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February 2018

Sketches

Goodbye Captain

February 3, 2018

For Clyde.

The first and most important rule of any con is to always maintain the line. The one between the real world and the pack of lies you tell to pull the wool over that world’s eyes. If you don’t, you get caught.

By the time a team breaks down the door to Cy’s cubby and hauls him out of bed and into cuffs, he’s broken that rule a hundred times over. He’s lost count of how often the line blurred, how he found himself believing the fabrications that make up his identity here in the shadowy, brutal world where rebellions are fostered.

The small unit he’s called home for months feels packed to capacity and claustrophobia gnaws at Cy’s insides while he watches Zeb, the team leader, rifle through his belongings. When he pulls out a touchpad that comes to life and reveals the warning Cy coded into the system to prevent exactly what was happening, the man’s stony mask slips and reveals a world of betrayal that Cy realises is the inevitable outcome of any camaraderie they had once shared. When you don’t maintain your line, people get hurt.

Someone’s com crackles with static, and then a voice.

“The captain’s a few minutes away.”

It’s Zeb who shifts, speaks into the small black square affixed to his jacket. “We’re ready.”

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