(This story is made up of several trademarked names, characters, locations, etc., none being of my own creation. Written simply for mature rated entertainment and for you Twilight fans, this is pre-Breaking Dawn. Made as accurately as possible, so if anything doesn't seem correct to you, you can just deal with it. Enjoy.)
Marcus Dom Baird Carmine Cole
F.E.A.R., First Encounter Assault Recon, was the first government funded project that specialized in the neutralization of what is known as the paranormal. Most missions for F.E.A.R. can guarantee at least one casualty due to the enemies they face. The men and women who serve in this project have moved on past the things that most consider unnerving, terrifying, or horrendous; and have stepped into the realm of true nightmares. The following is documentation of the first organized F.E.A.R. operation.
"Did we just seriously fail our first mission already?" Dom asked his brothers-in-arms, "I knew things would be a bit rocky at the start but this is just stupid." This was met with agreement from the whole squad; none of them had ever experienced this kind of trouble this early into an operation. The briefing stated that the forest trees would bend or break under the A.P.C.'s weight, but instead the exact opposite had happened. The armored personnel carrier, aptly named "Armadillo", was currently bent around a tall pine tree, therefore eliminating Delta squad's only transportation. The driver responsible, Baird, was trying to defend his driving abilities, but unfortunately, "It drove over the first few…" wasn't enough to gain his team's forgiveness.
Delta squad was now stranded in a remote forest in Washington , it was three in the morning and they were just a few miles short of their destination, a small town known as Forks. Headquarters at F.E.A.R. had received information from locals that stated there was a possible clan of creatures inhabiting the town in a local residence that was killing off several wildlife species in the area, some being endangered. The killings were frightening the civilian hikers who came upon the blood-drained bodies, and with the creatures suspected of being vampires due to the bite marks on the necks it was an automatic green light for the newly developed recon teams. The man in charge of this particular squad, Sergeant Marcus Fenix, surveyed his surroundings. Trees, more trees, even more trees…damn, Control really screwed us over on this one, wonder whose idea the Armadillo was, probably Hoffman… Just the thought of his superior officer made him growl through his teeth, Colonel Hoffman was in command of all F.E.A.R. forces, often giving orders with disregard for their safety or, in this case, their means of transportation.
Marcus looked over his squad, watching them react to this practically hopeless situation. There was Dominic Santiago, aka Dom, Marcus' right-hand man and best friend. He was just less than six feet tall, but the half-Hispanic man was all muscle, with dark brown hair worn in a traditional military flat-top and an almost youthful yet slightly grizzled face. Known for his continuous humor and his unwavering sense of duty, he often kept his squad from bickering with each other over plans and decisions. Also there was Damon Baird, who called himself the smart guy or the "brains" of the crew, yet was usually called the smart-ass instead because of his never ending sarcasm and need to complain. The lighter one of the group, Baird carried his weight with his knowledge of enemies and environments. Recognized by his spiked blond hair and trademark blue goggles, which he always wore on his forehead and never actually on his eyes, he also contributed by being the squads' only certified mechanic. But then there was Augustus Cole, aka "The Cole Train", former defensive lineman for the Cougars thrashball team, number eighty-three. Marcus considered Cole a human tank, all three hundred pounds of him. Loud, deep-voiced, light-hearted, and almost playful even in the middle of a fight; he has enough personality for an entire platoon. His tenacity on the battlefield was no less than on the playing field.
Last of all was Anthony Carmine, which, most of the time, was more like a lackey than an actual squad mate. Marcus, nor anyone for that matter, had a real good idea of what Carmine's face looked like, for it was always encased in a protective, top of the line helmet. Carmine was an all around average guy with no defining features besides his infamous bad luck; he was even voted "Most Likely to Get Shot" at the Academy. Fenix chuckled quietly. Why the hell is he even here? He'd find a way to get his head blown off by a rubber band; much less survive a raid on a vampire clan. Marcus himself was a revered war hero, distinguished with many honors and the man behind crucial victories on the battlefield. His scarred face told many stories of close combat with enemy ground forces. His only facial hair was a soul patch beneath his lip, and a head of smoke-colored hair covered by his favorite black bandana. He and all his squad were known as Gears or COG soldiers. They were heavily armored, even more heavily armed, physically strong, mentally adept, and their fighting senses honed to an edge, except for maybe Carmine.
Marcus was jerked out of his reverie by a shout from Dom. "EVERYBODY JUST SHUT UP!" Silence reigned for a good five seconds until Carmine whispered a quiet "Why?"
"Because we need another plan for reaching Forks", Marcus answered, then keyed his mike. "Control this is Delta. Our vehicle is DOA and we're now on foot, please advise. Over."
Lieutenant Anya, the young, blonde, and stunningly attractive yet rarely seen F.E.A.R. officer was Delta's main contact with Control and Marcus' personal 'guardian angel'. She gave them the unfortunate news. "It looks like you're down to walking" she said in her usual matter-of-fact tone, "proceed to your destination and keep us posted on your progress."
"Roger that" replied Marcus, "Delta out. Ok you heard her, grab what you need from the A.P.C., time for a stroll in the woods."
The five soldiers were reluctant to give up on the faster, if currently broken, option. Carmine, as always, was the first to pop a stupid question. "What's DOA mean? And can't Baird fix our ride?" Cole saw the annoyance on Marcus' face and quickly answered for him. "It means Dead On Arrival, which, by the way man, ain't right cuz we ain't arrived yet. And Baird can fix anything; he just needs the right parts, so unless you got a hardware store in your pocket or can find some parts hidden in a tree I suggest you just do what the man says! Damn, why're you even here man?!"
Dawn was breaking by the time Delta squad reached the edge of the thick forest. Persistent rain had slowed their march, making them three hours late. They were on a tight schedule, the plan being to get in, get the job done, and get out before sunrise, but Murphy's Law had kicked in as it tends to, making what could go wrong do exactly that. Victor squad, consisting of five other Gears, was in position already. Their job was to keep any vehicles driven by the targets from leaving the town, by any means necessary. Hidden beside the only roads in and out of Forks, they had all the equipment needed to take out a fleeing vehicle. A separate team, though not so much a team as it consisted of a single person, was keeping watch outside a house on the edge of town. It was the home of the local sheriff and his daughter, and even though the sheriff's cruiser left the house just minutes ago; it was the owner of the old, battered truck that was still parked in the driveway that really mattered. The man keeping surveillance on the young woman inside was a Splinter Cell, an expert at infiltration, stealth, and all forms of combat. And he was none other than the best of them, Sam Fisher. His friend and advisor, Irving Lambert, kept him updated through a small mike hidden inside Fisher's ear on any activity around the house. All the pieces were in place, excluding Delta squad.
"Sergeant Fenix," Colonel Hoffman's voice crackled over Marcus' earpiece, "you've got ONE hour to make it to yer assigned location with yer team or we are terminatin' not only this mission but yer rank as well. So if ya don't feel like gettin' busted back down to private I suggest ya move yer lazy ass team NOW! Hoffman out."
Marcus had been angry with Hoffman many times over the years. Hoffman not only had him dishonorably discharged from the army, but had charged him with dereliction of duty and cowardice when Marcus abandoned his post in an attempt to save his father from a horde of enemies on his doorstep. Unfortunately Marcus had arrived too late, and his post was attacked in his absence. He was sentenced to fourteen years in prison, until a crisis four years later caused all the prisoners to be released, so Dom busted him out to get him back into the fight.
But after all those years the two men had never forgiven each other, their hatred for one another growing with every word exchanged between them. And not being able to get the drawling, gruff, Southern accent of the colonel out of his earpiece, along with the obvious insults, built the hatred into a near uncontrollable fury. Marcus revved his Lancer's chainsaw bayonet, letting the loud, flashing blades drown out the voice of the colonel in his head. Dom let Marcus seethe in his anger for a solid two minutes before shouting over the roar of the saw, "Marcus, we should go! Now!" The saw slowly died down as Marcus switched it off. "We have one hour" he grumbled, "let's make it there sooner while I'm still ." Dom gave him a thumbs up, "Amen to that."
"As long as we get out of these trees I don't give a shit." Baird added.
Cole grinned, "Hell yeah baby, let's do this! I'll bring the pain!"
Carmine shook his head. "Man, do you ever get tired?"
The Train looked him square in the eyes, "Hell to the no baby!"
With more stealth than is expected of Gears in full armament, Delta squad arrived at their target in forty five minutes, sprinting all the way. The target was a large, white building, two stories tall and almost Victorian in design. The team was gathered in the nearby woods about fifty meters away.
"Control this is Sergeant Fenix, we've arrived at the Cullen residence."
"Roger that Delta." Anya replied, then in a more concerned tone, "How are you and the boys?"
They were tired, their equipment was soaked from rain and sweat, and on top of it all Carmine was asking stupid questions again. Marcus, already irritable, had decided to go over the plan one more time, hoping to answer all of the worried soldier's answers at once.
"We're good Anya, thanks. We're going to go over our plans and check our gear until you give us the go ahead. Fenix out."
He gathered his team around in a loose circle and started from the beginning. "Ok, what we've got here are vampires, the catch is we think they could be different than your average Dracula wannabe. Control says that these guys are supposed to be damn near invincible; so the old tricks like garlic, stakes, crucifixes, fire, and sunlight might not help us at all. The only way, they said, was to rip 'em apart and burn 'em. We're the lucky s that get to test these things and see if they're true, so we've brought along everything we need to kill an average vampire. But just in case……"
Marcus reached behind his back to retrieve his secondary weapon, the most destructive instrument in a COG infantryman's arsenal. It was known as the Hammer of Dawn. He held it in front of him for his squad to see, it had been a while since any of them had used one. It was about as large as a rifle, but it was more bulky and it didn't have a firing system. But what it did have was a laser targeting device. When the Hammer was aimed at a target, data was sent directly to an orbiting satellite, which was equipped with the most powerful imulsion laser cannon known to man. The beam emitted from it was hotter than the surface of the sun, blindingly bright, and it completely decimated anything within fifteen feet of the targeted area. And because the laser was guided by aiming down the Hammer's sights, a soldier could cover an entire area by sweeping the laser back and forth until all that's left were ashes and scorched earth.
"This can only to be used as our last resort." Marcus continued. "This mission is to be as discreet as possible. Giant lasers from space aren't really discreet", he reminded them sarcastically.
Baird was almost salivating, "Do I get to use it? Control told you to let me use it right? Right?"
Marcus glared at the mechanic and replied with a gritty, "No…it's mine. Dom, lay out the photos."
Dom reached into his pack and dug out photos Control had acquired via satellite imaging; he spread several of them over the ground in the center of the squad's circle and allowed Marcus to explain.
"These are our targets; they call themselves the Cullen's. They are identified by being extremely pale, cold to the touch and," he added, "apparently very good looking."
"I'll say," said Carmine, "please don't tell me we gotta neutralize this one." He pointed to a picture of a young woman of about eighteen. Although not stunningly attractive like the others, she still carried a certain innocent beauty about her. With her dark brown hair and eyes and smooth white skin, it was understandable for one to be a little hesitant to consider harming her.
"Lucky for her, no, we don't." answered Baird, "That's the target of our Splinter Cell, and she's no vampire. He's gonna try to take her into custody first, but if she resists, no promises."
"But there's one last thing to take care of.", the Marcus went on, "We need a guinea pig to test the old ways of taking down vampires, I for one vote that it should be Carmine, being the rookie and all."
"I second that!"
"Second! I'd hate to be you sucka! Ha!"
The unfortunate soldier sighed. "Oh what the hell, I'll vote me in too, not like I have a freakin' choice…."
"Look on the bright side Carmine;" added Dom, "it's better than flippin' burgers for a living."
Cole let out a deep laugh, "Can't argue with that…"
While Delta had made their way into position, Control decided it was time to proceed with their operative in the area. Lambert issued the order as he usually did. "You're clear to infiltrate the house, you may confront her however you see fit, but be sure to cover all necessary questions with her before you attempt to take her into custody. Understood?"
"Understood Lambert, have the evacuation van on standby, this shouldn't take long. Fisher out."
The Splinter Cell had been studying the blueprints of the house non-stop, memorizing every entry, every exit, and any possible place his target could hope to hide. He had been camouflaged in the sheriff's front yard for hours by lying on his belly beneath his ghillie suit, a body suit which was covered in grass, dirt, small sticks, and anything that would help him blend into his environment as long as he remained still. Compared to his latest missions for Third Echelon, this was a cakewalk.
Focusing on the front of the house, he eyed the windows, making sure he wasn't being watched, and then he slowly began inching his way towards the side of the brown wooded two-story house. He hadn't moved three feet before a flicker of movement caught his eye. Sam froze just as the young woman appeared in the window overlooking the front yard. He lay there deathly still, trying to read her facial features from a distance. She doesn't seem to be alert, never hurt a guy to be careful though. Fisher lay there for another three minutes, well after his target, Isabelle "Bella" Swan, had moved on. He carefully reached his hand up to his goggles, which looked to most like a pair of binoculars with a third optical piece centered above the other two. Fisher activated the infrared optical, attempting to detect where his target was inside the house by finding her heat signature. All living things and most machinery project a heat signature, and apart from the TV and other appliances Bella was the only detectable heat source. Perfect. She was in the kitchen, busy preparing a meal. "Ido love it when they make my job easy." he whispered quietly. Deciding the risk was worth it, he moved into a low crouch and quickly moved up against the side of the small home and spotted his entryway, a window on the second floor. Fisher shed off the cumbersome ghillie suit; he'd need some agile footwork for this one, but his forty years put younger men to shame in terms of physical prowess. He laid the ghillie flat on the ground and dusted off his tactical gear. Now the fun begins.
Fisher checked his equipment, starting with his much tighter yet bullet and knife-proof black tactical suit. It covered his entire body up to just below his Adam's apple, and the unique material it was made from absorbed a high amount of impact, which allowed Fisher to deal and take hits much easier. His only firearm was his trusty DC-9 silenced pistol outfitted with a laser sight. He also carried a concussive grenade, two flash-bangs, a hunting knife, and zip-ties for restraining, in this case, a young, confused teenager. Fisher checked the infrared once again. Bella was just finishing her breakfast and starting on a full sink of dishes. Satisfied that his quarry was sufficiently distracted, he took a few steps back from the wall, then took a deep breath, and ran straight forward. He planted a foot on the wall and then used his momentum and quick steps to effectively run upwards just high enough to grab the edge of the window sill. Fisher pulled himself up with one hand and lifted the other to gently open the window…and it didn't budge an inch. He sighed to himself, "Fantastic". He couldn't hang on forever, and he wasn't exactly inconspicuous hanging from a second story window. He reached into his boot with his free hand and unsheathed his hunting knife and, as quietly as he could, began prying the window free. Fisher thought he had it until the brittle latch broke, the metallic crack being too loud for his taste.
Uh oh…definitely not good. His instincts were proven correct, his infrared vision showed body heat quickly moving toward the stairway. Fisher pushed the window open, pulled himself in, closed the window and slid into a closet. He then realized his mistake, the window he had crawled through opened into Bella's bedroom. Entering directly into a target's private quarters was never highly recommended because they knew it too well, unlike other parts of the house, therefore making it harder to hide and move about. Note to self, next time get updated blueprints.
The door eased open, and Bella's head peered through the door. As the young woman slowly entered the room Fisher held his breath, not even daring to breathe. Bella checked the usual places that his targets inspect when they're suspicious, behind the door, under the bed, and behind furniture. I'll bet she wasn't ever too good at hide-and-seek. She was just making her way over to the closet when she noticed her broken window latch. Sweat beaded across her forehead, and the hair on the back of her neck stood on end, something definitely wasn't right, she could feel it. Bella grabbed the only object within reach, a clothes-hanger on the floor, and crept warily towards the window. The Splinter Cell waited until the panicked girl finished her inspection of the latch and the outside before she started back across the room. The second she let her guard down and passed by the still unchecked closet, Fisher's arm lashed out like a whip and caught the girl's arm. Before she knew what had happened Fisher stepped out and behind her, then swept her feet out from beneath her, pinning her to the floor on her back. To top it all off he unsheathed his knife once again, this time to lie across the pale skin of Bella's exposed throat, just to show that he was in control of the situation.
But something happened then that Fisher couldn't have prepared himself for. For the first time in his entire career, he was frozen in shock. He had seen pictures of this girl before during the pre-mission briefing, and he had thought nothing of it then. But in person, she resembled almost perfectly the daughter that he had lost just two years ago to a horrific hit-and-run accident. He had been on a classified assignment at the time, and the tragic news had almost caused him to quit his job permanently. Now Fisher's eyes were fixed on Bella's, he could see the fear in her eyes, the same fear he had seen in Sarah's as she slowly slipped away from him in her hospital bed. It was the fear of death.
Fisher had seen it before countless times on the faces of the men he had killed; he had never kept track of the lives he had taken for his country. But to see it so painfully in his daughter's eyes and to see it again now was almost too much to bear. He felt the borders of his mind closing in on him, the guilt, the hurt, the admission that he wasn't there for her. After Sarah's mother passed away Fisher was already working for Third Echelon, he didn't know how to take care of a small girl. All these emotions came flooding back in a second, and it took every bit of self-control to keep it from bursting out.
"Are you going to kill me?" Bella whimpered, tears already streaming down her face. "No Sarah…er...Bella, no Bella, I'm not going to hurt you, I'm here to take you away from this place where you'll be safe. But I'll need you to answer some questions first, ok?"
"But I don't want to lea-"
"Question one." He interrupted. "Is it true that you've had contact with members of the Cullen family?"
She stared at him in confusion. "What do you want with -"
"Just answer the question please. Yes or no, fairly simple."
Bella hesitated, "Uh…no, no one does, they keep to themselves."
Fisher had been in this business more than long enough to know when he was being lied to. And although the wave of emotions still swelled inside him he put on his interrogation facade, he showed no emotion, just cold indifference.
"I won't ask you again." He pressed his knife down slightly harder, the skin around the cold steel started to turn red, but it wasn't quite enough pressure to make her bleed.
He could see the reluctance in her eyes, "Yes, I know them."
"Thank you, question two, have you ever observed any…abnormalities…of the Cullen family such as strange habits or problems between them and the other residents?"
Bella realized where this was going, the man in her house, the obvious military look about him, questions about only the Cullen's...he meant no harm to her, but he was threatening to take away the thing she cared of most. She heard his name in her head. Edward.
"Talk. Now. We don't have much time."
Fisher saw the fear and worry in her eyes turn to a spark of fury. He could almost see the fire burning inside. Oh, touched a nerve did I? Now all we need is a verbal confirmation and our teams can get to work. He knew what she was thinking. He slid his knife back into his boot and, while still keeping her pinned, moved his face within two inches of hers. Time for a scare tactic. In a forceful voice, he asked, "Bella, are the members of the Cullen family of Forks, Washington…vampires? Yes or no."
She began to struggle hard, and although it all implied that what he asked was true he, and therefore the rest of the F.E.A.R. forces, couldn't take offensive action unless there was an official confirmation from a witness. She began kicking and biting and squirming to get away, he was just about to have to try to submit her into unconsciousness when a sudden knock on the front door startled them both.
"Hello? Bella? You here?"
Bella tried to scream for help but Fisher had already covered her mouth with one hand, his blade appearing once again in his other. His expression was clear. Don't even try. He had no doubt he could keep Bella from being able to shout or move, he was even more confident that he could easily dispatch whoever was waiting downstairs. But what concerned him was that Lambert hadn't contacted him to warn of this visitor approaching.
Well this is just going to Hell in a handbasket isn't it? Fisher forced Bella to look at him again, this time he silently mouthed, "Who is that?" The girl smirked with newfound confidence and whispered, "Jacob, and he won't like what you're doing here. I suggest you leave before I sic him on you."
"What is he? Your dog?"
Bella smiled at how close the man's sarcasm came to the truth. "I guess you could say that."
It was the most ridiculous sight any of them had ever seen, they couldn't help but laugh. Carmine, a fully armored soldier with Lancer rifle in hand, was now wearing a necklace of garlic, a bracelet donned with a crucifix, a belt of stakes, and other little charms and tokens fabled to ward off creatures of the night. Although he was usually the most disrespected member of the squad, he was convinced that they were just doing this so they wouldn't feel bad if they laughed when the vampires got him.
"What if none of this works?! What if I try everything and nothing freakin' works?! What am I supposed to do?! 'Oh sorry Mr. Bloodsucker I didn't mean to stab you through the chest with that, I was just wanting you to take a look at it for me!'"
Dom's sides were hurting from laughter, and he did his best to comfort his squad mate. "Don't worry about it man; now you're way too ugly for them to want to eat."
Cole joined in as well. "You've got enough damn garlic on ya, maybe you'll get lucky and they'll pass out from smellin' ya. Or, of course, they can just eat you and have funky breath for a while."
Although he felt sympathy for the guy, even Baird couldn't resist. "Stop badgering the poor kid, you're gonna make him wet himself and we don't want him fighting all wet without his Huggies on."
Marcus, although he was enjoying the spectacle, decided to stop it before it gave away their position. His heavy boots crunched on the forest floor as he stomped into the center of his squad, quieting them instantly, and addressed each one of them with his cold stare. "This is how it'll work. They're gonna fight us, and we're gonna fight them", he looked at Carmine, "and we're gonna win", then turned back to the others, "as long as you shut the hell up that is." Marcus closed his eyes and asked with a sudden calm, "Carmine. You have only one job. What did I tell you to do?"
"Well sir," he stammered, "I'm supposed to make my way to the front door, knock, wait for someone to answer, then use as many of these things I'm carrying that I can. If none of them work before the vampire reacts and tries to eat my face off, I'm to arm a frag grenade that's coated with holy water, drop it on the porch, and run like hell while you guys try to cover me from the tree line. If there's any part of this obviously reckless and suicidal plan that I missed please correct me."
Sergeant Fenix showed a toothy grin, almost predatory like. "Nope, sounds like you got it. Now that that's clear there's no possible way for any of this to go wrong." he teased. "Absolutely none."
"Aww thanks jackass, you HAD to say it, now we're screwed…" Baird whined. "And how come vampire-bait over here has to knock on the door for Christ's sake?! We should just assault the house!" Marcus stalked over to the soldier and grabbed him by his armored breastplate and pulled him close. "Our intel on this operation sucks Baird," he snarled, "and you know that. Plus, we can't take a risk of this house being full of civilians, so Carmine will be our welcoming party, got it?"
The two men stared unblinking at each other, daring one another to make a move. Cole decided to break the tension. He looked at the pair and smiled, "Awww….ain't that cute?" Dom quickly caught on and smiled, "Yeah, like two s on their first date!" The entire squad erupted with laughter, even Marcus and Baird.
"On a more serious note," Dom pointed out, "we won't even know until our Splinter Cell gives us the go ahead, what's taking him so long anyway?"
"There, that oughta hold ya." Fisher whispered as he tightened the fifth zip-tie around Bella's wrists. He had already bound her feet and gagged her with a sock he found on her floor, she was most definitely not happy about that little arrangement. He finished just in time to hear the front door squeak open and the visitor, apparently named Jacob, take a small step inside.
"Bella…are you here? The door's unlocked and your truck's still here, just wanted to talk with you real quick about something I saw, I think there's gonna be trouble soon."
Fisher was puzzled by this last statement. That's impossible. All our forces were moving through heavily forested areas. How could this kid have seen them and gotten back already? Never even heard an engine pull into the driveway... Fisher quietly made his way to another window, and sure enough there was only Bella's old rust bucket parked there. How could he have gotten here so quickly?
Footsteps sounded on the staircase, making their way up slowly but steadily. Fisher scooped the bound girl in his arms and laid her beside her bed away from the door. He then took a position near the door, and waited. The steps made their way down the hall, again Jacob yelled out for Bella. "I hear you up here Bella! Why aren't you answering? Is there something wrong?" Fisher once again held his breath as the door swung open, a bit more forcefully than last time, and it stopped a hairs' breadth from his nose. Whew…that could've been unpleasant. Fisher watched the young man search the room, but it wasn't long until he discovered Bella bound and gagged in her own house.
"Bella! What happened?! Who did this to you?! Are you ok?"
This was answered by a series of annoyed and muffled sounds from Bella. She was obviously irritated at the fact that Jacob was asking her questions before taking the gag out of her mouth. Then Fisher made his move. Stepping as lightly as he could, he made his way over to Jacob, took a combat stance behind him, and struck the back of the boy's head with enough force to render him unconscious, or so he thought.
His hand throbbed from the impact, his suit absorbing the crushing blow that was supposed to incapacitate the young man. Jacob fell forward, but was back on his feet in a second, obviously angered and confused by the sudden attack. "Hmm…that didn't go well," Fisher said to himself, "guess we'll have to try something less subtle."Fisher whipped out his DC-9 from its holster and leveled the barrel straight at Jacob's head, right between the eyes. The red dot from his laser sight was perfectly still, his accuracy with his weapon almost uncanny from years of use. You may be fast kid, but my trigger finger's faster. But Jacob was either very brave, or very stupid, and went back to untie the last bond around Bella's wrists. "Don't move." Fisher ordered. But instead of complying Jacob finished the job anyway, but even when Bella stood the laser had yet to move from his head. "Who are you and what are you doing here?" the Splinter Cell demanded.
"I think you should answer those questions first", Jacob retorted. "Who are you? Some kind of escaped convict?"
A familiar sound crept into Fisher's ear, static. Lambert must be trying to reach me. Sam pressed two fingers up against his ear and tried to contact Lambert, all while keeping his pistol leveled. "Lambert, can you hear me? Over." More static filled his ear, this time he was able to make out a few words. Stranger. Inside. Came out of nowhere.
"I already know Lambert, I've got him. I'll keep him here until the operation is over with."
"Operation?" Jacob was getting increasingly worried. "What are you talking about?" Bella opened her mouth to tell him, but Fisher was faster, and he sensed an opportunity. If Bella won't talk, maybe he will. "We're taking down the Cullen family" Fisher admitted quickly, "They are harming the local area and we need to stop them before they start harming innocent people."
A look of anger and shock crossed the young man's features, "But they don't feed on people, don't you realize that?!" he shouted, "They're just hunting the animals; there's nothing wrong with that!" Bingo. Thanks for the confirmation Mr. Jacob, so it's true…God help us.
"Lambert" Fisher spoke steadily into his mike, "we have confirmation on the vampire infestation, the operation is a go. Green light."
Bella let out a terrified gasp. No…this can't be happening to us. She let out a sob and slowly laid on her bed, bawling into her pillow. "Edward", she pleaded to herself, "please be ok." Jacob became furious with this man, barging in here and threatening the lives of his friend and himself. He let out a long, low growl, much too animal-like for a human. Fisher was perplexed with this kid. How is he able to take hits without pain and why is he growling at me like an angry dog? Then Fisher's eye's widened in recognition. Oh shit…you've gotta be kiddin' me...
"Lambert! We've got werewolves! I repeat! WEREWO-"
Fisher was lifted off his feet and launched across the room, landing part-way through the outside wall of the house, splintering wood and scattering plaster and dust into the air. Darkness clouded his vision and he was struggling just to breathe. The air was forced from his lungs because of the vicious blow to his sternum; he could only draw shallow breaths. His gaze was suddenly filled by a beast; the wolf-like creature had hardly any trace of humanity left in its eyes. Fisher fumbled for his pistol holster. Empty. And as he reached for his knife his hand was caught by the monstrous being, the grip was so tight Fisher could almost feel his bones bending. He clenched is jaws shut, barely stopping himself from screaming in agony. Another furred and clawed hand lifted the Splinter Cell by the front of his suit and the fearsome being brought him up level with its piercing stare. The creature lifted him over its head, and then he was savagely thrown out the side of the house. The last thing Fisher saw was the look of terror on Bella's face as she watched Jacob, now a werewolf; hurl him outside to land in an unmoving heap on the ground below.
"Delta this is Anya at Control, the Cullen family is confirmed to be a vampire clan. The assault is a go. I repeat. The assault is a go. Neutralize hostiles by any means necessary. The Hammer of Dawn satellite is in position to fire if needed, good luck boys."
"Roger that Control, assault in progress. Fenix out."
"Alright Carmine," Marcus patted the rookie on the shoulder, "the show's all yours, remember, actually try everything you can before you arm the grenade, got it?" Carmine could feel his legs shaking, he felt nauseous, "If I don't throw up my heart first yeah, I got it." Marcus admired his courage. The kid's got guts, I'll give him that. "Then get up there, we'll cover you." Carmine cringed inside his helmet, "Aww shit, can't believe I'm doing this." He started toward the house at a slow jog.
Dom appeared next to Marcus, "So, do you think they know what he's doing?" Marcus allowed himself to laugh as he watched Carmine, "Well he sure as hell isn't there to sell cookies, so they know something's up. Check your ammo." The four squad mates watched their comrade make his way toward the front of the house. A blur of motion inside made Cole jump. "Whoa, did you guys see that?" Baird turned to him and replied, "Yeah, so he runs like a girl, so what?"
"Not that," Cole snapped, "just thought I saw movement toward the door, he's gonna have his hands full up there man. Wish I could be up there to bring the pain on those freaks, you know what I'm sayin'?"
"Quiet." Marcus ordered. "He's on the porch, get ready to fire."
Carmine's entire body was trembling, he had never faced vampires before, and he was immediately regretting his decision to join the F.E.A.R. forces. Maybe they'll be nice vampires, maybe they'll just move to Alaska or something, hide out there. God it sucks to be me. He stepped towards the door. PLEASE don't let them eat me…He raised a shaking, armored fist to the door and knocked three times. The door remained closed. Well, guess they're not home, darn the luck. Guess I'll just- "Hello there." A warm voice interrupted his thoughts. "Can I help you with something?" Carmine slowly turned, and through his helmet's protective eye-coverings he saw in the doorway a man in what looked to be his mid-twenties, with blond hair and a slender but strong look to him. Carmine didn't move or speak; he just stood on the porch, dumbfounded. That's a vampire? He doesn't look like one… All of a sudden six others filled the entrance. The ENTIRE Cullen clan…damn.
"Excuse me sir, I said, can I help you with something? My name is Dr. Carlisle Cullen, and this is my family. Did you have something to say to us?"
"Uh…I think so…wait…no…um…hold on." Carmine mumbled. Oh shit, I forgot what to do!
The doctor smiled. "Well while you think of the reason why you're here let me introduce everyone." He gestured to each person as he said their name. "This is Esme, my wife. And these are my children, Rosalie, Alice, Jasper, Emmett, and Edward."
The one named Edward leaned over and whispered something to Emmett. The large, muscular young man seemed distraught by whatever was said and immediately glared at Carmine with hateful eyes.
It's like they know why I'm here! I should just run. Now.
"But if you go now who are you going to share all that garlic with? Or those intimidating wooden stakes?" taunted Edward. He stood at least as tall as the doctor, and looked to have the same build, if not more angular and compelling.
"Hey pretty boy," Carmine said gruffly, trying to summon courage, "I didn't say anything about leaving." Edward smiled, but there was no kindness behind it, it was almost mocking.
"I know, you thought it. And you'd better hope Bella hasn't been harmed by the time I get to her, but for now we have to deal with you and your friends cowering in the trees."
Son of a bitch, they can read MINDS?! What kind of twisted freaks-
Suddenly the beautiful people standing in front of the cowering soldier appeared terribly menacing. Their eyes became visibly fearsome; Carmine imagined he saw fangs sliding out of their mouths. Then, miraculously, he remembered his mission. "Leave now Carmine," Carlisle insisted, "or you and your fellow soldiers will be dealt with accordingly. We've brought no harm to any human here, just tell your superiors you wiped us out, and you'll never hear from us again."
Yeah right, you'll probably kill me as soon as I turn my back. He took a deep breath. Here we go. Carmine grabbed for one of his wooden stakes, reared his arm back, and with his loudest battle cry plunged the stake toward the vampire's chest.
Only to have it snap like a twig.
That…was NOT supposed to happen…
Carlisle loomed over him, imposing with his golden eyes. Carmine held the crucifix in front of him, to no affect. The Cullen's slowly approached him. He desperately threw garlic, holy water, and everything he had. He shouted curses and insults and even said a small prayer for himself…until all he had left was his lone grenade.
Carmine closed his eyes, tears started to form behind his eyelids. He yelled as he pulled the pin from the grenade and hurled it into the middle of the vampire-filled doorway. He turned and ran as fast as he could toward his squad, now his only hope of salvation. But he stopped in his tracks; Edward had instantly appeared a foot in front of Carmine and was blocking his path.
And he was holding the live grenade in his pale hands.
The explosive detonated a few yards from Delta's position on the edge of the tree line, the thunderous blast knocking the squad backwards. Smoke lingered where their team mate once stood, only a black, smoking crater was all that was left of the rookie soldier. Bits of flesh, blood, metal and bone rained down over Marcus and his squad, and a dark red mist filled the air. Marcus pulled himself up into a crouch and lifted his head. His jaw dropped in astonishment. There stood Edward, untouched, next to the gory pit formerly known as Private Anthony Carmine. The only injuries he suffered were to his clothing, his shirt and pants ripped from the debris and fragmentation. He was also soaked with the blood of the man he had killed.
The four soldiers lost their confidence instantly. "Did you see that?!" Dom exclaimed. Marcus answered worriedly, "Yeah…I did…kinda wish I hadn't." Cole, never one to back down, stood straight up and dusted himself off. "Well let's get to it then ladies!" He shouted challengingly, "Yeah! Whooo! Bring it on sucka! This is MY kinda fight!" The Cole Train broke into a run heading straight for the vampire. Edward stood in place, waiting for the boulder of a man to make his attack. By the time the rest of Delta squad emerged from the tree line, Cole reached his target. The enormous warrior revved his Lancer's chainsaw bayonet, and charged. He thrust the saw directly into Edward's exposed chest. Cole yelled in rage as he pulled is weapon away to watch his opponent die at his feet. But a shiver of panic shot down his spine. His razor-edged chainsaw was now bent and broken; some saw teeth were lying on the ground at Edward's feet, the rest were hanging loosely from the chain.
Aww HELL no…this ain't right…
Emmett appeared instantly beside his brother. "I want to take this one."
"Go ahead," the still unharmed Edward said, "he's all yours." Jasper joined Edward and they both started toward the remaining gunmen. Cole turned to face his new adversary. "Alright baby, you almost as big as the Train, so you think you're badass or somethin'?!" Cole quickly regained his nerve and spread his arms in invitation. "Well I'm gonna break you sucka! Let's go!" The two titans crashed into each other, and a potentially deadly wrestling match slowly turned into a violent brawl. They grappled each other, each taking hold of the other's massive arms trying to throw their opponent off balance. Cole was straining with every muscle in his body, while Emmett looked as though he could've been relaxed enough to hold a conversation with his adversary. Cole tried another tactic, he quickly released Emmett and side-stepped, hoping the vampire would fall forward. But instead Emmett easily pulled himself upright and leaped at Cole with a speed the former thrashball player couldn't hope to match. Emmett grabbed hold of Cole's hands and slowly bent them backwards, forcing the doomed soldier to his knees. In an unexpected move, Emmett freed one of his hands to swing it in an almost insulting backhand across Cole's face. The pained man didn't know what to do, he had never been so easily dispatched in a fight, especially when it was so physical. It took every inch of muscle to make himself slowly rise back on his feet. Muscles and veins were visibly rising beneath his dark skin; he gritted his teeth and with a shout of defiance kicked at the vampire's shin. The blow didn't hurt his opponent in the slightest, but it succeeded in making Emmett back-step to regain his footing. Cole took advantage of the moment and freed his hands from Emmett's iron grip and started pummeling him with powerful punches to his face and torso. A surge of adrenaline shot through Cole, and he punched harder and faster than he ever had before in his life. If it were a man in front of him, he would've been demolished, yet all The Train's efforts gained him were several broken and bloody fingers and knuckles, now incapable of gripping a weapon. They both knew what was about to happen, and they exchanged knowing looks. Neither of them was backing down until one was dead, and Cole, knowing his odds, took them anyway. With renewed vigor Cole threw himself back at his superior vampire opponent.
While the two titans battled each other, the rest of Delta squad had readied their assault rifles, and put the approaching Cullen brothers in their sights. When they were in range, Marcus barked the order "Baird! Dom! OPEN FIRE!" Three muzzles flashed with automatic fire, riddling their targets with high-velocity armor piercing bullets. Hundreds of rounds kept hitting their marks, the experienced soldiers keeping the rifles constantly on target. They reloaded a second clip, cocked the weapons, and continued streaming ammunition toward the two vampire enemies. The three men roared their challenge as they kept their fingers pulled tightly on the triggers.
After everyone's second clip was used, the Lancer rifles clicked empty. Marcus, Dom, and Baird lowered their weapons and let the smoking air clear from in front of them. They could see nothing, and the only sounds were the three men's heavy breathing. When it had all finally dissipated, they saw what damage they had caused. Trees, bushes, and even parts of the house were shot to pieces, leaving nothing but gaping holes in everything else. But there was no sign of Edward and Jasper; even the hulking Emmett had vanished. Although a limp, bloody form on the ground where the large fighters had clashed was obviously Cole, either dead or dying.
Baird didn't like what he saw. He didn't know what to expect to see when he stopped firing, but seeing nothing was the last thing he wanted. Where the hell did they go? Sneaky s…can't even stand and fight. He felt a strong hand on his shoulder through his armor plating. "Just because you can't see us," a voice echoed in his head, "doesn't mean we aren't here." Baird spun on his heel and brought his rifle up to his shoulder and leveled it at the source of the voice. The Cullen brothers, completely unscathed, had been right behind them before the first barrage of bullets had even finished leaving the weapons' barrels. The remainder of Delta squad glowered at the cunning vampires. Only one thought was going through the minds of the soldiers.
If they wanted us dead, we would be.
"Exactly," Edward said coldly, "you would be." Then, in a single, simultaneous motion, the Cullen brothers reached forward, each grabbing a very surprised soldier and lifted them off their feet, holding them suspended by their throats. Marcus could feel himself losing consciousness, he needed air. But the icy, vice-like hand around his throat prevented him from drawing breath. He swung and kicked wildly at his captor, making contact every time, blows that would've dropped most where they stood. But the now blurry image in front of him, a still blood-soaked Edward, shrugged off every hit like it was from a child. Marcus' arms and legs began to grow heavy, it took all his strength to lift his arm for one final strike, but it was too much.
The world turned black.
"They're waking up, gather the others here quickly", a melodic voice said, "I want them here for this." "I will," another voice replied, "but I don't think these men are going anywhere soon."
Marcus struggled to open his eyes, the sun was shining brightly. Damn, how long was I out? Feel like I was hit by a train…a train…Cole! Marcus' eyes snapped open; he lifted his head off the damp ground and searched for his squad. He didn't have to look far, the Cullen brothers had apparently gathered them around what was left of Carmine's crater. The smell of burnt and decaying flesh stung his nostrils, flies were already settling down on the gory bits and pieces scattered for meters around. He shifted his gaze to Dom, who was also slowly regaining his senses and moved to sit up only to have his arm buckle beneath him and bring him back down in the dirt. Marcus heard a sickly cough to his right.
"Well," a voice wheezed, "looks like we're screwed…told ya…" Baird seemed to be alive. He was leaning over on his side, blood bubbling from his mouth due to a recently punctured lung. But Augustus Cole was lying on his back, bloodied and beaten. Bruises covered his entire body, even his thick armor had deep dents and gashes where furious hits had been taken. It was clear that several bones had been broken and stuck upward through the skin. And yet his face was still set in hard determination, his unblinking eyes staring up at the sky for their final time.
Dom's voice broke the silence. "Oh my God…Cole…man…this can't be happening."
Marcus and Dom couldn't believe their friend had been thrown down in his prime, but Baird was completely devastated. He and Cole had been through everything together for years, one always having the other's back. Even with his other companions in the grime with him, he had never felt so alone.
"His death was quick, I assure you."
Baird's blue eyes shot upward. Carlisle… "What did you say? cough His death…was quick? You soulless , you have no idea what kind of spawn of Satan you are do you?"
The vampire patriarch looked down at him unsympathetically, "I believe YOU were attempting to kill US first Private Damon Baird. It is men like you who are the real monsters of this world, it's ironic really. And yet you're too blinded by your own pride to see it."
"So what're you gonna do?" Marcus intervened. "Kill us while we're down? I should've figured I'd get that from a damn bloodsucker."
Carlisle straightened his back at this and locked eyes with him.
"Actually Sergeant Fenix, I was planning on letting you and your men go free."
Much to Carlisle's surprise, his generous offer was greeted by a chorus of "Aww, !" by the three captives.
"Ah, I assume you don't believe me then?" he asked quietly.
"Hell no we don't!" Dom protested, "Plus Control will just send another squad after we get out. Don't you see? You're outnumbered, you'll die eventually. And trust me; our Colonel has no problem sending waves of men to their death. In fact, he uses us like that a lot."
"Which is why you just tell them you killed us all." Carlisle suggested. "The mission will be a success, and you will be honored. I'm sure there'll be medals involved and-"
"And our friends would've died for nothing!" Marcus snapped. "I don't give a shit about medals; I want your life ended by my hand…and nothing more." he added sinisterly.
The rest of the Cullen clan emerged from the house, making their way across the scarred lawn with an almost irritating amount of grace and poise. You would think they had never killed soldiers here…they don't seem bothered by this at all. ButMarcus allowed himself a shadow of a smile. Good thing they aren't soldiers…the Hammer of Dawn was still snugly secured to his back.
The Cullen's gathered in front of the COG infantrymen. They were arranged as if posing for a family portrait, with the girls in front, guys in the back, and the loving parents standing in the middle. God I hate them, they're just so damn perfect. Marcus smirked to himself. But not for much longer. He acted as though he was going to stand up and face his captors, faking an overwhelming effort to do so. Marcus allowed himself to fall backwards from 'fatigue', and placed his hands slightly behind his back as he fell as though attempting to catch himself. He landed hard, more than he intended, but his ploy worked. His hand was inches from a superweapon.
Alice fought back a smile. "Please Marcus…have a seat."
Edward eyed him quizzically. He focused on the sergeant, but the man's thoughts escaped his grasp, it was as if a barrier was protecting his mind. What are you hiding Fenix?
Carlisle interrupted his thoughts.
"I wanted to show everyone how the world should solve their problems with this gesture of peace. You men have attacked my family, yet I choose to forgive you. You curse and throw insults back in my face, and I still forgive you. We have done nothing wrong, we will not harm innocent people, and we have been generous enough to give you a chance to walk away from this grisly scene you brought to our doorstep."
Marcus spoke in an attempt to warn his team of his plan. "So you're saying we should just…drop it?"
Dom's eyes widened. Marcus meant something by that careful choice of words, something that sounded close to an all too familiar order heard in their many fights together. Dom could almost hear it then. Dom…lets drop the Hammer! He caught Baird's eye and gave him a solemn look, and gazed intently at the ground. Get ready to take cover. Baird seemed unconcerned, distant, no longer caring what happened. "As far as I'm concerned," Baird mumbled to himself, "we're already dead."
Carlisle seemed not to notice. "Well if you want to put it like that, yes. Just walk away, call the mission a success, and it will no longer be your concern." Esme took a step forward. "Please," she was almost pleading, "don't throw away your lives so rashly. Save yourselves, we don't want this any more than you do." But Marcus had his mind made up already. He wasn't going to do this for the mission, but for revenge. He quickly judged the distance between himself and the Cullen's in front of him. About ten feet…son of a bitch…this is gonna be close.
The shout gave everyone a start, it had come from Edward.
"Him!" He pointed an accusing finger at Marcus. "He's hiding something, we aren't safe! I know it!"
"Calm down Edward." Carlisle rested a hand on his shoulder. "Explain yourself."
Edward stepped in close to Carlisle and turned his back on the captives, then began whispering intensely. Carlisle nodded his head as he listened to his concerns, whispering back when he had a chance. Marcus made an effort to try to find what had Edward so jumpy, most of it being too quick to decipher. But what he did catch in their hushed conversation was all he needed to know.
"…can't hear him…thoughts are hidden…like Bella…might be a shield."
Marcus didn't know what he meant by 'shield', but the security in knowing his thoughts were safe gave him the courage to attempt his one chance of escape.
"I don't know exactly what it is." Edward's voice took an edge. "But we. Aren't. Safe."
Marcus knew he wouldn't get another opportunity like this; he gritted his teeth and focused on a spot directly behind his distracted enemies.
Damn right you aren't safe. Let's do this.
Dom saw Marcus make his move, and quickly curled up in a ball in the dirt trying to cover his face. Baird didn't budge an inch.
With the speed only the adrenaline of a soldier on his last stand could achieve, Marcus grabbed the protruding end of the weapon clinging to his back plate of armor. As he hefted the Hammer to his shoulder and peered down the sight, Rosalie let out a panicked scream just as the trigger was pulled with a satisfying click. He had aimed just behind the group in front of him, giving him a precious few more feet.
Three beeps sounded…then their world exploded in flame from above.
The Hammer of Dawn's devastating laser was instantly projected from the satellite down directly behind the Cullen family gathered in front of him. The sheer intensity of the power, heat, and light vaporized the air around them; and almost nothing could be heard over the roar of the Hammer's crash to the earth. Inside the devastating beam, energy was moving so fast it created a vacuum, ripping the ground to shreds. And with it, everything…and everyone…within fifteen feet of the kill zone. Marcus held the weapon steady, careful to keep it just far enough away from his team. One slip is all it would take.
He kept his eyes sealed shut, but couldn't resist a peek when a faint yet excruciatingly painful scream reached his ears. He squinted into the intense light, and could make out the stumbling, burning, and screaming figures in front of him. He inched the beam towards himself, catching the vampires inside the very center of the torrential flames. The result was exactly as he wanted, if not better. Inside the fire, his targets slowly burned away. Marcus could only identify three of the dying vampires, for the others were much too torn and charred already. The first was easy to spot, Emmett, the big one who had stopped the Cole Train in his tracks. His huge arms were ripped from their sockets, his face and torso shredded as they were consumed by the flames. The second, Alice, suffered a similar fate, her once gorgeous body now blackened and dissolving into ash. Marcus' brow furrowed as he eyed the last recognizable Cullen. He felt no joy, no sadness, and no pity as he watched the one who so mercilessly killed Carmine with his own grenade die in front of his eyes. Edward was the last to be consumed by the torrent of flame that had decimated the rest of his family. And though his eyes were glazed and burnt, his white skin ripping away from the muscle and bone, and his once perfect face enshrouded with pain and anguish…he did something nothing short of miraculous. Much to Marcus' surprise, Edward didn't scream, not a single sound escaped his lips. Marcus nonetheless held his finger on the trigger until all that was left in front of him was a scorched and burning ring of ash and smoke. He slid his finger off the trigger, disengaging the Hammer and ending its rain of fire. Once his ears stopped ringing, the weary men heard a familiar sound.
The solemn silence after a brutal battle, but it meant only one thing to the men Delta Squad. Victory.
"Roger that Delta, we're sending in choppers to pick you up." Anya spoke in her natural level-headed voice. "And good job boys, I'll have a few weeks of R&R waiting for you when you get back to base."
Just what we need, Marcus thought. Rest and relaxation.
His hopes of having a nice rest were immediately crushed.
"Fenix. This is Hoffman. What the HELL were you thinking using the damn Hammer?! We've had to stop law enforcement and emergency officials for miles around to keep them from getting to yer dumb ass, and do you have any idea how many newspapers we're gonna have to bribe to not print this on their damn headline?!"
Marcus wasn't in the mood.
"Colonel Hoffman, sir?"
"I don't give a shit. Fenix out."
"What did you just say to me Sergea-"
Marcus yanked the mike out of his ear, tossed it on the ground, and crushed it beneath his boot. That'll do.
Marcus surveyed the damage in the area, all of it caused in roughly twenty-five minutes. Trees and rocks were split from gunfire, the ground was torn and burnt, and even the air had a foul smell to it. The once elegant house had been obliterated. Control had ordered it to be demolished; wanting it to look like it had burned down on accident of course. Dom had rigged the fuse box and started a fire there, and then the rest of the large home went up in flames shortly after. Marcus gazed at Carmine's gory crater and Cole's limp body, now prepared to be lifted onto a chopper. Marcus clenched their recovered dog-tags in his hands which had been taken from his former squad mates. His grip on them tightened as his eyes focused on the large circle of blackened earth. He would never forget this day.
Fenix slowly turned and faced the last survivors of the ordeal, both had been heavily injured. They all had blisters and burns from the close proximity of the Hammer of Dawn, several bruises and scrapes from the apparent beating they had taken when they were forced into unconsciousness, and Baird had his punctured lung. It was worse than they had expected, they were under-prepared for a mission of this scale, yet they overcame the odds in the end. Baird was unusually quiet, still not yet over the death of his closest friend, but not a single tear fell from his darkened eyes. Each of them carried new scars, both physical and mental, and although the mission was complete, each of them knew that they would never stop fighting. It was in their blood.
The distinct roar of an inbound chopper echoed in the distance, a comforting sound to any fatigued and battered soldier. A few minutes later the chopper set down in front of the still smoldering house, medics leaped out and rushed over to carry Cole to his last ride to base. Marcus, Dom, and Baird followed behind them, and once Cole had been secured inside, they stepped onboard. With a rush of air the engines engaged and lifted the chopper off the ground and set its course back to F.E.A.R. Headquarters for the mission debriefing.
Marcus looked over to where Dom was strapped in to his seat. His long-time friend smiled back and asked, "So…what do ya want to do tomorrow?"
Hoffman stared at the video screen mounted on the wall of the control center, observing an assault that had been put into motion a few days after the assault on the Cullen's. Using advanced satellite imaging and tracking technology, F.E.A.R. Control had been able to track the werewolf and the target Bella flee from her house in Forks after dispatching the most experienced infiltration specialist on record. The two fugitives escaped the sheriff's house in the old truck that was parked out front and headed directly to a local Native American reservation. Two squads, Alpha and Beta, had been armed to the teeth with armor and weaponry, including another Hammer of Dawn. They were dispatched to the reservation by helicopter for a quick get in-get out operation. Luckily the Hammer wasn't needed. The werewolf pack was quickly cut down by the rain of bullets and the thunder of machine gun fire. But most importantly, Bella had been recaptured.
"Fifteen minutes, not bad…not bad at all." The colonel called up Anya on his mike.
"Anya, what's the status on the recent raid? Over."
"Numerous casualties on both sides," Anya informed him. "Mostly to the werewolves though. Multiple structures have been destroyed and I'm contacting all police and emergency vehicles and making sure they know to stay out of the area because of our 'weapons testing'. Even they won't risk bringing a branch of the government down on their necks. The target Isabelle has been recaptured and is in transit back to base. Estimated time of arrival, five hours."
Hoffman smiled at this. "Good, very good. It's too bad about the girl though, she'll spend the rest of her days locked away in our facility. We can't trust her to keep her mouth shut." Then he added sarcastically "Maybe one day she'll work for us."
Anya was hardly amused. "I seriously doubt that sir. Anya out."
The colonel continued to stare at the screen, paused in the midst of the battle. Bodies of warriors and soldiers littered a small killing field. Man and beast were fighting for their lives, while others on the screen were frozen in their death throws or staring from already glazed eyes. Men were firing weapons, shouting orders and screaming in terror or fright at the werewolves that were out to eviscerate the soldiers assaulting their home. One werewolf in particular was shielding a very young, pale woman from a wild shot fired from a frightened soldier. The beast was letting out a pained howl as it took the burst of ammunition in its spine, spraying the surrounding area with blood, flesh, and hair. Hoffman identified her as Bella, and she looked almost ghostly white, obviously in shock from the carnage surrounding her. As well she should be. Hoffman thought to himself. She may have cost us one of our most valuable assets. Wonder if our Splinter Cell will ever recover from that kind of trauma.
As if on cue, his earpiece crackled. "Medical to Hoffman. Please respond. Over."
"This is Hoffman, go ahead Medical."
"We have someone who would like to speak to you."
Really now? Awake already, this guy's impressive.
"Affirmative Medical, patch him through."
A man's strained voice came over the earpiece, from the sound of him he must've just gotten off his medical cot.
"Control, this is Sam Fisher…Splinter Cell and anti-werewolf enthusiast. Might I say…mission accomplished?"
At least he didn't get the humor knocked out of him.
"Yes you may Fisher, Lambert will explain to you later about the slight communication problem you had before, next time we'll fix that ya hear?"
Fisher wasn't feeling up to the colonel's funny-bone just yet.
"Slight communication problem my ass…sir. And that would be appreciated, but for now I'd like to request a few weeks off. To heal, oh lets see…five broken ribs, a bruised sternum, a fractured left arm, and a hell of a bad concussion."
Hoffman was feeling generous. "Permission granted, but as soon as Lambert says you're good to go you're getting thrown back in. Understood?"
"Understood. Fisher out."
The colonel chuckled darkly as he began thinking about the next mission that was already in the works. Inside F.E.A.R. Headquarters the gears of war were turning, plotting the next attack on the world of the paranormal and nightmares that were humanity's enemy.