1.56 - Eyes Wide Shut

1.56 - Eyes Wide Shut

I told them to stop selling in Tranquillus, and they didn’t. I should have killed them when I had the chance but I’m really trying not to use that as a solution for everything. It took a total of three days before another overdose was reported on the news. Took another week for me to confirm it was the same little operation. I know I can’t stamp out all drug usage, and I’m not trying to. I’m just trying to curve it enough that Pauline feels comfortable hiring workers without keeping an overdose kit on site.

I make my way out of the elevator and head towards the stash house. No new security, and I can hear a few people inside laughing. The door slides open and I’ve already rushed the first before he can say “not you again.” When fighting multiple people, always come in as hard as you can at one person. It’ll hold the others off for a few seconds while they’re in shock. A few seconds makes a big deal in a fight. With a metal arm, it’ll give you time to knock the first person out. The second guy manages to throw a few punches, but he’s too shaken up for any serious fight. I manage to toss him over the kitchen counter and he doesn’t come back. Third guy tries to grapple me, he’s big but a few punches to the squishy parts of his face are enough for him to drop me so I can finish the job. Once again, the zip ties come out. I don’t wait for the correct time to make a pickup or bother with any threats this time around.

I make the walk to the market stall a lot quicker this time, it’s hard to calm down with all the energy flowing through me right now. Inside the market I make may way over as fast as possible. I know there’s at least three people there, and I’ll need to take them out as quick as possible so I don’t cause a scene.

A gun shot fires in the air as I get close. People scream out in terror, running in different directions. I stand out, another gunshot, likely fired at me, but doesn’t hit anyone. It’s the men from the stall, they’re shooting at me. They upped the ante more than I was willing to. I’m forced to flee with the crowd. As another shot echoes through the crowd more people yell. I’m just putting them in danger running with them. Eventually they’re going to hit someone even if it isn’t me. I turn and spot my pursuers giving chase. I start making my way towards them, fighting against the crowd. They’re spread out, I can at least grab one in the chaos. It seems like they’ve only got one gun so I’ve got pretty good odds the guy will be unarmed. I make it to the first, taking his punches until he’s in reach. I wrap my left hand around his throat and use my right to quickly knock him out. I spot the second and start to make my way towards him.

My legs start to give out beneath me, and I drop to my knees. I don’t know what’s going on. A small vial rolls in front of me. I try to focus my vision to read it but I can’t make out the language. I know in an instant someone has drugged me, but who? They brought guns to a fist fight, they’re not the type to drug someone. I try to stand but a foot on my back pushes me forward onto my face. A bag is tossed over my head, and the weightlessness tells me I’ve been lifted for the ground. The whole thing is playing out as if it’s taking hours for me, but I know it has to be seconds. I try to fight back, but my body just won’t move no matter how much I try.

“You really stand out with that arm,” I hear a warped voice say.

“Perhaps there’s a better way to do this,” a second voice responds.

“Nope, he doesn’t know how to take it easy, it’s too hot, and he needs to lay low, so I’m making him.”

The voices keep having a discussion but my body is shutting down completely and I can’t understand what they’re saying anymore. The commotion of the crowd begins to fade along with their conversation. I feel my body being dropped somewhere, then there’s nothing.

“Hello,” I try to call for help in the white void that my mind is now trapped in.

“You’re trapped,” I hear my own voice call back to me.


“Trapped in a war with yourself.”


“You’re fighting your own nature.”

“I just need to get out of here.”

“You can’t get out of here unless you’re willing to do what you know you have to.”

“What is that I have to do?”

“The thing that’s been calling you for nearly a year now.”

“I don’t have time for riddles.”

“Where are you going?”

“How do I get out of here?”


“That’s not very helpful.”

“How is chasing drug dealers helpful? How is shooting gangs on Mars helpful? How is leaving Renan when he needed you helpful? What about Beatrix, she could have used more than a terrible pep talk. You did all that talk about leaving the military because you weren’t helping people. Who have you actually helped? You can’t even help yourself. Mr. Spec Ops can’t even take on some local drug dealers. You should have died on Xioshaa, but you lived and didn’t do anything to make the universe a better place. You’re still running from something that isn’t even chasing you.”

“What do you know?”

“I’m you, I know everything. I know why you can’t sleep. I know why you still crave adrenaline. I know why you think nobody should love you. I know why you’re planning to run away from Pauline and Martin. I know all your failures and weaknesses.”

“You don’t know anything.”

“I know everything, I told you that.”

“If you know everything how do I wake up.”

“You just open your eyes. It’s always been that easy. Just open your eyes and see what the world around you.”


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