"We're here! Drop! Let's move, move, move!"
dead silence that had its hold on the block broke, tumbling to the ground
with a clatter like boots on pavement. The streets were clear, a rare
moment where no cars moved on the street and the ubiquitous pedestrians of
the Commercial District were content to walk elsewhere. It almost seemed
fated, like it was suddenly 3 A.M. in a pre-Snowfall Virginian city. The
only noise now was from the cacophanous clomping of Bravo Team's boots
against the composite pavement of the street.
underground parking garage, Robert Loehmann paced nervously, the brim of
his security staff cap moist with sweat. Money was a lovely thing, he
thought, but it couldn't be spent if he was dead. How long will they
be?! He started violently as a banging noise came from the IHDP
shutter of the garage. His heart in his throat, Robert fumbled for the
switch to raise the shutter. It slowly clambered open with a shrieking
noise that Robert swore it had never made before. As it rose, ten feet in
black military boots were revealed.
Once the shutter was about
a meter up, the lead figure ducked and came through. The others followed
suit quickly, revealing a small team of five figures in riot gear
completed by helmets with goggles and masks. Each one had a number of
weapons and magazines on his belt and carried a compact, dangerous-looking
automatic rifle. The sight was extremely unnerving to Loehmann,
particularly as the entire team trotted toward him with their rifles at
the ready. They stopped just in front of him.
The noise of an
intercom crackled forth from the lead figure's helmet. "Mr.
Loehmann," a woman's voice issued forth from it. "I hope you've got
a new job lined up."
Loehmann gave a jerky, frightened
"Great," said the lead figure. "Hope you don't
die. The elevator and stairwell lock, please."
Loehmann said, sweating bullets. "I hope you don't die either."
"The elevator and stairwell lock, please," the voice said
"Right," replied Robert, manipulating the computer's
controls to activate the elevator and release the stairwell's locking
mechanism. There was an audible click from the doorways to both.
"Thank you," the lead figure replied, then her intercom
clicked off. The team started hustling toward the stairs.
"Chief," a voice came through the Commander's intercom. "Why
the stairwell? We're not taking it."
Commander Trevelyan replied on the intercom. As they reached the door, she
pulled a somewhat bulky device from her belt, about the size of a few
rifle magazines tied together. She manipulated a few dials on it.
"Why? We're to take the elevator," Lieutenant Peace replied,
confused. The other three Operatives stood back and waited impatiently.
"Neg," Misty said, turning around and slamming the device
into Peace's gloved hand. "This bomb is going to the first floor and
you're going to see that it gets there. You've got a minute."
"Iyesukuristo!" Peace shouted, snatching the explosive and
hurrying to the elevator. He tossed the thing in and slammed the first
floor button from outside of the elevator. He withdrew his arm hurriedly
and looked back at the Commander, who was already ushering the rest of the
team to the stairwell.
The lead Team member's outer intercom
clicked on again. "Mr. Loehmann, please lock the stairwell door behind
us when you hear the signal," she said.
Loehmann asked, but the Commander was no longer listening. After a moment,
all of them were through the door. A few moments later, there was a
deafening noise and a horrific groan of bending and melting HDPlastic from
the elevator shaft.
"The signal." Loehmann said to himself
drily, and punched the button for the stairwell lock. He allowed himself a
brief sigh, then hurriedly grabbed his coat and his pistol. "It's time for
me to clock out."
The door to the Security Office blew inward with a compact
detonation, spraying shards of plastic against the surprised staff. The
two halves of the door, bisected messily by the explosion, flew through
the air and collided with one of the security personnel, knocking him to
the ground and unconscious. Bravo Team spilled through the door to minimal
resistance, taking cover behind meter-high cubicle walls as the four
standing security guards drew their weapons and started to open fire.
Commander Trevelyan, crouched fully behind the wall, raised one
hand and gave a quick flurry of tight gestures. Lieutenant Peace, who was
a meter away and closest to the opening in the cubicle wall, nodded and
gestured to the other operatives. They braced their guns atop the wall and
unleashed small, measured bursts of gunfire. The security staff took cover
as Peace unhooked a grenade from his belt and primed it. Commander
Trevelyan used the moment to run, crouched, across the gap in the walls
unmenaced. She headed toward the left side of the room.
tossed the grenade as Trevelyan rounded the corner, guarded by another
cubicle wall but now in a direct line from an opening in the far wall.
There was a deafening bang as the concussion grenade went off, and there
were shouts of pain and confusion from the rear side of the room. Bravo
Team wasted no time; as soon as the grenade went off they emerged from
cover, advancing on the rear of the room and stepping over the body of the
knocked-out security officer. One operative remained behind the cubicle
wall near the room's entrance.
As Bravo team reached the far
side of the room, a security guard came abruptly from around the corner,
his arm raised and a sword held in it. Before the Team had time to react
he brought the blade down; the razor-sharp plastic edge bit through an
operative's armor and cut a solid six inches into his shoulder, shearing
through bone. The operative dropped his gun and collapsed to his knees,
pulling the blade down with him. Seeing that the blade was stuck, the
security officer moved to take cover again, but he was too late; his head
was messily divided by a controlled burst of gunfire from the operative
near the entrance.
Lt. Peace and the remaining operative moved
into the rear division of the office, where they were immediately fired
upon by the two security guards inside the room. Lt. Peace rolled toward
the minimal cover of a table; the other operative was struck by two
bullets before he managed to take cover behind the door to the rear
division. As Peace brought his gun to bear, he noted that a uniformed
figure with grey hair was disappearing through a door in the back of the
"Dukakis," Peace radioed tersely.
"Pong," Trevelyan replied.
General Dukakis retreated into the computer room as his men fell one by
one to the forces assailing them in the next room. "Unready," he growled.
"How could they be so unready!" He moved to the computer, quickly tapping
out a relay to send to his superiors. "God damn mercs."
he was able to send the message, the side door to the room flew open,
encouraged to do so by a heavy-booted foot. One of the mercs had come
around the side. Dukakis stepped forward to meet the figure, neatly
pushing the automatic rifle aimed at him aside. He grabbed the gun with
both hands and shoulder-checked the figure, slamming him hard in the
chest. The figure released the rifle, which Dukakis cast to the side.
Dukakis drew his pistol as the merc drew his and each grabbed the
other's wrist as they attempted to bring their weapons to bear. Locked in
a grapple now, the combatants held their pistols pointed at the ceiling
and struggled to gain control. They held their position for several
seconds before Dukakis's aging muscles began to give way. Realizing that
he would lose, Dukakis allowed his muscles to relax, and dropped his
pistol. The merc released his wrist and grabbed his own hand, using more
force on Dukakis and bringing the pistol closer to him. Dukakis quickly
brought his hand under the merc's and brought it up, painfully slamming
into his wrist. The merc cringed silently, forced to drop the pistol.
Still locked together and unable to reach the ground where the two
guns lay, the two combatants allowed their stalemate to stand for a few
seconds. Each was winded and unsure of what to do. After a second of tense
silence, Dukakis reached about for his knife with his free hand.
Expressing a sudden reserve of strength, the mercenary reached down and
knocked the knife from Dukakis's hand just as he was drawing it. He then
grabbed Dukakis's arm, spun him and tripped him, forcing the Lieutenant
General to the ground and bending his arm painfully behind his back.
Dukakis was on the floor, now, with no weapons in reach. He'd been
overcome. The merc kneeled beside him, catching his breath. The Lieutenant
General noticed that the gunfire had stopped in the next room. Dukakis
heard an intercom crackle to life. A woman's voice, out of breath and with
an adrenaline-laced edge, emitted from the merc's helmet. "You've still
got it, Lieutenant General," the woman said. "It was an
Dukakis was quiet for several seconds. "Misty?" he
There was a brief, uncharacteristic giggle over
the intercom. "Maybe."
Dukakis couldn't help but give a
rueful smile. "...I always said you'd go places, kid."
Return to the story
This vignette by Dog.