Thursday, November 29, 2012

Briefing



               “You okay?” Garrett asked through her helm.
                “I really don’t want to be here.” Nara mumbled as she approached a squad of men hanging out in the alley.  She couldn’t help but think somebody was making fun of her.
   “Is this everyone?”  Nara asked out loud with a disguised voice.
                “And you are?” One of them piped up. Nara sighed at the absurdity of her title.
                “The Generalissimo.” The men exchanged glances. “A problem?”
                “Not yet.” The man rebuked.
                “Good. I said is this everyone?” She repeated with a slight snarl.
                “As far as we can tell.” Another man responded.
                “Fine. Who here has actually dealt with this type of threat before?” She asked. A few of the men nodded. “Ok, then I assume you can enlighten your comrades of the severity of the situation. You are not allowed to be touched by the enemy, or any of its byproducts. Casualties will be shot on sight. Is that understood?”
                “Hah!” One of the men scoffed. “The hell do you think you are?” Nara edged close to the rebellious member, casting a towering shadow over him.
                “I can assure you a bullet to the head is much more pleasant than a screaming agony of transformation. Should you survive the initial attack, which may boil parts of your flesh as you sit helplessly as your body tries to fight off the paralysis, you will be dragged inside that warehouse where pieces of you will be added to their collection, warped into hideous aberrations. When all is said and done, you will no longer have a sense of humanity within you, wherever they decide to stick your brain, with, or without your skull.” The man hesitated, and before he could muster a response, one of his comrades grabbed him by the shoulder, shaking his head in warning.
                “He’s right. These guys aren’t worth fucking around with.” Another chipped in with a serious tone.
                “So why are we here, if it’s so dangerous?” The loudmouthed man asked.
                “If you want to leave, by all means, I’m not paying your tab. There’s the street. Walk away. Or you can cash out, and live to tell about it if you do exactly as I say.” She watched the men look at each other and consider their options. “Are we all here then? Good.”
                “You’re the boss.”
                “Whatever. I’ve cased the joint a bit before meeting you. Who here can snipe?” Four men raised their hands. She pulled up a screen from her wrist, projecting a map of the area. “I want two of you on each tower here.  There are two entryways on each side of the building. One person on each team is responsible for taking out anything directly below, while the other member is responsible for watching the opposite tower’s back. These guys can pop out from anywhere; make sure to protect the blind side. Understood?”
                “Yes, sir.” They spoke in a semi unison tone, or about as unison as a bunch of roughnecks can get. Nara pointed at a rather short, unhinged looking individual, wearing belts and bandoliers holstering odd canisters hanging all over.
                “You. Crazy eyes. What’s your specialty?” She asked of him.  He took off one of the canisters and threw it on the ground. In a puff of blue smoke, a small metal droid with bug legs and gun protrusions popped up, dancing playfully in circles at its master’s command.
                “Machinist. Technician.” He said proudly as the critter climbed onto his shoulder.
                “Wonderful.” She said in a flat tone. “We are going to take the most cautious approach to this. When everything is ready for you, you will be sent inside to disable whatever electronics they have available. It’ll prevent some from coming out of test chambers and giving reinforcements.”
                “Gotcha.” The gadgeteer saluted happily.
                “You. Quiet one in the corner. What’s your specialty?” Nara pointed to a man lurking in the back.
                “Recon.” He bellowed.
                “Your name?” She asked.
                “Alpha.”
                “Good, appropriate. You are coming inside with me. How’s your climbing?”
“Skilled.”
“Good. There are two entryways on the roof that can be utilized, and the warehouse itself has a prominent support beam system that holds the place up. It will be the ideal place to peg creatures without getting caught too badly in crossfire.” The shadowy man nodded in agreement. She glanced at the remainder of the group. “General gunners, I presume? Your primary concern is to draw fire away from the machinist and to make enough noise so that Alpha and I can get around. Snipers, you will provide cover for the gunman.”
She passed a hand over the screen, zooming in on the forward entry.
“We will focus our attention on the main entry here. All the gunners will be stationed here. Snipers at the back may be bored, but I’m sure your previous training has reminded you of patience. If all goes well, they won’t even utilize the back doorway. If they do, call out on radio, either I or the machinist will send reinforcements. Any questions?”
“Yeah, you really think we can get out of this mess alive?”
“If you have a better plan, I’d love to hear it.” She challenged, not looking at the man as she whipped out a pistol, checking its charges. The man looked down at his shoes. “I thought not. Now shut the fuck up and don’t do anything stupid. Anything else or can we get on with it?”
“No, sir.” Some of them grumbled.
“Good. Alpha and I will make our way up the roof. We will signal when ready, and the gunners are free to make some noise. Pick out a suitable spot with plenty of cover, you don’t need to feel the after effects of splash damage. All liquid is to be treated as corrosive and a danger. Don’t be surprised if all of a sudden your cover dissolves in a puddle of goo. If you have to retreat, do so. Keep that machinist alive. Is that understood?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Good. Let’s go.” She said as she walked off, waving Alpha to follow suit.
“Hey, Nara,” Garrett called out.
Yeah?”
“Have you done this before?” He was curious on how she managed to devise a strategy so quickly. It was logical, with a high survivability potential. He noticed she also seemed very confident about what she was doing, though he had never witnessed her working with a team before.
Fuck. Off.” She growled.

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