A/N: So basically this story is a re-imagining of the seventh episode of season one. Monroe arrives at the "soldier-factory" on a routine visit... just in time to put a serious kink in Miles and Charlie's plan to save a young boy from the terrible fate that awaits him inside one of the Republic's Revision programs.
"We're honored to have you with us, General. I believe you'll be impressed with this latest group. So far, they've exceeded even our expectations."
Sebastian Monroe, President of the Monroe Republic – and now General of it's ever-growing militia – stood surveying the massive old cargo ship floating sedately in the center of the harbor. From the shore, it looked so pitiful and abandoned, all by itself; never moving and never going to move again.
No one would suspect at first glance that it was one of the most valuable conscription facilities the Republic had. That was why it had lasted as long as it had, after all.
And with tensions between the Republic and Georgia at a near breaking point, he needed this facility operating at full capacity.
And I'm more than willing to make a change in leadership to make that happen, Monroe mused silently, his eyes wandering over the freighter's hull as he stepped into the ferry waiting to take him there. The ferry's old, wooden frame groaned under his iron-toed boots, and something about the sound made Monroe smile.
Henry Slotnick, one of Monroe's least favorite lieutenants, continued rambling on about increased recruitment numbers and new training tactics, flattering himself that his General was actually listening, and unaware that his possible demise was being planned even as he spoke. Monroe tried to suppress a sigh. If the man wasn't so good at getting results, he would've put a bullet in his head years ago just to get him to shut up.
And if he didn't continue to get those results, he surely wouldn't last much longer.
In all his years, Bass had never met anyone else so in love with the sound of his own voice as the man now standing beside him. Although… For an instant, Monroe forgot himself and flashed a smile. Miles always did love to hear himself talk.
Rolling his eyes, Bass looked to his right, still somehow expecting to see the faded brown eyes and ironic smirk of his best friend. Instead, he was met with a now-silent Lieutenant, the man's mouth hanging open in thinly veiled surprise. The smile slipped quickly from Monroe's face. Eyes regaining their usual cynical light, Monroe fixed his companion with a cold stare. The man wisely continued on with his briefing as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened, however, Monroe could still see the lieutenant watching him warily out of the corner of his eye from time to time, presumably checking for any more unusual smiles.
"Uhhh… right, yes we've made great strides since you were last here, General. The Revision program has been all but perfected – far fewer… surprises than we've had in the past." Another sideways glance. "Candidates are now subjected to intensive mental training, as well as physical, breaking down their prior memories and replacing them with a new, collective purpose: to protect and serve the Monroe Republic in any way their General requires."
"Then it sounds like this won't be a wasted trip after all, Lieutenant." Smirking internally when Slotnick's chest puffed out to nearly twice it's normal size, Bass tried to control his expression. Whatever he felt about the pompous ass, he couldn't very well go around killing everyone he disliked – because at that rate, he'd soon be the last man standing in his own Republic.
"I hope you continue to think so, General." Slotnick's proud neck grew even straighter. "You know how much your good opinion means to us." The last he said with such an air of disdain, that Bass had the simultaneous desire to either throw his head back and laugh or to kill his subordinate where he stood. Instead Monroe simply gave the man an icy smile.
"For your sake, let's hope so, Lieutenant."
By the time the ferry finally pulled alongside the freighter, Bass thought he'd taken just about all he could handle from the lieutenant. In fact, he considered it a small miracle that he hadn't actually killed the man before they'd arrived.
Pulling himself easily aboard the loading deck, Bass waved aside the simpering corporals waiting to attend him. Once he stood on the deck, they parted before him without hesitation, watching him warily like one might watch a tiger just set loose. Monroe's hands flexed and then fell flat against his sides. Even after years of watching his men regard him with terror, it still sent a small thrill up his spine every time he saw them flinch.
Barely covering a smirk, Monroe strode toward the main deck, his near-perfect memory guiding his steps before Lieutenant Slotnick could even offer to escort him. The flurry of officers rushing to keep up with him trailed Bass as he surveyed yet another piece of his kingdom. It was such a shame really, that not all his holdings were quite so easily-
A flash of light brought Bass reeling around, his keen eyes suddenly riveted on the shore. The officers had all stopped behind him, their silence a testament to their surprise. Ignoring them, Bass forced himself to focus, to narrow all of his attention to an old lighthouse that all of a sudden seemed so…
There was nothing else he could describe it as, no reason he could give. Only an intuitive sense of knowing that there was something important in the crumbling old tower. Something that could make all the difference.
It was a simple structure, with a massive old beacon crowning its head. Light hadn't shone from that beacon for over 15 years, and likely never would again.
Unless, Bass could find what he was looking for. Unless Rachel Matheson finally became cooperative. Unless… he could find someone else who knew how to turn the power back on.
His senses couldn't place it, but something about the lighthouse still didn't seem quite right. If it were anyone but Bass, they would've likely shrugged off any feelings of unease, telling themselves it was only their imagination. But Bass hadn't managed to live through two wars and the building of an empire by ignoring his instincts. And his instincts told him that there was something wrong there, even if he couldn't see it yet.
"Yes, General." The man's voice was more hesitant than usual. Monroe hadn't yet taken his eyes off the lighthouse, but his orders were decisive.
"I want a team to search that lighthouse. Every inch of it, understand? Bring back anything you find out of place." His words were met with silence. Turning on his heel, Monroe's icy gaze latched onto a perplexed Slotnick. The familiar rage that was never far from the surface threatened to boil over. "Now!"
A gunshot tore through the air, sending Monroe reeling. He dove for quick cover behind a nearby wall, the rest of the officers immediately following suit. A frenzy of shouts followed, raising together into the stifling afternoon air until the noise was deafening. Looking to his lieutenant, Monroe raised his brows, his expression dangerous. But Slotnick only shook his head – a denial of responsibility – and drew his gun. Motioning three of the other officers to follow suit, he led them forward, inching beyond the wall's protective barrier and onto the main deck, where the pandemonium had reached a crescendo.
Slotnick had left four officers with Bass, clearly intended to protect him should things reach a breaking point. Unfortunately, the soldier in Bass had never appreciated watching a battle from the sidelines.
Drawing his gun, Bass signaled to the four men, quickly sending them into a reluctant formation, despite their attempts to keep him back. Silently, he led them forward, his eyes always scanning. They reached the source of the chaos in less than 30 seconds, the noise a clear guide.
Bass stopped dead for a moment, his mind refusing to connect the scene before him with everything he'd been expecting. Because, whatever this was… He cocked his head, gun raised but forgotten.
This was not what he'd expected.
Ten soldiers circled around three struggling figures – two pissed militia men and a young, blonde cadet who was doing her very best to go down swinging.