When I came to I found that the terrorists happened to be in some kind of sticky situation.
Sher was bent over a metal panel, wearing ridiculously huge goggles and poking at some wires with what I knew to be a set of nano-tweezers.
She had no clear mask on, but a black sieve-like material tied over her nose and mouth.
Her face was set in stolid determination but her short cropped-at-the-jaw hair constantly fell into her eyes.
"Uriel." she commanded in a monotone voice, "Hair."
He stepped over and carefully tucked back her bangs in something resembling a bobby pin.
The man obliged her, and she accepted the item without breaking her stride.
"What's she doing?" I asked to Celeste, seeing as I'd realized a while ago only she bothered answering my questions.
She handed me a silver disc and I, somewhat unwillingly, put it into my mouth.
"That's a dormant zoom tube." the tall woman replied, as soon as the mask was on me, "Sher's trying to re-activate it so that we can all teleport out of here."
Zoom tubes. They'd been all the rage, until a few hundred people were dismembered in them. Wonderful.
"Isn't that dangerous?"
More dry humour. Double wonderful.
I realized suddenly why all of the terrorists were dressed in either black, white or a shade of grey. They could blend into the landscape that way.
"Why do we have to leave in the first place?" I asked, feeling the oddity of the situation.
"What you just saw in the fake forest is just about as official a base of operations as we have. We can't let any patrol drones suspect our presence there, so we keep a few mobile units rotating through different locations at specific checkpoints, namely diversion units."
"So they never know where you really are?"
"That's the idea. If we catch their attention they nuke the spot as quickly as they can, so we have to choose new spots every so often."
"And they've never seen you around here?"
She laughed, making the comm. crackle.
"They probably have. The only problem is they funded the forest as a gesture to keep the peace. Nuking it would be a direct act of war, and Superior America still has some preparations to go through before it can face a war."
"Or it doesn't want to make the first move. Just so that it can keep producing its drivel about how it's a peaceful nation."
"Isn't it, then?"
"If you call a bunch of old white men waiting for the chance to get trigger happy peace. The Government is just a bunch of leeches that have eaten themselves sick on the people's money and freedom. It's disgusting."
"You know what else is disgusting?'
I was so close to telling her what Mercy had been up to. So close. But then I realized she was probably hearing everything I was saying and my will deflated.
"Kidnapping and killing innocent people to further your own cause."
"You're innocent?" she asked, amused, before turning to discuss something with Maidie.
I couldn't hear what they were saying. Some kind of privacy measures.