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To Victor Cruz [Open Frequency]

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*A scream of total agony can be heard coming from a lone house in the Chernarussian countryside, bested only by the constant din of heavy rain beating relentlessly against the old tin roof of the aged house*

*Applying peroxide to the three deep, uneven gashes in his knee, Maxwell moans in pain at the memory of Richard smashing his knee on the orders of Victor Cruz. Dabbing the wound with a soaked rag, he gasps as he feels the bone shifting around, pulverised by the meat tenderiser. Fortunately for him, the bone appeared to be fractured, not snapped. He wraps his leg tightly in clean bandages and beckons his friend Birog over. With directions from Max, Birog grabs his ankle tightly and yanks violently on his leg, painfully pulling the bone back into place. A scream of pure pain and rage took flight from Max's mouth, echoing around the ghostly countryside and down into the lonely valley.*

*He passes out for a few moments, a layer of sweat greasing his brow. His breathing is uneven and laboured.*

*Waking up groggily, Maxwell sees his friend has tended to the rest of his wounds, splinting his leg and washing it down with a clean, now bloodied, towel. Pointing at his bag, he rasps the word radio. Retrieving the radio, Birog hands it to Max who is now slumped against the wall, an aged, peeling symbol of past civility.*

*Pressing down on the transmit button, he summons all of his strength and forces it into his voice*

*His voice is a laboured snarl fuelled by hate*

"Victor... fucking... Cruz..."

*A series of loud coughs and grunts can be heard*

"For anybody listening... Victor "Banderas" Cruz, yes that's my own personal nickname for the piece of shit, smashed my one good kneecap into fucking bone meal in Kabanino... At the old *He groans in pain, a wave of fresh agony washing over him*

*After several minutes, the transmission goes dead, followed by a sharp click and a renewed voice speaking over the radio*

"The Ebadanians will not stand for this. My people will not stand for this. Men like Cruz know only force, so we will show them force. Nobody is safe. Wild dogs like Cruz need to be put down...

And their mongrels too"

*A near maniacal cackle can be heard over the frequency, crackling in and out in an uneven manner*

"You smashed the leg of a druid... A man of peace, seeking to save his friend from up-jumped cuthroats and coke-peddlers... Learning a fucking lesson Victor? You're one shitty fucking teacher, all I learned from your little lesson is I can never, ever serve a man like you. You want power Victor? Is that it?  Brute thuggery never got anybody anywhere Victor, you may break a man like me with enough time but, breaking anybody, no matter how insignificant, has its consequences..."

"We won't come for you today, we won't come for you tomorrow... but we WILL come for you Victor...

As they say in the old country, "I may die but the tribe survives.""

"One more thing... that overly large cowboy hat of yours... you compensating for something?"

*A loud bang and a crash can be heard, followed by a foreboding silence creeping into the frequency*

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-User has been warned for this post-

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*A man depresses the PTT. A scratchy American voice comes over the radio.*

I can't say I know you...Ebadanoonies...Ebadananas...whatever.  You might be nice guys, I don't know.

One thing I do know...

I met Victor Cruz the other night.  Real nice guy, with a helluva sense of humor.

Now, this is where I'm confused as to what you're talkin' about, cause I ain't never met Victor Cruz before that evening, but he treated me with respect.  He seems like the type of guy who ain't gonna fuck with you unless you give him a reason to.

I don't know why he fucked with you, but you might want to seriously consider who you threaten, especially over the radio...publicly.

*The man scoffs and pauses to light a cigarette.*

Victor Cruz.  I'd like to speak with you over a more...secure channel; or in person again, if possible.  I have a proposition that could be mutually beneficial.  600.3, if you please, Señor.

*A man chuckles to himself, racks the charging handle on his AK-101, releases the PTT, and looks up some frequencies from his notebook.*

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*Fox sits in her bed, leaning against the cold wall while listening to the transmission. She smiles when Victor's name comes up but frowns as soon as the man speaks bad about him. She sighs and presses the PTT*

I actually learned a lot from Victor. Maybe you simply didn't listen good enough.

*She chuckles before releasing the PTT*

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::The Radio Transmits::

I've had the pleasure of meeting Victor a few months back. I may not know him well enough, But I know well enough that he is someone that ya aught ta not fuck around with. It sounds ta me like you did something to upset the Mexican and paid the Price. well son, If revenge is what ya be after, I'd advise against it, ya say you have friends, just focus on keeping them alive. This Fantasy you have about Revenge is going to cause Pain and Death to those ya care about. A man like this Mexican, You do what they tell you if and when they have the upper hand. Ná bí ag troid.

::Transmission ends::

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*Waking with a sudden start from a feverish dream, he catches the back end of the transmission from an Irish voice, a smile creasing across his face as he realises who it is. Rolling gingerly off of the worn leather couch, he slides over and retrieves the radio, careful not to snag his dressing on one of the loose nails in the aged wooden floor.*

*The transmit button clicks*

*A gravelly Irish voice can be heard coming from the radio*

"If there's one thing that today has taught me, mo dheartháir, a fantasy can indeed become a nightmare... Nobody can remain on top forever, mo chara, what goes up must indeed come crashing down to the green Earth once more and I, I will be there to catch whatever falls..."

*He releases the transmit button and pauses to clear his throat, spitting up a small amount of blood and phlegm with a mighty hock*

*The transmit button clicks*

*The voice sounds smoother now and almost English, though certainly coming from the same person*

"And to the... Boy? Girl? I can't be sure, apologies for my eh... uncertainty. The radio isn't the most efficient means of transferring crystal clear audio. I never questioned the man's ability to teach, dear girl, yes I've settled on girl... What I question is HOW he teaches and WHAT he teaches. Perhaps he is teaching the wrong lessons, no?

If power is your goal, grease the right palms and spill the right blood.

Not mine"

*A series of clicks can be heard followed by radio silence. He drags himself back on to the couch to examine his wound, finding no trace of infection and noting that the bruising has gone down significantly. Perhaps he will make it through this after all*

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Hope frowns listening to the man that Victor had taken the day before. She gently rubs her brow before deciding to take the radio and responding.

"I'm probably only doing this since he's my husband. Some of the lessons he has taught is so others don't make the same mistakes he has done, same goes for a lot of people in these lands. But from what I am hearing, respect is earned where respect is given and by the sounds of it... You didn't. Hell i married the man, at first I thought this guy was a horrible person until i got to know him better. That was eleven months ago, though he does things I don't agree with half the time, and vice versa. It's perhaps with a certain key of interest."

She sighs, beginning to walk down the dirt road to their house.

"All I know from what I am hearing is that you've most likely done something to piss him off. And he wouldn't be afraid to admit it. As he always says he is a man of honour and truth..."

Hope has a small break, sitting down at the tree with moss growing on it. Slightly out of breath as she holds onto her stomach. Managing to recooperate her thoughts and breath.

"Transmitting threats on the radio isn't a smart decision... trust me... But the overly sized cowboy hat doesnt justify you to big dick over the radio... something you're compensating for too then I'' guessing?"

She stops transmitting muttering to herself, 'If you remain alive after this..." Her head turns as she reaches her backpack. Opening up her bag to find a can of bacon. 

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*Listening intently to the transmission, Maxwell shakes his head with sadness. Picking up the radio, he speaks in a calm voice tinged with respect but with an edge to the tone*

"You don't know me, I don't know you... This respect you speak of? Victor showed me none of this, he threw me out of your camp when my knee was shattered by the Rough Riders and he harassed a good friend of mine with unnecessary questions and an undue amount of browbeating. You speak of respect, honour and truth. Perhaps I can associate one of those adjectives with Victor... but not all three."

*He turns off the transmission and hops to the door of the house, struggling to open it but eventually forcing his way out of the house. He tests his leg a few times and attempts a slow, shaky walk into the open green sea in front of him, his boots crushing the grass underneath him as he walks*

"What I did to piss off your husband was... well, I don't rightly know. Perhaps it was the first time we met and I tried to calm him down at Camp Hope, or perhaps it was the second time we met, when I tried to take my friend and leave to deescalate the situation. Reasonable actions for a man like me to take. Now I can barely walk.

There have been no threats, there have been promises of consequence.

I never questioned his leadership, never insulted him nor did I make an attempt on his life.

Tell yourself that is justified.

For your sake"

*Sighing sadly over the frequency, he clicks the radio off and hobbles back into the elderly wooden box he calls home*

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Hope sits in their home, laying on the bed staring at the roof before responding to him.

"Well I tried resolving it the first time, you came into a situation when treating my husband unfairly. He was scolding a man for not properly taking the correct procedure for wounds. Especially the one the man had treated. And became from what I could hear hostile. I'm not justifying his actions. But to come onto the radio, threatening people and then trying to belittle them though you stated this was more than just once occurence is a bit odd in my perspective."

She sucks up her breath before heavily sighing.

"In my brutal opinion and honesty, when you came into the came you said your knee was shattered but your emotion and behaviour showed completely different. And from what I could tell you were not on any sort of high dosage drug to ease the pain. I saw no limp, all I saw was hostility."

She rubs her eyes quickly.

"I'm not justifying what my husband has done, all I am stating is you must've done something to severely piss him off. I'm not in a position to say certain things but I believe some people can suede him into worse things. Other than that when it comes to him, himself and well, him, he takes his own course of action. I'll try and get him to explain. Since i wasn't directly involed. I'm just going off of what i have. Sorry for any inconvinience."

She places her radio on the broken bedside table, trying to rest her eyes. Unable to lay on her stomach.

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*Standing in the kitchen boiling rice on his portable gas stove, Maxwell listens to the broadcast as the pot boils over. Picking up his radio, he clicks the transmission button and the sound of a boiling pot can be heard in the background*

"Perhaps I can jog your memory, remember back a few weeks to the capturing of Camp Hope. The Scottish doctor had come down, I can't quite remember his name and there were a few people filtering into the camp. The same man that helped me cure my addiction. We were captured and brought to that ruined church. They asked us for information pertaining to Wave Carson. They found out I was an addict and... well... you know where that can go. Rough Riders. One of them, the Snake, shot me in the knee. I had it coming."

"I wasn't on any medication because I couldn't BE on any medication, Doctor. To not see the handicap in my gait wouldn't be exactly surprising, I didn't walk much when you came over, I was talking to Victor. I made no attempt to raise my gun, he tried to bait me into attacking him but, despite his provocations, I kept my cool and agreed to leave the camp."

*Resting his hand gently on his healing but weakened kneecap, Maxwell sighs sadly and winces at the memory of the bullet tearing through it like wet paper*

"You say you aren't justifying what your husband did, yet you say that I must have pissed him off somehow. Is that not justifying his actions then?"

"Not directly involved?"

*He shakes his head and sighs over the frequency, tutting a few times. A sharp click can be heard followed by static.*

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Hope becomes frustrated, overhearing the man whom seemed to be arguing with her however she remains sounding calm. Taking her radio in a fast motion with a frowned look on her face. She clears her throat before she continues the conversation with him. Trying to keep things she'd regret to say out of it.

"So you're now telling me my husband was attempting to 'bait' you into assaulting him...? You're the one with the gun as you just said, he had no gun. He was, as I stated before, scolding a person (and rightfully so) for not following correct procedures. I find it very difficult to see how my husband doesn't value his life when you're the one with a shot in knee cap (apparently) carrying a gun and seeming to be more interested in arguing with him than to get medical help. I don't know where your priorities lay, but they surely didn't seem to lie in the correct places at the time. I don't know if you have some sort of personal vendetta against him but it seemed to of started in the camp and hasn't stopped then. I'd suggest instead of threatening a specific someone on the radio you talk to them about it. And yes, I know what you're about to say."

She trys making her voice sound slightly manly.

"But he smashed my knee in! Why would I want to talk to him!"

She turns to her original voice.

"I'm not saying meet him face to face. Hell, that's a death sentence awaiting to happen. Y'know.... Since you threatened to rid him and his mongrels, which also, thanks for basically dragging me in since I'm technically affiliated with him but I'm talking in a calm and civil manor."

She pauses for a moment, a fed up sigh heard from her end.

"You want me to be Victor and teach you a few lessons I learnt?

One. Don't send death threats or, well, threats over the radio. Full stop. It never ends well and I'm sure you want to use both knee caps.

Two, though it is frustrating that you have been harmed (trust me, personal experience) it's best to talk things out. Some of the people who have harmed me have become somewhat good friends and acquaintances of mine.

Three. Sort out your differences and man up a little. We have more things to worry about, we're battling a war to find food, warmth, shelter, family. Everything.

Four. Instead of trying to sound like a big guy on the radio and provoking someone. Look for medical attention. Calm down and then take the decision to do what you think it is best which may line out lesson one, two and three.

Five. A crucial lesson. Try and learn the story from each person. Like how I have been doing, though I have seemed a bit biased, I've have tried to be understanding. Before you start assuming that they hate you for no reason."

Again there is another sigh along with shuffling in the background.

"I've known Victor know for nearly a year now.... He isn't one to just do it for the fun of it. He may laugh at it, he is a bit sadistic but he always has a reason behind everything. If he robs you it may be because he needs a can of food or so. If he takes ammunition it may be so he can rob for the can of food. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems and I can understand your frustration. I'm not trying to bash you, belittle you or justify everyone's actions, but he always has a reason behind things."

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*Jericho keys in on his police radio*

"You must have insulted or done something wrong towards the man, Mr. Cruz is an honorable and respectable person."

*He sighs*

"Good luck, you will be fighting an entire army and you will not win said war, I've seen the man dismantle entire regions and alliances."

*He releases the button and ends the transmission.*

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Mack James hears the back and forth and throws in his two cents.

"Victor Cruz is alright I guess. Definitely would keep this kinda shit to yourself, lest you have a death wish. Same shit happened to me; I threatened ya boy and ya boy had me tied up within the hour. I kill people for a living, and I ran twenty killers deep back in the day, so it's not like I'm an easy target. He's definitely got some cred in my book.

So yeah, reverse course."

He releases the PTT and goes back to cleaning out his destroyed left eye socket.

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*Maxwell shakes his head, resigning himself to not being able to convince her that he's in the right. "And why would she think I'm right, I'm nobody to her" he thinks to himself. Holding the radio to his mouth, he speaks in a quiet tone.*

"I see no point in continuing this relentless back and forth arguing, Doctor. Speaking of killing Victor was too rash from myself, he, despite the grievous harm he committed upon me, did not kill me."

"Are you trying to save me Doctor Hope? Our druids took care of my leg after it became bone meal. I've taken care of myself Doctor. Perhaps you think you can dissuade me? Don't waste your breath, when I set my mind to something, there is very little that can sway me from that path."

*His voice turns to a whisper*

"And I can't let that go..."

*He sighs sadly on the frequency*

"I want no war... It won't be good for either side... I want a penance"

"Perhaps Victor can explain why he did this thing to me, without any bullshit and maybe, maybe I can understand... I respect who you are Doctor but, you do not speak for Victor; if he's anything like you say he is"

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*David looks over at Skinner confused at the transmission then Skinner shrugs at him then he presses down his transmit button*

Alright, listen here slick I don't know what kinda poetry you speakin', now are you saying you want war or don't want war? I can tell you for a fact Boss man don't give two shits about a... uhm... "war" I guess, and if he took your shit and capped yo' knee probably cause you a bitch and deserved it.

*David looks at Skinner shrugs again confused lets go of the transmit button and then goes back to what he is doing*

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*Hearing the transmission, Maxwell smiles at the frank tone of the man and retrieves his radio*

"I spoke of war in an emotional state... Anger and frustration at losing my knee took over me and the radio was there... A regretful incident but, after much counselling between my peers, war seems like a mutually non-beneficial option, though we will defend ourselves against all outside incursions.

I let my emotions get the better of me, then I thought, I sought clarity and realised I shouldn't go to war over my personal pride, I have people I need to protect, we have people we need to protect. I would fail my people if I were to bring them to war over a broken kneecap"

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*Hearing the transmission, Maxwell smiles at the frank tone of the man and retrieves his radio*


Jeremiah sighs, saddened at the man's condition, as well as the way he was belittled over the radio. He responds in an attempt to give him a bit of solace.

"I know that your.. 'druids' have taken care of you, but if you ever need any further medical assistance or refuge, feel free to make your way to Camp Indigo to seek it. We operate in the southern region of South Zagoria, in a group of apartment buildings a bit northwest of Chernogorsk. We have a, albeit understaffed, medical team there that is more than willing to help you if need be.

Stay safe, friend."

He releases the PTT, a smile creeping onto his face, thinking he did some good today.

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*Looking at his well tended leg, Maxwell scoffs as he hears the man over the radio, though a tinge of respect creeps into his face when he hears the rest of the transmission*

"I thank you sir but our druids, as well as myself, have basic medical training and are learning more every day. It will take years for them to master medicine but, maybe even learning from you one day, they will do it, we will do it. Perhaps one of our friends will pay a visit with medical supplies, they are always in need; no?"

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*Ezekial chuckles, listening to the man's change in heart clicking the PTT*

See man, that's all it took. Smoke some herb, lay back, and think before we speak.

*Puts a joint to his lips releasing the PTT, lighting it and taking an extended inhale*

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*Noting the casual demeanour of the voice over the radio, Maxwell leans forward intently and speaks into the radio*

"Imagine a very large toolbox. Now imagine that war is one of those tools. Now imagine that there are many other tools, all with their own approach to fucking with someone."

"I said I want a penance. But I suppose a lackey wouldn't understand."

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*Ezekial places his knife down, irritated at the man he presses the PTT*

And again he starts with the throwing of words before he speaks, you can call me a "Lackey" but in this place these are my niggas. I mean all you got was a small taste of what we can do. I'd watch yourself, fucker.

*Taking the knife and continuing to sharpen it*

This guy think's he is some hot shit, but calls himself a Druid like he from them old times.

*chuckles can be heard through the radio before it cuts off*

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