Brutalist Stories #28

Two men. Ten-thousand bullets.

Building inspiration: Tricorn Portsmouth

Two men and 10,000 bullets, that’s all it seemed to take, on the outside at least anyway. That’s what they all reported, fed through the feeds for weeks and months afterwards, the stories of heroism of these two men that went in where no other man nor woman would go. That place where angels fear to tread. Well, a lot more went on behind the scenes.

We had at least two dozen of the pre-cogs working round the clock for two whole years before we even started to get close to a location, setup and correct resonance dilation to be able to make the intercept. That’s over 420,000 hours of pre-cog time, no intercept in history had ever seen anything like that magnitude of time dedicated to it. Way back when, when they came through and told us about this one, most of us thought they were pulling some kind of prank.

“You realise how much resource that’s going to pull?” one of us piped up.

“You understand this will put our other intercepts back by months, maybe even years?” another voice came out of our crowd.

They never really care what we have to say when it comes to these sorts of things, the missions come from up above, we prime the pre-cogs, we do what we’re told, we focus their processes on the intercept, we gather information, we figure it all out, and then pass it on. The two men are sent, sometimes with only a few bullets, sometimes with hundreds, this time they had 10,000. Two men. Ten-thousand bullets.

Two of the best Preachers they have apparently. Operation Shaved Jaw they called it. Two men, ten thousand bullets, one intercept, and we’re back in the lead, but guess who gets all the praise. Of course, the Preachers. Of course. We all do our part, and we’re glad to do it, you know, keep humanity in the lead. We’ve only dropped it a handful of times in the few centuries we’ve been playing, but once in a while, just every now and again, us Caretakers would like to get a bit of a pat on the back.

It goes deeper, of course, there are all sorts of layers to this operation, from the people that get us the information in the first place through to the ones that make the guns for the Preachers. Thousands, hundreds of thousands of us, all toiling away in our respective bunkers of steel and concrete so those who need it get their moment, the Preachers, and they almost always do, and it keeps everyone else happy and humanity in the lead.

That’s all that counts really, just recently, this last time we dropped a position, millions died. Not our fault that time, though it has been our fault in the past. We just work as hard as we can to try and make sure it never happens again. We’re happy to do it, you know, they call us Caretakers for a reason, because we take care of things, and that includes you.

Musical Inspiration: "Air" by Alone in Kyoto

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Brutalist Stories #28