Chapter 2

The SAS team were asleep when the alarm was sounded; hell, it was two in the morning.

"Come on team! Get moving!" shouted Lieutenant Riley. He knew that this was some serious trouble; the team wouldn't be given less than two hours sleep before a drill. This was something pretty serious alright. Less than two minutes later, twenty SAS troops were lined up inside the briefing room, in front of Colonel Gray, a tall man who had a grim expression set on his face. Before the team could salute, he spoke to them. This showed that what he was about to tell them was of high importance. "Right then, since you are all present and correct, I will start the briefing immediately. As you are probably all aware, at around seventeen hundred hours yesterday, all contact was lost with a group of 10 specialist divers after they explored a cavern opened up by a recent earthquake. Two strange things happened down there in that cavern. Firstly, they seemed to have encountered some kind of creature, nothing is known about it, other than the fact that it murdered our team, but secondly, and more importantly, down in that ice cavern, they found something. They claim that they found an ICBM down in that cavern. That missile was created during the Cold War because we, the British Government, feared an invasion by the Soviets. We created it to be fired at the USSR if they attacked us. But they didn't. So we left it in the ice station. In 1990, the entire base was caught in a huge blizzard for four days, and when it was finally over, we couldn't regain contact. So we sent out a team of SAS troops to the base, and they found fifty dead bodies, violently murdered, and the missile: the missile was still there. We decided the missile was no longer needed, and we deactivated it."

"Then how is it a threat then?" Asked one of the troops, a corporal named Jenkins.

"Because all that needs to be done to arm the missile is to replace the nuclear warhead, that is, if it is damaged in any way." replied the colonel. "Your objective is simple. Get to the base first and hold it until the main British force arrives to remove the missile. You are the closest troops to Death Plateau, get there first, and hold the base for around twenty four hours. You will be leaving the base in thirty minutes time. Good luck out there."

As soon as the troops had left the briefing room, they all ran to the barracks to grab their gear and prepare to leave. Riley went to the armoury first to take his weapon, an MP5K sub machine gun, the signature weapon of Special Forces teams worldwide. He then took extra items and went to grab the rest of his gear from the barracks.

Exactly on the deadline he had set, the colonel came outside to give last words to the troops before departure. He told the team to split into two, one half would go down to the missile once the base was confirmed to be clear, the other half would stay above ground and defend the base from whatever might attack it. The colonel read out a register of the team to stay above ground and the team to go down to the missile. Riley was ordered to keep his team above the ground. The troops climbed into the helicopters which would take them to the base, taking with them two light assault hovercrafts and a few mortars. The squad instantly knew that they were up for a fight.

TWO HOURS LATER

The helicopters carrying the team and their equipment landed at the base. As soon as the helicopters touched the ground, the vehicles were driven out and the team leapt out afterwards, in their arctic camouflage and heartbeat sensors attached to their weapons. Then Sergeant Daniel Foster, one of the snipers, spoke in a whisper to the rest of the team.

"Something isn't right. Just look at the base, it... it looks like someone has been in here recently. Look, footprints! He said suddenly."

"You're right Dan, tracks look about an hour old, I'd say. Someone got here first and hastily tried to cover up their tracks. Stay sharp, we're going in."

"No, wait! I saw movement up there in the top window on the right" said Dan.

Then one of the privates suddenly yelled "SNIPER! GET TO..."

He didn't finish his sentence because a .50 calibre bullet hit him squarely in the middle of his chest, directly over his heart. He was dead long before he hit the ground. Instantly, the two Chinook helicopters tried to take off, abandoning the team, but the first one was hit on the rear engine, spiralling out of control, slamming into the other helicopter. The second helicopter exploded and the wreckage of the two helicopters landed on the ground all around the SAS troops. Whilst the troops were scrambling to avoid the falling wreckage, the snipers in the building picked off another two of them, leaving only seventeen remaining. Riley and the troops sought cover amongst the wreckage of the helicopters.

"How are we going to kill the snipers, sir?" Asked Corporal Jenkins, knowing they would be butchered if they ventured out into the open.

"Simple. Use the mortars" replied Sergeant Washington.

"Precisely" replied Riley.

As the team frantically set up the four mortars, the remainder of the team kept the snipers pinned down behind cover. Within twenty seconds, the four mortars were set up.

"Quickly! Load it!" shouted the Lieutenant. The teams did so.

"Fire!" he yelled. The effect was instantaneous. The snipers, who were on the top floor of the building had nowhere to run as mortar shells ripped great chunks out of the building roof, blasting it to pieces. Then, one of the rounds got a direct hit, and six bodies were hurled from the building by the force of the explosion.

"Cease fire! Cease fire!" shouted the Lieutenant. He knew that there could not possibly be any of the snipers left. He ran towards the bodies to check their uniforms. Mercenaries. This meant one country had found out and paid mercenaries to wreak havoc amongst the British team, causing as many casualties as possible.

"Who paid them do you think?" asked Washington.

"Those people over there" replied Riley, pointing his hand towards a cluster of assault hovercraft on the horizon. Each hovercraft had a red flag with a cluster of yellow stars in the top left corner.

"Chinese" groaned Washington, as he spat on the ground.

"Ah crap" muttered Jenkins.