Back to the Outbreak Diary
Entry #11 - Jacksons wager
My heart was racing. How could anyone expect me to make such a choice? Sure it’s one thing when your choices are indirectly affecting people, but choosing if someone lives or dies… that’s something else entirely. Why me? I was just some farm boy a few weeks ago. Why did they choose me to lead New Hope?
I was snapped out of my minor panic as Ketan called out “Mayor I don’t mean to rush you but Jacksons gonna be here soon and you need to know what you're gonna say when he does get here.” I breathed in deeply and calmed my nerves. I knew what needed to be done.
As if reading my mind Jackson swung the doors to the canteen open. Rifle swung over his shoulder and a celebratory cigar swung madly in between his lips. “Haha light the grill and fireworks, bring out the 12 pack. We got ourselves a new reason for them besides the fourth of July!” His celebratory demeanor quickly swung 180 degrees as he saw the aftermath of the hostage situation. “What in God’s name?”
He walked over to the table I was sitting on and laid his rifle down. “How did things go down in the basement?” I asked him as he scanned the two butchered men laying on the floor, then up to Ketan who was still coated in the POWS blood. He removed the cigar from his lips and handed it over to me.
“Things weren’t as smooth as they were up here, bastards took down three of our guys on the initial push.” Jackson turned back to me with a questioning look on his face. “What the hell happened here? I thought you guys had everything under control?”
“One of the Prisoners broke free from their restraints and went straight for one of my hunters, He took us all by surprise there was nothing we could do.” I Handed the Cigar back. He took it back and gave me a smile that sent shivers down my spine. If there were a devil, he would look like Jackson did at that moment.
“So why are the rest still sitting here?” Hey rested one hand on his holstered 45.
“What do you mean by that?”
He chuckled and grabbed my arm to pull me up. “Listen, and take notes, mayor class is in session.” Jackson walked me over to the line of prisoners. “As far as I’m concerned life has become a constant state of war. Once we beat one enemy or challenge another gonna take their place. In just another few weeks we’re gonna have another bandit group nipping at our heels to take destroy everything we’ve built.” He turned to me and unbalanced the holster “Its gonna take a toll on you and if you’re not feeling the pressure now you’re gonna be feeling it soon… real soon. Lucky for you I know a way to release some of this pressure. Hell it’s even a good tool to help you fight this war.”
“Oh yeah how so?” I don’t know why I asked because I could already see where this is going.
He lifted the gun and held the grip out for me to take it. “ Send a message Mayor. Send a message that we don’t tolerate anarchists and extremists. Tell them we stand for order and control in these lands and well do anything to keep things under control.” he jabbed the gun in my direction.
I stood there staring blankly at him for a second trying to compose myself. Trying to get myself to stop shaking. “I'm gonna have to politely disagree with ya Jackson There are other ways to win this war.” I Firmly put my hand on the butt of the gun and pushed it to his side.
“I see… hmm we are at a disagreement then.” His expression quickly changed once more “I guess living their lives rotting in some moldy basement as prisoners also send a message granted not as strong of one.”
“No. They're going to write their wrongs and teach New Hope how to defend itself in the future.” Jackson looked at me in shock and then anger.
“Say that again for me real quick will ya.”
“You heard me the first time.” Jackson’s grip tightened on his gun
“you can't be serious… How can you trust these bastards they're just gonna screw you guys over the first chance they get.”
“ Not with proper management. I'm sure if they see what we've accomplished and what we’re building in New Hope they'll have a new understanding.”
“Proper management? If I couldn't keep them in line how could you? What the hell do you know about proper management that I don't? I want to know. Go ahead and enlighten me.”
“Sometimes you just need a different approach.”
“You're so fucked mayor.” Jackson stopped for a second and smiled “You know what. Go for it. Bring these rats back to your little town under one condition. If you can't keep things under control I'll make sure your town gets proper management.” He reached to shake my hand “We got a deal mayor?”
I stood there for a second biding my time and thinking. My slowness to answer just made Jackson angrier. “We got a fucking deal or what!?”
I looked him in the eyes and shook his hand “Sounds good to me Jackson.”
“Good… Good” he said while nodding his head. He let go and threw his cigar to the ground crushing it under his boot. “Now get these bastards out of here before I change my mind.”
I gestured towards the hunters and they picked up the POWs of the ground and started escorting them outside. At this point the rest of the raid team made their way upstairs carrying out the spoils of war (canned food, ammo, medical supplies). All were looking in my direction. I had to look strong but damn I just wanted to curl up at that moment.
As I was walking out I made eye contact with Phillip and the rest of our men. Phillip came right up to me as I made my way to the exit. “What the hell is going on man.”
“How long till we can get out of here Phillip.”
“It's gonna take us at least an hour to load our share of the loot on our trucks, the extra… quests are gonna definitely make us take longer.” He looked out towards the hunter loading the prisoners onto our trucks. “You still gotta explain what's going on man.”
“Don't worry I will but once we get the hell out of this place.”
Entry #10 - Wild Animals Entry #12 - Brigs story