A Glimmer of Hope

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"In your name I pray, Amen," finished Bible John as he got up from his knees. Although it was forbidden to practice religion in the Bastions, John did practice in secret. He walked over to his footlocker and chose out his clothes for the day, brown hunter jacket, black cargo pants, black cowboy hat, black boots and a backpack. With him he carried his daughter's teddy bear, which had a note written by her saying I love you dad. And so began a day like many others, some hustling in the slums, and a walk around the Bastion. Korolgrad was notorious for its black market where one could purchase nearly anything.

Today, John was going to meet up with an old friend, who had just returned from outside the walls. As John made his way through the slums and over the barrier, he looked around to ensure no one was following. As many know, going outside the walls is punishable by death because it could potentially expose others to harmful levels of radiation. John's friend, Mike was an expert at navigating the outside of the walls. John approached the factory building near the docks, the location where John was supposed to meet Mike. "Put your fucking hands up, I'll blast you out of your shoes if you don't," a grim voice said from the dark corner of the factory. John slowly put his hands up, "Alright there buddy, what is it that you want, I got nothing on me other than the clothes on my back." A shadowy figure moved within the darkness, "Heh, how you doing John." John turned around with a sigh of relief, "You son of a bitch, I almost killed you." Mike liked to pull uneasy pranks on his friends. "You're getting slower as you get older, John." Mike said as he approached John.  "Yeah well, at least I'm not getting uglier than you any time soon." John remarked back jokingly. The two men, exited the factory building heading for John's secret stash site, where they kept all their weapons and armor. "How was the run this time." John looked at Mike as they walked, noticing a small limp that Mike was trying to conceal. "Oh you know, the usual kind, wolves, bandits, the usual." Mike joked. "Mike, you can't be putting yourself at risk like this often, you'll end up like Garrett, or worse." John said.

Once getting to the stash site on the southern portion of the city, Mike turned to John, "I found something interesting, John. It'll be really worth your while." John looked at Mike with a little curiosity, "Go on." Mike took a seat on one of the rifle crates, "So I was over near the airfield and I ran in to a massive group of people. These guys called themselves The Resistance and they're made up of people who used to live here in the Bastion. They are geared to fight, and they have units of scouts and snipers that can shoot better than I've seen in a long time." Mike paused examining John's concerned look. "Listen Mike, I'm done fighting, ever since I lost my family I don't have the energy nor the will to keep up with the long cat and mouse game." John said as he sighed. "It's not what you think John. These guys aren't recruiting, they are ready for the fight, they just need someone on the inside that'll provide them with safe harboring until everyone in their movement has made it inside the city. You own a crap ton of properties and you know the best locations to hide weapons and people. That's all they need and once that is done, the fight begins and the ISF will be no more. The ISF won't be breathing down your neck once they're done. No more hiding and moving in the dark. You'll be free to do whatever you want."

John thought about the outcomes, and replied, "Okay Mike, let's break it down real quick. So these guys will get rid of the ISF, right? So who is going to police the fucking Brotherhood and their hunger for control. Who is going to control the already rampant crime spree here?" Mike chuckled, "John, these guys are using the Brotherhood to smuggle some weapons in, once they're done with the ISF they're going for the Brotherhood too. And as for crime, they'll handle it, but not in the way the ISF does. They're opening up the city and allowing passage from within to the outside, a lot of people are not even going to stay here once that happens. Those that do are under their protection. It'll be like our first Zone, no ISF anymore, just free reign over your own life with little intervention from others." John walked back and forth, contemplating it. "Okay, when can we set up the meeting?" Mike laughed, "I knew you'd come around. And we can set it up today, their leader is here, I brought him back." John stopped, "Jesus fucking Christ Mike."


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TO BE CONTINUED-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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