Sam Fisher looked around at the smoldering ruins of what used to be the Pentagon. Three quarters of the west side were completely missing. Probably totally flattened, and a hundred miles underground. The rest of it was mostly intact, no small feat considering the strength with which it was attacked. Only the basement floors remained mostly intact and even those had lost all the amenities they would have had 10 years ago. Looking from a top the hill he could see the steel skeleton of the felled behemoth before him, shadowed against the twilight sun.

"Sam? Hey Sam you there?" A small tinny voice squawked in his ears. Grim. He groaned and crawled to the bottom of the hill so he could speak to her without being seen or heard. "Sam! Come in, status report."

"Calm down Grim I'm here. What's going on?"

"We were picking up some funny signals from your location and we got a little worried. It shouldn't be a huge problem."

"Alright thanks for the heads up," Sam barked into the subdermals. Fisher withdrew the Five-SeveN, flipped his multi-vision goggles down over his eyes. Technically they had become obsolete, replaced by the ever faster flowing stream of technology. But he wore them because he liked the way that they felt, and they served the purpose as well as anything else. He drew back the slide, took off the safety, and chambered a round. It issued a reassuring click, as the round slid home. Fisher began the trek towards the pentagon. Ashes fell like snow; they did that rather often now. When it happened everything got screwed up. Volcanoes' erupted, the clouds disappeared, and whole oceans were completely displaced. Bits of California and Sweden were still underwater. Everywhere Hell-Seekers hit, pressure waves could be felt for thousands of miles around. Hell-Seekers were their initial strike, hard, fast, kinetic hits. Large heavy rods of a metal found nowhere on Earth, were launched at sickeningly fast speeds, so fast in fact that Earth had actually been knocked slightly out of orbit. Now the world was about ten degrees cooler, it snowed in Florida, frequently now and the entire Northern half of the continent was a frozen and barren wasteland. This did not come without benefits though. Fisher's job became much easier when working outdoors, not only did it muffle the sounds of his approach but it also allowed him to easily track a guards patrol with his footsteps. The snow wouldn't however be much help today. As he looked out, it appeared that there would only be a light dusting. Either way the job had to be done, during the briefing he had been told that there was a growing terrorist cell that decided to use the old Pentagon as their personal clubhouse. Their mole had said there was a considerable stockpile of weapons. In a world of growing chaos and violence, this was not unusual. Third Echelon had, however, acquired information that confirmed their leaders were planning on staging a coup and overtaking what remained of the United States Government. The group had taken to calling themselves the PFC, or Peoples Freedom Corps. Fisher was to infiltrate their "headquarters" if one could even call it that, and eliminate their leader. If at all possible, the orders were to attempt to avoid casualties, but he assumed no one would particularly mind if a few sentries went missing, especially not in the remnants of old D.C. As he neared the old Pentagon, he could start to make out a few figures in the growing dark. One tall Hispanic man with long black hair, a cigarette, and an automatic leaned up against a wall. To his right about 70 yards away from the first man, was a stocky white man with a shotgun in his hands. Fisher crouched down behind a small tree. He pulled the large SC-20K rifle from his back. From one of his many pockets he pulled out a silencer, a scope, and several other pieces of sleek metal. He looked down the 10X scope. Just as Fisher was about to pull the trigger, another man rounded the corner. Fisher put the scope over him. This one looked to be an officer, he was yelling at the other two. Sam couldn't make out much be he assumed it was about the cigarettes, a dead giveaway in the dark. Sam decided a quieter approach might be more apropos. He slid the rifle onto his back again, and began the walk to the old and derelict building.

By the time he reached the forsaken building, the officer was gone, and the Hispanic man had begun to walk along the perimeter of the building. A long blade shot out from Fishers arm. As with any operative within the upper echelons of clandestine military agencies, the majority of his body had been modified with military grade, human augmentations. They allowed him to do many things normal people couldn't, for instance he could run at speeds of up to twenty-five miles per hour, breathe underwater, see through walls, sprint silently, and even camouflage himself to become near invisible. But of all these his favorite by far had been the retractable blades that had been installed in his wrists and elbows. He still kept his Fairbarn Sykes knife in a short shallow sheathe on his side. Sam now positioned his arms so that the long, thin, and sharp blades hovered gently behind the mans neck. He plunged into the man's throat from the back. The tall Hispanic man drew in a sharp breath as cold steel ripped through his medulla oblongata. Near instantaneous death gripped the man, and he fell limp supported only by Sam's arm. Fisher retracted the blade and the man crumpled. Before he could make a noise by slamming to the floor, Sam grabbed the body propped it up against the wall. Fisher peered around the corner to check if the other guard was looking for his missing buddy. He was not. Fisher flipped through the spectrums of vision, x-ray, night vision, thermal, and electro-magnetic. Nothing showed up on any of the spectrums. He must have gone down inside with the others, thought Fisher. He advanced cautiously around the corner into the forlorn building. The only light came from the still smoldering fires. The flames would probably go out in a few years. An elevator loomed up on Sam's right but there were too many variables involved in using the elevator, that's assuming it even worked. The stairs were dimly lit; the emergency lighting didn't help in the slightest. Which was an absolute advantage to Sam, assuming that they did not have night vision or any other sort of visual augmentations, they would be fighting blind. He listened carefully for footsteps, and then began the descent to the bottom floors. He withdrew the Five-SeveN pistol to be safe. As he wound down the cement staircase, he heard something. It was a skittering noise, kind of like a mouse, or rat, but it sounded heavier. He flicked through x-ray, night vision, electro-magnetic, and thermal vision, but saw nothing. He proceeded ever cautious, hoping that it was just some small animal that had gotten in to the compound. Further down the staircase the air got significantly colder, he had reached the bottom floor.

When he rounded the corner of the staircase a door loomed in front of him. Large and wooden, it seemed incredibly out of place in the harsh and clinical stairwell. As he moved towards he switched on his x-ray vision, to be sure that there were no guards behind the door. It appeared that there were 2 patrolling the hallway behind the door. Taking out his lock picks he set to work on the door. It was the standard lock and key tumbler lock, nothing fancy there. It took naught over two seconds. Damn I'm good he thought. Carefully, he opened the door and slipped in. Camouflaging himself against the wall, and stepping silently across the plush old-government carpeting, they began to talk together giving him a perfect opportunity to slip in between them. His suit returned to normal color and he stood up in between them, he raised his arms up as if to catch them in the chin with his elbows, but they were too far apart. Instead when his elbows were level with their foreheads he extended the blades in his arms and impaled them both on the narrow hallway walls. Sam retracted the blades to admire his handiwork; each man had a three-inch hole through the bridge of his nose. Sam looked around, and dragged the bodies into the stairwell and behind the staircase. Back in the hallway he looked at his surroundings. He noticed three doors on his right, and three on his left, and one straight ahead at the end of the hall. On his HUD or heads up display he checked the time. The HUD was an optical implant allowing him to check his vital signs and the signs of those around him, the time, and distance to a target. The latter was extremely helpful when lining up a sniper shot. Seeing as it was 13: 29 he assumed most of the people in the compound would be sleeping, besides those assigned guard duty. With this knowledge in hand he flicked again to x-ray and scanned the first room on the right. It looked like two men were sleeping in the room. He opened the door and withdrew the Five-SeveN pistol. He pointed it in, and led with his gun. The suppressed and silenced muzzle wandered towards one of the men in the bunks temple. He squeezed the trigger. There was a sound like a gloved hand hitting a dictionary, and the mans head exploded like an overripe cantaloupe.

The second man stirred, and muttered something in his sleep. Fisher bent down to pick up the expended shell from his last shot. He crouch-walked over to the other man, and put the barrel to his temple. Another shot.

"Did you hear that?" someone said from outside the door.

"No," replied another.

"I could have sworn I heard something," the first man said perplexed. He had a deep voice and sounded like he would be large and muscled.

"Are you tweaking out, man? I didn't hear a god damn thing"

"I'm telling you, something is going on."

"Fine we'll go check it out but if there's nothing then you owe me a beer."

"And if it is something then you owe me two," the first man shot back. Footsteps approached and Sam stepped to the right of the doorjamb, so it would conceal him when opened. The door flung open, and the men walked in, hands on their holsters. What Sam could only assume was the second man turned on the light and was shocked to find his companions lying in two separate bloody heaps. In their stupor, Sam closed the door and stepped in front of them. He swung his elbows forward and the blades shot out. On the backswing he caught them both in their chests. Upon retracting the blades the two men collapsed. Exiting the room he closed and locked the door hoping that no one would stumble upon the four men that now lay in a bloody heap in the corner of the room. The rest of the rooms on the right hand side of the hall were either storage or filled with broken and derelict equipment from the old pentagon. The third door from the back housed another sleeping quarters. The process was similar, but this time while moving the bodies, he spotted something moving around. He walked over to the back left corner across from the beds and next to a wardrobe. There it was again! That heavy shuffling noise! A quick look through his spectrums of vision told him that there was definitely something there but it did not show up on IR, x-ray, or electro-magnetic, only night vision. It looked like a small hand with a tail. Oh dammit, thought Sam. It was one of them. It had been two and a half years since they had arrived. The Hell-Seekers were their primary and favorite weapon. Their infantry though were also to not to be trifled with. They carried long range and short-range weapons, and were all trained marksmen. Hulking masses of what could only be assumed was flesh, they stood well over 7 feet tall, and half as wide. No one had really seen what was under their armor however, when one died (which was a feat in and of itself) their bodies disintegrated. All that was left were empty green shells of blood stained armor. They didn't want us to know what they looked like. The enemy without a face. Sam had never seen one so small. It skittered across the floor away from Fisher, under the bed. He jammed his pistol under the bed in an effort to shoo it away, it didn't appear to have any weapons. He hit it with the muzzle and it emitted a high-pitched shriek. It darted out from under the bed across the room, over to the corner with the bodies. Sam took aim with his pistol he'd had enough with this bullshit. The LAM activated and a red dot came over what could only be described as its "torso," it looked more like the back of a palm. He traced it around the corner of the room, and was about to shoot it when it hopped up onto one of the bodies. Normally this wouldn't have been a deterrent but something was different. Without warning the hand jumped down the man's throat. What the actual fuck just happened thought Fisher. Both hands on the pistol Sam went over to the man and inspected him. His chest was heaving as if the thing was trying to break out. He drew the pistol up to the man's chest, point blank. Unbeknownst to Sam, something was happening inside the dead man. Enzymes and acids of a kind that Earth had never seen were being released. Changes were happening.