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The Pain of Life

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The cynical words fail to dampen Hannibal’s cutting corrupted grin. Of course, he’s become adjusted, almost to the point of complete immunity, to the complaints of his men. Oh, he heard them. The words fell strong on the shells of his ears. He simply elected to ignore them. “Cheer up, Face,” he starts in his patient paternal way. His gloved hand curls around Templeton’s shoulder. “Pain is how you know you’re alive!” Right now, Smith needed Face to remember that he was alive and that work was being required of him if he wished to remain so. “Isn’t it great?” His question departs his lips all too cheerfully. Great to be alive. Great to feel something other than the hollow buzz of numbness. Great to be infected by the JAZZ.

Internally, Hannibal knows life on the run hasn’t been the slice of pie that everyone was ravenous to devour. It was a hard and cruel twist of events after valiant service to their country. Ten years happened to be an awfully long time to be chased from border to border by the Military’s best dogs and hyenas for a crime they didn’t even commit. Whilst Hannibal never said anything, even he was prone to wishing for a reprieve. But he can’t let anyone bear witness to any chinks in his armor. Morale is all they’ve got. If he didn’t keep it up for the sake of his team, he shuddered to think of what would happen.

“So when you’re done commiserating and having a pity party for one, Lieutenant, will you give me a rundown on the numbers? How many guys does this Big Al have in the hotel?” The same fingers that had been wrapped around Face’s shoulder, now delve into the pocket of his tan jacket to retrieve a fresh cigar.