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He couldn't help but grin an almost sadistic grin "It's almost sad that these people get to have the pleasure of breaking you and not me. Tell me, what do you see yourself as? A revolutionary? An emblem for change? Or just some savage demon dragging out a path of destruction in its wake? Well here's a news flash, the world is already destroyed. Every day we walk over ashes and dust. And all you want is to kick up a storm before you too, ultimately fizzle out of existence? Our lives are short and uncertain as it is so at least do us all a favour and do something meaningful with yours, girl" he said, grin fading as he leaned back again, sighing.

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She watched him for a moment before responding. "I'm doing something meaningful.. Being someone with a mind of her own that knows how to say no and defend herself is damn meaningful.." She says looking him up and down and smiling a bit. "And honey, if you personally want to break me, bring it. I'll show you what a real wolf is.." She says smirking a bit. She sighs a bit and stands slowly, the guards moving towards her slowly. She leans across the table only about a good from his face. "I could show you a lot more than just the wolf inside me.." She says softly giving him a wink. She was trying a strategy, she wouldn't mind being this mans play toy as long as she was favored and treated better than the rest. One thing she knew how to do was manipulate men and gain power no matter what.

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He smirked, a smirk which soon turned into a chuckle, and then a laugh which only grew louder as he shook his head, then suddenly rose up, grabbing her by the neck and bringing his face closer to her ear, whispering "Trust me, my dear... you have NO idea what a real wolf is..." he said, squeezing her neck on the word 'NO' then letting go and stepped back, looking at the guards "This woman is to receive no special treatment for her gender. She's dangerous and cunning and is to be handled like any other criminal like her. Be sure to spread the word. We're done here" he said coldly then headed for the door "Next time you better bark when I say bark" he added on his way out before closing the door. From there he went to see the prison warden to make discuss Raenna's obedience program. And to make sure the guards don't go easy on her if she provides sexual pleasures for them, be they male or female. Once he was done, he left, but there was that rage in his guts, building up again. Something that made him relish the idea of being able to squeeze her throat for longer. Much longer. Outside, he sat down by the fence and brought out a carton cigarettes. He hadn't smoked in some time, having resolved to quitting the habit but right now he felt he needed it to calm his nerves. He put one in his mouth, then grabbed a box of matches out of one of his jacket pockets, taking one from the box and lighting it, then using it to light the cigarette. He coughed with the first inhaling before regaining his composure and smoking quietly, looking over the fence at the other prisoners. A thought came to him then, as he wondered how many dogs would it take to bring a wolf down to the ground. Two answers popped in his head - a lot, and just one. Two scenarios, to either sick everyone of these prisoners on her, or play her game and see who wins. She's an alpha and that makes her a problem in of itself, he thought. He gritted his teeth and mumbled to himself "Women..." before exhaling a puff of smoke. 

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She scowled as the guard moved her down the halls. What is his problem! She thought to herself. She could see that rage inside him, pushing up things he wanted to say, pushing at the boundary of control they put inside him. She could still feel the slight tingle of his hand against her throat and for some ungodly reason, she wanted to fight back a bit to feel it again. Now she was wondering what was wrong with her, she had never felt wanting for someone who treated her life on every occasion he showed up. She scowled even more, pushing the thought away as she was tossed into her cell once more, the officer leaving the cuffs on her this time. "You threaten him Rae, he will cut you down no matter what." The guard says, closing the door behind her and then the light switches off leaving her in pure darkness. She needed to get through this hell because these men needed to realize what they are doing, how breaking down these people will only make it worse. She made a decision, one that would cost her life. She would press an image into these men's mind, causing something to stir even if it took her life.

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Over the next weeks nearly all of Raenna's privileges were suspended, every guard treating her as if she was a scumbag like the rest. For starters, that should've been obvious to them. These people were never considered the brightest bulbs in the box but you'd think they'd be bright enough. Gilmore would pay close attention to the dog house and everyone inside, making sure his directions were upheld and order was maintained. Not because he had nothing better to do, but because alphas presented the greatest risk. There are only two options with them, break them or kill them. Part of him questioned why he cared to keep them alive, while another held the answer but was too smug to just say it. Wolves are fun, sheep are food. Most people his age would be married by now. But what sort of marriage is there for him? Coming home to a slab of meat with a face, eating dinner and then going to bed. What about sex? It was like fucking a piece of rubber. It would jerk and react but nothing that made you care beyond your own satisfaction. That's all these sheep women were good for. A cheap fuck. 

 

So maybe he saw something in this one girl. But the thought that someone like him would fall to his primal instincts as a male disgusted him. That's why usually these thoughts remained on the peripheral zone of his conscious mind. Another reason was the fact that he was showing compassion and sympathy. Something he had realised long ago to be the demise of the foolish. Personal gain stood above all. Right after survival, of course. 

 

Inside the prison, that is to say, dog house, everyone was forced to toil in daily manual labour. From cleaning toilets and bathrooms to laundry, to cafeteria, to yard work. All the work and every prisoner was double-checked at the end of each day for contraband and the like. Much like always, transgressions and organised meetings and secret plans were quickly discovered and terminated, the members, punished by torture, physical punishment, like having their tongue cut off, or death. The warden himself had personal interest in upholding this regime. He was obsessed with climbing up the ladder and, so, he was convinced getting in a ranking official's good graces would score him points. How laughable his delusions were. He was just exploitable for his greed. Anyone who had to benefit from this program would deem it a logical and virtually foolproof system. Of course, to give the illusion of complacency, the three free hours a day, most of which were spent watching television or doing shit out in the yard. Or both, since there was a TV in the yard.

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Raenna was in the yard after the 10 hours of labor she put into the day. She licked her sore lip that bore a slowly healing cut created by what she remembered to be the fist of an older gentleman with a gold wedding band. He had given her a well deserved beating after she had refused to clean one of the Men's bathroom stalls. She had been beaten several times since Gilmore gave his orders. She had almost a permanent black eye and her body was covered in shoe prints and fist marks, her wrists worn raw by tight cuffs.

 

She was a people watcher, observing the others as she had her few hours of time to herself. She watched the ones lifting weights and trying to stay strong for god knows what reason besides maybe being picked for a mission and getting sent from this place. She also observed the TV watchers, mindlessly watching moving images of a bright LED screen. She grinned to herself and looked back down at the slab of concrete in front of her with a half finished coal drawing of a face. Gilmore's face to be exact. She had an odd mindset with him, noticing him sometimes walking into the dog house when she was outside, and also noticing herself thinking of him more than she should. He was another pawn in this fucked up societies chess game and she was a pawn that he had taken protecting the queen. She was nothing to him but a speck of dirt under his nail that could easily be tossed away. She shook her head and smeared the drawing as the call to come inside was sent out.

 

She hit the ground harder than she expected after tripping over a mans boot in the yard. She spat grotesque words at him, prompting him to give her what would soon be another boot print on her body. And then she felt another blow to the head, knocking her a bit dizzy. She had never been liked here, being a threat to the sanity of this place scared these people who have been broken and refined down to mindless creatures again. Another blow to the stomach and she slowly felt the taste of blood in her mouth. She sat up a bit and spit out a good amount of blood, looking up at one of the guards who seemed to turn a blind eye to this. He did not care. As long as a was kept alive it did not matter what condition I was in. And this guard planned on letting me take what more was coming to me.

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Another month rolled by before Gilmore decided to visit the dog house again. He wondered what state she'd be in. And then immediately shook off the thought that sounded to him much more like a caring one. He looked back out the truck window as it came up to the gates. Once it stopped he got off and headed inside, asking at the reception desk for Raenna to be brought to the visiting room.

 

In truth this time he had a more professional reason to be here. There was work that needed to be done and not the pretty kind either. In reality, even among the soldiers, few knew about the dirty dealings that went on at the behest of the top brass. A lot of regular soldiers and peace officers were just sheep armed with sticks. Of course, there were those like Gilmore. They were the ones who ascended the ranks much quicker. Some were even given a higher position than Private to begin with. It was an investment on the part of their superiors. He knew this, of course. Their game was as transparent to him as the air itself. And surely, somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind, there was a theatre stage where he'd imagine these faceless omnipotent, all-powerful beings, who lived in towers hidden from the eyes of mortals, high above the world they governed and saw all. He'd imagine them as small sock puppets putting on a show, as a public of children were in awe, and the adults just waited silently for it to be over and they could leave. In truth, he'd watch a show like this if he could, if simply for nostalgia's sake.

 

He mused to himself like this as he waited in his chair in the visiting room, a cynical smirk on his face as he stared absent-mindedly at the wall.

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She winced at the tightening of the cuffs on her still raw wrists, and stumbled a bit on her first few steps out of her room. She walked with a slight limp from all her sore and beaten muscles. She knew where she was going and she was not excited to see him. She did not want anything to do with s man who could turn a blind eye to mindless beatings and pain that did not need to be caused.

 

She was sat down across from Gilmore, her hands chained to the middle of the table like usual. The whole left side of her face was bruised from a few days ago in the yard after she confronted someone about something. Her ribs were bruised and she could hardly breath without pain going through her body. She watched him without saying a word, waiting for him to speak.

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When he saw her, a feeling he hadn't felt in years welled up inside him, like a fat worm tunnelling its way through his intestines. It was guilt. Part of him wanted to say 'I'm sorry' but neither his pride nor anything else would let him. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes before speaking "It's time for your trial run. I have an assignment which requires more than one person. Since you're the new alpha I decided to see how you'll fare. It can only be six people and I have nobody trustworthy. So choose four of your men. I'll have them brought along and I'll explain the details on the ride back" he said, trying to keep his tone flat and firm.

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She watched him for a moment, seeing his face forcefully staying flat and steady. "I'll find my men... but I doubt they will want to come." she says mater of factly. She twists her wrists in the cuffs a bit, trying to move it off one of the tears in her skin. "I doubt I'm going to like this either. A trip with 5 men? Doesn't sound quite like something I would want considering these last 2 months." She said in a bit of a harsh tone, already accusing him of things due to the constant punishment she has gotten.

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He leaned forward on his elbows, his fingers crossed in front of his face as he looked down, resting his forehead against his hands "If you comply I'll see that you're enlisted in the army and given a dwelling within the city. For you and your comrades. Provided you follow orders and don't take unnecessary risks. In addition, all your injuries will be treated before the assignment. You should have just enough time to heal before the job" he said, the stoicism of his voice beginning to falter. 

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This registered in her mind for a moment. A dwelling in the city would be better than this place but yet almost just the same. She gave a faint smile and shook her head. "alright Il comply. But I want free range in this army. I do not want a standard schedule.." she says lightly as she looks at him, her pale eyes seeming more pale than usual.

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"So long as you don't disturb the peace and follow your orders when you come, the top brass doesn't care about your life beyond that point" he said, then turned to the guard monitoring them "This woman will give you a list of four names. You are to find these people and bring them to the truck parked at the entrance. Understood?" the guard nodded "Sir, yes sir"

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She nodded slightly and looked down at her hands still cuffed. "I promise not to hurt you if you uncuff me please..." she says in a low voice moving the chains so they tap the table a bit. "I'm not an animal like you think I am. I'm human you know..."

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He sighed. Perhaps at least this much would be fine, he thought. He got up and took the guard's keys from him, then unlocked the cuffs "More often than not this world makes an animal out of everyone" he said in a similarly low voice as he uncuffed her "Besides, even if you tried you wouldn't be able to" he said dejectedly "Give the guard the names and he'll go fetch your people. Then you and I can head to the truck"

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She rubbed her wrists lightly and sighed a bit at his comment. Within a few moments she rattles off four names of the men she would like to bring with her and where you could most likely find them. She looked back at Gilmore and gave a mocking smile. "Done as you please." she said softly and lifted her hands to rub her face. She was sore and what she wanted more than anything in the world is to soak in a nice hot bath, maybe a message, maybe some affection. This is when she mentally slapped herself and looked over at Gilmore instinctively like he could read her mind because when she thought of affection his name and face were what popped into her head.

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He turned to the door leading out and said with a sigh "Right. Very well. We'll wait for them by the truck. And don't worry, this time you're riding in the passenger seat up front. We have plenty to discuss after all. My escort can sit in the back with your men. I'm sure he'll be fine" he shrugged. He could feel the tension leaving him as he was returning to his regular self, which, currently, he found to be his saving grace.

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She gave a faint smile as she wanted him turn to the door. "Alright, lead the way." She says moving her now unconnected arms. She felt more free than she has ever felt in the past 6 months. She watched Gilmore closely as she walked with him. "Could I possibly get some other clothes? This is something I'd love to get out of." She says softly pulling at her dirty clothes and looking at him with genuine eyes. She felt sort of at ease a bit more now that those cuffs were off her. That she could defend herself if needed.

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"You'll get everything when we get to base. Including some new clothes. Also, a bit of advice, don't talk to the other soldiers, or at least, make sure you pick who you talk to. The unreceptive are more often than not a hassle to deal with. Even if we have privileges over them, sparks light fires and fires grow until they turn on the person who started them" he said flatly, putting his hands in his pockets and shrugging.

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She nods a bit and continues to ruffle her clothes, moving them a bit so a cloud of dust comes off them. "God I'm excited to take an hour long shower.." She says with a slow sigh, rubbing her face and neck, feeling the major tight muscles. "Maybe go out for a night..." She says looking up at Gilmore for a sign of interest or denial. She was testing her boundaries with him again. Pushing the limits a bit to see what she could get away with with him.

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He sighed "I'd rather you didn't. Mostly because from now on I'll be your handler. As unfortunate as that is for the both of us" Being a handler was essentially his punishment for not having killed her months ago. What it meant was he was now her babysitter. It's not something new, he had one himself. And he remembered how much he wanted to bite the guy's jugular off at any given opportunity. He was smart enough not to do it, of course. He rubbed his forehead "And that's annoying. Means I'll have to babysit you"

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She thought of this and shrugged her shoulders a bit. "Maybe it won't be too bad. Could even develop a friend from this." She says lightly, looking at him from the corner of her eye. She could tell he was annoyed with her, that having to deal with her a punishment enough. She just wanted to try and make it easier for him. To maybe have someone like her in this god forsaken world. "I won't make you want to kill me.. Not yet." She said giving him a playful smile before looking back down at the ground and the rocks she had been playing with with her feet.

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He raised an eyebrow at her "You have an interesting idea about who to call friend. If this is some twisted misguided form of pity, save it. Frankly, I find being offered friendship from someone I locked up, had beaten to a pulp every single day for six months and am now using to do my dirty work a bit insulting. Unless of course, you were to tell me why you're being friendly? Other than getting me to lower my guard and take advantage of my position, of course"

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"Well.." She began, leaning against the van. "You personally did not beat me daily, and you personally are not using me for dirty work. People do things they do not intend to do when they are believed it to be true and just. If I came to you in the same beaten shape but in the city and in fair dressed clothes looking for a friend what would you do? Help me, befriend me. I am no different than that other than me being someone making a difference rather than blending in. You have a choice ,unlike you think, to befriend who you want. I can see you, that's why I'm being nice." She explains looking over at him and raising her brows to him as well. "And I thought that I might be on your good side due to us having to spend time together." She says watching him for a moment before turning away and wondering to the back of the van as they waited.

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He snickered "If you were one of those sheep I wouldn't give a lick of a damn about you. So get this through your head. We're not friends. And any difference you could make is to your own life. That's how this works" he said, leaning on the side of the van as well "So don't pretend to be nice. Frankly, it's irritating as all hell. You have no reason to be nice to me other than to piss me off and be a condescending bitch"

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