Week 24: Disappointment - The Acknowledgment of Another's Worth [Unedited]
Two LUNC's were holstered, but this was not at all an indication that Boyd was a gun advocate. He hated their use and function, even for being black ops. Leaning on them meant that the Enforcer had failed in using his most powerful weapon - his mind when deferring to the option of convenience.
It was not for Boyd to make any sort of political statement in these personal thoughts, but if a person had not been to war and witnessed the horrors of the ultimate conflict, then there was no reason that this person should have been in possession of its weaponry. A certain respect came along with the burden of their wielding such that someone who managed to survive and return from battle would not want the da-nable things anywhere near the home. This was not for the sake of fear, but admiration did not apply either.
War was bloody. War was grisly. War was messy. War was gruesome. Anybody who openly advocated war (rather than quietly contemplating the ramifications) had likely never been involved in one. It was Boyd's job in his capacity as an Enforcer to make the requisite moves which could prevent war from happening. The role was slightly more active than that of a diplomat or even a military leader, but black ops featured a little bit of responsibility from both areas. He became the polished negotiator who extended the olive branch first but then had the authority to call in military strikes when the peaceful tact did not suffice - hitting the targets upside their stubborn heads with that very same olive branch.
Boyd preferred the former scenario to the latter tact and might have even considered pursuing a career in politics upon retiring from the Enforcers. He had connections for days and a powerful network which could be strategically interested in seeing to his successful placement in certain, key positions. But the continued stomach for all this was waning.
As the trademarked ding sounded Boyd's arrival at the Power Authority surface facility, one LUNC was selected for the task, the transport doors slid open, and he began to burrow his way through a Galaxy Bloc contingent. This happened to be the reason of why. The Enforcer often had clear shots at those that called the shots, but more often than not, it was these people who were simply following orders that felt the brunt of his ire. Morals did not enter in here, but tolerance did. There might have been a green light to kill, but anybody who would have enjoyed this was just sick.
Janette was counting on Boyd feeling this way. She was betting on his hesitance - his reluctance to do what must be done and wind up failing somewhere along the process. The botanist hoped that the Enforcer would at least start to question the side that he was on. Her only angle, which was quite a powerful one, lay in getting him completely twisted up emotionally where self-doubt could be allowed to creep in.
Boyd's only recourse was to be himself - heartless in this moment but dutiful in the next. After all, Janette had sent these sacrificial lambs for him to slaughter. So what was he supposed to do? Twist the feelings that he felt for the people of the unincorporated planets (as a whole) around those related feelings that he felt for these soldiers who shared a personal similarity with the Enforcer from wars past and wind up getting taken out? No deal. Again, the sell was always an emotional one, and for a change, the Enforcer seemed to be getting a taste of some familiar medicine with the botanist offering up a staunch set of sales skills all on her own accord. In the end, everything boiled down to a battle of wills, so he was required to impose his against these troops like a mower across a lawn and then recover by getting back into a position where the play of Galaxy Bloc's leadership could be stymied. That...would be motivation enough for him.
The war with the New Alliance was coming, and these unincorporated planets and their plight were becoming quite the distraction from the greatest impending threat that this universe had ever known. Boyd had briefly regained sight of the original plan by rekindling an inner drive to see the larger universal community protected from the harrowing onslaught of Myrmidon Launchers and NA Destroyers. Initially, this should have been motivation enough - going into things, but loose ends and curiosity had seemingly gotten the best of him as of late.
Boyd tried to put the thought of the biological weapon out his mind as he burst through the opening transport doors to be met by the Galaxy Bloc soldiers. The next few moments would become a delicate situation as far as the handling of what a gunfight could unleash here was concerned. This was the Power Authority! Transformers and reactors were situated throughout. One errant laser pulse...and not only would the power go out for a quarter of Dio Qze but the very same surface area could also be wiped off the face of the planet's topographical map - along with him. There was no telling if the unincorporated planet's regulatory shielding was up to code, so the Enforcer had to assume that it was not. Heck, they were willfully harboring the Deew in hopes of cultivating the thing. It could be said that very little around here was up to any sort of approved specification.
"We're only asking you once to put down your weapons," the contingent's leader said, "and put your hands up!"
With no intention of complying with the order, Boyd made the real intent known by making the leader his first kill. From across and high above the floor on some upper level catwalk which wove its way around the tops of the towering power equipment for easier access, the Enforcer cut the person down with a solitary laser pulse of pinpoint accuracy to the chest. As if out of disbelief with the lethal response, the troops seemed to hesitate as they were visibly taken aback by the audacity - each taking a moment to take in the visual of their fallen leader.
This was what Enforcers did. Boyd seized on the moment of desultory inaction by the Galaxy Bloc soldiers and lowered his aim to shoulder level where he waved his arm back and forth - left and right four times, creating four more kills from the front line which stood before him at an uncomfortably close distance of ten yards. By now, the troops' hearts seemed to return to the matter as they began to scatter and reposition.
They were not ready for the New Alliance. Boyd was one person - using only one gun and these people were cowering! The numbers against him were easily fifty on one. No, he had killed five already, so that was now down to forty-five on one. And of the weapon which the Enforcer had brought into this fray, he was only using a single shot mode - not its automatic shot mode. With a high capacity laser fluid cartridge loaded within the LUNC's laser fluid chamber, fifty kills could have come instantly and accurately (with his experience and training).
These people were weak. Boyd activated the personal shield of his combat gear's gauntlet technology and stood by while he withstood their initial retaliatory barrage. The attacks from the hand lasers and laser rifles did not even tickle. He felt nothing as the laser pulses bounced harmlessly off him as the dangerous part of the lasers' energy was leeched away by and added to the power of his personal shield. This was a visual that they needed to see. The Enforcer wanted them to feel powerless as he walked further and further into their regrouping mass, unscathed. Astonishingly unprepared, if Galaxy Bloc wanted to run and secede away from the Space Force and act like a faction, it might have behooved them to be better prepared to react when an outside force decided to play with them on the level of an actual faction.
Other factions did not have any remorse. Those factions did not give their objective a second thought by giving the objectives a chance to make the right decision. To back off the statistical annoyance of incoming laser pulses, Boyd retrieved and armed another Duzo 16/7 charge from beneath his trench coat. Now, he had to be careful here and not allow his anger to get the better of him because the punch from this hurled explosive could create substantially more damage than the lesson was worth. Luckily, it featured multiple, selectable modes in order for just the right amount of oomph to be applied.
The stun setting would work here. Boyd took an awkward grip on the weapon (which was normally thrown) by holding it like a seventeen ounce bottle before launching the Duzo 16/7 charge skyward with a finger-induced spiral that only aided in its already aerodynamic design carrying it even higher. Once the apex of the ascent was reached, an explosion of harmless (to the equipment) light washed over the entire Power Authority like a swathe of white. To his gauntlet technology, this occurrence was still seen as an offensive attack, and thus, the personal shield reacted by filtering out the intensity of the visual to a much softer hue (like sunglasses) so that its effects could be more easily observed in real time.
At least one additional kill happened as a result of a (temporarily) blinded troop tumbling over the safety railing from the catwalk to an unemotional thud on the floor - too many meters below to have been survived. The others were clutching at their faces from the disorientation that turned their eyesight black and all but overrode any sense of equilibrium in the process. Boyd took his time in weaving between the woozy Galaxy Bloc soldiers who staggered in a greatly exaggerated manner as obviously, they had never gone through any sort of sensory deprivation training. Ultimately, their preparedness (or the lack thereof) infuriated him because such a simple attack left behind forty-four powerless targets - allowing the Enforcer a chance to walk right out the front door!
Where was the unincorporated planets' nerve to go along with their resolve and ideals? In this universe, one not only needed to carry and hold steadfast to a system of beliefs and personal truths but those particular mandates also needed to be defended and even impressed upon others for any of them to hold merit let alone weight. What a joke. All of this passive-aggressive nonsense made Boyd reconsider and wonder why he even dared to disobey his orders on their behalf. They were not worth it. Where was the fight from this wannabe faction who boldly defied the Space Force?
Upon stepping outside, Boyd's minicomputer became receptive once more from the constraints of its Power Authority-induced signal scrambling being lifted and lit up with a cluster of details - a litany of aggression which surrounded him in its personified illustration via the statically turgid foreground, the greatly extended radial distance, and the thoroughly peppered skies. Unknown mecha - both mobile and aerial, beefed-up troops who looked like they came dressed to rumble - complete with undetermined weaponry and equipment, and an unswayed assumption that the Enforcer was going to be disallowed from escaping this predicament within the universal confines of his current existence created a dire and yet refreshing overtone of Galaxy Bloc taking pride and seriousness over its assets and decided livelihood.
"I believe that you were told to put your weapons down and your hands up," the latest troop leader said with the aid of the bullhorn projection capabilities from her Ear-To-Mouth Com in order to overcome the mounds of militaristic depth which had cordoned off any impression of the intruder netting even mild success from noncompliance with a suffocating airtightness of willful, offensive carriage.
"Now, this...is more like it," Boyd approvingly smiled.
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