Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Mercenaries, Lucas Arts or Pandemic. Any characters and places are used without permission

Mattias hated working with other people. They always got in his way. Mui wasn't impressed with the pairing either, knowing the Swede to be over-keen to call in airstrikes and carpet bombings without a second thought, even when small arms were more than adequate. Jennifer Mui had been with ExOps for 6 yea.rs now, and though Matt Nilsson had gained his reputation last year during the Song Unitive, where he decimated countless villages and outposts with his zealousness. Polar opposites they were. Jennifer Mui, small, stealthy and MI6 trained while Mattias Nilsson was essentially a thug, a efficient and brutal thug but a thug nonetheless. Why ExOps command had paired them together was a mystery to them both, and neither of them were pleased with the decision.

1200 GMT. 2100 Local Time
Somewhere over Siberia

They sat in the typical ExOps aircraft. A Hercules that had been modified for their use. Mattian and Jennifer sat opposite each other, on opposite sides of the hangar bay. They avoided even acknowledging each others presence up until the dispatcher ordered them to kit up. Things came to a halt when both attempted to get into the Humvee at the same time, both reaching for the driver side door. Nillson pushed past and forced himself into the drivers seat. Jennifer hid her annoyance and got in the back, hoping this idiot knew what he was doing.

The locks came off the wheels and Mattias slammed the Humvee into reverse, giving it all the gas he could. The car accelerated to fast and the fall from the hangar to the surface of Siberia was botched. The vehicle slid, spun then rolled a number of time before coming to a halt on its roof. Mui and Nillson crawled out from the upturned transport.
"That was pretty cool" Murmured Mattias, surveying the trail the Humvee's flawed descent had made.
"You realize" said a cold voice "That was our ride to the nearest A.N. Base"
"I didn't pay for it, I'm not too worried about it"
"How can you be so callous?" said Mui, her voice rising.

Mattias just glared at her, and once she was sure thats all the answer she was going to get, she shouldered her suppressed SMG. Mattias followed suit with his AK and they both set off silently to the A.N base.

Jennifer and Mattias had been walking for over an hour, and dawn was starting to break, the fingers of orange light could clearly be seen on the horizon. Mui cursed Mattias in her head. If he had only let her drive, they wouldn't be in this mess. They would be asleep in the A.N base until the commander woke up. But no, this Swedish Neanderthal had been over enthusiastic on getting out of the plane, dropping them right in it. She was so engrossed in her thoughts that she hadn't realized that Nillson had stopped a few dozen meters back. He had his PDA out and was fiddling with something.
"What are you doing?"She almost yelled at him"You'll see"

"I cant believe that you still have contacts in the Russian Mafia" Jennifer shouted over the roar of the BMP's engine.
"They were, are, good men, and I've known Josef from Afghanistan anyway. And what are you complaining about, where almost at the A.N base now, just in time for Breakfast"
Nillson was right, they were coming up to the guard station on the bases perimeter.

Their BMP roared through the guard post, almost killing a number of soldiers under its armored hull. Mui swore at Nillson, reminding him that it was the A.N who were employing them, and that killing them wasn't a good first impression. Nillson just laughed at the chaos that he had caused, listening to the bullets ping of their transports armored hide. Mui didn't understand this guy. Did he really enjoy such carnage? It was no wonder his profile had labeled him as an unstable character, but his skill couldn't be argued with. He DID take down North Korea's dictator, President Song, single handedly. She forced her thoughts to the back of her mind as the BMD slid to a stop, almost flattening the A.N HQ guard. Nillson's Swedish-American accented voice rung down back into the carrier, where only his lower half could be seen. He was yelling to the guard to park the carrier, the hired help had arrived.

0056 GMT. 0956 Local Time
Near Tannu-Ola Mountain Range ,Siberia

"So this Mikhail guy is trying to take Russia?" said Nillson, blunt as ever.
"Well to put it simply yes, he has the training, he has the contacts, he just needs more support and Russia will be taking a dive back into the bad old days." said a Colonel, who was the ranking officer on the grounds
"So where is Sergeytov?" interned Mui, already knowing the answer. As she predicted, his presence was unknown at this time. She and Nillson would have to do recon in the area that he was last suspected to be in.
"Great" she thought "I have to go out into the middle of no-where with this thug, just fucking great"

They got in a days sleep after the briefing, planning to leave once night fell. They had a new ride waiting for them. A lightly armed and armored Scout jeep, much to Mattias's disgust. The engine had been reworked by the American mechanics, making it significantly quieter than what it was. They had also been issued with rations and ammunition. The moment night fell, they're near silent jeep could be seen leaving the compound. The Colonel watched them leaving from his window; hoping that they were worth the money that had to be spent to get them.

This time Mattias was happy to take the passenger seat, as it allowed him to get a good look at what they had been given. Mui couldn't care less about what he was fawning over, as long as there was a change of warm clothes and enough food for a week or so, and some 9mm ammunition for her SMG she was content, she didn't expect to have to use it this early in the mission anyway.

1628 GMT. 0128 Local Time
Location unknown, Siberia

"You just had to say it" yelled Mattias over the roar of gunfire.
Their Scout had been totaled and he and Jennifer were taking cover behind its wreckage. Swearing at him, how could this be her fault but she was cut short as another RPG of some sort fishtailed by, barely a foot overhead. If Mattias had heard her, he made no effort to acknowledge the fact, instead spraying another dozen or so bullets from his AK blindly around the corner of the jeep. A cry of pain went up, he must of hit one, but it was doubtful that it was fatal. Another volley was the response and a stray bullet caught Mattias in the left arm, tearing a bloody swathe in the flesh. He cried out in pain, dropping his rifle to grip his wound. Biting back a curse, Mui's mind sprung into action. This wasn't supposed to happen, it was supposed to be a straight forward reconnaissance mission to start with, not a blown out fire fight with who knows how many soldiers. She looked at Mattias, his attention was elsewhere, she reached for his belt, she took a grenade, and hurled it over the wreck. A few seconds later an explosion and a crescendo of screams reached the mercenaries ears. She had obviously scored some casualties. After the screams nothing was heard apart from ragged breathing from Nillson and moans of pain from the soldiers who were only wounded.

1912 GMT. 0412 Local Time

"Look if you stopped moving I could get these stitches in faster" scolded Mui. Nillson paid her no heed, and flinched with every puncture of the skin. He had taken wounds before in Korea, sure, but those had been just shrapnel, and anything serious he was medivaced out. This was his first experience with field surgery and he disliked it intensely. Jennifer had an odd sense of enjoyment, making this thug squirm. They were still at the wreckage of their jeep, the moans of what remained of their assailants had died down not long ago, leaving Jennifer and Mattias to themselves.

Mattias pulled on his jacket after Jennifer had bound his stitches in gauze. He moved off with only a muttered remark. He scrounged through the remains of the dead and threw what he deemed useful into a pile. Quarter of an hour later he felt that he was finished. Jennifer thought it was odd. He was a baby when it came to having stitches, but when it came to looting the dead he was fine. Shaking her head she surveyed the pile that Mattias had made. An assortment of ammunition, rations and other odds and ends lay there, including the firing tube from and RPG and a rocket. Grimaceing she looked from him to the pile to him again. There was no way that they could take all this with them now that they had no means of transport. She voiced these views to him. She received a chuckle as a response.
"Whats so funny?" she asked, not slightly annoyed at him.
"You assume these guys were out here with the only means to get back to where they came from is their feet? Your ignorance is amazing."
This comment was one push too much. She exploded at him, and continued to do so for five minutes without pause. During this time the grin that was on Nillson's face slid to a scowl. "Look, are you done" Mattias asked " Because if you are, its my turn."
This could of turned into an argument of new proportions, but for once his life, Mattias didn't start throwing his fists.
"You need to lighten up" was all that he said. He turned his back on Jennifer Mui, a fellow ExOps operative. He slung his assault rifle over his shoulder. Grabbing the RPG he walked off into the night, not giving one look back.

2029 GMT 0529 Local Time

Unknown Location, Siberia

Mui's anger had subdued to little more than simmering annoyance. She walked alone through the cool night air. It wasn't her fault that Mattias was so immature. Hell, his psych report had labeled him as an unstable and dangerous individual. She would be fine without him. She let out a long slow sigh, glancing about the valley. Seeing no signs of activity she proceeded down the slope to the valley's floor. Her quarry was ex-KGB, First Directorate. If he didn't want to be found, it was likely that he wont be unless a very determined person was doing the looking. Jennifer smiled to herself, lucky for her that she is a very determined person. She checked her SMG for the umpteenth time, going over every detail. She couldn't afford to have it jam or have some other problem at the wrong time. Shouldering her SMG, Mui proceeded onwards, if only they hadnt been ambushed by those private militia soldiers, she would be riding in some semblance of comfort. A heavily accented voice came from behind her. "You stop now"

She spun about and rammed the muzzle of her gun right between the mans eyes. He fell to the ground with a thud that was barely auidible over the drumming in the mercenary's ears. She quickly gaged and cuffed him. He was dressed in the same attire as those that had attacked Nilsson and her earlier. The clothing was probably what passed for uniform amongst them. She dragged the man into a patch of rocks and left him. He would die out here anyway, so it was best that he be concealed to some extent.

Mattias was pissed off to say the least. He strode without caution with his AK in one hand and his newly acquired RPG in the other. He walked with purpose and was rewarded. He had finally come across the vehicle they had used. It was a Scout, similar to the one that had been issued to him and Mui back at the A.N. base, though this one was much more battered and weather worn. He threw his gear into the tray and clambered aboard. It didnt have any keys, it didnt need them. The ignition had been torn out and all that remained was a pair of wires one with crocodile clips. It was obvious how this thing started and the moment Nilsson brought the wires together the jeep rumbled into life. Despite its appearance the vehicle must have been tended to with much care. Grinning to himself Mattias tossed his PDA onto the dashboard, put it into gear and floored it, leaving plumes of dirt and stone in his wake.

2059 GMT 0559 Local Time
Unkown Location, Siberia

Jennifer heard a engine in the distance, but in the still night air it was hard for her to tell its distance, she quickened her pace through the base of the valley, hoping that he footsteps wouldn't be heard. She hit the treeline and promptly disappeared into it. She continued through the intense darkness of the semi forested area, with her firearm brought up and off safe. No one was going to catch her off guard this time, and if there was one man on the crest of the valley there was bound to be more. She crept onwards with all the skill she could muster. Her habit of traveling light paid off. Jennifer came to a clearing, and in it a camp had been set up. It only consisted of a trio of average tents and a pair of jeeps, Scouts, like the one that had been issued to her and the pig earlier that night. There were two sentries sitting on the hood of one of the Scouts. They were also dressed in the "uniform" of the others. Drab brown and green fatigues and a balaclava. These two didnt have their balaclava's , they were pulled up allowing them to smoke with ease. From tge little light cast on their faces Mui could tell that they couldn't of been older than their 30's, both looked like they had seen action before, unlike the guy that Jennifer had dispatched earlier. She grimaced. They probably had some vital intel that she could use. But disabling them without making too much noise, or getting herself killed in the process wasnt going to be easy. She doubted that it was even possible. The harsh sound of static broke the silence. One of the soldiers leant over the windshield and grabbed what must have been a radio, but from this distance Mui found it impossible to tell. Mui couldn't tell what was being said, seeing as she didn't speak a word of the language, but the tone was unmistakable. One of the pair dived off the hood of the jeep and ran to the tents. After a brief amount of shouting a dozen or so soldiers emerged trying to put clothing on, run and hold onto weapons and packs at the same time, but within minutes they were all piled onto the Scouts and they roared off down a dirt track into the night.

Mui entered the camp quietly, just in case anyone had stayed behind, however upon further inspection the camp had been emptied. She went to work, going from tent to tent looking for anything intelligence related. She came across a large UHF radio in one of the tents with the radio codes and other papers lying about it. She recorded the codes into her PDA, glanced through the papers, then set about her next task. She strapped a block of C4 under one of the center most cots in every tent. She then retreated back into the trees to await her prey.

2134 GMT 0634 Local Time
Unknown Location, Siberia.

They returned not long after. They seemed to be in high spirits, with loud choruses of laughter to be heard often as they rolled up the dirt track. The sun was rising in the east, and though it hadnt plied its path over the tree tops yet, it wouldn't be long till it did. The early morning light made it near impossible to make out who any of the people were. Jennifer blinked her eyes hard trying to force them to adjust The militiamen disembarked and three of them could be seen talking and joking about. She then saw who the men were as her eyes finally accepted the brightening light. Two were the same officer types from earlier but the third was obscured by the other two, and Mui wasn't going to attempt to move to another position to get a view for fear of being heard.

Mattias had been taken completely by surprise by the oncoming vehicle. Heavy caliber shells struck the front of his stolen jeep, killing the engine almost immediately. He slid it to a stop. He dived from his useless vehicle, immediately moving to use it as shelter but before he had taken a few steps, he was looking down the barrel of a number of AK 47's. One ordered him to stop in halting English. He complied, knowing that there was no hope. His weapons were in the tray of the Scout, which was only feet away. Before he could even try to lunge for his weapon, two large figures stood before him. They approached with menace, but both tore their balaclava's off and Mattias broke into a smile.

The pair were old friends, who he had served with in Afganistan. They embraced him and he was not a little taken aback. They walked him to their Scout after allowing him to retrieve his arms from "his" Scout. He sat with them and learnt much of what was going on. Apparently after the wall came down there wasnt a lot of work for ex-special forces around. So they had taken to being freelance mercenaries, who had been dealing with only the small fry up until now. A Sergeytov had contacted them to train up a private militia that he was recruiting. After training up the heads of the army they stayed on to act as field supervisors who reported to Sergeytov and Sergeytov alone. Upon hearing this, Nilsson knew he may have to kill his friends. This didnt bother him, he had seen friends die and had been the cause of some of the deaths. As they arived at their camp he felt an odd feeling, as if there was something amiss here. He shrugged it off for the time being. Eventually the conversation shifted to Mattias and what he had been doing. He told them no lies, though never mentioned that he worked for ExOps, just in case.