Disorientation
rating: +5+x

You're here because you remembered. Or maybe you never forgot.

You remember all those faces, walking down all those halls, all dressed up in orange and shackles. How the lines were always shorter than at day's start.

You remember all those faces, all dressed up in disposable cotton gowns. How you had to play dumb when they asked you when they were going to get home, if they were going to ever see their families again, if they were ever going to see the light of day one last time.

Or you remember something else. I'll never know, and I've always thought that's for the best. I only know what I know, you what you know, and that's enough, because we're both here sitting in this room.

Welcome to your orientation. We are The Insurgency.

I'd like to start off with who we aren't, because if you're like most new recruits, you've heard things.

Things like, we're actually a defected secret MTF unit. Or that we're some researchers who got cognitohazardous brain worms and shot up Site-13. Or, and this is easily the worst, that we're fascists headed by a rogue O5 who plots for world domination.

I'm both sorry and relieved to say that we're just people. People with information and means, but just people.

You've also heard about what we supposedly do. Mowing down innocents to leave no witnesses. Shooting up office buildings to take a nascent reality bender hostage. Tactical strikes on embassies in whatever nation we choose. Toppling skyscrapers to keep The Foundation occupied while we nab a new weapon.

We don't do that. Keeping the veil, leaving no witnesses, that's The Foundation's game. I don't know why we'd attack embassies, and we don't destroy any buildings which shouldn't be.

You get the point, so let's get to what we actually do.

The more mundane stuff makes up most of it. You aren't going to get a desk job by any means, but it gets routine. We raid low-security sites for anomalous objects a lot, safe classes too sometimes. If we can, we extract researchers who contact us. We steal whatever documents we can get our hands or hackers on, and we intercept harmless reality benders en-route to containment.

But, uh,





And you remember all those rumors about containment vehicles losing their passengers without any trace. Of a cellblock of reality benders ending up either dead or missing save one or two.

We bloody our hands.

I know, I know, you're no stranger to the idea of killing for the greater good. Chances are, you've already killed someone personally. But I want to make it very, very clear that here, we've got two very, very strict rules of engagement. And if you break 'em, you'll end up broken.

The first is just clear and present danger to self. If you're going to get shot and you can shoot first, shoot first.

And the second…

We kill people when they ask us to.

I can see it in your face, right now. You've got doubts. You've got questions. Well, good. Doubt's natural. Doubt's healthy.

But I don't have answers. All I've got are more questions.

Maybe you're thinking: "I just got out of the business of hurting people, killing people. I ran away to escape from that. Why would I want to go back?"

Here's my question: How long do you want to keep running away?

Maybe you're thinking: "Why do we kill? Why can't we just give them to the Serpent's Hand? Can't we save them, god dammit?"

Here's my question: Why do you think they ask us to kill them?

Or maybe you're even thinking: "I've been down there, I've dealt with the people you kill, and I've seen things you have no idea of. I've seen the conprocs. You kill the wrong one, you could be setting off an atom bomb."

Here's my last questions: What is saving the world worth?

Anything?

Everything?

Even if it costs the very things worth saving?

You have your own questions. You have your own answers. You have your own reasons to take a stand. And that's enough.

We are The Insurgency, and this is our stand.

We are the ones who return to Omelas.


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