Complied from Various Logs
Kat and I were shoveling down canned Slizzard like it was the only food we had ever seen when Andy and Mariana came into the room. Their movements were almost machine like and purposeful. They went to the bar and grabbed not Booze but, Coffee; to which Andy added a heroic amount of sugar.
Strangely they went to an unoccupied table in the corner and both of them pulled padds out of their cargo pockets and were working on them as they started eating. Kat, beside me gasped so loud I could hear it. I asked her, “What?”
She looked up at the ceiling for a moment and then answered in the coldest most level voice I had ever heard her use.
“Gabe, I am not in Mariana’s league when it comes to the Mental side of this crap we all share that’s been proven. But, I can sense MPD personality splits every time. Those two have somehow reintegrated.
“The problem is that I have studied up on this stuff; I worry about you people OK? The only thing that the Big Brains think can cause a reintegration is a threat greater than the Trauma that caused the split in the first place. What the hell happened to them?”
It was my place to sit stunned, there was only one thing. “Kat, how bout a threat on their Twins?”
She sucked in breath and held it for a moment, “These Assholes scare them?”
“Welcome to the Real World Kat, they are in full time Wolf Mode. I think it’s going to be a wild ride around here!”
I stared at my padd like it was an Oracle as it poured forth data. I tried to integrate it as I shoveled in food. This was a damn nightmare that seemingly had no end. What we had from initial interviews from captured Goonies painted a picture of an unbeatable enemy. But, as I paused maybe that was the one edge we had. If they believed that also, maybe we did not have to win.
Maybe all we had to do was crack that shell of confidence. Maybe all we had to do was make them believe what we were prepared to do. An old song Grandpa had played for me began to echo in my brain; “How Many of Them Can We Make Die?” was like a loop tape in my mind.
OK it’s the longest shot I have ever played but, at least it’s a plan. Crap, it might even work. I stood and motioned for Gabe and Kat to come join us. They both shrugged and gave me a grin I didn’t understand. While they were gathering up their stuff to move over Ash and JoAnn came in and loaded up at the bar and began coming our way as Ryu and May entered the room as well.
I waited until everyone was starting to slow down on the food intake and began to brief the situation. I pulled no punches over what it looked like we faced. Then started on our side and my glimmer of a plan.
“But, stop and consider what they have seen. We blew their earth built contingent, even with what had to be new shields, out of space so fast I hope they have it on tape so they can slow it down to look at it. We have to have hurt or at least stung them down on Alchibah or they would not have bugged out. And we know for sure they are never going to hear from the crowd they left here, unless we want them to. So, how do you call it Ash?”
Ash rolled his eyes and stared at the overhead. You never knew what you were going to get when he did this. It might be the Wild Child Fighter Jock, the theoretical Mathematician who was going to make everyones head hurt or the Worlds Worst Poker Player. We got the Poker Player.
“Well Cuz, we know the other guy has to have at least Cowboys in the hole. The flop is coming down and he cannot know that we don’t have Bullets in the hole. Bump Him and see if he blinks. Just for god’s sake don’t make me play the cards, we’ll lose.”
Al Steele and Corrine Williams slid into the open seats as Al quipped, “Thank God you ain’t playing them Ash. I am pretty sure Andy is our face at the table. You are talking a flat out Rourke’s Drift stand aren’t you? What if they call your bluff?”
Mariana was the one who answered, “What if We are not bluffing Al?”
Al’s jaw dropped. “You are talking about Kamakazing that SOB aren’t you?”
I stared him in the eyes, “If that’s what it takes Al, you can bet your Ass!”