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Mission for Lylan

By @cckraut

Calm Before the Storm

“Madi! Madi! I got promoted!”

I glanced sideways, somewhat irritated. “Madison, please. Not Madi. And good for you.”

“Yeah! I’m super excited! I get to help lead Operation: West Cliffs!”

I shook my head and went back to sharpening my saber. “Okay.”

Chance stood there for a moment, not understanding my lethargy. Finally, he took a seat beside me. “What’s wrong?”

I chuckled sadly. “I’m a General now.”

“But Madison, that’s wonderful!”

“It’s not that simple,” I put my head down. “I always wanted just to stay an agent. I want to fight, not plan schematics, or watch my men die. I want to stand for what I believe in, not spectate it.”

Chance saw my face fall, but he only grinned cleverly in reply, holding my hand. “Who says we can’t fight?”


I pointed to the corner of the map of the base. “Alright. We have a confirmed location of a large attack group to the southwest. So they are currently on the high side of the cliff. We’re going to attempt to force their hand. They may naturally begin to search around for a secret entrance to the base, but all of the secret entrances are alarmed, and we can seal them off imperviously if they ever do find them. We have a communication set up if they ever do try to siege us, stating that we have enough food and water to last us at least five years. The real statistic is closer to six months, but I doubt that Southwind will be that patient. We’ve set up a fake cargo dock on the bottom of the cliff. Since that will look like a likely breach point, they will likely all gather at the bottom of the cliff in order to attack there.”

I circled an area with my laser pointer, on the bottom half of the cliffs. “When the majority of enemies are gathered there, we leave using hidden exit T4, T5 if ONSET shows that’s blocked. Our regiments will form up here, and General Cobalt and I will assume the head position on this overhang here, to gain both the intimidation factor and the high ground. First we attempt diplomacy. If that fails, aerial and archer units attack first, and when they try to come around to the top of the cliff, ground units will be ready.”

Chance watched the plan of the complex with genuine interest. “So what’s the best strategical advantage that we have?”

“This base,” I told him, “was built after Agent Frost defected to Southwind. They don’t see this plan, nor do they know our entrances and exits. That’s why I have hope that they will fall for the loading dock prank. The door is not extremely obvious, so I think they will believe it’s legit. We also have ONSET to maintain the high ground. The high ground is the most important position, but intimidation is our asset. This is the first major battle in the conflict of interest between agencies. We need to show them that we are ready. We need to play a mental game. That’s why Objective: Pyro is so important.”


“Hey… Madison?”

I looked up from my planning. I was somewhat startled to be interrupted now, especially because I had taken off my mask and set it on my desk for a moment. “What’s going on, Chance?”

He was holding something awkwardly behind his back. Fuzzball chittered on his shoulder. “Well… I thought about what you said, about… you know, intimidation, and a mental game… and being prepared.”


“And… I realized that it’s all in the details. Every little thing we do matters.”

I wondered where this was going. “True…”

“I’m making something for you.”

I nodded slowly. “Okay…”

“Except I need a little cooperation from you.”

I didn’t understand what was going on. “Um…”

Chance took out a grey piece of cloth. “I’m gonna use this to blindfold you. Is that okay?”

I nodded, somewhat suspiciously. “I’m not sure I trust this…”

“It’s not what you’d think,” he said. “It’s just one little thing that I can do to improve our dramatic performance.” He smiled serenely as he tied the blindfold over my face and took my hand.

I chuckled as he traced over some parts of the blindfold carefully. He held something else up to the fabric, tracing that as well. Finally he untied my eyes. “This is going to be really neat. Trust me. See you later!”

As he left my office, I went back to my work, but I couldn’t help but notice that my mask had been moved.

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