Approx. 1500 words
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2015 SJ
Chaos in Delta Pavonus:
written by SJ
The next day there was a meeting, held in one of the more larger buildings in Dandelot, a dinning hall: Franco and some of his men, Dion and her team, plus LaFong’s team, were there.
The rebel leader didn’t know what to think of the incident at Cambridge Hospital. He thought for sure the Matriarch would’ve send a couple shuttles to look for them; but, nothing had happened.
Yesterday, while LaFong and Dion were doing their missions, Franco had used the shuttles to take phones (Melinda’s special phones) to Marion and Huxley. He had a least one operative in each city; now they had phones they could use to contact Franco directly without fear of being overheard.
During the meeting, Franco spoke up, saying what he had learned so far. “Marion and Huxley are guarded with a least twenty of the Matriarch’s soldiers, now; before it was less than five. It seems Cambridge has just about as many,” he grinned, “minus three, of course. It seems the Matriarch is determined to hold on to the last three towns.” He looked at Melinda for her report.
She started: “Angora City doesn’t seem to be occupied by ANY of the Matriarch’s soldiers. I was able to contact the two counsel members and talk to them. They still remain barricaded in City Hall, but they are only guarded by five Guardsmen. Apparently there has been some desertion.” She smiled. “I was able to bring with me four lasguns, those left behind by the Guardsmen that quit and went home. I was also able to find two civilian hunting rifles with scopes, which I’ve turned over to Franco and his team.”
“Thank you.” Franco nodded to Dion. “This morning I was talking with LaFong about how to take Cambridge. It’s obvious we cannot use the same tactics we used here. And any sort of direct attack would be foolish. My troops are militia, not assault troops. I will let LaFong explain.”
Lana began: “The first plan I came up with was a simple hit and run routine. Two teams of our best sharpshooters sneak in and find concealed positions. They fire, taking out any guards walking the streets, along with the guard posts on the roads. They then run away and hide in the jungle, eventually making their way back to Dandelot. If they are pursed by any shuttles, well, Melinda just helped with that. The lasguns she obtained will make excellent anti-aircraft guns.” She didn’t smile as she finished up. “In each attack, we’d hope to kill at least five soldiers. We’d wait, sneak back in a several days later, then repeat the process until we’ve reduced the Matriarch’s ability to defend the towns by using simple attrition.”
“But, of course, we are looking at MANY casualties.” Franco mentioned sadly. “And we do not know how fast the Matriarch can replace her losses. Plus, we have to consider the possibility that the Matriarch may began using civilians as shields...or just killing them outright for revenge.”
Lana continued: “As a last resort, we can take a town by using the sniper plan first, then infiltration, taking the town using house to house fighting, each of us leading a small team of militia volunteers. But, we’ll need grenades.” She placed a soda can on the table that had been wrapped up in heavy tape, which held shards of metal all around it. “I’ve made a few of these handmade grenades, and have taught Franco’s people how to make them.”
“I am not happy about this plan, but, as LaFong said...it is as a last resort.” Franco concluded, then looked at Melinda, who had more to say.
“As we have found out, the Matriarch’s guards seem to be people that have fallen under the spell of some sort of hypnosis.” Melinda proceeded. “So far, a few of them have come out of it...but, it’s been random. In fact, only three, counting the man LuLu’s team picked up at the hospital, have come out of that hypnosis. All the others remain violent and have had to be restrained and sedated. We’ve tried putting them to sleep, then waking them up. We’ve even tried a mild electric shock, which worked on only one person. All the other captured guards were badly wounded, and I’m reluctant to use anything drastic on them until they recover.” She pointed. “When LuLu’s Ops shuttle gets here, it should be carrying four stunners. Those may be the only weapons we can use to capture the Matriarch’s guards instead of killing them; but, as for any sure fire method of bringing them out of their hypnosis, we have none. And the news of a guard having Chaos Worms, that’s totally different; we know by experience that if you capture them, they fall into a coma and eventually die. Luckily, this woman has been the exception, not the rule.”
Lana had been thinking. After Melinda was done, she the spoke up. “You know, it seems the Matriarch has allocated a lot of troops to defending the last three towns.” She pointed at Franco. “You said your informants reported that some of the new guards allocated to the towns were bandaged, wounded, right?”
He nodded, listening carefully.
“Then that means some of the soldiers guarding the towns have to be those that attacked here, in Dandelot.”
Franco smiled. “She is low on soldiers, spreading herself thin.”
Lana continued: “Which could very possibly mean she has very few soldiers guarding her fortress on that island, and even less guarding the prison.” She pointed up to space. “When my Ops shuttle gets here, I’m going to use it to scan her fortress and look for that prison. It might even be possible the two are connected.”
“YES!” The rebel leader liked what he heard. “If your team can take out the Matriarch herself, then we may not even have to assault any of the towns at all.”
“And if you can find out how her soldiers get hypnotized,” Melinda added, “that will help us undo it.”
Franco held up his index finger to make a point. “You know, back when I had people scouting the towns, they reported to me that once every couple days, all the soldiers gathered around the CDA building to, at first...I thought to have a meeting. But, it may be possible they were just listen to something, like a speech from the Matriarch.”
Melinda smiled. “To listen to her words...so she can keep her troops hypnotized.”
“Yes.” The rebel leader agreed. “I like this plan very much.” He looked at Lana. “When is your shuttle due to arrive?”
“It should arrive sometime today...”
Shortly after the meeting, Lana got a call, She was surprised: it was the doctor from Cambridge Hospital. She got Melinda and Franco on the line before letting him speak.
“You know that bodyguard, the one with the concussion?” Doctor spoke rhetorically. “When he finally woke up, it seemed like he was coming out of his hypnotic trance. But, then he started regressing, staring into space, like he was being hypnotized again. That’s when I noticed he was staring at one of our yellow lights. When I turned the light off, he just sat, not moving. I couldn’t wake him up. Then I thought of something. Violet and yellow are complementary colors. I know a little bit about hypnosis, so I sent an orderly to get a violet light from storage.” His voice became a little excited. “After about five seconds of shining this violet light in his eyes, he came out of his trance completely. In a short time, he was asking about his family in Huxley, and about his brother; I think that’s the other guy...the bodyguard you took with you. He’s been wanting to go home, back to Huxley. I tried to tell him that’s a bad idea--”
“Wait,” Lana spoke up. “Let me get the other guy on the phone--”
“He’s over here with me.” That was Melinda. “I’m putting him on the phone, now.”
The man Lana had taken back to Dandelot turned out to be the second guy’s older brother, who quickly began telling him about Franco and his rebellion. He eventually got his younger brother to calm down, telling him to stay there at the hospital and do whatever the doctor told him to do. They talked a little more, then hung up.
It now seemed like they had a sure fire way to reverse the hypnosis. But, they were only able to find two violet lights. Franco was going to order more. However, walking up to one of the Matriarch’s guards and shining a violet light in their face could be very dangerous. It was obvious the procedure would have to be used on someone already under control, or with great caution.