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[Flashback] The Burden

Posted on Sat Jan 9th, 2021 @ 1:08pm by Lieutenant Jackson Smith

Mission: Interlude 4
Location: Various
Timeline: Early in Jackson's SFI career

Jackson knelt beside the lifeless body. He watched the blood flow from the multiple slash and stab wounds across the chest and throat. The crimson liquid pooled on the grey cold stone seeping into the cracks as if the very ground were nourished by the sacrifice of life. He closed his eyes breaking his moment of mesmerization. His thoughts were clouded in darkness as was his very soul. His hands rested for a moment on his black pants, from head to toe his clothing mirrored what had engulfed him. With each breath he slowly beat the darkness back, words escaped his lips, "We carry the burden so other's don't have to.” It was not until now, that Jackson fully grasped the words of Chief Stephenson. The Chief had warned him that the life of an SFI agent would require more from him than he could imagine. Jackson slowly opened his eyes to look upon his victim. For a moment, he frightened himself as he felt pleasure at the assassination of this vile being, the darkness within slowly coming back. An image of Gantt, of Jillian, of the Captain flashed before him. Then the fear of letting this consume him was enough for Jackson to beat it back. With the darkness fully contained within him, he would feel no remorse for this kill. His eyes looked up and scanned the room. Cowered in the corner was the doctor that had been forced to treat this vile creature, to keep him alive to do its evil. The doctor held a smaller girl tight in her arms. She was her sister, the tortured prisoner, whose safety was the leash keeping her in line.

Snapping into action, “We must move quickly…” Jackson said muffled through his face covering.
The doctor slowly stood, helping her sister up, “You came back for us…”

Hours before in the Firebird SCIF

Jackson put the data crystal into the computer and the upload began. Within moments a call from SFI came. He opened the secure channel and Commander Wyatt appeared before him. “Well done Lieutenant Smith. This information is unbelievably valuable.”

Jackson face tightened, “Sir, respectfully, Zuldask Tin is a slave trader and one of the worst. How is that he is allowed to keep working?”
The commander scowled at Jackson, “Lieutenant, he has connections far more powerful than you. It would be awfully bad for SFI if it were known that we took him out. Sometimes you must take what is given to you. I am willing to overlook that Saluak and Darsinian were forced to restrain you on this mission. You got the information we needed, but next time, follow orders.”

Jackson ended the call before he would say something he regretted.

Back on Empok Nor after returning from the rescue

“Doctor, this is Zulg. He will be able to find a safe place for you and your sister.” Jackson could not help but smile as Zulg frowned and fussed over the situation. Jackson turned to go, but the doctor grabbed his arm and he turned to face her, “Thank you for what you did.” For a moment, the darkness of his kill flashed before him, but Jackson brushed it away and flashed her a smile, “Just doing my job.” With that Jackson walked away.

As he headed back to the Firebird, Jackson began to worry. Would this work change him, change who he is? Would his friends, his family, accept him for what he is now? With a sigh, Jackson knew that this was part of the burden he would have to accept. “We carry the burden so other's don't have to...”


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