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A Promise To Protect - 20. Mission - Success, is Letting Him Fail

The only thing worse than waiting for Zeke to come home was knowing that Zeke was not going to come and join him. Still, there was some comfort in knowing that Tyler had the place to himself. He was already planning little ways he could make it his own. Tyler had never lived on his own before, so it was pretty exciting for him. The situation as a whole was far from ideal, but he was going to make this work for him. Had he gone to college, he’d be decorating his dorm room, but instead it’s a tiny apartment in the basement of a mysterious building. A building he now worked in apparently, though he knew nothing about what his job would entail. He was torn on what to do about this job. On one hand, he didn't want to lose the perks of having some freedom again. On the other hand, he was scared shitless. Zeke obviously had a reason for why he didn't want Tyler to work there, actually, there seem to be a lot of good reasons for him not to work there. Despite the fact that in the moment Tyler had bought everything that G was saying. The more he reflected the more he realized, he had just been fed an opinion, and had accepted it as fact. As far as he was concerned, he had already failed agent training 101 by not thinking practically about a job offering that may cost him his life. But then again, he did want to help and he also wanted to show Zeke that he wasn’t just uselessly waiting to be rescued. He didn't really want this job, he just wanted a chance to impress everyone so he could stop feeling like people saw him as less than them.

Despite it being entirely Tyler's call to be in a room seperate from Zeke, he did find it frustrating that Zeke didn't even try to visit. Of course he was probably away most of the following days, because Tyler didn't so much as see him in passing on his way to or from the various training sessions he was escorted to. This building was huge and Tyler had no chance of getting around without assistance, he very nearly needed a map around the place.

On his first day he he was put through endurance training. His determination to show off got him through the extensive session. No wonder Zeke came back so tired, these were no joke. Back in school Tyler had avoided doing sports, mostly because the thought of having to go through the sneers and comments every time he walked into the locker room was enough of a deterrent that it wasn't worth it. Teenagers were jerks, the people he was put through training with here however, were not laughing at him or making any comments. He felt immediately like he fit in with these people, there were 3 women doing the same training as the other 2 men with Tyler. An equal playing field.

His second day was hard, he and all the other training agents were alone in a big empty room, given no instructions and just left for hours. There was something they were being tested on, but no one knew what. Tyler kept to himself mostly, although a few of the others approached him to talk a few times. He figured this was a test of communication. Either they had to prove they could work together as a team, or that they could keep their distance and not talk about anything with one another. Tyler took the approach because he'd seen first hand, that as an agent who'd likely gone through similar training, Zeke had absolutely no interest in talking about anything and didn't seem remotely interested in team work or developing relationships. Once the day was over, they were only told to go back to their rooms, no explanation or debrief.

Day three, Tyler wasn't paged for training, which was honestly a relief because his muscles were aching from day one and he had a headache from sitting in a bright white room overthinking everything all of day two. He took a long shower, had a nap and hoped he hadn't been forgotten or deliberately left out. Of course he felt like he was meant to be showing some initiative or something, going out and looking for G or Corey or one of the other guys to ask what was going on, but he also figured this could be a test of how well he obeyed instructions. The last thing that he'd been told was 'go back to your rooms and wait for further instructions.' So he was doing just that, taking advantage of the opportunity to recover a little.

Day four was his mental health test. This wasn't conducted on paper, it was conducted while chained half naked to a wall after being abducted in the middle of the night by people he had never met before. They had gotten in while he was sleeping, restrained him and drugged him. He had no idea where he'd woken up, but he seemed to have been given some kind of hallucinogen. The first hour was spent hearing voices speak in a foreign language elsewhere in the pitch black room, his head spinning and his mind playing tricks on him. The second hour through to the seventh hour of this process was a combination of being yelled at, the only English spoken to him being a demand for information. There were threats of physical harm, getting all the way to the point Tyler was starting to genuinely think he was about to get hurt, then there's an interruption and the men leave the room. A masked figure enters the room with a needle, and the next thing Tyler knows, he's waking up back in his room wondering if it was all a dream. This is when he's paged to visit Corey for the mental health assessment. The test gets weird fast, Corey asks normal questions to begin with then starts trying to get information about Zeke.

"So are you and Zeke together? Because he seems to think you are interested in him."

"No."

"This isn't part of the test. You can tell me. I just want to make sure you're going into this for the right reason." Corey insists, though regardless of whether it was part of the test or not, Tyler had no intention of disclosing anything about Zeke or the complicated feelings that surrounded him.

Day five, another headache fueled day of silence.

Day six, more silence.

Day seven, more silence.

 

“You and Tyler are being dispatched on a mission this afternoon.” G informs Zeke.

“He’s nowhere near ready to actually get put out there, are you insane?” Zeke argues, he'd been watching on through some of Tyler's training sessions, and none of them had involved actual combat training, weapon training, escaping from situations. It was nowhere near an adequate amount of training.

“Zeke. Trust me, I don’t want him working here any more than you do. I never actually thought he might accept such an outlandish offer. So him being under-trained is part of the point. This mission is a fake. It’s designed to show him he can’t handle this lifestyle, and to make the choice he should have already made, and leave to the safe house.” G replies, taking Zeke off guard as he was ready to continue arguing for Tyler’s safety.

“It’s a fake?” Zeke frowns.

“Yes, a fake. Look, I’m going to tell you something completely different to what I’m going to tell him, he’ll be instructed not to share any of the details with you, which I suspect will be the first aspect he will fail on, because I know you're his weakness. Then his gun will be loaded with blanks, 3 of our men will make a fake attempt on his life, he’ll think his accuracy is off because he'll shoot and think he's missing them. Second thing he’ll fail. This will cause him to panic, he’ll be ‘captured’ and you’ll save him. We’re going to show him how inappropriate for the job he is, then you’ll take him to the safe house for the night and he’ll hopefully feel comfortable with the idea of staying there for the remainder of the threat period. You’ll both return the following day and I’ll either fire him or he’ll quit. It’s all been worked out.” G states with a sigh, handing Zeke the plan as he would any other type of mission.

“You’re going to emotionally and mentally fuck him up. Great idea, I don’t think he’s been through enough of that.” Zeke replies sarcastically as he takes the plan and reads through it. "Couldn't you just fail him in training?"

“We wanted to, problem is he did an amazing job. I don't think you can deny that he is stronger than he seems."

"If you call cutting yourself 'strong'." Zeke mutters.

"Don't get me wrong, he's clearly got a lot of unhealthy trauma, but we had him on hallucinogenics, threatening to hurt him if he didn't tell us what he knew about us, and he didn't say a word. He didn't even mention it to Corey during his mental health assessment. He didn't break throughout training, so this next step is to trying to show him his limits. You know how brutal this job can get, he can pass all the training and fail on the field. We've seen that plenty of times, it's not unusual. He's going to be fine, we don't want any harm to come to him. Which is why I'm sending you, he's got an attachment to you and will be comforted by your company and when he returns, he’ll get debrief counselling with Corey just like everyone else. You know he’ll be ok. I’ve no intention of leaving him traumatized, I just don’t see him backing down on this without substantial reason. From what I’ve seen, just telling him he’s not right for the role isn’t going to be successful, is it?” G asks. This plan was awful, but Zeke understood where he was coming from.

“Definitely not. If anything that would only make him more determined to.” Zeke says, rubbing his forehead as he feels a headache coming already. Even after all Tyler had been through, he hadn't stepped down from being involved in it all and when Zeke had tried to push him away it'd ended in Tyler throwing himself into danger, he needed a reality check, even if it was a harsh one.

“That’s what I thought. So, we show him in a way that he cannot dispute, that he’s not equipped to handle the pressure and he’ll have no choice but to step down. All I need you to do, is try to find out what I’ve told him and see how easily he gives up ‘classified’ information. Then let him do what he thinks is right, and be there to rescue him. If he seems at all like he’s not shaken by it, try to talk him into quitting before you return. I don’t care what it takes. I’m sorry Zeke, I know you want to protect him, but Tyler cannot stay here and he cannot continue taking your attention away from the job. He’s got to fail this mission, he’s got to feel like he’s not good enough and he’s got to quit. If he isn’t prepared to quit when he returns, I will be giving him the same level of lecture I give anyone that lets me down. I won’t go easy on him, so if you playing ‘good cop’ doesn’t get through to him, then I will wear him down and be the ‘bad cop’. Understand what your part in this mission is?” G asks, watching Zeke for any hint that he would fail this too. Zeke knew this mission wasn’t only designed to push Tyler to breaking point, it was a test of Zeke’s determination and commitment, or more so, who his commitment was to. If he could stand back and watch Tyler go through the hell planned out for him and not soften on him and admit it was all a set up, then he would pass. It wouldn’t be the first time he was sent out to be completely heartless, it was just the first time that felt like an actual challenge to him.

“I understand.” Zeke agrees. He had as much ‘choice’ in this, as Tyler had in accepting the job or being sent to the safe house. Of course he could make the choice that felt right, but he would suffer the consequences. If G was willing to orchestrate something like this just to prove Tyler wrong, then Zeke knew better than to cross G and see how bad his punishment would be. Tyler would never forgive him for knowing what was happening and still standing back and letting tonight play out, but his hands were tied. All Zeke could do, was hope that Tyler would be able to forgive himself for how badly he was going to fail this job.

“Good, now go and get ready.” G orders, paging Tyler to come to his office. Zeke bites his lip and leaves the office. He felt sick, he felt guilty, he felt like he was betraying all the trust he’d worked hard to build with Tyler. In just a week it’d gone from trying to convince himself that he had to put a stop to the feelings he was developing, to now having to accept there would be no coming back from the pain he was about to let Tyler go through. It was the most unfair situation, but Zeke couldn’t see another possibility. Not now that Tyler had allowed G to be in control of him, better to rip the band-aid off now and have one awful night, then get any more wound into the web and end up on a mission that could actually result in physical injuries or death.

 

“You wanted to see me?” Tyler asks, faking confidence as he enters G’s office on his own for the first time.

“Yes. Sit down.” G instructs. Tyler does as he’s told, waiting anxiously to find out what he’d done wrong to be summoned like this, three days of silence, now this. “I’ve got a job for you.” G starts.

“Already?” Tyler replies, trying to hide his nerves.

“Don’t worry. It’s a low risk job, very, very simple. Consider it a trial, an opportunity for you to impress me. I think you’re ready.” G tells him with a kind smile. Tyler smiles back, relaxing a little, if G believed in him, he must have been doing something right.

“Ok. What’s the job?” Tyler asks, sitting up straighter.

“You have to understand something very important Tyler, I take confidentiality very seriously so I’m telling you this in complete confidence. Not even your partner is going to be told these details of the mission. I need to know I can trust you, its for both of your safety because if anything happens, I can’t have either of you sharing private details with anyone else. For that reason you’re given different objectives. In the case where either of you have to confront anyone, you won’t have to worry about your partner talking and giving away your plans. Do you understand why this is a vital part of the mission?” G pauses for Tyler to reply.

“Yes.” Tyler gulps, a crushing amount of pressure hitting him.

“Good. Now your objective is simple. All you have to do is...”

 

As Tyler looks at himself, dressed in a tailored suit, armed with a gun, he feels like a different person. He felt confident. G trusted him to manage this, and it was simple. It was so, so simple. He had nothing to worry about, just get in and do the job, prove himself and move on. G had escorted him to the armory to get his weapon for the night and it was all starting to feel real, a little too real. Now all he had to do was wait for his mission partner to join him, and as the door opens he turns around to face the one person he’d been missing and avoiding for the last week.

“Hi.” Zeke doesn’t smile at him as he walks in, heading straight the gun cupboard and unlocking it with a code, Tyler hadn’t been given the code yet, G had told him that he’d be given that when he had proven himself.

“Hi.” Tyler replies, looking away from Zeke, though he instinctively finds himself looking over again a moment later as he hears Zeke loading a gun. There was something weirdly attractive about seeing Zeke getting ready for a mission without any hesitation. Tyler couldn’t wait to be that confident, that sure of himself. Throwing bullets in guns like it's no big deal. Tyler hadn’t seen Zeke in the whole week since he’d been offered a job. He’d missed him, but he couldn’t get distracted. He was determined to show Zeke just how capable he was, and nothing was going to stop him. Not even the nerves as he watches Zeke preparing another gun. He’d been give one. He knew he and Zeke were given different briefs, but he couldn’t help but wonder why Zeke was getting prepared for a much bigger fight than Tyler felt prepared for.

“How are you feeling?” Zeke asks, closing and locking the cupboard, holstering his gun and turning to Tyler, an intensely interested look in his eyes.

“I’m fine. What about you?” Tyler asks, feeling the opposite of fine.

“Hm.” Zeke shrugs. “I don’t remember feeling ‘fine’ before my first mission. It’s normal to be absolutely terrified, I don’t know anyone that wasn’t shitting themselves the first time they went out. For that matter, I don’t know anyone that didn’t say yes to their first mission because they felt intimidated by G. You know, you can drop it if you’re not ready. You don’t have to do anything you’re not ready for. I will cover for you and take the blame, tell him I wasn’t willing to work with you or something.” Zeke assures him, hoping Tyler would admit he was out of his depth and call it off right here and now before things got worse for him.

“Do I not look ready to you?” Tyler asks, doing a spin to show off how professional he looked in his suit.

“It’s not about how you look.” Zeke replies, though Tyler did look great. He looked like a movie star agent, not an agent ready to walk into real danger.

“I am ready. Have a little faith in me.” Tyler shrugs and takes out his gun, swinging it around on his finger with a smile on his face. He was so unprepared. Again, Zeke felt himself aching with a need to tell Tyler what he was really about to be put through. That smug smile on his face wouldn’t be there for long.

“Don’t play with the gun.” Zeke orders, wanting an excuse to cover for how nervous he was about going through with this cruel plan.

“The safety is on, don’t worry. I’m not stupid.” Tyler rolls his eyes and holsters the gun then crosses his arms. “Lets go.” Tyler says confidently.

“If you say so.” Zeke replies with a sigh then hesitantly leads the way.

Copyright © 2020 Littlelovestories; All Rights Reserved.
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Ok I don't think that Tyler is going to give up, he will say nothing to Zeke , they are in for a bit of a surprise I think

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What will happen if Tyler actually succeeds?He might do something unconventional or have just plain dumb luck.

Considering what Tyler had gone through in his actual life this kidnapping him in the middle of the night was a bit much.

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“G” is a manipulative prick. Beyond being a prick, I’m thinking he may be the very focus for Zeke’s investigations and the strong reasons for Zeke not trusting him; G is running both sides of the board, he is the enemy within and Zeke is too close to exposing this. Zeke is being set up and Tyler is being used to perpetuate the crimes of G. This whole setup is bad news, but I have hope that Zeke is implementing is own safeguards and exposures this prick. Ironic that G’s patsy could be the key to his demise.

 

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I’m now recalling Zeke’s house being attacked and Tyler’s quick thinking back then. Yes, in that instance Tyler got seriously injured yet he showed real initiative in a situation where he was outnumbered & outgunned so I can see him finding a way to succeed in this “mission”. He’s also not stupid so I’m curious if he’ll realize his gun has blanks in it rather than assuming he’s just missing(Also I have to wonder if Zeke is packing blanks to as otherwise I’d expect Tyler to get suspicious if he’s in what appears to be danger yet Zeke doesn’t ever fire his gun.) and then like @Philippe I don’t remotely trust G so I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a trap with the goal being to kill Zeke. I have to wonder if deep down Zeke is a little suspicious considering how much he was apparently arming himself, though I suppose in that line of work it’s always good to be cautious regardless as it wouldn’t be impossible for a legitimate threat to appear even during a supposed fake mission. No matter what I think we can all agree that this “mission” is not going go as anyone expects it to.

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