Chapter 5.17 – Rescue

‘Dangerous’ does not even begin to describe what Faith is suggesting.
Doc agrees that a rescue mission must take place, and adds that none of them possess the necessary skills or equipment. The drone’s shaft is the fastest way down into the cavern, but there is no guarantee that its stability is sound enough for a sim to descend through. Doc shakes his head, emphatically dismissing her idea to stage their own rescue.
Perhaps it is her own adventurous spirit causing her to strike out, or maybe it is the same sense of justice that drew her to Doc in the first place. Faith grimaces and lashes out at Doc with a passion that neither he or Jimmy had ever seen before. Shouting at the top of her voice, she demands that they do SOMETHING. She cannot allow a sim to just suffer and die while she sits by idle. Even if she has to personally repel down the shaft to help…
Doc attempts to calm Faith. Going into the shaft could leave authorities with more than one sim to rescue. He has learned through files at the science facility that there was a time when the military and civilian scientists worked together at an underground lab in the cavern. The only answer is to alert Fort Gnome. Not only do they have the simpower and equipment needed for such an operation, but they also have access to the main cavern entrance.
The single word No is spoken with such authority and finality, that its source is unmistakable. Faith’s passion is immediately deflated as her face turns ashen. Both Doc and Jimmy wear similar expressions as Mark enters the bedroom repeating the single-word directive. He nods toward Doc, agreeing that the drone’s shaft is too dangerous to navigate. He also agrees that the trapped sim must be rescued in short order. Mark sighs heavily, as if making a difficult decision.
Mark grits his teeth and says that he had intended on telling only Faith about this, but the present situation dictates differently. His warning is as much a threat as it is a request. What he says here must never leave the room, unless it is to share it with a Barimen heir. The statement is met with complete silence and a small bit of anxiety.
Mark begins to tell Faith about the period of time after his marriage to Mei and before his undercover mission to capture Ali Zalne. His father, David, had made an incredible discovery without realizing it. Mark thought he was protecting his father by keeping the discovery a secret between himself, and his sisters Deirdre and Claire. The situation became a chess match of intrigue when a tenacious military general began investigating the same leads his father had found.
Everything unraveled when the general compromised his undercover operation overseas. He had somehow found a way to send faked messages directing Mark to report his whereabouts. Mark was able to identify them as forgeries, and had started motions to disengage from the operation. But the general leaked information to insurgents that Mark was somewhere undercover in Central Asia. Ali immediately made the connection and drugged Mark into submission for a number of years.
Having no guidance or protection from Mark, Deirdre and Clare were easy pickings for the general. Neither of them possessed the knowledge Mark had gained, and they were killed as a result of their brother’s missteps. David, having absolutely no knowledge of any of these activities, was left with only Mary and Elizabeth to raise by himself. Mark’s voice waivers when he quietly says that he cannot even imagine the grief and depression his father must have endured, losing four children and his wife. Mark pauses to gather his thoughts and regain his composure before he continues.
After escaping from Ali, he soon gained the upper hand again. The general destroyed Ali’s insurgent compound in a rocket attack, after Mark responded to one of the general’s faked messages. Thinking he had finally found and killed Mark, the general sent a team of his own men to find the remains. But they were sloppy, and posed very little challenge for a very alive (and rather aggravated) Mark. Having  gathered enough evidence to expose him for treasonous activity, Mark persuaded the general to leave the family alone for good.
Mark pauses, feeling purged of a toxin he had carried with him for years. He had never told the entire story to anybody. Despite his better judgement, Mark explains why the discovery his father had made is worthy of such intrigue. The beach below the estate is a place where the family has fished for generations. After Julian’s death, Bebe purchased the plot of land to dedicate as a family cemetery. This served two purposes. The first was to give future Barimen generations a place to pay respects to family in private. But the second reason was, perhaps, the most brilliant stroke of genius yet. Because, concealed among the rocky cliffs below the estate, is an underwater cave entrance. It leads directly to the cavern where a sim waits to be rescued…
…and to something else that must be seen to fully comprehend.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 5.17 – Rescue

  1. All the information Mark has been keeping! I wonder what other tidbits of the Barimen Legacy’s history we’ll find out when they go into the cavern, and how Doc plays into it all.


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