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[2007: NOV-DEC] Running Game


James T. Kolk
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Running Game

Inye hit the ground running. She'd been running for as long as she could remember and she figured she'd be running until she dropped dead. Her only hope was that she could take out a few of Them out before that happened.

In a way, this time hadn't really been different than any other. After a successful sabotage mission, her group of runners had been hiding out in a cave on Halii, getting an all-too-brief moment of rest, when they got word that the Dominion soldiers had found them. With that the rest was over and the group split, sharing a terse goodbye and a hope that they'd see each other at the next hiding place. Each time it was the same - and each time, fewer familiar faces met at the resting site. But, despite the deaths, despite the oppression, their numbers grew. Pockets of runners were scattered across Halii, and across many of the planets in what was formerly the Federation. As hard as the Dominion tried, they couldn't crush them completely. And when some died, others rose up to take their place.

The Runners weren't as well known as those who openly rebelled, the Coalition. They didn't have ships and they rarely left their home planets. For as long as they could, the runners participated in normal daily activities. They had families and jobs. They lived and worked in what infrastructure remained. But by night they planned and executed sabotage missions, they delivered what intelligence information they could to the Coalition and the local runner cell, and made what plans they could for the day they were discovered. On Halii they targeted the factories and shipyards that supplied the Dominion fleet. Some Haliian programmers developed ways to sneak new viruses into the computer cores. They all hoped that one day perhaps their descendants would be free.

In some ways, this time hadn't been different than any other. But in one special way it was definitely different this time. This time they had expected, even planned, that the Jem Hadar would find them. This time, the Runners planned to lead the soldiers into a trap. Several runner cells had developed the plan and hers had been chosen to be the bait. As she ran, she ran with a purpose and a direction in mind. She heard the soldiers coming behind her, but she had trained for this and she had an advantage: a head start and knowledge of what lay ahead. Her mind was focused on the landmarks that she'd memorized, the plans they'd made. She led her pursuers past this tree and next to that rock. She ran quietly but left enough clues that they'd be able to follow, without it looking obvious. Hers was the most direct path to the ambush and she knew that she'd bring the first group of Jem Hadar in. She almost smiled as she passed the invisible sentries, knowing that, as the enemy followed, the net would close around them. She saw the small clearing ahead and the bushes at the far end and sprinted through, avoiding the traps, and dropping and rolling under the shrubbery.

Kalen held out a phaser rifle and Inye took it while crouching on the ground, peering through the bushes. They could all hear the Jem Hadar coming. They hoped that the rest of the group would be closing in behind them. As the small group of soldiers broke into the clearing the leader of the runner operation sent a green light to all the optical communicators each runner wore and as one they opened fire. Within moments it was over and their optical displays switched back to red. The sentries ran swiftly and silently back to their posts, while those stationed around the clearing disposed of the corpses that never had a chance to get a warning out. When the bodies had been transferred to covered pits toward one edge of the clearing and the pits had been recovered, Inye and Kalen took a moment to share a brief hug before resuming their posts.

Several hours, and 4 decoy runners later, the 3 cells had successfully wiped out two Jem Hadar patrols, loosing only two runners. In addition, they had gained much needed weaponry and equipment. With a brief farewell, they left in ones and twos to their new safe havens. As the night closed in, Inye and Kalen ran side by side toward their new home.

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