Yo Durecel here, excuse the slightly different writing style; I've been reading the Death Note manga a bit too much probably. Plus I am monumentally pissed off right now. That is all.
Chapter 12: Nerves
A week had passed since Basic Training had finished. All of the people who had been on the training course were free to have the week off as per CHERUB regulation, a respite to calm the mind and nerves.
Each of the Vulcan's had taken different steps to recompose themselves after the torturous 100 days. Christian had spent most of his week either watching classic Grand Prix races; including the iconic 1987 British Grand Prix, or some form of cardio or muscle training.
Selphy had spent two of her days seeing her sister, Rebecca, fail the CHERUB recruitment tests mostly because of how she was on the verge of alcoholism. After that she had sat down with Rebecca and tried to sort out a truce between themselves, at least until they knew what fate had befallen their mother. Selphy then spent the rest of her time with Christian training in no specific area of fitness.
Baird had taken to lounging around in his room either playing Gears of War 2, or some iteration of Call of Duty, that was unless Zara Asker was bending his ear in order to get him to do something constructive; like help look after Demy with Karla.
Zane had spent his week off making sure his Vulcans were all OK. He'd spent some time with Christian and Selphy when they were training, as well as help Baird look after Demy when the pair of them weren't chain-sawing virtual monsters on Gears. This was part of Zane's way of getting back into Baird's good-books. The rest of his time was spent either with Karla, or more boringly, in his view, looking at specifications for operations that the new Vulcans could be assigned.
Despite having spent some of her week with Zane, Karla had had a slightly tumultuous time thinking about her parents, her little sister, Baird's bitter association with Zane, or any other dull spark of negative information that had brought itself to Karla's attention.
She didn't want to bother Zane about it as she felt he had enough on his plate as it was; what with Selphy and her sister, Baird and him, and not to mention the operations that were currently on the cards. So she asked to see Zara about it. She wasn't aware of the fact that Zara had asked Zane to join in with her though.
"So Zane, how are the specifications for the Vulcan's first missions?" Zara asked the commander sat opposite her in her office. She took a sip of coffee from the mug she was holding, waiting for Zane's response.
"So far, so good, however…" Zane began to reply, holding his fingers loose in front of the lower half of his face. His right thumb resting on the nail of his left. Zane pausing, his eyes looking to his left; beginning to recall something in his mind's eye.
"However?" Zara asked curious about what Zane was going to say.
"The operation in Northern Ireland," Zane continued, re-focusing his intention on Zara. "looks too similar to my first op." Zane's eyes narrowed as he thought about what he was suggesting.
"Go on," Zara urged. Unfortunately there was a knock on the door. Karla was outside.
"Perhaps after this," Zane offered as he stood up to get the door. He opened it letting Karla into the office.
Karla looked at Zane, happy but surprised to see him there. "What are you doing here?" She asked softly out of earshot of Zara.
"Zara asked me to come along, why would you rather I wasn't here?" Zane suggested understanding Karla's position.
"No, no I just didn't want to burden you with anything else to worry about." Karla replied a little caught off guard by Zane's suggestion.
"You wouldn't be a burden Karla, it's my job to make sure you're alright both as your CO and your boyfriend." Zane replied, kissing Karla's forehead lightly. "C'mon, sit down and we'll work out what the problem is."
Karla had began by explaining that she didn't feel as confident as the other new Vulcan's appeared to be with their first ops just over the horizon. As well as this however she was afraid about her first op. When asked about what aspect; she didn't know was her answer.
The meeting went on for an hour and a half; it was basically Zara explaining to Karla that there was little to be worried about, as well as that it was the right thing for her to do; to see Zara. Zara gave evidence to ease Karla's emotions as well as Zane's by using reports from Dante Welsh's three year long operation in Northern Ireland which had been a resounding success with no casualties.
Zane realised what Zara was doing, but it still didn't stop the fact that it looked way too similar to his first operation.
Eventually they all arrived at the conclusion that it would make sense to go to the mission prep building and get the two Vulcans prepared properly.
The walk from the main building to the mission preparation building gave Zane some time to think about what happened after his first operation went tits up.
Zane moved swiftly and silently along the side of the corridor where the guard had been. Theroom was windowless from the corridor, so Zane had no idea what was on the other side.
The knife was sheathed, and the FN Five-seveN was drawn. Zane pressed his right ear against the door; there was at least one person in, however the voice that could be heard was totally muffled.
Zane kicked the door, just underneath the handle, almost taking it off its hinges.
What Zane saw was like something out of Schindler's List; a tall man stood over someone with his right hand pointed down at an angle. As the man began to turn, it was obvious that he had a chrome plated pistol in his right hand and was about to aim it at Zane.
Unfortunately for him, Zane was already in a better firing position; two rapid squeezes of the trigger made two distinct 'clacking' sounds as the suppressor did its work. There was a muffled thud as the two bullets entered the man's face. There was no need to check if he was dead; as half of the right side of his head slid off, whilst the rest of the body fell backwards, a dull thud compared to the two empty cartridges that clinked and clanked on the floor.
Zane quickly checked his left flank, no other guards were in the room; good.
Zane closed the door so that no one would see what had happened and what was currently going on. Holstering the FN, Zane moved to what looked like someone who'd been forced to crouch down, facing away from where the man with the chrome pistol had been aiming prior to Zane's arrival. The figure had been blindfolded and had his wrists tied behind his back.
The ceramic knife made a clean cut through the ropes that bound the person's hands behind them, Zane untying the blindfold as quickly as possible.
"You OK Venom?" Zane asked his partner using his codename. The two stood up from the crouched position that Dan had been in before replying.
"Been better," The American replied, rubbing his wrists from where the ropes had cut slightly into his skin. "Another few seconds and you would've been recovering a body I think." Dan said this as Zane took the MP5 off of his shoulder, placing it onto a table at the side of the room.
Zane took his kitbag off his back and took out the necessities for Dan; two-way radio in-case the two got split up, Kevlar flak jacket and a first aid kit. Zane was going to wrap Dan's wrists in two bandages because of the wounds inflicted by the ropes but Dan insisted that the Briton didn't.
"Well on that basis, take this, and let's get the fuck out of here." Zane responded, handing Dan the FN that Zane saved his life with. Zane put the kitbag under the desk where he'd previously left the MP5, taking out an old Nokia mobile phone and placing it in his pocket.
"You're not taking the kitbag?" Dan asked, back against the wall.
"There are enough explosives in it to blow this place sky high, these bastards are more than welcome to keep it." Zane answered, making Dan smile at the prospect.
The two soldiers made sweet work of twelve X-Rays moving toward the front of the compound. The element of surprise, the odd flash-bang and perfectly aimed double taps doing the job. Now the difficult bit; the front of the compound was similar to the rear; one corridor out onto a veranda and one staircase down. The odds were now firmly against them.
"Venom, keep ten seconds behind me, pick anyone off that I miss." Zane ordered.
Understood Warrior." Dan replied. Both of them using each other's codename as was protocol for TF13 ops.
The three had reached the Mission Preparation building, causing Zane to wake up out of his memory. As usual the security systems were on the blink and didn't need much hassle to get in. They moved to floor with the senior mission controllers on for Karla and Zane to meet the two mission controllers for the operation in Northern Ireland; John Jones and Chloe Blake.
One of the conditions that Zane had implemented was that all Vulcans had senior mission controllers on hand because of the nature of the work that they will get involved with; requiring the absolute best personnel available; hence John Jones and Chloe Blake.
"Good morning John, Chloe." Zara greeted as she and the two Vulcans entered the office of John Jones.
"Good morning Zara." Jones returned as he moved a few chairs around his desk.
The five exchanged pleasantries, as the two mission controllers were yet to meet any of the Vulcans. And with all of that out of the way they got down to business.
**CLASSIFIED MISSION BRIEFING FOR COMMANDING OFFICER ZANE WILKINS AND OFFICER KARLA SMITH**
THIS DOCUMENT IS PROTECTED WITH A RADIO FREQUENCY TAG. ANY ATTEMPT TO REMOVE IT FROM THE MISSION PREPARATION BUILDING WILL SET OFF AN ALARM
DO NOT PHOTOCOPY OR MAKE NOTES
Today terrorism in the UK is perceived as being carried out mainly by Islamist extremists who have declared a holy war against the infidel. However this was not the case until recently. The previous threat came from extreme Irish Republicans who had fought for a 32 county Irish Republic since 1922. The republican militia known as the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) who were responsible for the death of Lord Mountbatten as well as almost 2000 civilian deaths, split into two factions 1986; PIRA and the Continuity IRA (CIRA). PIRA declared a ceasefire in 1994 as a result of the Good Friday Agreement. CIRA however, along with the Real IRA, became fully active as a result of the Good Friday Agreement. These two factions however have been considered as much of a threat as their original militia.
The Continuity IRA has been responsible for one fatal attack against the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) since its inception in 1986. As well as this the CIRA are more than willing to carry out crimes such as; assault, robbery, tiger kidnapping, extortion, fuel laundering and smuggling. It is also believed that CIRA members have access to a large number of firearms including; rifles, machine guns and pistols plus a small amount of Semtex explosive plus detonators. There has only been one recorded use of the firearms which killed a PSNI Officer in 2009, other than that CIRA has been inactive in committing terrorist acts.
Worryingly however, the Security Service (MI5) has recently obtained intelligence to suggest that a CIRA unit in Omagh is beginning to plan a terrorist act in Belfast, using numerous small explosive charges.
The CHERUB Mission
The intelligence MI5 obtained points to a small unit in Omagh containing a dozen members including ring leader Father Cyril O'Gara and his right hand man Patrick McIlroy. McIlroy has a 16 year old son, Dermot and a 14 year old daughter, Siobhan.
Dermot McIlroy is known to partake in his father's criminal activities with his gang of friends. Siobhan is not known to take part in these activities, however it is crucial for both agents to become friends with both of Patrick McIlroy's children in order to gather intelligence within their home.
Both agents will be enrolled into the same school as the McIlroy children; Omagh High School, in order to integrate during the day.
The mission controllers will be John Jones and Chloe Blake, playing the role of a Catholic couple, John and Chloe O'Donnell, who have moved from mainland Great Britain after 10 years away from their home town of Omagh for a change of work.
Officer Smith will play the role of Jones and Blake's daughter; Karla O'Donnell, a supporter of the republican movement in Northern Ireland.
Commanding Officer Wilkins will play the role of Zane Quaid, boyfriend of Karla O'Donnell and avid supporter of republicanism; deemed to be too extreme by his real parents, hence living with the O'Donnell family.
NOTE: THE CHERUB ETHICS COMMITTEE APPROVED THIS MISSION BRIEFING, ON CONDITION THAT ALL AGENTS UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING: This mission has been classified as LOW~MEDIUM RISK. The agents are reminded of their right to refuse to undertake this mission and to withdraw from it at any time.
This mission is likely to last between four to six weeks. Its primary goal is to gather information on the suspected bomb plot in Belfast. The danger to the agents should be low.
"You two up for it?" Chloe Blake asked the young officers. The two mission controllers weren't sure what to expect from the Vulcans.
Zane looked at Karla, waiting for her to give her answer as he was going to base his response on hers. Karla thought her answer through; weighing up the pros and cons of the operation. But, despite the lack of risk, she still didn't feel too confident.
"... I'll do it." She announced, ignoring her lack of her confidence. She turned to Zane, waiting for his response.
"I'll do it as well." Zane responded. Zara looked at Zane not overtly sure why either of them accepted to take the operation on with both of their hesitations from earlier.
"Are you sure?" The chairwoman asked.
"If it was a full Vulcan op, I'd have to do it, I don't turn challenges down."
Chapter 12: Done
Finally finished chapter 12. Now I can get on with the more high paced stuff.