Disconnection No. 8 – Forsaken

This is Part 8 of a Serial called Disconnection.

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* * *

“Sir? Sir! We’re getting reports of wireless dropping–”

“–fuck that, we’re getting reports of underground lines disrupt–”

“–have to get comms back up–”

“–explosions outside the southeastern walls–”

“–grids 6B through 21G have reported outages–”

“–already an uptick in reports of injuries–”

“–outages, at least four surges–”

“–already have twenty-six reported dead–”

Runig left his office and went to stand out with the rest of the crew, answering the messages piling up in his head, barking orders, wondering if the kid got the orders he sent. Run. Stop transmitting, and run.

* * *

Wake up.

Wake up.

WAKE UP.

She could taste blood, but something told her it wasn’t her own.

* * *

Sixteen hours after the signal went, Runig was still scanning every input feed, looking for some sort of sign or trace that at least one of the triad had made it out of the Silent Zone and back to some sort of haven, or even a public syncpoint where they could be picked up by any of the patrols that maintained the perimeter.

Some fifty-odd hours after that, official declarations of expiration (created the instant each cadet was affirmed as a member of the corps, a morbid reminder that the only real release from this duty was in a casket of some sort) were sent to the families of each member of the triad, with notifications that everything was being done to retrieve the bodies (a lie, but a necessary one) so that family members could have some closure.

* * *

Forsaken by Central, she lay still and silent beneath the bodies of those she’d known since childhood (which, she reflected while unmoving, was not really all that long ago) and wondered whether or not her last transmission was received.

Her last thoughts, before the scavengers came and lifted the dead from the red-soaked floor, were of words that lose all meaning when they gain capitalization (Truth, Glory, Honor, Duty) and whether or not she would live to be able to hate them.

* * *

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