Warning! This fic contains language and material that may not be suitable for younger readers so if you go off and kill a bunch of people you can't blame that impulse on this fic! You've had fair warning.
Battlezone II: Lost Legacy pt5- by Admiral Kelley
Legal crap: Please observe that I don't own anything that originated from the Activision game Battlezone II and anything else is completely mine and is subject to my own unique brand of copyright law. I also do not own any of the Authors Mya, Kaeli, Draganta, Zap_Rowsdower, ShadowDragon, SilverKnight, RainbowKat, QC, Trent Roman, or The RedBaron. They belong to themselves unless they have sold their souls to the Devil in which case they belong to him. Those who try to rip off my story or steal any of my ideas without at least mentioning where you got them in your story monologue will result in me sending a crack team of highly paid lawyers addicted to human flesh to bore you to death and then kill all your relatives with red tape when they try to have you buried. Now with the legal crap out of the way I encourage you to sit back, relax, and enjoy reading Battlezone II: Lost Legacy pt5 by Admiral Kelley and you are still encouraged to send me honest reviews or creative lies depending upon the content of your opinion so I can make part six better.
"All warfare is based on deception." - Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Life is an imperfect existence. Things happen that defy the very laws of nature and physics, which all must abide by, and when those laws were broken somebody has to pay. It was one of the Supreme Mandates of the Fury Hegemony and right now its latest victim, Field Master Dimity, was feeling the after effects of one such violation.
His steps down the corridor were slow and painful. The healers had deemed his condition unworthy of medical painkillers and had instructed him to simply return to his quarters and rest. As a result he was very dizzy from the reattachment process and needed to use the walls for support. He was not alone in the corridor of course, soldiers and technicals breezed past him none letting their eyes linger upon the Field Master's form. It was considered an offense worthy of execution to stare at your superior in a weakened condition while off the battlefield. But even though none gazed at him Dimity could hear their thoughts.
Failure, idiot, incompetent, imbecile! He didn't have to be telepathic to know what they were thinking. He had failed his superiors, failed his people and yet he was allowed to live. Though, on the surface Dimity understood why deep down he could not comprehend.
Failure means termination he remembered being taught so long ago. It is the law of the Furies and yet he still lived. Did that mean he wasn't a Fury and if so then what was he? The corridor beyond seemed to extend into eternity as Dimity took long labored steps to reach his goal his mind now beginning to ache along with his limbs. Failure means termination the words spoken by his superiors rang through his mind again but this time they elicited a feint amount of……anger. Dimity was so stunned at his reaction that he stopped in the halls and surprised a few soldiers who'd been following too close.
Failure means termination he thought again and just as before there was that flash of anger, but it felt stronger this time…..and somehow familiar. With confusion running rampant through his thoughts Dimity continued on again hugging the walls so as not to fall over and humiliate himself further. A few long minutes later he reached the door to his private quarters and pushed his way in not even bothering to continue on to his cot and opting to instead collapse to the hard floor and lay there without the energy to lift a single tendril.
Failure means termination the familiar anger bubbled up again Fuck you! Dimity jerked his head up at the unexpected response he had just given almost as if on instinct and yet he couldn't remember ever doing that before…..or could he. A pictured formed in his mind…..a darkened room full of strange machinery. Dimity felt almost as if he was actually there. He could smell rotting flesh and hear pained murmurs, and when he looked to his hands…these are not my hands! In that room Dimity could see a mirror and staring back at him from the mirror was a bizarre but recognizable figure that wasn't him but at the same time was. Who am I? Dimity wailed in his thoughts as darkness enveloped the dream and he was sent into a nonsensical slumber….
Dreams were nice things to have. Oh sure, occasionally they could develop into nightmares and ruin an otherwise perfect night's sleep but the chances of that were slim if you went to bed with a minimal amount of stress on your shoulders. But as another one of the ISDF's comically cruel rules of thumb point out "You're a squadron Commander and you'll do your dreaming AFTER the war's over!" Even though an official war had never been declared it didn't seem to stop that rule from being put into effect.
It started off as an insistent beeping to his right gradually becoming louder and louder until it turned into an ear-piercing shriek. When it reached the top of it's acoustic arc Slayer finally moved his arm over to the space next to him and felt around until his hand bumped into his helmet. Without opening his eyes Slayer picked up the still screeching headgear and stuck it on to turn the alert feature of his helmet communicator off. With a tap to the base of the antenna Slayer signaled whoever it was on the other end that he was receiving.
"Commander wake up!" Slayer eyes snapped open at the outburst and he found himself staring face to face with General Alistar. Slayer was already sitting up before he realized his helmet HUD was only giving him a picture reference as to who was calling.
"Sir!" he reported back.
"I have a situation here that requires your immediate attention, wake up Commander O'Hara and have her escort you to my office. There are several things I need to discuss with the both of you, be here in five minutes or heads will roll. Now get moving!"
"Sir yes sir!" Slayer reported for flair. Alistar never spoke to Black Op's personnel in that manner and his sudden formality could mean than he was under observation. Alistar's picture disappeared from the screen and Slayer was left with the usual HUD layout. At the bottom right corner Slayer saw the timer and realized that he'd only been asleep for about five minutes. The start of another beautiful day Slayer thought to himself as he got up off the mat and moved over to the cot next to him to rouse Kaeli.
"Now, now Slayer I won fair and square, you sleep on the floor." Kaeli observed when Slayer shook her awake.
"It's not that, get up and moving. I just got a call from Alistar, he wants us in his office." Kaeli regarded him for a moment before sighing and swinging her legs onto the floor.
"Trouble?" she asked.
"Possibly, he seemed overly formal when he called. Might mean he knows or suspects he's being watched." Kaeli stretched to warm up her muscles and nodded.
"Well then we'd better not keep the general waiting, let the XO's know?"
"Damn straight," Slayer agreed, "I want someone to know where we're supposed to be in the event that we disappear."
"Disappear?" Kaeli inquired.
"Old Black Op's legend, I'll tell you when we have time, come on!" Fortunately for the both of them they were decked out in battle suits and didn't have to waste precious seconds dressing. After taking exactly one minute to sneak into the XO's quarters, and finding Draganta on the ground just as Slayer had predicted, they woke Phoenix and Draganta up to explain the situation. The XO's repeated what they had been told and silently cursed their commanders because now they would be unable to get any more sleep.
Kaeli and Slayer then slinked out of the barracks and made their way through the base to Alistar's office, one of the few places they didn't need a map to find. The large set of double doors just down the hall from the Op's Center opened up into a secretaries office where one woman and one man sat at a desk pretending to do secretarial things. But both Kaeli and Slayer knew better and saw the weapon's shaped bulges in the dress uniform jackets the both of them wore.
"We're here to see the general." Slayer announced the first part of the spoken code.
"He's had an unsuccessful campaign, hope you aren't bringing him bad news." The female bodyguard in disguise responded. Uh oh Slayer though instantly. If he was reading the code right then that response meant Alistar was in some sort of distress over something, and it took a lot to distress General James Alistar.
"We'll try not to make his day worse," Slayer completed the code ritual and motioned for Kaeli to follow as the male body guard pushed a button under the desk that led to a small room and Alistar's office beyond. While in the room they were scanned for weapons or assassination devices, the machinery providing a dull thrum that would prevent outsiders from listening in through bugs in the room..
"What the hell was that all about?" Kaeli asked as soon as she knew it was safe to talk.
"Something's going on here that's got Alistar spooked and it isn't just the Furies anymore."
"Well wh-" She started before Slayer made a slashing motion across his throat as the doors opposite the ones they had entered opened and the blanket of noise died off. The two commanders stepped through to be greeted by the sight of a neutral faced Alistar sitting back in his chair.
"You wanted to see us sir?" Slayer asked. Alistar looked like he was about to reply when a wall panel slid up from behind and a person stepped into the light.
"Actually I'm the one who wanted to see you," he was a small man with neatly combed brown hair and a pair of the ugliest glasses Kaeli had ever seen. He was dressed in the uniform of an ISDF Captain but somehow Kaeli got the idea that this man had never benefited from military training. Though he kept himself relatively clean he was noticeably overweight and looked like he spent all of his time either in bed or in an office.
"Captain Rudy," Slayer smiled one of those smiles Kaeli knew to be faked and instantly the pieces flew together, AAN War Inspector! "What brings you way out here?" Slayer offered "Rudy" his hand but the small round man declined it by glancing at a clipboard he held in his arms.
"The well being for the people of Earth commander," He cast a carefully hidden flash of anger towards Slayer, "not that you'd know anything about that."
"Why whatever do you mean?" Slayer asked with a trace of sarcasm in his voice while he pretended to be hurt.
"Funny," Rudy replied, "I'm sure your deniability will serve your squadron well at the court marshal!"
"Begging the captains pardon sir, but I don't believe my squadron has done anything worthy of a court marshal." Slayer observed dryly. Somehow, Kaeli got the impression that he had been through this before.
"We'll see about that!" Rudy declared, "I have a sudden urge to do a surprise inspection, and guess who my target is?"
"Surely sir you would prefer to wait until my squadron has had a chance to unpack and organize everything to save you a headache." Kaeli could see Slayer stiffen slightly at the mention of an inspection.
"You mean give you a chance to hide all that illegal equipment you keep? I think not!" Rudy tuned to Alistar, "General if you would be so kind as to show us the way out."
"Of course," the general replied pushing a button under his desk and opening another wall panel. Alistar got up and motioned for the others to follow him, and when the general had disappeared into the opening Rudy walked right up to Slayer and sneered.
"I'm bringing you and the rest of your scumassed squadron down!" Then he turned to Kaeli and pointed an accusing finger at her, "and support squadron my ass! I know what that old bastards trying to pull and were I you I'd jump ship before I have to bring you down with him!" With that Rudy stormed out following Alistar through the wall leaving Kaeli and Slayer alone.
Kaeli balled her fists in anger and looked over to Slayer to ask him why the hell he had just sat through that without defending himself. The she noticed his smile and looked down to his suits utility belt to see Slayer pushing a small red button. When he noticed her stare Slayer put his finger to his lips and wiped the smile off his before going into the wall to go behind Rudy. Kaeli got the gist of what he was saying and made a mental not to play along with whatever he had in mind coming up. On the other side of the base things were not going to be nearly as quiet…….
While in operation a squadron must be supplied with equipment and food to keep it's ships and personnel running. It was the official job of the supply officer to make sure that both of those things were kept in goodly amounts, but Paddy was far from a normal supply officer. In the past Paddy had come up to Slayer with a procedure to help them get past the rare "official" inspections Black Ops units endure, all the members of Wraith Squadron knew it by heart and had practiced it several times to make sure they would get it done fast and efficiently. Paddy had planned it all out in three different phases and Phase One was for someone in the squadron to get advanced word to his or her fellows and delay the inspectors as much as possible, which Slayer had started when he pushed the button on his belt. The method chosen to alert the rest of the Wraiths was a small amount of electronic white noise that would be sent directly to every Wraiths helmet comm. alerting them to the danger.
The only Wraith at the time of the signal's transmission to have his helmet on happened to be Sergeant Paddy who only opted to wear it so he could have a swig of some homemade brew stored in a vacuum flask. Though he was slightly drunk Paddy had trained himself to fear that noise so as to break through any haze he might be stuck behind. The Irish man's eyes jolted open immediately as he listened to the static like hiss for a second more to make sure he wasn't hearing things.
"Oh bloody hell," he shucked off his helmet and ran over to the barracks light switch, slapping it hard and spilling glorious white light into the dark barracks. The XO's instantly jumped out of their office/quarters and saw Paddy standing there dead serious and practically ripping the door off of it's hinges, "VAMPIRE!" he bellowed at the top of his lungs, "ONE MINUTE!" Pyro, the only other Wraith in the room besides Phoenix, was up and out of his cot and pulling on his battle suit instantaneously. Phoenix, who was already dressed, jogged from across the room with Draganta in tow.
"Confirmed signal?" she asked.
"Better believe it lass!" Paddy reported back as he scrambled over to his cot and reached into his duffel bag, pulling out a handful of multicolored disks and tossing them to Pyro. Then he froze and glanced around the room as his mind suddenly made a remarkable discovery, "Shit, Phoenix we donna have enough people to cover the trail!" Indeed, with Slayer, Steel, and Angel gone they would be unable to hide everything in time.
"Two things," Draganta interrupted, "What the hell is going on and how can we help?" Phoenix regarded him for a second and took him aside giving him an unfulfilling but rapid explanation. Draganta whirled around on one foot and began to point out a few of the Hellfire pilots who had awaked at the sudden commotion and were standing nearby.
"Puck, Mya, ShadowDragon you follow Paddy!" Draganta turned to his right, "Baron, Wrath, Rowsdower, you go with Pyro! SilverKnight you're with Phoenix and me!"
"What the hell's up XO" WoG called as he fastened the utility belt around his battle suit.
"No time to explain just follow your Wraith and do what they tell you to do!" In conjunction with his words Phoenix, Paddy, and Pyro went blazing out the barracks door with the Hellfires making a desperate attempt to keep up.
Though, unknown to the Hellfires that event marked the second phase of Paddy's Vampire plan, used in instances to avoid court marshal by blood sucking war inspectors. At the first call of the signal the Wraith's plan allowed them one minute to get up and organized and then eleven more to get out and cover up anything that could possibly bring the military investigators down on them. Paddy would be heading for main supply offices to "modify" their supply manifest and through that omit certain crates from their possession that contained questionable items. Pyro would be hauling ass to the vehicle hangar itself to perform a little slapdash cover up job on their ships there, so when they were scanned nothing unusual would show up. Phoenix would make her way into a security station and use the override controls to slow down whoever was making the inspection.
It was an operation planned to take a total of twelve minutes to complete with six people. Now with only three people who knew what was going on and eight who were being led by their noses it might take considerably longer, but fortunately for all of them there were those who had realized this beforehand and had taken steps to assist…
Phoenix had been setting a mean pace for Draganta and ShadowDragon to follow, so it came as an unpleasant surprise when she skidded to a halt just short of a T-Junction in the corridor. She pulled a map out of her pocket and gave it a brief glance to confirm what she already knew.
"Alright, the area security station is just around this corner." She said more for the benefit of Draganta and Silverknight then herself, "Just follow my lead and let me do the talking."
"Whatever," SilverKnight agreed as she and Draganta moved forward with Phoenix around the corner. The double doors leading to the local security station were about twenty meters further down guarded by three men one of whom was in an armored shack, in the event of a firefight it would be that one who was responsible to raise the alarm, but it Phoenix gave little thought since she wasn't planning on using violence…yet. The three guards had spotted Phoenix and the Hellfires when they rounded the corner and made a discrete transmission to their commanding officer inside. Phoenix dismissed it as standard procedure and calmly walked up to the guards.
"Excuse me bu-"
"You're here!" The door opened and the man in charge of this station, presumably a major by his rank insignia, walked out and offered Phoenix his hand, "I have to say sir I thought it was a sick joke when they told me you were coming."
"Why uh yes….yes…good to see everything was in order then." Phoenix ad libed, she had no idea why this man was being so friendly but decided that it could work to their advantage. "Shall we get on with it then?" She asked experimentally.
"Of course General, this way please," Phoenix tried hard not to gag in surprise, "I'm sure you'll find everything is in order." Draganta, SilverKnight, and Phoenix were led into the security station past the doors.
"Now I hope everything will pass sirs," The major said as he slowly backed up out of the room, "if you run into any problems during your inspection just we'll be outside." He closed the double doors and they were left alone.
"General?" Both Draganta and SilverKnight asked at once.
"Yeah that was a little strange," Phoenix said as she sat down at one of the computer terminals and began to "hack" into the door control systems, "but we have better things to worry about now. Get onto one of those terminals and start switching around the access codes for everything near…" she glanced back at her map, "Hanger-7."
The process was not as hard as one would of thought, because the security personnel would need quick access to everything in the system and as a result the software was very user friendly. The Linux programmers had gone out of their way for the ISDF when they came to them for an operating system not wanting to trust Microsoft with something so sensitive. In only a handful of minutes all of the current access codes had been rendered completely useless, anybody trying to make their way to Hangar-7 would encounter several roadblocks that would take a minute or two to work around.
They covered their electronic tracks as well as time allowed and signaled the guards outside that they were finished, "So quickly?" the major wonder aloud, "was everything all right?"
"Quite all right major," Phoenix assured, "keep up the good work and there may be a promotion just around the corner for you."
"Sir yes sir!" Draganta, Phoenix, and SilverKnight left without another word back the direction they had originally come from. When they rounded the corner Phoenix glanced at a wristwatch she had on before taken off again without so much as a warning to Draganta or SilverKnight. Their task had taken them roughly eight minutes to complete, and now Phoenix was moving onto Phase three, run like hell back to the barracks just in case somebody dropped by and found they weren't there.
But the mistake in rank had Phoenix's mind running faster than her feet. How could they have thought I was a general when I was dressed in lieutenant's décor? The only logical explanation was that somebody had lied their ass off to those guards earlier and there were only three people that she knew of who could pull off something like that and two of them were being detained by the inspector.
Then a thought crossed her mind as the trio reached the barracks and shut the hatch behind them No it couldn't be him, he's not even supposed to have arrived yet but the more she thought the more it made sense. The Wraiths had a Guardian Angel looking out for them……..
I gotta remember to lay off the brew next time we have a crisis Paddy was in god-like shape for a man of his age but the stuff he'd been drinking earlier seemed to stack fifty years onto his shoulders as he ran. About the only sound he could hear was the hard beating of his heart against his rib cage as he set what he was sure was a new land speed record to get to the main supply office halfway across the base. Ten meters behind he could barely make out the pounding and panting produced by his three escorts Puck, Mya, and ShadowDragon as they made an effort to keep up with him, not having a whole lot of luck with it.
"Paddy slow down will ya!" ShadowDragon shouted ahead as she shoved her way past a technician who'd been in her way. The halls, though not as full as usual, still had some traffic moving through it at this late hour.
"No time lass we gotta move!" he huffed back at her, the supply offices were a full kilometer away from the barracks and Paddy was already moving slow enough as it was. Even as fast as they were running the added burden of dodging the Cloud-9 personnel slowed them down a lot more then Paddy would ever feel comfortable with. Six minutes from their starting point Paddy finally stopped, that is, if you call skidding head long into a dead end stopping.
"We're here!" He announced a he picked himself up off the floor and began to tamper with a keypad set into the wall next to a reinforced hatch. None of the Hellfires behind him bothered to ask what he was up too since he seemed so engrossed with what he was doing. "Almost got it," he announced twenty seconds later, "there!" Paddy stood back as the sound of latches and lock's retracting reverberated from behind the door. But when the door opened Paddy was more then a little shocked to see an MP standing there with a pulse rifle drawn and staring him in the face. "Why…um…ahhh," Paddy stammered as he furiously tried to think up a reason to explain the situation in a way so as not to get shot.
The MP with the gun, however, saved him from that when he lowered his gun snapped to attention, "sorry sirs I thought you were trying to break in!"
"Why, no apology necessary lad," Paddy assured, "we're all still in one piece aren't we?" The guard nodded his head.
"Thank goodness for that, you know what they would've done to me if I'd shot a commander?" Paddy hid the shocked/pleased look on his face and formed a devilish plan in his mind to take advantage of this case of mistaken identity.
"I can imagine it isn't very pretty, now can we get along to and do what needs to be done."
"Why of course sirs," The MP came out and stood to the side of the hatch and brought his riffle across his shoulder, "go right on in, I'll be standing guard out here if you need me." They all put on fake smiles and walked past the MP with ShadowDragon closing the hatch behind them and locking it up.
"Commander Paddy," The Irish man mused as he pulled two black disks out of his breast pocket, "Ohhh I like the sound O that!" He proceeded to hand one of the disks to Puck and another to Mya. Puck took one look at his and guessed instantly what it was, the markings on the outside were enough to let him know what kinds of programs were stored on these disks.
"Paddy these wouldn't happen to be Ghoul disks would they?" he asked as more of a demand then a question. A Ghoul disk was specifically designed with the purpose of sneaking into, and altering, heavily secured files and they were illegal as hell to have in your possession, and the penalty for being caught using them was strict.
"That's Commander Paddy to you," he chuckled, " and aye lad those are Ghoul disks, use'em to sneak inside the computer's supply lists and erase lot's 43 through 52 from our manifest." He said to both Puck and Mya while grabbing their shoulder and guiding them to some computer terminals set into the wall.
"What about me?" ShadowDragon demanded.
"Ah you get the fun job," Paddy led her over to a wall of file cabinets, "take whatever I toss to you and burn the bloody hell out of'em using that," Paddy gestured to a hole in the wall
that led to a cremation unit. Shadow Dragon smiled as Paddy yanked open the file drawers and tossed her armload after armload of paper documents.
"Done!" Puck announced two minutes later followed shortly thereafter by Mya. Paddy looked at his wristwatch and smiled. The paper trail of their cargo was now ash and the electronic records would show only what he wanted them to show.
"Excellent, perhaps I can make galactic criminals out of you after all!"
"We'll do our best Paddy," Mya assured. Paddy would've answered but they were pressed for time so instead he resorted to grunting in amusement as he went back over to the door, grabbing the Ghoul disks from Mya and Puck on the way. He opened the hatch and explained to the MP on the run that they had forgotten something and had to leave for a while. The MP, being the good little guard that he was, agreed readily and resumed his post in the room and once again with Mya, ShadowDragon, and Puck in tow he ran out but this time in the direction of the barracks.
All in all they had performed their part of the plan perfectly but there was still one little nagging detail. Not that he was complaining, but Paddy knew for a fact that MP's do NOT mistake a man wearing sergeant's stripes for a commander. Somebody would have to tell him to make a mistake like that, but as to who had done it Paddy didn't have a clue. Oh well, Paddy thought as he once again began to set new speed records tearing across the base, maybe I can compare notes with Phoenix when we get back………
"We're lost aren't we?" RedBaron demanded as Pyro once again stopped to confer with a map.
"No, just temporarily misplaced." Pyro answered as he set off down, what looked to the Hellfires to be a completely random course. Pyro, their unofficial leader at the moment, had taken them close to the main hanger complex's that were very near the landing pads. Their exact purpose for being this far out was known only to Pyro and even then the Hellfires were beginning to have doubt.
"Damnit Pyro just tell us where we're running to anyway!" WoG shouted from the rear. Like Pyro WoG was a big man but unlike Pyro Wrath was unaccustomed to running great distances in short amounts of time. His answer was the surprise of seeing Pyro stop dead in his tracks in front of a vacuum chamber that led to the insides of Hanger-7.
"Get your helmets on we don't have time to reinitialize the inside atmosphere!" They Hellfires began to comply until Rowsdower looked over to the environmental controls and noticed something amiss.
"Wait a minute the Hanger is already sealed and pumped full!"
"You sure? Thats not standard procedure for the grease monkeys." Pyro was at Rowsdower's side in an instant to look at the readout.
"That's what it says," Zap offered helpfully. Pyro silently sent a thank you to the idiot who had left the Hanger pressurized, very much against regs, thereby saving them a valuable five minutes.
"Well in that case," Pyro pulled down on a lever and charged into the hanger as soon as the two sets of doors opened. Once there, Pyro motioned Zap, Wrath, and the Baron over to a row of ships all painted black. When they got next to him Pyro handed them each a curious red box about the size of a cigarette carton. "Listen closely," Pyro started, "On each of our ships there's a small input port that looks like this," Pyro pointed out the small opening in a Thunderbolt painted in Wraith colors, "Stick this box in there and press the button next to the input port. Then wait for the ship to spit the box back out then move on until all the ships have gotten fixed."
"Before I do anything you're telling me what the Hell's going on!" Wrath growled.
"You're altering the electronic signature of the ship so when the AAN scans them they won't be able to tell they've been heavily modified." Wrath brightened noticeably and scampered off through the hanger. The Baron just sighed and went over by an Attila to start the aforementioned process.
"You heard the man let's do it!" Zap shouted in an haze of enthusiasm that only a Rowsdower could muster at this particular moment in time. He stopped in the middle of the hanger to adjust his shades and gas mask before running to a Jackal bike so he could do what needed to be done. Once they had gotten into the spirit of things they managed to finish just inside four minutes. Unfortunately, that brought their total time from embarking twelve minutes.
"Shit!" Pyro exclaimed as he noticed the time of his wristwatch. Looking around the hanger for an instant and noticing the Hellfires had brought their helmets, he practically yanked them over to some supply crates opposite their ships and began to rip off the tops and stuff them in.
"What in the hell!" Wrath yelled as Pyro picked him up and dropped him into a crate with Zap.
"We haven't got time to run before the inspectors get here, get your helmets on and seal the crates. I'm gonna flood the hangar and hide my ass from the inspectors. I suggest you do the same!" Before they could object Pyro slammed the crate shut and looked to the Baron, "There aren't anymore empty crates in here, go hide in a Sentinel!" The Baron would've objected under different circumstances but morbid curiosity convinced him to play along. As fast as he could he dove into the nearest available Sentinel and locked the hatch behind him. Pyro was already at the hanger entrance inputting the proper code to flood the hanger. The sickly colored gasses of Core's atmosphere began to drift in as Pyro ran for his own Attila and sealed himself inside not even daring to activate a single system on the ship. Pyro breathed a sigh of relief as he saw the hanger complete it's transformation seconds before the indicator lights on the entrance doors flashed to life........
"Damnit what the Hell is wrong with this piece of shit!" While Rudy wasn't facing them Slayer did a very bad job of hiding the grin on his face from Kaeli. "Security post Alpha two give me the access codes to Section-4!" Rudy shouted into his comm link.
"66220." A voice answered back. Rudy began to mumble himself as he jammed the sequence into the keypad. Then he suddenly straightened and looked back at Slayer for a second before speaking into his comm link again.
"Security post Alpha 2 give me all the access codes for the doors between here and Hanger-7." Kaeli noticed Slayer rock back on his heels upon hearing that. Soon Captain Rudy managed to open the door and they were once again, the only delays being no more than perhaps ten seconds when they stopped at a door for Rudy to input a code. Slayer made glances at his wristwatch when Rudy wasn't looking seeming to calculate something in his head and relaxing only slightly. Kaeli was extremely annoyed at the fact that she could not talk to Slayer with that busy body of a captain ahead of them. Her annoyance only increased with every step until they halted in front of doors that marked the entrance to hanger seven where eight men dressed in mechanic's environment suits waited for them.
"You may commence with the inspection!" Rudy shouted to the men. Without so much as a nod the lead of the team opened the first set of doors each sweeping their data pads near a computer terminal on the inside to get an updated list of the Wraiths supply manifest so they would know which crates to search. When the last of them entered and closed the doors the small room was flooded to match the atmosphere in the hanger and soon the eight men disappeared from sight as they passed through the second set of doors.
For an agonizing fifteen minutes Kaeli was entertain only by the sight of Slayer remaining rigidly still and Rudy humming something to himself in anticipation of what he could catch Slayer on. He set a broad grin into his face as the tem of eight ment reappeared in the chamber and got themselves sprayed down for decontamination. When they walked out of the room and into the corridor a man whom Kaeli presumed to be in charge of the group went up to Rudy.
"Nothing unusual to report sir the ships and cargo inside all passed with flying colors."
"What do you mean they passed!? How many times did you check them?"
"Six times sir, all scanned and looked over visually, nothing unusual to report." Rudy began to glow red with suppressed rage.
"Thank you Lieutenant, you're dismissed."
"Yes sir," the lieutenant and his group walked away from the hanger leaving a grinning Slayer, a confused Kaeli, and an extremely unhappy Rudy.
"Mark my words Robertson you'd better watch your ass because when you finally do slip I'll have the AAN over you like maggots on flesh!"
"Yes sir thank you sir." Slayer responded. Rudy snorted and stomped away in a huff. When it was clear that he was far out of hearing range Kaeli turned to Slayer who now bore a triumphant air about him.
"May I ask what the hell just happened?"
"Well we just pulled the wool over the AAN's eyes for a while but it won't keep them at bay for long. If I know Rudy he's gone off to scheme another way to catch us with our pants down."
"All the more reason for us to leave soon." Kaeli walked up to the chamber and put on he helmet. "Now I suspect you'll want to go inside so you can see if they messed with your shit?"
"Damn your good."
"I know." Kaeli smiled as she punched the button and they started the entering process into the hanger. When they passed into the other side with their helmets securely fastened Kaeli immediately walked ahead two paces and bent down to pick up an bag filled with something odd. From what Slayer could see they were multicolored and about the size of a gumdrop only they weren't shaped like a gumdrop, they looked more like.........
"Rowsdower's been here I see." Kaeli observed s she bent down to pick up more of the colored object filled bags.
"So that's where they went!" a voice called out on the radio. Kaeli and Slayer immediately looked up and around until they saw a group of figures running their way.
"Pyro what the hell are you doin here?" Slayer asked when he spotted the largest figure in the group.
"Sorry sir but we ran out of time and had to hid in here," The large man shrugged, "they find anything?"
"Not a damn thing," Slayer confirmed, "good job to you all but we aren't done yet. I suspect Alistar will have some modified plans for us so we'd better get back to the barracks and pack. Commander Kaeli and I will go out the back door," Slayer said pointing to the decontamination chamber, "the rest of you head out the front of the hanger so as not arouse the MP's. God knows their the last thing we need right now."
"Yes sir!" everyone confirmed before going out his or her separate ways. In this round against the AAN the Wraiths and Hellfires had come out without a scratch but they all knew if they didn't do something soon they wouldn't be as lucky next time........
Things were going from bad to worse fast, far too fast for Alistar's liking. He already had enough problems staring him in the face without the AAN shoving their way into his business. The general had planned on at least two more days of quiet for him to plot and scheme without the AAN nearby but the appearance of Rudy his plans had been shot into space.
"Damn if I don't want to shoot that bloody bastard Rudy." Alistar mumbled.
"Don't we all," answered the only other man in the room odd, in the fact that he wore an Israeli gas mask and his right eye seemed to glow a constant blood red.
"You realize what will happen if Rudy finds anything?"
"That bitch couldn't find his ass with both hands," the as yet unknown man took a seat and looked over a data pad in his hand, "besides I made sure Slayer's people would have an easier time than usual with Vampire."
"I knew there was reason I keep you around, you're the dirtiest scoundrel I've ever had in my employ."
"Don't compliment me until we finish pulling this shit off."
"Yes quite, have you got a contingency plan in mind?"
"Yeah but it's a helluva lot messier than my last one but only for the AAN personnel and those jackasses deserve it anyway."
"Excellent," Alistar got up and offered the man a handshake, "Happy hunting Major and don't fuck up. We need these squadrons."
"Sir," the hooded figure nodded and returned the shake before exiting Alistar's office through one of the hidden wall panels. Alistar watched him go and resumed filling out a few forms to appear busy when the inevitable visit from the AAN war supervisor would come.
Steel stopped in front of the med. bay they had left Angel a half-hour after he'd set out from the barracks, without a map. He'd realized his mistake only after getting himself thoroughly turned around to the point where even helpful directions were useless. He had actually happened upon the med. bay by mistake when looking for a security post to get his hands on a map. Now he was glad that fate and fortune had smiled upon him at this particular moment. He'd heard the Vampire warning over his comm. and knew that in an hours time he would either be making ready to move out fast or getting prepared for a court marshal. All the more reason to hurry Steel reminded himself as he opened the door and stepped into the still busy med bay.
He was almost immediately confronted by Dr. Emrid who wore an exhausted expression on her normally calm and placid face, "Ah Sergeant Guttenberg how nice of you to finally show, come this way please." Dr. Emrid led Steel into the med bay weaving through the various beds and patients still suffering from the last sneak attack into an isolated recovery room past some curtained doors. Inside there were two women with one dressed in hospital robes and the other in a battle suit. Dr. Emrid leaned close into Steel's ear before leaving, "Get them the hell out of here." She whispered before her form disappeared through the curtains.
"RainbowKat I presume," Steel said to the black haired woman in the battle suit.
"The one and only," She said smiling, "you must be Steel. Angel's told me all about you well actually all about how you owe her a drink."
"Damn straight," Angel declared as she got up off the bed, "have they finally decided to let me out of this prison. Twenty four hours in a hibernation regenerator hasn't exactly made me comfortable around here." Steel chuckled as he pulled a flask from his utility belt and handed it to Angel.
"Here have a drink of this to get you up and going, it's from my private stash just as I promised. Can you walk on your own?" Angel eagerly took the container and swilled a long pull before she replied.
"*burp* Good stuff, and yes I can move on my own just not very fast. Why, are we getting ready to run from the AAN?"
"Yes, how did you know?"
"Kat here was nice enough to fight through the orderlies to get my equipment. I got it just in time to hear the Vampire signal. Honestly I didn't expect anyone to come pick me up for a few more hours."
"Well here he is so lets get going." Kat urged. She seemed overly eager to be out or Emrid's presence. Angel avoided Kat's attempts to shoo her out of bed and got up on her own two feet only stumbling once as she got used to the feeling of gravity pulling at her. Angel started forward and led the way out of the room with RainbowKat close behind making sure she would be within range to catch her should she fall at any given time. Steel picked up a box containing Angel's belongings, including the giant TK-Pulse Rifle, and lumbered out after them, this time making sure to pick up a map on his way out. He was eager to get back to the barracks so he could learn what that signal was all about. It was well understood by the Wraith's that Vampire was used only in an emergency and besides; this box was starting to get heavy.
Though having Angel to watch over did slow them down a bit, it didn't take nearly as long to make it back to the barracks from the med bay as it had the other way around for Steel. They reached the Barracks at the agreeable time of ten minutes from their departure to find the Wraiths and Hellfires all sitting around intermixed chatting quietly. That all changed when they noticed Steel, Angel, and RainbowKat enter the room. A collective cheer went up from the Wraiths as they noticed one of their felled comrades rejoining them, hugs, handshakes, and words of wisdom like "next time remember to dodge" were exchanged before things quieted down enough for Angel to get a little breathing room and mosey over to the Hellfires to greet a few old friends of hers.
But within the crowd of happy comrades new and old she picked up traces of concern and worry not associated with her recent injuries. She was about to ask the question when a loud rapid beeping sound rang out through the air. Everyone in the room had been trained as far back as basic that most of the time the only things that made beeping noises produced large fireballs that fried men alive. The Wraiths and Hellfires alike dove for cover some turning over bunks and some ducking behind footlockers. When the rapid beeping reached a shrill whine everyone closed their eyes and made ready to suffer through something particularly nasty. But the only sound to reach their ears was a small whoosh as something ripped through the metal grate if a ventilation hole and proceeded to imbed itself in the opposite wall.
One by one each Wraith and Hellfire carefully came up from his or her hiding place most with a pulse rifle at the ready and looked around. Puck was the first to spot the shiny arrow like cylinder stuck in the wall. With Pyro and the Baron at his back Puck very carefully walked over to the arrow and pulled it out of the wall taking a close look at it. Attached to the base was another cylinder that had the Wraiths squadron seal printed on it.
"What the hell is going on out here?" Kaeli stormed out of the commanders quarters and spotted Puck right away, "Puck did you find a new toy you play with."
"I'm not sure, it looks like a data cylinder with the Wraith seal on it but it's not compat-"
"Let me see that!" Slayer practically flew out of the office and snatched the object from Puck before the private could say another word. Without an explanation Slayer stuck the cylinder into a bulky data pad he had with him and read off the screen for a few seconds his expression going from grim to dark. He summoned Kaeli over to him and let her have a brief read before whispering some instructions. Kaeli suddenly snapped around while Slayer retreated to the office.
"Pack your gear and be ready to move in five minutes!" Then she too disappeared into the commander office. The Hellfires and Wraith's being the, professionals that they were, obeyed without question but still wondered what the hell was going on this time. Across the way in Hanger-7 someone else was already making ready to answer that question.
Hangers are unusually cold and sterile places when they're filled with an atmosphere. This was one of the attempts made at keeping sickness from spreading rapidly throughout a base, as hangers were the most likely place where a disease would start. The isolation of the environment was an effective means of keeping the general health of base assured but it also meant that anyone on the outside would be unaware of any odd security conditions if you played your cards right.
In the electronic security booth the lone guard lay unconscious the screen in front of him that showed the interior of Hanger-7 as a Beetle transport hovered through the AC field with it's huge cargo doors open and ready to receive it's cargo. This hanger contained the ships and supplies of several different squadrons and the Beetle had been called upon to transport the entire load out of a squadron, reportedly Gold squadron, and haul it somewhere that was known but at least 1,000 miles away. There were two-armed MP's keeping watch over the loading process not as entirely alert as they should've been; interior guard duty was almost never exciting in the ISDF. But what their demeanor didn't show was that these two were AAN insurgents, placed within the ISDF security forces to act as spies. It was their job, as well as the ones placed in main security, to monitor ISDF installations for any suspicious activities to be reported to the AAN and as such they were the ones to watch for when you wanted to do anything sneaky.
The major Alistar had been conversing with kept the outside security forces at bay with a pathetically simple video loop engineered at the electronic security booth, now all that was there to worry him were the two armed MP's providing over watch for this loading session. The major had already made arrangements to make sure the pilots of the Beetle would provide him with no trouble. That done the major stood outside the entrance to Hanger-7 tapping his foot impatiently and making damn sure to stay out of the MP's line of sight through the small viewport on the decontamination doors. His wait only lasted a minute before he heard quick and measured footfalls running in his direction. His hooded head turned and saw a mob of people headed his way dressed in standard battle suits but without unit designations and each clutching a duffel bag stuffed to maximum capacity.
The Wraiths and Hellfires didn't have time to take everything they needed and were leaving some equipment and supplies behind to come back for a little later. As it was they carried with them nothing but their personal weapons and items of affection weather they be related to their jobs or not. One of the figures spotted the major right away and sped off ahead of the group to get a good look.
"Uncle Sam?" she asked hesitantly, "What the Hell are you doing here?" Phoenix had already guessed the mans identity as Jake "QC" Anderson her uncle and a long standing professional in the Black Op's world.
"QC?" Slayer came up right next to Phoenix eyeing the man carefully, "damn you're a sight for sore eyes. What the Hell's going on?"
"Alistar sent me to bail your asses out of here but those AAN motherfuckers threw all my plans out into the vacuum so now we have to do it the hard way," QC motioned for both of the squadrons to gather round, "now huddle up and I'll explain what the fuck you're going to do in there. Do NOT do otherwise or we'll all be drilled a new asshole!" QC got acknowledgements from everyone before going on to explain his "plan". In five minutes they had all shed their weapons and marched into the Hanger, helmets off, proceeding directly to the Wraiths and Hellfires vehicles. QC however, walked over to the two MP's to do his part of the plan.
"What goes on here?" One of the MP's, probably the senior of the two, demanded.
"You blind asshole?" QC spoke in the manner of the insulted loadmaster that he was pretending to be, "we're here to load those ships and supplies onto that transport!" QC stated angrily pointing out the Wraiths and Hellfires as they jumpstarted their vehicles and loaded them onto the massive cargo hauling ship.
"Sir ye si- hey wait a minute!" the MP's finally started to notice the marking s on the ships and supplies "that transport is supposed to be loading for Gold squadron," The MP's started to bring their weapons to bear but never got the chance to take another step further. QC's right arm flashed out and connected with the senior MP's temple stunning him enough to throw him off balance and to the floor. The second MP stalled for a second in shock before he sighted his weapon in on QC, who strangely wasn't moving to stop him, and tightened his finger on the trigger before he went limp and fell to the hanger deck with a clatter his shots going wild. A man stepped out from behind the fallen MP's rubbing the side of his left hand and began to bind the two together.
He was dressed in a standard ISDF pilot's uniform with plain features and dark short cut hair. A scar going across his right eye was visible as he looked up from his task to the major, "Is that all of them QC?" he asked.
"Yeah, you take care of the flight crew?"
"Sleeping soundly, get the gear into the hold and I'll have you guys up and out of here in no time."
"No problem," QC assured as the dark haired man as he ran up into the Beetle and took a seat in the cockpit, "Kaeli, Slayer!" QC shouted into the hanger, "how long till you've got all your shit squared away?"
"Loading the last of it now!" Kaeli reported as she sped by in a loader on her way to the Beetle. QC watched as the Hellfires and Wraiths ran into the transport after it, having recovered their gear, and counted them off making sure that no one was left behind. He sent a signal up to the cockpit that all was in order before tearing into the cargo hold himself to grab hold of something as the cargo doors swung shut and the mammoth sized transport lifted itself off the ground and began it's bumpy ascent through Core's unkind atmosphere. Only two people in the craft actually knew where it was going and as for the rest they were the only ones who knew for sure what they'd be doing when they got there.
Authors Notes: Ah yes I know it has been awhile but fear not my loyal readers I have not forgotten about my beloved Battlezone fics. I have been a little busy with WWFFN and I probably will be with WWFFN II but I will be finishing this series out and not turn it into another one of FFN's infamous phantom series that only appear long enough to get halfway through before the Author becomes bored. I WILL see this thing through and make it better as it goes along, that's where you all come in. If you have any suggestions go ahead and let me know weather it be thorough Yahoo or AOL IM or through e-mail. Now that I've got that out of the way I'd like to thank all who volunteered for this series and yes, I know this part was a little boring but it was necessary and shall help set up for a royal ass kicking later. I hope you enjoyed what I've put forth and I thank everyone who reviews in advance. So now That I've said what has to be said……….
Till the next time,
Admiral Kelley out!