Board Games and Happy Hour
Friday, April 22 at 5:30PM
Next week, your very own Optical Society social committee will be throwing another glorious happy hour!
We all realized that most of us know at least one person who owns a ludicrous amount of board games, so we figured we'd leverage that advantage to benefit all of you!
"Hey, wake up."
Naturally, we will be providing everyone with only the finest of alcoholic beverages, EANABs, and delicious snacks!
"Sir, he's still out cold."
Find us in Spilker 232, with its copious table space, at 5:30PM next Friday, April 22 to join us!
"Here, allow me..."
My daydream shatters in a violent torrent of ice cold water. I recall memories of a scope glint in the distance and a sharp pain in my neck, followed by...
The room is silent, a silence broken only by the sound of water dripping from my soaked clothing. I'm securely strapped to a metal chair, my arms and legs completely immobile. The chair legs are cemented into the floor. I am thoroughly trapped.
I look up and see a smirking face. I recognize the face, and am overcome with fear and fury. He notices my reaction, and his smile grows wider.
It's the First Consul, the figurehead of our ruined and corrupt society. A fitting title, as his rule has resembled an unhealthy mix of Napoleon's ambition and Robespierre's madness. He's wearing the most expensive suit I've ever seen. I hadn't thought that the technology to create such fine cloth even existed anymore.
A trained reflex emerges, and I attempt to access the cyanide capsule hidden in one of my back molars. It's missing. Of course. The Consul sighs wearily.
"You think we haven't figured out your tricks after all this time? Give us some credit, we've been capturing Resistance members for years. It's rather routine at this point."
Hopelessness. Despair. I am struck by the gravity of my situation. I don't want to die, I don't want my loved ones to be hurt, and I'm kidding myself if I think that these tyrants aren't holding someone I care about as a hostage. However, I fear I have very little choice in the matter.
The Resistance leaders were right not to trust me with critical intelligence -- I am weak, unable to bring myself to break the connections of my life before the Resistance, to abandon my loved ones. I am not capable of that level of commitment to the cause. Their foresight has likely saved the lives of many Resistance members, but likely at the cost of mine, and of the innocents that have had the misfortune of being associated with my past.
But will these people believe that I have nothing useful for them? Of course not.
"I know that look. Stop over-thinking your situation, it really isn't so complicated. Yes, we have taken the liberty of acquiring some leverage over your actions. We are merely doing what is necessary, although I doubt you will ever understand our perspective."
The Consul reaches into his breast pocket and pulls out three photos. Even though I've been steeling myself for this, I am suddenly overwhelmed with a violent surge of emotion upon seeing their faces. I pull at my restraints and scream in rage, but the Consul's face remains impassive. His other hand remains in his pocket, likely holding a handkerchief in preparation for me to spit in his face. I don't give him the satisfaction.
"You'll be relieved to know that we are fully aware that you have no useful information for us. In fact, we chose you very specifically because we know you aren't currently trusted with any sensitive information. We've found that the most effective strategy is to take those in whom they have no current stake...it's much simpler that way. In fact, we have good information which suggests that they don't even know you're gone."
This isn't possible, of course. Sure, I had been on my own when I was captured, but there is no way that no one has noticed my absence...right?
The Consul sits near the edge of my chair and attempts to affect a conversational demeanor.
"I propose a, let's say, a business arrangement. A little bird told us that your bosses are considering you for some missions of considerable importance in the near future. Five of them, if I am correct. Now, we are quite sure that you care a great deal about the people in these photos, and I'm betting that you would go out of your way to protect them, yes?"
"Good. In exchange for their continued good health, you will undermine these missions of yours. We don't particularly care how you do it, just make sure that it gets done, that the goals of your superiors are not completed, understood?"
I hesitate, considering my options. I have none. I nod again.
"Your leaders are not stupid, of course, or they wouldn't be around anymore. We know that if every mission you participated in went catastrophically wrong…well, I wouldn't keep putting you on the teams if I were in charge. So we are giving you some wiggle room. If, I don't know, two of those missions were to succeed, we wouldn't hold it against you. Use this to your advantage, gain their trust, and put yourself in a good position to do some real damage. Your wonderfully photogenic friends are counting on it."
The Consul suddenly stands and motions towards the guard who promptly approaches me and removes my restraints. Tentatively, I stand up and face the Consul.
"When things go south, I'd much prefer if you weren't on the list of casualties. Take this, so we know whose side you're on."
He hands me a red playing card and walks away.