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16 August 2015 @ 06:51 am
_Project Dystopia_ part 3  
 

***

So the next day it seemed like everyone had large scale still pix from the Conclave, computer enhanced, altered to remove the Keffiah and substitute hair . . .

"That is you!" Ydda stalked into Ebsa's office. "How did a Closey get to be a Warrior! What are the qualifications?"

"It's not official. The idea's barely had time to be batted about." Ebsa eyed the man . . . and the cluster behind him. "But it'll probably be a combination of at least level five Speed . . ."

"Five! That's not fair!"

". . . proficiency in martial arts and weaponry, and the mindset of being willing to kill, and having risked one's own life for the Empire. " Ebsa looked behind Yadda and spotted Iccu. "I-see-you, it's not a matter of 'fair.' It's a matter of being able to do what may be required. How they are going to determine any of that, I have no idea. But the Speed is easily tested. If that is one of the deciding factors—and I don't see how it could be otherwise—Ra'd and I can get together with a couple of the fastest instructors at the gym here and set up sessions to check off that part of the cert."

"And why were there women there?" Wnge—Wing—just had to go there.

"Go watch the vids of the assassination attempt, and tell me there weren't any women putting their lives on the line for the Empire."

A snicker from one of the women.

A growl from behind the mob. "So no one has any work to do?"

The group scattered, and Ebsa's boss walked in and scowled.

Ebsa sighed. "Are you sure that Lost Civ World doesn't need a cook?"

"A cook. You have got to be shitting me." Glare. "The president said, One help us, that the worst trouble maker in the directorate was an actual Warrior trainee. A thousand years ago. And that he was one of Ajha's Team. Were you there too?"

"Yes. Err, Ajha's team, not Fort Rangpur. But . . . there's no war, no reason for old fashioned Warriors of the One to lead the troops and so forth. We're just scattered about, and expected to jump in, in a crisis. Most of the time we just work. I was a cook at the camp that was spying on the Helaos, when it all blew up. In the right spot to jump in and help. But mostly just working. Like I should be, right now." Ebsa grinned. "And I promise to not wear that . . . headgear to the office." He hesitated. "Although Ra'd may, just to prove he's the worst troublemaker in the Directorate, which I rather doubt, by-the-way."

"He attacked his own teammates."

"I seem to recall several rape accusations against various action Teamers."

"Oh, that's to be expected. To spread the genes of the One." Glower.

"It's unsavory enough across on a Target. Here? No, sorry, that's flat out criminal—and in the larger sense, an attack on their own team—citizens of the Empire."

"That's . . . not what I'd expect of a Warrior."

Ebsa nodded. "It's been over a millennia since there have been Warriors. We've somehow lost the rigid honor and lawfulness. Of course, as Ra'd has said, they generally only passed laws they wanted to obey. It'll be interesting, combing through the old laws still on the books, involving the Warriors of the One. I understand that when one of Ra'd teammates threatened to rape his sister—the daughter of the Prophet Nicholas—Ra'd ought to have killed the man on the spot."

The administrator opened his mouth, paused. Shut it and turned away.

Ebsa caught a mutter, something like ". . . check all the bloody silly laws . . . " as he walked away.





Chapter Three

And in the morning, a new assignment. Facilities. Project Dystopia. Mess Chief.

He crowed happily, and called Paer. "Who says notoriety is a bad thing? I am out of here!"

She laughed. "I hope you realize you'll be cooking for over a hundred people, half of them civilians with no common sense at all! Bring weapons, there are some nasty predators. In fact, bring the Junkyard, if you can."

"Will do!" He called up the vehicles department and checked. Poor Junkyard. Still surplused. He sent in a request for status adding, Can it cross a gate, to be used for living quarters? Thought about it, and sent another message to the Project Dystopia admin. Is there a current Mess Chief I am replacing, or am I setting up from the start? If the later, what equipment, comestibles, mess staff, and buildings are already on site? What budget do I have for ordering food? Is there the usual lack of bunk space?

The return message from Vehicles was brief. It hasn't been touched since you returned it. Please stop bringing it back.

A snort from Ra'd, reading over his shoulder. "You lucky dog."

"I think Ajki decided to dodge questions about his Warriors. Check your comp." Ebsa's mail flashed.

Project Dystopia. There are two cooks on site, so bad the vendos are running at max. Take a sleep sack, there will probably be floor space somewhere safe from the local predators. A list was appended. Full kitchen, three vendos, three fabs, two vats. Last comestibles shipment. Looks a bit skimpy for more than a hundred people, apart from the frozen refills for the vendos.

Ebsa sniffed, but it looked like they had a reasonable amount of food on hand. He made up a requisition for the few things that were most likely to be running low, frozen meats, some fresh bread, coffee, a bunch of spices and sent it back with the "no cost" form for the Junkyard. Looked over at Ra'd's room. Duffle bag flew out, and the man appeared, toting a small arsenal.

"Team Fifty rides again! Or at least us two."

Ra'd shook his head, a grin breaking through. "You're going solo. I'm headed for Embassy. Intel. I'm going to go spy the hell out of Nighthawk."

Ebsa grinned back. "Lucky dog. Hug Oak for me." His comp dinged, with returning approvals. "I'll grab the Junkyard, pick up the stuff I ordered and I'll be out of here by noon."

"With. All. Of. These. Weapons." Ra'd leaned and glared. "And you will carry at least a pistol at all times."

"Do I have to sleep with it?"

"Yes."