40 hours of preparation prior to the event did not sufficiently calm the lieutenant's nerves. His Giat FAMAS 5.56 in hand, he set off to the task that lay before him. He had a total of 90 rounds on his person; 30 in the rifle and two 30 round magazines in his tactical Kevlar vest. The sweat from his arms and legs bound his tactical suit to his skin, considerably decreasing his overall effective speed, agility, and above all, accuracy.

He took cover behind a wall, 30 meters from his first objective. He checked his vest for his Sig Sauer 9mm, and made sure there was a round in the chamber. The margin for error was miniscule, at best. There were eight terrorists and four hostages, and he was the only soldier to deal with them all. He checked his in visor HUD for the schematics of the building one last time. It was of Russian design, or so the file said. Russians were notorious for buildings that were meant to defend, and this worried him. They were smart terrorists.

He took off down the hall, half crouching, half running. The first door was your standard wood with glass pane inset. He passed it up, knowing that one was his only ace up the sleeve. The second door was an all-metal, probably titanium, by the looks of it, door with a standard industrial handle. This was going to be tough.

He opened the door and threw in a M84 stun grenade, closed the door, and covered his ears in one swift movement. Through his eyelids, he saw the flash, and through his hands, he heard the "bang". He opened the door yet again and stepped inside. His suspicions were correct; two men had been guarding the door. They were soon neutralized.

There were six to go.

The others undoubtedly heard the -84, so he shouldered his FAMAS, now four rounds lighter, and moved on. War did things to people; the soldiers who live are affected the most.

The next target he saw was rather stereotypical: a twenty-some year old man wearing a bandanna and wielding an AK-47 7.62. He neutralized the man and went further into the complex.

He was beginning to think he was going the wrong way; enemy resistance was all but guaranteed; yet he'd only met three men so far. This thought was erased when he heard two men having a heated argument. He checked his eyepiece for the translator. These two men were arguing about what to do with the hostages. The first thought they should keep them for leverage, whilst the second thought they should be "taken care of". They didn't see the lieutenant around the corner. The second was neutralized first, because he was closest to the front of the FAMAS. "Good riddance", the lieutenant thought. The other man was neutralized a fraction of a second later. There were only four left. As he proceeded, he was met by the frightened faces of two children, neither of which could have been over the age of twelve. The younger one was held tightly in the arms of her older sister, who looked at the lieutenant thankfully. He merely nodded in response and moved further in.

Off in the distance, a gunshot rang out. His skilled and trained ears classified it as either a 20 gauge or a 12 from a Benelli M4 super. The next two shots were in rapid succession; it was the Benelli. "Odd weapon for a terrorist", the lieutenant observed mentally. He didn't have time for thoughts now. He only had time to get the bad guys.

A door 5 meters in front of him was kicked open, and out of said door came a man, dressed out in the same black tactical suit as him.

"Friendly?" The man asked in fluent English. He was not American or British, but the lieutenant couldn't place his origin.

"Depends", he said gruffly. "Who sent you?"

"I'm not even classified to know that," he said, "sir".

"How many shots?" This was not a standard question, but he had to be sure this man was a soldier, and not a terrorist.

"I counted eleven. Three were from me, and eight from your FAMAS. I got three guys, I guess you got four?"

"Let's move!"

The two men set off in the same direction, relatively oblivious to any reason why the other had. They were both very well trained. One was a lieutenant, the other a Sergeant. That last guy was as good as dead. Thirty seconds later, he was. Three shots, two 5.56 to the head, one 12 gauge to the central mass. They were fired within milliseconds of each other.

The same helicopter evacuated the two soldiers. It was a CH-47d, "Chinook", heavily modified to support what can only be described as "Special Forces Operations". They were both taken to the base "Zulu", a secret facility in northern Germany.

They were met by Zulu-1, a five-star general. They saluted, and by the salute, the lieutenant figured the sergeant was from the Foreign Legion. "So that's how he knew it was a FAMAS…" the lieutenant thought to himself.

"Well done, Z-4! But who is this?" The general asked the sergeant. Zulu-4, as it was.

"Lieutenant First Class Nathan Kleiz, sir!" Kleiz responded.

"Well done… Lieutenant! To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"Well, sir, there was a hostage situation, as you know, and I responded. I met your sergeant there and was escorted to these premises via Chinook"

There was something odd about this meeting. A general and a lieutenant with no affiliation talking like allies. Who was this man?

"So, Kleiz was it? Who do you work for, then?"

"I really don't have any specific employer, sir…"

"So, you're a mercenary, eh? Well, we could use a kid like you on the team. You see; we're an underground allegiance ourselves. Most, if not all, of our soldiers are under the age of 15. Who would you expect to be more of a threat, a six foot man, or a kid?"

The silence was deafening.

"Hey, let me show you around, lieutenant." Said 4. "We have a nice little setup here."

It turns out 4's name was Jonathan D'Fruax, from Paris, originally. He introduced me to numbers 2,3, and 5. Number 2 was a nice guy of Asian decent, Korean maybe? His specialty was long-range engagement. In short, he was a sniper. His STV Durangov had over 70 notches carved into the stock. "Lou" was a guy you did not want to mess with.

Number 3 was a girl of Australian decent. She specialized in explosives and things of that sort. A good old-fashioned tomboy if ever there was one. Rebecca was probably the most interesting member of the team; she used det-cord for a belt.

The last number was 5, and he was of Russian decent. His name was Ivonalich Adroskyv'ch. Everyone jut called him "Crazy Ivan" for short. He was the teams technology expert, or "techy".

"I'm in", said Nathan a few minutes later to the general.

"Well then, welcome to Zulu, 6! Hope you won't mind, but we move the HQ around a lot, so don't get too comfortable."

The next few weeks Nathan spent familiarizing himself with the building and the surrounding complex. This was his first home since he was 12; he had lived on the streets and lived the life of a bounty hunter: life over luxuries. He was to bunk with "Crazy Ivan" until his "room" was finished. Each member got a 12' x 12' x 12' area in which to sleep, work out, use the facilities, and spend time with each other in. Ivan was a tall, lanky teen with thick glasses matched only by his accent. He didn't like to discuss his story, but implored into others' ones.

This was going to be an interesting few months.