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The Scarecrow's Dance

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    Day 7: rest

    John. It has been a while.

    Yes sir. I was trying to get a handle on all that subterranean activity. All the while John Slarick tried to remember, when did his commander referred to him by his first name.

    Not our subterranean activity I hope John.

    Haha, no of course not. That would be counterproductive wouldn't it sir?

    Wouldn't it just. Tell me John, how is your role here with Selunerini's protection crews? Does it satisfy you to know that all their daily nags are about to be a thing of the past? Do you relish in the thought that soon they will all beg for mercy?

    This was weird, John thought to himself and he took his time before answering. The city system is corrupt and I am glad I can take part in the destruction of it.

    A loyal answer. Tell me then, why does the Farm 4 center keep having technical difficulties?

    I wouldn't know sir. I don't deal with Farm 4.

    Then why a file that was forwarded to one of the commanders in the Sky-ers crew, about people at Farm 4, was found on your personal secured data storage?

    This was it, John knew it. I need to get a message to Miro, I have to buy time.

    No answer to that? A group of people from our organization were arrested a few days ago, in Selunerini. That much you know. What you don't know is that some of them were released due to lack of compelling evidence. See that's the problem when you conduct mess-arrests. You can't find all the players and some are let loose with the extras.

    The distress signaler was glued to the inside of John's shoe, so it would be easy to reach. But "how do I press it without raising suspicion?"

    And those people informed me of the questions they were asked. That led us to your hidden database… what are you doing?

    John looked resolute. It doesn't matter anymore. The button was pressed and all he could do was to hope that Miro would be able to get to the mayor on time.

    Get him.


      Week 7
      Day 1

      You Dan and Slav made it to another safe house Miro set up a while ago. Well more like a safe shack and you spend the night in the underground bomb shelter, wrapped in an aluminum blanket.

      "In case those chips will be activated" Slav said.

      Won't the underground bit take care of it?

      We don't even know if they use radio waves and we only have a few hours here.


      Slav and Dan wake you up and say they have a location for a surgery. It'll be half way between where you are now and the hospital – "so they won't find out where it is".
      We need to go now.

      Hit the ground running – you need to get to a secret town where you will finally, maybe be able to sort everything out. There's some rough terrain to cross.


        Week 7
        Day 2: Rest

        How long before he wakes up?

        We are giving him pretty strong sedatives but in a slow drip. That would take all day. I prefer he sleeps strongly and deeply now, it'll speed up his recovery.

        Of course, if you think that's best.

        Are you in a hurry to get him out of here Miro? Is there something we should know?

        Nothing you need to worry about, not more than usual. I just have a lot of work to do and I need him with me.

        If you say so. I was sorry to hear about your friend, I met him once after we've set up the town and he seemed nice…

        This is war. This is what happens in war.

        I'll leave you to it then.


          Week 7
          Day 3:

          Why does my back hurt so much? This is really uncomfortable. Maybe I should look. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!
          You get up to find a huge metallic worm bobbing its head from your back. You fall down to the floor and suddenly you're in the mountains, looking out to the faraway sea. There's a high pitch noise and you look around to see where it's coming from but it gets louder and then everything turns searingly bright and the trees are burning. You don't feel any pain but everything around is obliterated, even the mountains are gone and the sea has evaporated. You feel the pain in your back again and you turn around to look.

          There's a bright lamp light above you. You sit up and see Miro standing next to your bed.

          Hey man. How are you?

          Weak. You manage to say.

          Well it was a while before they could find the thing so I'm not surprised.

          Where is everyone?

          We found a lot of information on those chips and everyone was eager to get ahead of the Organization, so they are out there making themselves useful.

          Can I ask…

          No, not now. Get yourself recovered because we need to get going. I'll fill you in later on what you need to know.

          Whenever you're ready:


            Week 7
            Day 4:

            You get to a part of the road that is blocked by boulders and smaller rocks. Miro takes a look around.

            Can't we just climb a bit and go ahead? You suggest.

            We could, but we need this path clear. There are others who need to use it. On the other hand I don't want to lose time… what do you think?

            We could shift some this ourselves. You answer.

            Or you could go ahead and get others to help clear this. The town is not far now.

            (Stay with Miro to help clear the rubbles)
   (lvl 4)


            (Go ahead and get help)
   (lvl 4 - shorter)


              Week 7
              Day 5
              If you chose Power HIIT:

              A great part of the road is now cleared and most people would be able to walk over the rubbles without difficulty.

              Okay, let's move on The Town is not far.

              Why is it called The Town?

              They couldn't decide on a name.


              You walk for a bit and approach a line of trees. You can see lights hidden in the trees as you get closer.
              Two figures suddenly jump out of nowhere, pointing guns.

              Who are you and what do you want? One of them asks.

              Miro raises his hand up and say: "Mirrors that reflect the future".

              The guys put their guns down and the one who was shouting at you signal to someone behind in the trees line.
              Matt, show Miro and his friend here the way to the hall.

              Matt walks with you to a wooden structure that unlike the rest of the houses in "The Town" is built on the ground and is circular.
              Inside you see a woman who seems to recognize Miro. What took you so long?

              Unexpected delays. Miro answers.

              Isn't the unexpected the norm?

              Yes, but you still can't expect it. Anyway. I wanted to start right away but the road was blocked and we're tired from clearing it. And you should probably send some people to take care of the rest of it. It's really close to the end of the channel road.

              Okay, I'll tell Platoon 3 to take care of it. Your friend can join Platoon 1 in training. They have an easy day today. And in the meanwhile, you and I have some catching up to do.

              Miro sends you to the other end of the hall and through a door. On the outside you see a bunch of men and women standing around. It looks like they're about to start training.

              Hello friend of Miro, someone calls out to you. Find a place and let's get started. Everyone! Follow my lead.



              Great work everyone, now go and rest up.

              You walk back to the hall and see Miro.

              We have accommodations, I'll show you yours.

              You walk for a bit and then climb a ladder to a nice little two rooms tree house.

              If you chose Core Twister:
              You move along the channel, leaving Miro behind. After some walking you see lights ahead. You approach the line of trees and look around. Nothing seems suspicious other than the fact that the people here built their houses on the trees, at least it looks that way from where you're standing. You walk on when suddenly two armed figures approach.

              Stop right there. Who are you and what do you want?

              You raise your hands up and stay silent for a bit. If they're with the Organization I'm doomed.

              I asked, the young man with the gun go again, who are you and what do you want from us and you better answer or I'll shoot.

              Okay, I guess I'm doomed either way. I'm with Miro. The channel road is blocked and he sent me to get help.

              How will we know you're not lying?

              I have no idea, you answer. But you can check for yourselves, it's not far. I'll wait here in handcuffs if it'll make you feel better.

              The two look at each other, guns still pointing. The one who was shouting to you pulls a little black box from his pocket. "Kira, we have here an unknown person who says Miro is in the channel road and it needs clearing". The box, which doesn't look anything like a communication device makes some noises back. Okay, the guy, puts the box back. Loon, get over here. From the line of trees, some more young people approach. Kira said to get him to the town hall. You go with two others. Matt you stay here on guard with Julia and Iyar, platoon 3 will come to your back in a few minutes. The rest, with me. The road needs clearing.
              You are being escorted through "The Town" and into a circular wooden structure. Unlike the rest of the houses, it is built on the ground. Inside are some tables and an elevated platform in the center.

              Wait here, you are told.

              After a couple of hours, Miro walks in with the guy who stopped you at the entrance and his platoon.

              I hope you had a nice rest Miro jokes. The real work is just starting. You need to work with these people here, to see what is the level required so that we can pass the method of training to others.

              What others?

              Others who want to fight the Organization.

              Anyway, enough chit chat. You'll be starting with the rookies and then move to the operational platoons.

              What is Miro thinking? That I can train In-betweeners? …

              Your thoughts are interrupted by a "Hello mate!" I'm just about to put these guys here through some basic combat training. I got your details from Miro. Just join in.

              You walk to stand near the other six men and women, though that's a bit of a stretch, they all look in their very early twenties.

              Okay guys, the person who spoke to you shout, just follow me.

              Warm up:

              Main course:


              Okay, Class B. Back to the trees. You there... Go back to the hall. Can you find your way there or do you need escort?

              I'll be fine thanks.

              Okay, then. Everyone let's go.

              You walk back and see Miro.

              We have accommodations, I'll show you yours.

              You walk for a bit and then climb a ladder to a nice little two rooms tree house.


                Week 7
                Day 6: rest.

                You wake up next morning and head down the tree. People, troops rather as they are all in uniform, line outside the Hall. You approach the back of the line and ask one of the soldiers if that's breakfast going on in there. He replies positively. You stand there while the line moves slowly but then you see Miro approaching.

                Come on you, we're going somewhere else. Don't worry, he adds, there will be breakfast on the cart.

                You walk for a while to get to the tracks and then you get to an old cart, well more like the engine itself. It is in fact an engine but it's really big and you don't need to do anything to get it to run. After about half the morning has past you arrive at a stop. An actual stop with people coming and going. When you ask, Miro explains that you arrived at a town which was built on the ruins of some big city and people here have taken pretty good care of themselves.

                So why are we here?

                I need some information and The Town needs supplies. That's why the others came.

                So… why am I here?

                Miro stops and turns to look at you, a somewhat annoyed expression on his face. "To keep me company. Let's go".

                After walking for a bit you go into a café, an actual café. You can't remember the last time you've been to a café. Miro looks around and apparently spots someone he knows and goes to his table at the back of the place. You sit down and the old man by the table gives a set of keys to Miro who quickly puts them in his pocket. They were a bit funny looking, the keys but you don't say anything.

                What will you have?

                Are we staying for coffee then?

                Yes, they have a really good crop of the stuff that they grow not far from here so why not. Besides, Miro leans in a bit closer and says, if we'll leave now it might draw attention, we just got in. You all sit around and drink and chat. The old man asks how things in Selunerini are. Miro says that the organization has taken over too many offices in the Glass Tower but they are still keeping low. They are waiting for something big.

                Why did you leave then? You can't hold yourself from barging in.

                They killed someone I was working close with, I couldn't take the risk. Besides someone has to make sure the underground against them is working properly. That's where you come in. He adds.

                Me? What do you need me for?

                This and that. You can't go back so why not help. I need people who can fight and think. I reckon you fit into that slot. Anyway, it's time to head back. Nice seeing you Glenn.

                The old man nods deeply and you get back to the station where the engine is waiting.

                The road back will be longer. This engine runs through several villages with grains and stuff. Ours is the last stop.


                  Week 7
                  Day 7

                  You wake up before dawn and take the time to stretch for a bit. Soon you will be on your way with the special platoon that will gather and train new recruits to fight the organization from within the in-betweens. You watch the sun rise slowly through the foliage. When the light is bright enough you make your way down to the main hall of The Town. No movement is allowed between sun-down until morning. The watchers stay still in their positions surrounding the little base and make their way back in the morning. Nothing is left to chance.

                  After breakfast Miro introduces you to your platoon. You're supposed to be heading out in a short while. He won't be coming with you, there is more work to do elsewhere. You set out on foot from The Town and head to your first destination. A small village with only five people in good enough shape to join but they are all willing. Two of them look no older than fifteen one of them looks like he must be in his late forties.
                  You start them up with close combat skills. Two people sparring and muscles work during the spar when the head instructor gives the order:


                  You will spend the next week gathering more people and train their physical and mental fitness. Weapons training will be handled by the other half of your platoon.


                    Week 8
                    Day 1
                    The training is going on okay. There are some differences between the different villages and each new group has to be assessed and the trainees are being sorted according to their initial abilities. You are talking to one of your platoon members when you hear shouting from somewhere in the camp. You rush over and break up a circle of enthusiastic recruits who are cheering two of the younger member who are now scuffling on the ground. Some more instructors rush over and you all break up the commotion.

                    What's this about then? Well one of you better answer. Your platoon commander asks the two who were fighting. There's silence for a few seconds and then one of them with a blue ribbon tied to his left wrist shouts that "this Ganu thinks he's better than us, he's always putting my friend down so I let him have it". The other guy doesn't stay quiet after this. "If you Asors were any good you wouldn't be feeling so worthless, it's not my fault you're weak". And at this trainees from all around start yelling at each other, almost starting a new fight. The Platoon commander tires to shout everybody down but no one is listening. He takes his rifle off his shoulder and fires a shot. Everybody is quiet now. Okay, he goes on. "Instructors take your troops and start training again. You two on the other hand are going to stay here until I decide what to do with you. Where I come from you could be executed for this". And he starts walking away. You quickly turn to your friend and ask him to keep an eye on the two and then you run after the platoon commander.



                    I don't know what you plan to do with them but telling them you might kill them is not going to work.

                    I know. He sighs. I don't know what to do with some them. They hate the organization but they also hate each other.

                    Not all of them, you reply. And the Summer Hills and Taikunurs seemed to be liked by almost everyone.

                    What do you suggest then?

                    You hesitate for a bit but then tell him your plan.

                    You gather everyone and let them know there's going to be a contest. Between the original platoon members and the strongest recruits from each village. If they can beat you you'll take them to the main base and inform HQ that are done and ready to fight. No more drills and no more standing in lines and no more cleaning.

                    Sounds pretty good doesn't it?

                    And what if you win. Someone from Summer Hill asks. They tend to be smarter than the rest.

                    You will do exactly as you are told, we will train you to fight the Organization and anyone who won't toe the line will be arrested and sent to serve in Dardin- Quer.

                    Everyone seems pretty excited and ready for a fight but that Summer Hill kid speaks again.

                    But if you take one from each village, you're still outnumbered two to one.

                    That's right, you say. What's the matter? Are you scared?

                    That gets everyone going and you prepare to fight. It'll be a rough version of Catch the Flag. The first team to secure the other team's flag and get it to its own lines will win. But there's no strategy and no tactics. The field of play is small and it'll be fighting all the way.


                    Your platoon was organized and the idea was to get the other side to try and beat you up. So when they were running around trying to throw as much punches as they can, you worked together, taking them out. Your win was obvious if not exactly easy and now it's time to get back to work.


                      Week 8.
                      Day 2: Rest.

                      You have the morning off, no training the recruits, no guard duty. Just a nice quite morning with nothing to do. Wishing you did have something to do, you hear Johnathan, the platoon commander calling you.

                      What's up?

                      You did well yesterday he says. It's a bit weird hearing that from someone younger than you, not that young but still.

                      Anyway, he goes on. I think we need to give you more to do around here, in training them I mean. We could use your experience in people relations that's for sure.

                      I guess I could do that.

                      Good. Then join other companies today to see how the commanders are doing and we'll give you some of the recruits we're not sure what do with.

                      Oh, yeah, that makes sense.

                      Don't look worried, they're alright just, less aggressive, older, younger, that sort of thing.

                      That would be great, you reply.

                      Okay come and see me tomorrow first thing, I'll have them ready for you.

                      You turn away and begin to walk to the training zone outside the sleep area when you hear Johnathan again…

                      "And remember, the better you are, the better they would become".

                      Right. Okay, better get ready then.


                        Week 8
                        Day 3

                        You wake up after not sleeping all that well. You know what to do with your new recruits but even after going through everything, things feel off. Who knows what could happen. You walk over to the main tent. Johnathan is there with the company of misfits.

                        "And this is your new commander" you hear him say. I suggest you wouldn't waste time and get right to it.

                        Johnathan leaves and you are left with about 15 people, all staring at you. You stand before them and go over the line quietly in your head one more time before saying it outloud.
                        "I'm your new commander, my job is to make you fit enough to fight the Organization and defend everything you value. Line up outside in two rows facing each other and follow my lead".


                        Okay that's enough. It's your turn to eat and we'll be back here in exactly ninety minutes from now for firearms. Any questions?

                        No one is speaking. They just look tired and hungry.

                        Okay, you go on. If anyone has any issues they want to discuss in private, come see me during your free time. Dismissed!
                        They relax and start walking in groups towards the food tent. Not all too bad for day one as commander.


                          Week 8
                          Day 4

                          The last few weeks have being very trying. Your company is made up of very keen individuals but their abilities and skills had to be built nearly from scratch. Besides that, some of the recruits are showing signs that they have had enough and it's slipping into your people too.

                          After last week two people went AWOL, moral is down and arguments between recruits and commanders break out regularly. You get your company around to have an open discussion about why they are here, what they hope to achieve and then they can ask you the same.

                          After the talk Johnathan comes along and asks why aren't you sticking to the program?

                          I thought some introspection was called for. We can't rely on them if they're not sure why they came here and trusted us in the first place.

                          Johnathan looks around at your company, all standing up straight, looking eager. Some of them look like they can carry a raid against the secret base right now. Okay, he says. Let's go around and make sure everyone gets it.

                          You gather the whole base and have an open conversation with everyone. Only this time, you add a few balancing drills to do between each person that makes his mind known.



                            Week 8
                            Day 5

                            Everyone is excited and energized and ready to get into their final stage of training. All company commanders take this opportunity to really increase the pressure and turn today's training into a competition between the different companies.


                            Your people did pretty well but instead of celebrating the end of a long day with them, you are called to the main tent. Miro is there in a secure connection device.

                            I need you back here for a day or two. You'll need to walk to the nearest tracks on your own, from there you'll have a small manual cart waiting. I suggest you'd do it tonight so that we can start straight away.

                            Wait, I can't just leave everything. I have other things to do now.

                            I don't have time for this, you know stuff that others don't and that's more than I should be saying so just get over here before I'll come over there and get you. And he hangs up.

                            Great, you think to yourself. I'll need to find someone to take over though.

                            You see the command staff on your way out.

                            So what's going on?

                            Called by Miro to a meeting… or something. I don't know. I have to leave tonight and I don't when I'll be back.

                            What? Okay this is too much, how do they expect us to get them ready when they change things like this. Wait here I'll call them back…

                            Look, we have to deal with uncertainty right? I'll just go say goodbye to my crew and explain this is an emergency and that they should expect a suitable replacement, right?

                            Everyone looks at you a bit surprised.

                            Yeah, sure, Johnathan says. Don't worry, I'll make sure everything will run smoothly.

                            You say your goodbyes to everyone and head towards the middle of nowhere


                              Week 8
                              Day 6: rest.

                              The journey back to The Town was pretty relaxed. When you got there you went straight for the Hall on the Ground as the town hall is also known:

                              You finally got here.

                              Miro, it's kind of a long ride and I had to take care of some things before I could go. The hall is full of commanders and soldiers. Miro points to an empty chair for you at the back.

                              Anyway, we called you here because there's an opening for a big operation against the Organization. And now that you're here we can begin.

                              A woman you haven't seen before walks up to the screen on the stage of the hall and starts talking.

                              We have known for a while that the Organization had infiltrated different units and official offices in Selunerini. In the last few weeks the Organization is sending more people in, we think in an attempt to take over the Mayor's office. They need people in the streets to make a mess of things and keep the protection crews busy. That has made them more visible and easy to track.

                              Miro took it from there. I know the city very well and I have my own network of people who knows what's going on. The idea is to quietly capture or kill their leaders around the city and take control over Farm 4, using a few small units. That would give us a chance to get more cities on our side and of course, make Selunerini safe again.

                              The briefing went on for a while and you discovered they want your help with training the forces who don't know Selunerini in its various streets, buildings and underground tunnels. Other than that, you can participate in the raids but they need your answer soon.


                                Week 8
                                Day 7:

                                Try to calm down and think. Yoga would probably help get your thoughts in order


                                You have helped assemble and train the new members of the secret protection crew. No one would blame you if you would relax. You've done your part.



                                Continue with mission