Saturday, April 29, 2006

Episode 25

A sleep agent works in a building.
In the case of an outside battle, how
can we put it to good use? Jean?

Ross, Ceri, Taylor and the four met up on the fourth floor, one mentioned by Alec as of 'particular interest'. It was administrative, and they planned to slide down the main elevator shaft to enter the garage.

"Everyone okay?" Ross asked, worry in his voice.

Taylor jerked a finger in Kyioshi's direction, and Ross sucked in a breath at the sight of his bloodied shirt.

"We have to start the escape now -"

An engine rumble cut him off. As one, they turned towards the windows and saw, horrified, what had arrived.

Four Toskan vans. Eight men each, four units. As they watched, the units were split up into two groups, one towards Internal, the other towards Alcott. It all seemed, Ceri thought later, well planned and rehearsed.

Taylor took one look and gulped. Then he dug his hand into a stealth suit pocket, pulling out a crumpled envelope. He opened it and out rolled four syringes, along with Alec's plan B instructions.

He read it in complete silence. When he spoke, fear crackled in his voice.

"Quick! Four of you! Inject this!"

"What's going on?" Ross said, confused.

In answer, Taylor took Ross's grappling unit and primed it at Alcott.

*
AP600 is useless in open spaces.
However, plan B takes an outside
attack into account. Jean tells me mixing
the AP600 with a hallucinogen makes it
more effective. How so?
It turns it into a nerve agent.

Yuki took only a second to understand the instructions. He looked over the scene. Two units had entered Internal, and Yuki could see them spreading out, scouting and double checking rooms.

The zip line crashed out of the administrative floor, cutting air and attaching itself to Alcott's top floor.

Immediately Toskan soldiers pointed and yelled; gunshots were fired. Yuki saw the searching units in Internal make a beeline for the elevator after receiving intel about what was happening outside.

Yuki took out the detonator from the instructions packet. He flipped the plastic cover and squeezed the trigger. It's not my fault, he told himself, its for the mission.

The resulting explosion blew the fire hydrant ten feet into the air, letting loose a geyser of water. Unknown to the Toskan men a small vial just underneath the hydrant cap had cracked, and the nerve agent was freely mixing with the liquid. The geyser rained down on the soldiers, making them spin around in surprise.

I'm sorry, Yuki said to the cool night air. He aimed the vaporizer and fired. Then he looked away.

*

The steam that engulfed the alley provided them with enough cover to slide across to Alcott. Ceri was the last one, and he cut the electronic bug off the Alcott wall, sending the zip line flaying uselessly down.

As he turned back he tried to push out the thought that the steam all over had killed the Toskan units on the streets. Ceri hurried down the stairs, and straight into Ross.

"What the - "

"Shush!" Taylor said. Jean rushed up the stairs, holding a timer.

"I'm going to blow up a hole to the vaults below Internal. Once we're in don't make any sounds. They have a security system down there that we can only dream of breaking.""

"Blow?" Ross asked. "How -?"

"A tub of plastic explosives, painted and supported by directional charges. Don't worry." She punched Ross lightly, "Strong enough to shake the foundations of the entire neighbourhood."

The timer she held clicked down to the last three seconds. Ceri looked for something to hold on to.

*

The Toskan team leader had rushed out, over to Alcott. Things were happening too fast, and they were running in circles. His unit stopped for a split second at the sight of so many dead soldiers, but training took over and they barged into the departmental store.

Smoke and debris curled out to meet them, forcing the entire team to drop to their knees and start crawling. So this was what they blew up, the team leader thought.

He came to a hole in the ground, the cement still warm to the touch. Below was the glow of a few flickering lights. Gesturing, he divided the unit to two, and dropped through the hole.

A clean white corridor met him. On the floor, leading away from him was a messy trail of black footsteps.

They followed. Corridor let to corridor and the team leader gripped the gun as close as he could. Too tense. Would they catch them? They were smart, but perhaps they had made a miscalculation?

He turned to find the elevator prised open, insides exposed like a dissected frog. Two secret doors that were meant to hide the vault entrance had been forced open by someone very strong. And there was - a hole? The team leader frowned.

He climbed up and scrambled through, the rest of the unit following close behind. It was a garage, completely empty and with the moon shining in from an open entrance.

Outside, another explosion. He later learnt a tape had gone off in Alcott, destroying all video evidence of the escape. A further two men had died.

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1:01 pm  

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