When Emile and Scott returned without Eric, I feared the worst. When they told me about his mission that we all agreed was practically suicide, I still feared the worst. I thought about what might have been going through his head when he made the decision to go it alone, but the only conclusion that I could draw was that he was giving us time and protecting us.
The cryptic message about knowing when it would be right to contact him was the one piece of the jigsaw that was still missing. I tried to think about what it could be and could only conclude that it would be something of great magnitude that would affect the whole of Stasis.
Rather than dwell on this little mystery, I assessed the current situation with the resistance and the recruitment process. The progress from Eric’s initial contact mission had yielded great results. The zonal commanders had been able to spread the resistance into other zones and we now had a presence in over one hundred zones. Based on Eric’s original recommendations of numbers to the commanders, I calculated that we would have around 2000 members and about 400 cells.
Emile and Scott had briefed me about how they surmised that Patrick must be based in the East. I thought long and hard about ordering a shift of focus to that area, but rejected it as tactically naïve. It would be churlish of me to leave one side open to attack without the network for sabotage and early warning in place.
I had to work with a siege mentality and imagine that an attack on a single location would come from every conceivable angle. I’d even instructed the Tech team to see if they could bolster the defences underneath of Blue, just in case. But they had failed to break through the horizontal plane. We had patrolling air defences in place and I was in the process of fulfilling tech requests from many zonal commanders for blueprints to aid their resistance. Others were well versed in their energy manipulation to be able to create what they required as they dreamt it up. The latter was preferable as it made for a far more varied arsenal that would surprise the ‘enemy’.
The army recruitment was going better than expected. We were receiving nearly 200 new recruits a day and now had just under 5000 in total. As the word spread and the resistance network increased, this number would only increase.
The Farm Crew were in their element training the recruits. I had just let them get on with the training whilst the Tech team created weird and wonderful new weapons and machinery for them to utilise. We had decided to employ a rolling three week training programme. The Farm Crew would select potential leaders to train others once the numbers increased enough to warrant it.
Once the initial training programme was complete, there would be a secondary programme to assess where our soldiers would be best utilised. At any one point we would retain 50% of the troops within Blue itself and the rest would be dispersed as civilian protection forces that would be able to mobilise within zones should the resistance cells require extra tactical support.
We were prepared and growing all the time and I was confident that when the eventual war came it would be very difficult for Patrick to gain the level of control that he would want.
It was now a waiting game. Eric was clearly trying to initiate the war. In normal circumstances that would have been the act of a crazy person, but here it was the only way to speed up the return to reality. Over the next few days, it began to dawn on me that without any knowledge of our location or of our strengths and weaknesses or even of our forces, Eric was our ultimate weapon. He was useless to Patrick and it would take them time to figure that out. Time that we could utilise to grow stronger.
He was our Trojan Horse. And suddenly everything became clear. I knew exactly what he was going to do.