it, it might help you keep afloat after suffering brutal training sessions, though take everything here with a shovel of salt, you don't want to be exposed as a high-functioning sociopath that hasn't been brainwashed yet.
No. 929912 ID: 719d94

Your standing "orders" to report to the armory seem like a good opportunity to blow this guy off. Tell him you're interested in the offer when you have more time, and try not to sound too sarcastic about that, but you have places you're supposed to be. If he's supposed to be training you, you'll meet him again later and have more opportunities to either accept or disregard these kinds of offers in the future.
No. 929973 ID: 5a828f

Still paranoid about his positivism, but honestly? I'm surprised that the military didn't screen this guy for his charisma; right now he has the highest chance of exfiltrating you out of this hellhole for his own personal army. So use that now, and worry about killing him for backstabbing you later.

But the soldiers are even worse. You've done everything to earn their respect and nothing to earn their trust. Why the hell are they staring at you with deer eyes? Do they want you to bash their brains in?
No. 930284 ID: a0d7c2

>The guy sounds genuine.
Looks it too. Not a single tell that he's lying or being deceptive.

>Try to make a friendship with him, you may absolutely despise the idea of such a thing but it might help you keep afloat after suffering brutal training.
Firstly, I don't hate the idea, it doesn't cause me physical pain to socialize. It's just that I'm really not interested in a friendship, so it would be like a chore. Secondly, the training may be grueling, but so far I'm not suffering stress from it. It would take a lot to mentally push me to my limit.

"Not right now, I've orders to report to the Armory. This was just a quick snack. Rain check?" You ask.

He seems rather pleased to hear that, smiling genuinely. "Yeah, of course. We'll all meet up after the training session you and I have scheduled on Tuesday." He says.

It is currently Sunday, your only off-day. As far as you know, which isn't far, that timeframe should work. "See you then." You say. And with that, you leave him.

The Armory is a large room illuminated by glaring fluorescent lights, with many large steel cages lining the walls. Each cage is basically a walk-in gun-safe, and each one belongs to individual groups; the Marines, the Army, the Navy, and each individual spec ops team all have their own cages of varying sizes. At the end of the room, a very bored, and very low-ranking support-staff member sits behind a desk, typing away at her computer.

You stride over to the desk, and she looks up as you near.

Her face immediately lights up with shock and surprise, then an expression as if she'd been caught slacking. She bolts upright from her seat and salutes you, then stands to attention. You now see her patch; she's Air Force, Airman rank specifically.

"Private Burkouskie, ma'am! I wasn't expecting your arrival so soon, If I had known you were coming today I would have cleaned up! Forgive me, ma'am!" She says. It sort of all flows out in one continuous, nervous excuse. She looks like she's waiting for you to strike her.

"At ease." You say.

She visibly deflates, yet a look of concern and embarrassment remains on her face. "Sorry. How can I help you, ma'am?"

"Fuck if I know. Highest of the higher-ups told me to report here to receive equipment." You say. Annoyance curling your lips and edging your eyes. Not at this girl, but at Boswell for being so damnably unclear.

The look of fear deepens in the girl's eyes. "Sorry, ma'am! I- Of course. This way, ma'am!" She says, stepping out from behind her desk and heading towards one of the cages.

You follow, and arrive in front of a small cage that appears almost entirely empty.

The Airman (Airwoman?), opens the cage door and you both step in.

The walls are covered in various racks, shelves, and equipment storing facilities. There also appears much spare room for additional furniture. It is entirely bare of actual equipment save a single polymer box sitting on a table at its center.

The Airman turns to you. "This compartment is yours, ma'am. Any items you acquire may be stored here while you aren't using them."

A compartment all your own? This luxury treatment... And all the sudden respect? Something smells fishy. (Or like plot.)

Yet you give little more thought to these strange occurrences, an your attention is still mostly fixed on the conspicuous box, which is constructed of polymer, about 1x2x2 feet, and perfectly centered in the otherwise bare room. Your gaming instincts tell you that loot is afoot.

The Airman seems to notice your singularly focused gaze, and heads to open the box.

She steps away from it, and inside, resting gently atop some electronic device, is a Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal FNX .45 cal Tactical offensive pistol with a threaded barrel, flared magazine well, and Trijicon night sights.

You stand aghast for a moment, before remembering yourself and moving to pick it up. You feel the weight; perfect. You test the slide; someone has meticulously filed down the internals for a smoother action. You take stance and look down the sights; it's ergonomics sit perfectly in your hand, the foresight's red dot gleams, and you have not trouble imagining it centered over someone's head.

This pistol was made for you. The fact that it now rests in your hands is not chance, but destiny. If you were inclined towards such emotions you would be crying.

As it stands, you merely smile a wicked smile. The kind that usually precipitates someone's death.

There was a note underneath the pistol, which you read.

You'd better like the gun, it was a pain in the ass to get. Mind you, If it wasn't for me you'd be holding a fucking standard issue Glock right now. You'd think the President of the yanks could afford better for her best.


You have no idea who this 'T' is, but you owe him one. The note is written in a harsh, utilitarian hand with little aesthetic value.

Much as you hate to, you set the FNX down for the moment, and set to inspect the other item held within the box: it appears some sort of PDA, about the size of a large phone and housed in a shockproof case.

As soon as you pick it up, the Airman (who had been awkwardly standing in silence) grabs something else out of the box. "May I help you fit the device, ma'am?"

You look askance at the object she retrieved, it's solid black, and looks to be made from a material similar to a wetsuit. "Go ahead." You say, with some apprehension.

She fits the object around your left forearm; it turns out to be a sort of vambrace. She then fits the PDA into a slot on the underside of your forearm.

"What is this thing?" You ask, after the device has been mounted.

"It's an S.M.I, ma'am. Strategic Mission Interface. It's connected to a supercomputer here on the Misery which will aid you in the field. Data mining, analytics, real-time tactical planing, probability matrices, infowar, counter-infowar, SIGINT, autonomous vehicle piloting, that's just to name a few, ma'am." She says, pride playing across her features.

"You seem to know more than a fair bit about this S.M.I." You say, raising an eyebrow.

"I'm it's primary technician, ma'am. I, uh, I invented it." She says, appearing to suppress a self-fulfilled smirk.

"And who are you?" You ask, being unnecessarily blunt simply out of impatience.

"Oh, I'm Airwoman Holly North, ma'am. Shit! I forgot to tell you, I've been assigned as your primary support staff, ma'am. I'm an engineer, so my job is generally to repair and maintain all your gear; guns, electronics, armor, all that. But I've also been assigned as your operator, so I'll be in charge of logistics and field support, ma'am. We'll be working together a lot." She says. It looks like she was going to salute again, but aborted halfway through, thinking better of it.

You mill this over for a minute, the implications are large. You aren't really sure how to respond to what she's just told you. Or what you should do after this, it's only 12:16 AM, you still have all of today free.
No. 930295 ID: 8eaf98

finish reading this and uhhhh WHADA YOU MEEEEEAN! I am entirely failing to conceve of a situation where this makes sense. Are you dreaming or some shit?
No. 930296 ID: 8eaf98

Now with initial shock out of the way, we have not exactly been 'tuned in' for the entirety of your stay on the Misery and so not sure what you can do or what you want to do. Might see about putting in a request on the status of Karma, but not attempt to go see her personally yet. The thought being to keep an outward tone of professional courtesy more than that you actually care about her.
No. 930299 ID: 2202fb

Oh there is most definitely some sort of plot going on here, that much is certain.

Really sucks that you couldn't get an FN 5.7. Those things are much more versatile in my opinion.
No. 930661 ID: a2aa23

>I am entirely failing to conceve of a situation where this makes sense. Are you dreaming or some shit?
Doubt this is a dream, too lucid. There's obviously something I'm missing, or something being kept secret from me. Welcome to the military, where the mushroom treatment is your 24/7.

Hmm... New faculties, more freedom, a gun of my own- ...And an operator. Shit.

Operator's are assigned for field work only, if they've given me one then only a single conclusion can really be drawn; they're about to deploy me.

The new freedom, the gear, probably all the strange respect I've been getting, and shit, definitely that buddy-buddy SEAL; it all reeks of a hurried attempt to gain my loyalty, to get me to like higher command. Things they'd want before they deployed me.

Damn it! How did I miss it? It's too fucking obvious.

But why? Why deploy me specifically? The military isn't lacking for special operations forces. Why send me, a veritable loose cannon?

Too many questions, and I'm not getting any answers like this. Shit. I'll need to ask around, interrogate someone.

You must have been making a face, because Airwoman North looks at you nervously. "Is- is something wrong, ma'am?"

You sigh. "No."

"Are... you alright, ma'am?" She asks, concern edging her features.

"No. No I'm not. Shit." You say, Leaning back on the table and running a hand down your arm; only to feel the hard plastic case of your SMI, weighing you down, binding you. The harsh fluorescent light above you claws at your eyes, and you feel a sudden fatigue. You're tired, too tired. And somehow, you feel that it's only going to get worse.

"I..." Begins North, before she trails off. It looks like she wants to help, but you don't know if you can trust her. You don't know if you can trust anyone anymore.

"I'm fine, just... Thinking. Now show me how to use this SMI." You say, ignoring your exhaustion through sheer willpower.

She appears grateful for the change of subject, and precedes to show you how to use the SMI's salient features.

It's fairly straightforward, and you quickly get the hang of it. It has all the abilities of a standard smartphone; web browsing, communication, navigation, basic organization tools, etcetera. Except it does it all about ten times more efficiently. And it has many abilities beyond any civilian device; it can spoof simple electronic security like keycard readers and magnetic locks if you get it close enough, it can wirelessly uplink with other computers, phones and so on, giving the SMI mainframe total access to the linked device. The SMI has data-mining routines which allow it to find solid, real time information on the fly, and then it's tactician AI can construct a plan based off that info. Pretty handy tool, all in all.

"Aaaand... You're all good to go, ma'am." Says North. She's a rather enthusiastic person; earnest, yet somewhat callow. At least as far as you can tell.

"Why do you call me ma'am? You outrank me." You ask.

She looks somewhat taken aback by this question. "Well, yes. I'm technically higher rank than you, ma'am. But you're... You're like the number-one badass on this ship, ma'am. Getting the best training from the best special forces in the world, breaking accuracy records with the rifle, and being the youngest SF recruit in the history of the world! Uh, ma'am." She remembers herself by the end, and quickly puts back up the serious facade. It's clear that she's something of an admirer.

A contemplative "Hmm." And a pensive, glazed stare is all you provide in response.

After a silence most would call painfully-awkward prevailed for around a half-minute. North clears her throat. "I, uh, I'll go clean up your link with the SMI, uh, ma'am."

She walks off with the halting gate of someone not entirely sure of wether or not the conversation has ended.

Good, you need some time to think.

The observation deck is peaceful. The sun is setting, casting long golden rays across the horizon. The staccato of waves against the hull of the ship punctuates the howl of the wind, this ocean soundscape a mere backdrop to the noise and confusion of your thoughts.

You sigh, long and deep. Like the last breath leaving a dying man's lungs. Only, you are not dying. You persist yet longer, and urge yourself foreword.

But to where?

The strength of flesh is great, it might fail, it might wane and collapse. Yet it will always rebound.

The mind is not so resilient.

It is a frail, fragile thing. Too much pressure, and it simply... breaks. And from this state, no repair nor respite is possible.

Under the strain of grief, the soul will be crushed.
In absence of the soul, the mind will stress until it shatters.
Without the mind, the flesh will waste away.

This is the destruction wrought by grief. The downfall precipitated by the failure of the psyche, and the weakness inherent of human emotion.

To put it succinctly: I need some fucking help here.

They're training me to be a weapon, a tool to combat Russian power.

Do I go along with the training? Do I resist?

Is my eventual goal escape? Or do I cast my lot in with the U.S, start fighting for it?

And what of Karma? She... I do not understand how or what I feel for her.

Nothing is clear, my heart, to use vernacular I despise, is troubled, my emotions are in chaos, and my will to live, to preserver, is fading.

The sun has all but disappeared over the horizon. Twilight descends, and the cold bite of the wind is all the harsher. Yet still you stand, silent in the dark. Asking for answers. Searching for direction.

Lost and alone.

>Please suggest an action.
No. 930664 ID: 719d94

> Why deploy me specifically?
As an agent, you have a number of advantages. Your age, for example, can change how people look at you. They're more likely to let their guard down, and you can blend in with groups of other tweens, but you're not particularly lacking in effectiveness due to inexperience, as one would expect of a normal child. You're a loose cannon for sure, but you've killed before, know a variety of means for doing so, and aren't bothered by the idea of doing it again. And sure, the people you'd most like to kill right now are on "our side" but if they can just keep you pointed downrange they'll be fine.

That's probably the basic idea, anyway.

In terms of what to do about it, well... you knew all along that they wanted you in spec ops. Karma told you that when you first met her. So it's not like being moved quickly to active duty is a surprise, you have a lot of unique advantages right now. This is really going exactly as we've expected.

And accordingly, you basically have three options:
1) Just do what they expect you to do. You don't have much choice in the matter, but they've given you a job that you're good at, and one where you can be rewarded, rather than punished, for acting on your violent urges. Kind of a sweet gig aside from all the not-having-a-say-in-the-matter crap. And your dad was special forces, key word "was," so presumably they'll let you go eventually assuming you don't die.
2) Take advantage of the freedom of being "out on assignment" to run away as soon as possible. This one's gonna be real tough to make go well. It'll be hard to survive on the run, on your own, as a twelve-year-old. These people know you're competent and capable, but most people will think you're just some runaway kid. Other option is to make some media scandal regarding the military forcing an underage girl into spec ops, but what are the chances of that story getting published... How experienced are you with social media? And how would you feel about backlash against Karma, your family, etc.?
3) The goal remains the same as it ever was: kill General Wall. Keep "under their thumb," doing what they say, until they loosen up their control enough that you have a real opportunity to shoot the fucker in the face. This really plays out a lot like option 1, just with a more explosive conclusion. Though, if you have a real flair for the dramatic, you could actually wait until they let you go, live an "ordinary life" secretly planning an absolutely glorious assassination, and then put that plan in motion when you're ready.

Really though, all of these start the same way: swallow your emotions, keep training, wait for orders. Optional, go and see Karma when you have a good opportunity to do so, since it's hard to swallow emotions you don't understand.
No. 930666 ID: 22acff

I doubt the age thing is gonna work for long, especially if people realize you're a sociopath. when they realize what you are they're gonna take action both because you're a sociopath and because getting mowed down by a child of all things is quite embarrassing.
No. 930667 ID: 22acff

They won't send you to infiltrate bases filled with idiots, you're not that bad
No. 930670 ID: 719d94

I was thinking more like... if you're looking for a sniper after someone's been shot, would you even consider the schoolgirl with a backpack as a suspect?
No. 930694 ID: 2202fb

Russian? The Chinese are the ones with the giant military and the concentration camps.
No. 930697 ID: 094652

Keep your options open as long as possible. Loyalty is measured by the approximate level of bull^&*( you're willing to put up with before you no longer feel obligated to obsess over obeying orders, and start decision-making in terms of personal benefits and values. And they've earned little of your loyalty.

The sky is still blue. The fight is still on. Your goal is to do something about this insanity. That does not mean allying with either side completely will solve everything.

Get information on your squad. Long term, program a few viruses of your own to play with. Tech like this might be capable of developing a rudimentary AI.
No. 930699 ID: 8eaf98

Ima second option 3, as while letting General Wall go is probably a better tactical choice, he really is kinda a dick. Probably could manage to help frame him as a spy or something with the fancy tech you got on your arm now. I assume that tech will survive much more beating then the arm it resides upon?
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