Day 054: Eye in the Sky
Summary: Truman Cooper has to make a hard decision.
Date: 07/22/2016
Related: Day 054: Assault On The Mountain (Trikru) - Part 1

Day 054 — Mount Weather Security Station

Truman barely remembers the containment leak. He remembers the air turning red, his lungs burning, and his skin blistering and cracking like he dropped himself in a fire. Then, blackness. There were flashes, harried shouts, his uncle Salvador saying reassuring things. Then, he was aware of someone else across the room, someone lying on her stomach, unconscious. The sound of a drill - the terrible, horrible sound of it twisting into spine and flesh.

His recovery was nothing short of miraculous. Salvador told him everything. The purpose of their guests, their marrow, Cage's Faustian bargain to trade the Arker's lives for their own. He could be on the ground crew now, his uncle told him. He could walk outside without a suit. How wonderful!

Except, it was far from wonderful. As he recovered, Truman realized whose life was traded for his own. Young, quiet Hanne. Hanne who never hurt anyone. She was the life that was lost for his. It ate at him. But, he said nothing. To friends and relatives, he pretended he was excited about the prospect of going outside once he was fully recovered.

Everyone he ever knew had suddenly become strangers. How many of them knew of the plan? How many were active participants? How many were complicit or would become complicit once the new president put his spin on it? How much blame did he himself bare? After all, he's known about the Outsiders in the cages for years.

Fate put him in the control room when the sires begin to blare. Only his still-weak state prevented him from suiting up to repel the intrusion with the others. Instead, he's left alone to direct the troops, to be the eye in the sky, to use the security cameras as a weapon.

For a few minutes, he does his job. Two crews are dispatched in the right direction. Then the memory of a drill cutting flesh bounces between his ears. After that, he begins to call misdirections. They're on level three. They're on level six. There's a firefight near the entrance to art storage. He's careful to make it seem like the intruders are one step ahead of them.

It's hard. He watches men and women he's known his whole life cut down by the attackers. His mother leads one of the units. He ensures she never engages anyone, and is instead left to chase her tail around empty corridors.

When the second explosion rocks the mountain, he breaks out into a cold sweat. He thinks about his siblings, about his father, about his young cousins. They could all die because of what he's doing. And for a moment, he freezes, then calls again. But something in his voice this time tips off the crews. He knows he's made a mistake. So, he abandons his post and drops to his knees in front of the security door, hands on his head, eyes cast downwards. He doesn't know what the guards are shouting at them, but he smells their sweat and hears the rage. A hot rifle barrel hovers near his temple, but the trigger is not pulled.

Not yet, at least.

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