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The Merrit Isle Disaster (IC, CLOSED, TWI ONLY)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]

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Ostehaar
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Postby Ostehaar » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:32 pm

Dumbfounded, the two Osters watched the ginger spy jump up and pull a Hollywood-level stunt, breaking away from their sights. Both stepped immediately out of the car and Alek took a few steps towards the edge of the overpass, to make sure that indeed he got away. He turned back to his partner with a surprised look on his face. "Well," he said as he walked back to the car, "there's that then."

He grabbed the bag the man left behind and took it with him into the car. They drove away from the area back to the Oster tent at the camp, informing Laara and the others about their encounter on the way.

"I guess we would have to try and use Dover himself as a lead," Laara suggested again.

"Perhaps," Alek said, "but we don't even know if he's going to meet them again. We may just waste time and resources on this, getting to nothing."

"I know, but he's the only real lead we've got now."
Last edited by Ostehaar on Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Atnaia
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Postby Atnaia » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:51 am

Jacob stumbled through the apartment and collapsed onto an armchair in the living room. The jump had really taken it out of him, and he knew he should try and move before his pursuers came after him, but he couldn't pull himself up. He was bleeding, bruised and broken. And also very, very stupid, he reprimanded himself. He held his gun in his hand and waited. Seconds turned into minutes, and minutes into an hour, and no pursuit came. They must have seen his stupidity and either assumed him dead or not worth the trouble. Unwilling to cling to consciousness any longer, he passed out.

He was awoken some time later by a scream. Light streamed through a window, and the door to the apartment on the other side of the room stood wide. A woman and a man stood there, staring in shock at the bloody man. Jacob groaned and pulled himself to his feet. "Sorry," he said. "Thought the place was abandoned. Needed to sleep."

He limped across the room and pulled a wad of bills from his pocket and shoved them into the man's hands. "For the blood and the window," he groaned, pushed past and made his way down the hall. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone as he did, noticing the dozens of texts that filled it. All from Leslie, and all varying in tone, but concerned as to his whereabouts. He texted her back.

jumped off overpass, pretty hurt, please send jeep, kthxbai

He sent her a second text with his location once he reached the bottom of the stairs and could get a street name. He then collapsed and waited.

He was picked up some time later by a rescue truck, and was driven back to the hotel. When he got there, Leslie glared.

"What did you do?" she said.

"Something very stupid and kickass as fuck," Jacob replied. "I need stitches and we both need drugs. We have a meeting with a Mafioso tonight."
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Postby Atnaia » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:27 am

The day wore on into evening, the humidity cloying. Hiking back into the city, stitched up and sore, Jacob grimaced against every step. His sweat soaked through his clothes, drowning his wounds in salt which no amount of sutures could hold out. It was agony.

"We're carrying a lot of really good painkillers," he grimaced. "Can't I have like one?"

"It's your own fault for jumping off a bridge," Leslie said. "Live with it."

The Merrit Isle Capitol Building was an aging edifice meant to invoke a status of history and grandeur, but with the water staining, cracks and sea scum that the flooding had left across the white stone of the building, it looked more like a testimonial to failure. Stagnant, shin-deep water filled the street in front of it. However, the flooding had receded enough that mounting the stairs up to the main doors brought the two Atnaian spies to dry land.

The doors to the building hung half open, and dull twilight filled the atrium beyond. It was a wreck. A telephone pole had been driven through an upper window and hung half off of an upper story overlook. The tile floor was cracked and the stairs on the far side of the room had collapsed. Jacob wondered how long it would be before the military blokes would get to cleaning up this area of town.

Jacob sat down at the top of the stairs outside, not bothering to go in. "How long before Dover gets here?"

"With him, God only knows," Leslie said.
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Postby Ostehaar » Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:50 pm

The distance between the back door of The White Cliff and the vehicles parking behind it wasn't long - maybe nine or ten meters of dirty grey pavement - but that's what Martin and Alek had to work with. They took a serious gamble by choosing to wait outside of the back entrance and not the front, and couldn't even tell which of the vehicles parking outside was Dover's.

They were lucky. Not long after sunset, three of Dover's personal guards opened the back door of the pub and looked around for a few seconds before letting Dover go out and walk those few precious meters to his car. The two Osters emerged from around one of the pub's corners and walked stealthily in parallel to its back wall, towards Dover and his guards. Dover's car was parked in the opposite direction to them - making the entourage look away from them, turning their backs.

Alek and Martin made their walking less stealthy and more casual, but increased their walking pace and kept a distance of about a meter or two between them. By the time one of the guards had heard the incoming footsteps and stopped to look back and see who was approaching from behind, Alek stumbled into him. The guard caught Alek, who exclaimed "sorry, man", and failed to notice Martin, who kept walking in between the guards. Martin crashed into Dover's back and fell down to the ground with a shout, and began to call out random names and cry in supposed pain.

"No, man! Shit," Alek called as two other guards quickly drew their pistols and pointed them at the two, "please, help me get him up, guys!"

"What the fuck is this?" Dover spat out.

"I'm sorry, man," Alek explained, "it's Johnny, my brother. He's just a bit crazy, you know? I tried to stop him but he just kept going! He's been bumping into people on the street a lot lately, you know, he just keeps walking and... Look what happened Johnny! Please guys," he turned to the guards in apparent despair, "don't shoot! I'm sorry! I'll take him away right now, man."

Dover fixed his jacket apathetically and tilted his head, telling the guards to kick the men on the ground away. "Stay the fuck away from here," he said as he turned back and walked to the car, while his guards grabbed the Osters in their jackets and pushed them in the opposite direction. "And next time," one of them determined, "we will shoot your ass."

Dover's car faded into the gloom of the surrounding streets, and Martin allowed himself to release a sigh of relief. "That was... close."

"Well, did you get it on him?" Alek asked anxiously, his eyes open wide.

"I think so, yeah. I felt my hand in the right place, and... You know, we'll have to check if it worked." Alek's cellphone buzzed. "It's Laara," he said.

"We got him!" Laara announced when he answered the call. "We can hear him talking to his guards right now, in the car. It's not so clear, but we can sort of hear what they say."

"Thank god. We almost got shot for this."

"Almost," Laara emphasized. "he's driving downtown, so stay in the area."

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Postby Atnaia » Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:18 am

Jacob skipped a chunk of debris over the flood waters. It pinged off the base of a water-stained fountain. A seabird wheeled overhead and disappeared into the setting sun. "You know," he said. "I can see why people would want to visit here, if it weren't for you know..."

He waved a hand around vaguely. Leslie glanced up and grunted. She was fiddling with a pile of rubble.

"I've come to Merrit on vacation before," she said. "It smells like seaweed all the time and there's too many goats in the hills."

Jacob glanced at her. "I see. Spend a lot of time at the beach?"

"Not much else to do," she replied. She stood and wiped her hands on her pant legs.

"Were you in an itty-bitty yellow polka dot bikini?" Jacob grinned.

She shot him a glare. He held up his hands. "You've got the body for it, is all!"

She tossed a rock off his head. He yelped. "Hey! I'm injured! You should treat me nicer!"

"Stop being an ass or you'll need more stitches," she replied. The sound of an engine and splashing assailed their ears, and a car came around the corner, cutting the water ahead of it into twin rolls of churning white. It stopped at the foot of the stairs and a big guy got out of the driver seat and walked around to open the door for Dover. Jacob stood up and Leslie joined him at the foot of the stairs.

"You're late," Leslie said as Dover approached.

"I'm here when I want to be," Dover glanced at his bodyguard and nodded to Jacob and Leslie. The guy came over and patted them down, checking for weapons. Dover submitted to the same treatment from Jacob, and when everyone was sure that everyone else was disarmed, they walked into the foyer of the Capitol Building.

"So," Dover said, "do you have the product?"

Jacob tossed him a bag. "That's half," he said. He held up an identical canvas sack. "This is the other half. Do you have our price?"

Dover opened the bag he held and rooted through it with one hand. "Where'd you get this?" he asked.

"That wasn't the deal," Leslie replied. She sat down on the rubble near the door, opposite to the bodyguard.

Dover shrugged. "Guess not," Dover reached into his pocket and pulled out a black, leather-covered notebook the size of his palm.

"This," he said, "is what you want. One of the docs who was friends with Syed back in the day left it at the bar near the end of the war. He had gotten real drunk, and was crying like a little baby, and raving about all sorts of god knows what. Had to toss him out of the bar myself, didn't have my boys back in those days. But I did have my eyes, and my eyes are good at noticing things of value. And this little book, sitting on the bar, seemed to be of value."

Jacob held out his hand for the journal. Dover grinned nastily. Jacob frowned. "What are you doing, Dover?"

"See, I've been thinking," Dover said. "And I figure that whatever you are looking for must be worth quite a bit. No one goes out of their way into a disaster zone for a little op-ed piece. So I got wondering...just how valuable is this book? Now, it's all written in numbers and must be a code or something but I'm sure that I could hire someone to decipher it..."

"You've got the drugs," Jacob said. "Give us the book."

"Or," Dover held up a finger, "I could have you killed and take the drugs anyways."

Jacob glanced out the door of the atrium and, on a roof on the far side of the square outside, saw the tell-tale glint of a scope. He sighed. "You know, Dover, you really are a predictable asshole."

Dover shrugged. "It pays to be reliable," he said. "Now, you can hand over the other half of the drugs and walk out of here alive, or we could shoot you and take them anyways."

Jacob glanced at Leslie and shrugged. "Old Scratch?" he said.

She shook her head. "Shaitan."

"Fair enough," he replied, turned to Dover and tossed the second bag at the gangster.

The brick in the bag struck Dover between the eyes and sent him staggering backwards. Leslie was already reachinginto the rubble as she rolled sideways, pulling out a rifle she had buried within. Jacob leapt forward, grabbed the staggering Dover by the scruff and leapt behind the cover of a pillar as there was a bang and a sniper bullet tore the tile up behind him.

Dover's bodyguard was reacting by spinning towards Leslie, but she squeezed the trigger and a rattle of bullets slammed into his chest and drove him off his feet. She ducked around the edge of the door as a bullet caught the doorframe.

Jacob wrapped his arm around Dover's throat and squeezed as sniper fire peppered the pillar in a rhythm. Bang-bang-pause. Bang-bang-pause. There must have been two snipers because there was an eerie echo of the rhythm at Leslie's location. Dover slipped into unconsciousness within seconds and Jacob was free to execute Shaitan.

Shaitan was an anti-sniper response plan used by LISA agents. It involved getaway instead of elimination, and therefore wasn't Jacob's favourite. He preferred the Old Scratch maneuver, which was substantially more dangerous but generally led to dead snipers and free guns and ammunition...or a body filled with lead. Still. If they were going to drag off Dover alive, it probably wasn't best to risk it. Also, Dover had been kind enough to deliver a car, which was a key part of any Shaitan maneuver.

"Are you ready?" he yelled over to Leslie, lifting Dover's bulk onto his shoulders in a fireman's carry.

"Whenever you are," she yelled back.




The bullet-riddled car limped up the roadway, several miles away from the city center and out in the boondocks. It ground to a halt on the shoulder and Jacob popped open his door. "Well," he said. "That was fun."

Leslie glanced into the backseat, where Dover lay. "So we have the book and we have Dover and we have a car filled with bullets. What now?"

"Call for evac back to the Dastardly?"
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Postby Atnaia » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:00 am

Dover was thrown into a locked room on the Dastardly, not quite brig, but not quite not-a-brig either. His personal effects were collected and brought to the Pages, to be thoroughly searched.

Had anyone known it happened, the security breach would have surely been blamed on Jacob. In his haste to get at the journal, and in all his normal cavalierness, he had tossed Dover's clothes on a table, reached into his jacket pocket and withdrew the journal with a flourish. That very action also caught a small device, no larger than a fingernail, which fell from the pocket, bounced off the table and rolled into a crevice in the corner, unnoticed.

"Voila," Jacob said, not knowing he had sent a bug rolling into a corner of their command center, "an encoded journal from one of our very own persons of interest."

He slapped the palm-sized book on the table with a thud. "Encoded?" asked Page Worde in his reedy voice, before falling quiet.

"A basic alphanumerical cipher," Leslie said. "We flipped through it. It's all very organized, but we didn't have time to attempt decryption."

"What you mean," said Zhang, rolling over on his chair, "is that you wanted to leave the hard work to the pencil-pushers."

"Hard work?" Jacob raised an eyebrow. "I just had to cross a sniper-covered park to hotwire a gangster's car whilst under heavy fire."

"I had you covered," Leslie said.

"She had me covered," Jacob grudgingly accepted.

Zhang cocked his head. "We'll get to work decrypting it. Did you do Shaitan?"

"Yeah," Jacob said. "We need to really bring that plan under inspection. It is a lot harder to break a car's window than it looks like it would be."

"You're supposed to shoot it out," McCann said through a mouthful of Pocky.

"Well, I would have, but we only had the one gun, didn't we?" Jacob rolled his eyes. "And I think it may have been bullet-resistant."

"How'd you break it?" McCann asked.

"With a chunk of rubble," Jacob said.

"Then it wasn't bullet resistant, you're just weak," said Zhang.

Jacob shot him a look. "Just decrypt the damn journal."

"We're on it."




Deep in the Capitol building, trapped in a basement office by a collapsed chunk of roof, Deputy Governor Levi Strongberg could hear gunfire above. He had run out of food in the adjoining office break room two days before, and he was starving to death.

"Hello?" he screamed. "Hello?"

There was no response. He shivered. He was pretty sure he was going to die, likely of starvation.

What he didn't know, however, was that if he survived, he was the leader of Merrit Isle, it's only surviving head of government, and the biggest obstacle on the entire island to Atnaian annexation.
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Postby Ostehaar » Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:19 am

"How did it happen?" Alen Bergman asked, partly confused. Agent Mehk Uhdin, on board the OMS Barium, didn't have a better answer than the one he was going to say. "By mistake, Mr. Bergman."

"A mistake?"

"Yes," Mehk paused for a moment, thinking what to say next. "Well, we intended to bug Dover... I mean, we did bug Dover, but for some reason the people who took him didn't discover the device. They've taken Dover's jacket into one of their meeting rooms, I assume, and the device is there now, probably unnoticed."

"And are we absolutely sure they are Atnaians?" Alen asked, hoping for a negative answer.

"We're not one hundred percent sure, no, but we've been able to follow the location of the device all the way to a small vessel of the Atnaian fleet. Also, the accent of some of the people we've heard there was somewhat Atnaian. That's what we think, at least."

"So what you're practically saying, agent Uhdin, is that we have an answer to our first question?"

Mehk sighed. "Yes, Mr. Bergman. It seems that the guys from Atnaia Section were correct. We've confirmed a covert Atnaian activity in Merrit. Our problem right now is that we have no idea about the exact nature and extent of their operation."

"What does Laara say?"

"Her assessment is that they're simply trying to find those old facilities we've talked about before we came here."

"Fuck," Alen responded in a mix of eeriness and calm, "I'll have to go with this all the way up to the minister, and perhaps even to the Prime Minister. Because at the moment, we're accidentally spying on one of our most trusted allies. Do you have recommendations?"

"Well, the device isn't marked and the technology isn't unique to us. Even if they find it, they'd have no way of knowing we made it. So I'd say that right now we have nothing to lose if we just let it remain there and transmit information. After all, it did get there by mistake."



A few kilometers away from the OMS Barium, in the Oster tent at the Merrit refugee camp, Laara, Alek, Martin, and the others listened several times to the recordings transmitted from Dover's jacket and from the Dastardly.

"If we keep doing this," Martin said, "eventually we'll have to confront the Atnaian agents. I mean, we almost got to that yesterday... And that's not desirable." He stretched, used his legs against the front of his desk to push himself backwards, and laid them on the desk, leaning back and looking at the team. For about a minute, no one responded.

"I agree," Laara finally asserted, "right now we're one step behind them. We need to be one step ahead. We didn't come here entirely empty handed - we have 20 years of rumors and witness accounts about this. Now we also have a name and a location. Merrit's phone books aren't state secret and hacking into databases of cellular or telephone companies to get their billing information is easy... I mean, it's not like we haven't done it in the past. We can track Syed's personal details, his circle of friends or colleagues, and his routine, and we can find out where their cellphones were located at given moments in the past."

"Sounds like a plan," Alek said.

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Postby Atnaia » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:41 am

Jacob yawned and sipped his coffee. "Do you lot ever sleep?"

"I'm six Red Bulls deep and feeling fine," Zhang said. "No I do not."

They were back in the room aboard the Dastardly that the Pages had been using as their offices. Zhang tossed the journal on the table in the center of the room. McCann had her hair pulled back in a sloppy bun that made her look quite a lot like a person trying to look like a librarian and not quite nailing it. A porno version of a librarian, Jacob thought. She spoke through a yawn.

"We're not quite done," she said. "But we have enough."

"The journal is a sort of short-hand series of patient records," Zhang babbled. "Tracking physical traits like blood pressure, heart rate, blood nutrient levels. All very organized."

"So its useless?" Jacob said.

The Pages glanced at each other. Worde, of all people, spoke up. "We didn't say that."

"What do you mean?" Leslie was leaning against the bulkhead with her own coffee.

"I mean," came Worde's warbly reply, "that there are...clues."

"What sort of clues?" Jacob asked.

Worde fell silent. Zhang took up the torch. "The patients are never named or given any identity other than numbers, but we can tell that there are exactly as many patients as missing prisoners. So we can guess that this is on the right trail. But that's not the important piece."

He grabbed a stack of printed papers and handed them over to Jacob. He skimmed the twelve-point font. "Translations of the records," he said.

"Yeah," Zhang said. "Look at the bottom of each page. The doctor makes little daily notes about the 'state of the project', and on page six there," he flipped the pages for Jacob, earning him a glare which he ignored, "you can see the big clue."

"The project is exacting a toll on all of us, not just the subjects," Jacob read. "The construction noises above have been interfering, making things all the more difficult. We have put forth a request to the Cavalier in charge of the project to have construction suspended until the project is complete."

"Two days later he mentions that construction has stopped," said McCann. "So we looked into isle records from back in the 80s regarding construction, and we narrowed it down to three locations in that year that had large-scale construction that was halted for noticeable lengths of time without explanation."

"The first," said Zhang, "was a fast food restaurant that couldn't afford to pay the day laborers. The second was a resort that was adding a second pool. But the last..."

He spun and clicked a button and an image appeared on his monitor. An old newspaper photo of a large facility out in a series of rolling hills.

"The nuclear facility?" Leslie said, stepping away from the wall.

"The nuclear facility that Atnaia helped Merrit build," Zhang said.

"So the base is under the most highly guarded place on the isle?" Jacob said.

"Maybe," Worde said.

"It's our best lead," said McCann.

Jacob sighed. "Well, shit. Nothing can ever be easy, eh?"
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Postby Atnaia » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:23 am

"I appreciate that the situation was an extraordinary one," the voice on the other side of the phone spoke. "But order is returning, and I can't help but feel the continued presence of Atnaian troops on the island is only going to have a destabilizing effect on the Isle's long-term regrowth from this disaster."

Wessich frowned. The weak, nasally voice of Strongberg was beginning to grate on his nerves, and they hadn't proceeded forward at all since the call had begun. Wessich could hear the beeping of medical equipment on the other side of the line and had to remind himself that the weakness he found so annoying in Strongberg's voice was at least in part created by malnourishment and morphine. Patience, he thought. Patience. Everything in time.

"I can understand the concern, Levi," Wessich said. "But without our presence matters would be much, much worse. At least wait until we finish clearing the city. You don't have the workforce..."

"No, you're right," Strongberg sighed. "But I need to be sure that once the relief efforts are done..."

"Reconstruction, Levi," Wessich sighed. "Not just relief. Reconstruction. You aren't going to be able to rebuild the city without aid. The levies alone will take significant manpower, a ground-up redesign. Who do you expect to do that? Refugees?"

"Not Atnaian troops, that's for sure," came the reply. They both fell silent for a moment.

""I'll let you rest," Wessich finally said. "You've been through a traumatizing experience. We can discuss this when you have recovered."

"It won't change my mind, Mr. Hegemon," Strongberg replied.

"Maybe," Wessich said. "But it may change your heart. Get well soon."

Wessich hung up the phone, clenching and unclenching his jaw. His cold eyes alighted on Bartimaeus Yorke, who sat on the far side of his desk.

"He's stubborn?" Yorke asked.

"As a mule," Wessich answered. "His survival has thrown a kink in our plans."

Yorke glanced down at the tablet he had resting on his crossed legs. "I would say so."

"We need a swift solution, before he has a chance to recover his wits and start building support on the Isle," Wessich said, crossing his hands on his desk. "Who do we have on Merrit?"

"We have the ANIA team," Yorke began, but Wessich waved the idea away.

"Not them," Wessich said. "They have important business, and I'd rather keep this out of the hands of the rest of the Quorum."

Yorke flipped through documents on the tablet. "We have an SPD operative on the island, embedded in the standard troops. Richard Worthington."

"Is he good?"

"Earned some honours during the Crisis," Yorke replied. "Worked with Fox, who recommends him highly."

"Fox can be a brute," Wessich said.

"He has a good eye for killers, though," Yorke said.

"That's true," Wessich conceded. "Push it through to the SPD, Barty, and have them ensure that the problem goes away."

Yorke stood. "Yes, sir," he said, and then turned and left the room.
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Postby Atnaia » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:56 am

"So I've been reading this blog," Mark Witton said, hands in his pockets. Frances sighed and scratched at her shoulder, where the gunshot wound had healed into a pink, puckered scar.

"That," she said, "is never the start to a fun conversation."

The pair were wandering through the tent city while on patrol. The whole matter of these patrols had become rather cavalier. Nothing ever happened, and a basic order had become constant. At this point, the tent city was even emptying out, as people began returning to their homes as relief forces cleared out the city, so the bustle and press was lessening with each passing day, and peace was the rule. As some less charitable individuals would put it, Merrit Isle had grown used to the presence of its occupation.

Mark ignored Frances' comment, which bugged her. He kept speaking. "The guy who writes it is a part of The Rood. He says that the whole thing with Strongberg was a targeted attack. That he was poisoned or something."

"You know that they track your internet usage," Frances murmured, stepping around a child who was kicking a worn football down the makeshift street.

"I know," Mark replied. "I reported the site. It's been blocked. But I still read it before it was. Got me thinking."

"Thinking?" Frances said. "Always a bad sign, coming from you."

"Ha," Mark said sarcastically. "I mean, what if it was a hit?"

"What do you mean?"

Mark shrugged. "I mean, how long do you think we're going to be here?"

Frances adjusted her holster slightly. "Another month, tops."

Mark's brow furrowed. "Maybe. I'm not so sure. I'm getting the feeling this is a more permanent situation, you know?"

"Least we're not over at the reactor anymore," Frances said.

"Yeah," Mark replied. "You hear about that?"

"About what?"

"They're starting to build an airstrip out there," Mark replied. "I hear they have engineers and stuff planning out a proper base not far from the reactor."

Frances glanced over. "Really?"

"Yeah," Mark replied.

Frances bit her lip. Every soldier on the island had had a growing feeling over the past few weeks. When they ahd been deployed, this had been a relief mission, but with each passing day, it was growing harder and ahrder to deny that it was evolving into something else. With each rumour of another project, another week of staying on the island, it was becoming harder to reckon that they weren't here as something more permanent. Like mussels on the hull of a ship, a second mission had clung to their relief aid and was turning into what it was: an invasive species.

"You ever get the feeling that things are about to explode?" Mark asked.

Frances instinctively turned her head south, towards the nuclear facility. "Yeah," she said. "Let's hope it's just a feeling."
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Postby Atnaia » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:04 am

Jacob looked crouched low on the hilltop, glancing through binoculars at the military forces around the nuclear reactor facility.

"Jesus Christ," he said, handing the binoculars over to Leslie. "That's a lot of guys."

She shrugged. "It could be worse."

"I honestly didn't expect this mission would lead to us sneaking past our own military into a nuclear power facility."

Leslie remained silent. She handed back the binoculars and bit her lip, thinking hard. Jacob glanced at her and gave a lopsided grin.

"That's a cute little habit there," he said. "Like a high school girl..."

She punched him. He chuckled. "What's the play?" he said.

"I have no idea," she said. "There's only the one way in, and that's guarded. The rest of the place is surrounded by tall fencing and barbed wire."

"Sneak around and cut the fence?" Jacob said.

"There's patrols," Leslie pointed at a dust cloud marking an army Jeep following a road behind the facility. "And I'd rather not kill any Atnaian troops if we can absolutely avoid it."

"Fair enough," Jacob glanced up at the clear blue sky. "Why couldn't the Cavalier call in a goddamn favour? I asked, you know. We could have walked right in."

"This is a purple-coded mission," Leslie said. "No one can know we are here other than the Quorum, the Director and us. Calling in favours isn't a way of keeping secrets."

"So how do we do this then?"

She fell silent. Jacob sighed.

"I'll think of something," he said, and moved forward, sliding down the dewslick side of the hill. Leslie tried to grab him and missed.

"What the hell are you doing?" she panicked.

"Acting," he said.
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Postby Ostehaar » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:54 am

"Merrit's phone books aren't state secret and hacking into databases of cellular or telephone companies to get their billing information is easy..."

Lines of code appeared on the computer screen to the rhythmic sound of keyboard typing, while a larger display across the room presented colored charts and link maps between phone numbers, e-mail addresses, cellphone IMEI's, and social-network profiles. Papers containing some billing information from the past 30 years flooded the room.

Laara sat down next to Johan, one of the team's SIGINT specialists, listening to another one of his conclusions. "I looked over the numbers you sent me earlier," she said, "but I couldn't find what you were talking about."

"That's alright," he replied, "I knew it was a long shot. I got to it from a different direction eventually."

"How?"

Still seated, he shoved his chair back to his desk and invited Laara to come closer as well. He clicked a few links and pointed at various lines on the screen as he explained.

"See, I used the entire connections bank from that time period, mainly phone calls, to isolate these two groups right here," he pointed at a specific graphic representation of several entities with lines connecting them, "I managed to find out which of his connections were family and friends, and which were work related, and these are the groups I could find."

"Okay," Laara said with a sparking interest.

"So then I checked their connections using a similar algorithm, and removed Syed himself from the system."

"And then you got entire groups which are only linked by Syed and by those he had professional relationships with, without all the 'noise'." She stretched back in her chair.

"Exactly. I got two relatively enclosed work groups. I assumed one of them was the 'regular' group, and the other was a more isolated and perhaps secret group. I then dived further into that group and found out some house addresses."

"Yeah, okay, that's where Alek and Martin went a few hours ago."

"Yes, I asked them to go to these houses and see if they can find more information. A few minutes ago, right before I called you, they sent me some of what they found." He clicked a few more times and some street-level images and pictures of documents appeared on his screen. "These are the houses and those are documents we found. This, for example," he stopped clicking, "is a report about medical examinations in the facility, and this..."

Laara came closer to him and got his attention. "Johan, let's skip a bit further."

"Oh, alright," he searched for a specific document, "This... This is a report about routine checkups with the researchers at the facility, and it contains medical data about the levels of their exposure to radiation. It turns out that all of the facility's employees were officially considered Radiation Workers."

"Oh..."

"Yeah. And I ran these numbers against surveys conducted in the area during that time, which showed similar levels of radiation at a certain location on the island."

Laara nodded in understanding. "The nuclear facility..."

"Yes."

Laara got up and picked up her phone. Alek answered a few seconds later. "Hey, I'm sending the guys from Unit 1088 to join you two. They have clearance to enter the reactor complex. Go with them and find out how to... Find out more."

She hung up the phone. "This will be interesting."



The folks from Unit 1088 looked like engineers and physicists waiting for a computer output, their glasses resting on top of their noses, covering bored gazes. Alek and Martin got their own Radiation Worker tags and tags of Oster Nuclear Authority workers with fake names and confirmed identification numbers. All six passed the entrance check-point into the compound.

"What now?" Martin wondered. Alek sighed as he looked around. "I have no idea. There's was no time to plan anything. The folks here said their job is to check the cooling facilities and see if things need repairs there. They're working with Atnaian teams."

"Can they give us a reason to separate from them and go somewhere else?"

"Yes. We can leave them in about a minute right before we pass the inner security check-point, and go towards the turbine building. From there it's easier to slip into the electricity control chamber, and from there down a staircase to the lower levels."

"If you say so..."
Last edited by Ostehaar on Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Atnaia » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:00 pm

Rich Worthington often marvelled at how easy it was to kill somebody. All it took was a solid thump to the head, a two inch puncture between the ribs, a deep enough cut to the throat or thigh or wrist. Or, in the case of Levi Strongberg, a milligram of peanut extract injected into his intravenous line. Less than a dollar's worth of a household cooking supply and Rich's bank account sat $50,000 higher than it had only days before. Of course, there was the moral cost, but that was less quantifiable than the very tangible fifty-thousand that showed in the deposits line of his bank account.

He heard the jangle of of the automated fence and glanced up from his phone. He was posted on the inside of the fence surrounding the MINRF (even with all the resources of the SPD, he wasn't about to be left on guard duty on the makeshift hospital where attention might fall on him if people started looking closely at what Strongberg was actually allergic to), and he saw a group of scientists enter the main compound from inside the second watchpost. He furrowed his brow and tossed his cell phone (and the bank account data on its screen) back into his pocket, swung himself to his feet and meandered over to the main gate security room. He tapped the glass door with the back of his knuckles and the security inside opened the door.

"What?" the white-and-blue clothed security guard asked. He was a Merritian, and not too happy about the Atnaian troops who had swept in and had taken over security for the place.

"Who were that lot?"

"ONA guys," the security guard said. "Osters. Why?"

"Were they expected?"

"Not specifically, but they're nuclear authority," the guard said. He snorted and spat a loogie on the gravel in front of Rich. "Special rules, mate. We get most of our stuff around here from Osters since you Atnaians pulled out of the nukes game."

Rich glanced at the wad of spit and mucus on the ground in front of him and frowned. He rolled his shoulders and was momentarily tempted to his sidearm, but resisted the urge. "Sure," he said. "I get it."

He turned and walked away, making a mental note about the guard's nametag ("Lowbrook"), and watched after the Osters as the entered the main buildings of the facility. He bit his lip and jogged after them.

Coincidentally, if he had returned to his post, he would have been in time to see a red-haired man dart from behind a truck that was rolling up to the security booth, cut a few links at the bottom of the fence, and slip under the gap before anyone had a chance to see him.
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Postby Ostehaar » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:04 am

Alek and Martin broke off from the other four nuclear specialists at the right place and turned towards the turbine building. They didn't run, but instead walked firmly and occasionally nodded to the local workers of the facility, trying to seem authoritative and confident.

A few people exited the building the two were approaching and left the entrance door partly open. Martin smiled at them and rushed to hold the door as they passed. Alek quickly entered and Martin closed the door behind him.

They were in the turbine building. The turbines themselves weren't operating for electricity production at that moment, but two out of the four huge turbines were spinning for maintenance purposes, and the steam-pipe system was under repair - both processes produced a lot of background noise, which made it impossible to hear any sound from more than a few meters away.

"Where to now?" Martin asked.

Alek slowed down slightly and turned around to speak directly to Martin as they walked. "The entrance to the power control room should be somewhere along this wall, I think," he said, "we'll find it, and from there the path down to the lower levels should be clear."

The annoying turbine noise filled the entire hall, and Martin felt as if it was following them wherever they went. He grimaced and covered his right ear with his hand. Alek located a door marked 'PC' and pointed at it, earning a nod of approval from his partner.

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Postby Atnaia » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:17 pm

Rich scanned into the building, keeping the Osters in sight for as long as he could. When the door swung shut behind them, he panicked, thinking he would lose them, but kept them in his eyeline until they moved through the doors marked "PC".

He wondered if he was being paranoid. Still, his job with the SPD was to be paranoid, and it trumped his job as a soldier these days.

"Shit," he said and glanced around. He pulled out his phone and swiftly dialed a number. He got almost no bars here, but nevertheless Mr. Fox picked up.

"Worthy Boy," came the booming voice of Mr. Fox, muffled by the poor connection. "To what do I owe the enormous pleasure?"

"I'm out at Merrit, and we've got Osters at the nuclear site," Rich replied, glancing at the door. Every second he wasted was another second the Osters delved into the depths of the facility. "Seems weird. Is this something I should follow-up on?"

"Up to you, mate," Mr. Fox replied. "SPD's 'bout freedom to explore yer own opportunities."

Rich bit his lip. "Alright."

"I'd go for it, though," Mr. Fox coughed. "Never know what you could stumble on."

Rich nodded. "Okay."

He hung up the line and followed the Osters through the door.




Jacob had slipped into the building behind the soldier, thanking his good luck thus far, but he had become trapped when the man had made a phone call.

"Thought most people went outside for their smoke breaks," Jacob murmured, hiding behind a bulk of machinery. When the soldier finally hung up, turned, and went through a door marked 'PC', Jacob frowned. According to his briefing, that was his direction too.

"Fuck," he said, and made sure his sidearm was lose in its holster and ready to draw. He didn't want to kill anyone, but if he had to he would. He caught the door as it swung shut and slipped in behind the Atnaian.
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Postby Ostehaar » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:03 am

Rikard waited patiently for Alex Vulf to finish reading the paper he was holding in his hands. They both sat quietly in Rikard's office in the main government building, along with the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

A knock on the door broke the silence, and a young uniformed woman opened the door. "Prime Minister Dorias, Wessich published an official response."

"Let me guess," Rikard said, "something along the lines of 'we are all Atish' and 'we should all live peacefully happily ever after'?" The young officer confirmed.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Brahurer sighed. "Sir, they are annexing the place, as we thought." Alex Vulf, the head of Unit 1088, donated his view on the situation as well. "I think it's time we let go. Our folks there have done what we needed them to do already."

"With the exception of the secret facilities," Rikard added.

"Yes, but I think it's a minor issue," Alex replied. Minister of Defense Dulikh nodded in approval. "Mister Vulf is right, sir. It isn't really our business. I support shutting the operation down."

"I agree," said Minister Brahurer, "we're talking about Atnaia here, after all. Not only is this unnecessary, there's also a chance that information would be leaked, and it might be a diplomatic headache."

Rikard considered for a moment. "Alright, I'm convinced. Let's break this off. Alex," he turned to the old man, "I do want your folks talking to the Atnaian officials about possible reconstruction of the reactor by our people, and perhaps new reactor project."



"Yes, I understand. Yes, I think... Alright. I know. Yes, I know. I'll tell them. Okay, we'll talk later."

Laara shoved the phone back into her pocket and took a deep breath. "Johan, we need to close down here. I have to make some arrangements with Mehk, so can you please call Alek and Martin and tell them to stop whatever they're doing and return here?"

"I can't," Johan said, "they've already went down below the facility. I can't contact them right now."



Below to turbine building, the two Oster agents cautiously walked down a dim and dusty staircase.

"Man, you'd think a place labeled 'power control' would be a little bit less chilling," Martin said. "I feel like I'm in a zombie movie and I'm doing that thing people do when they're in zombie movies that they really shouldn't."

Alek coughed. "Yeah... One more floor to go until we get to the lowest level." They both looked down into the darkness below them, where no light was on and nothing could be seen. A sharp sound of a screeching door opening echoed all around, making the two instinctively raise their heads up.

"It seems we're not alone," Alek whispered.
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Postby Atnaia » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:02 am

Jacob followed the soldier from a fair distance behind, being careful to remain unseen. Where is this idiot going? Jacob thought.

The soldier unslung the rifle from his shoulder and glanced down the gap to the lower levels. Jacob's eyes widened. He's following someone, he realized. There's others down here. Shit.

He glanced around. In the stairwell, there was nowhere to hide, so he let the soldier slip ahead and out of view. Then Jacob struggled for his phone to get in touch with Leslie.

Zero bars.

"Baln's balls," he whispered. "Jesus Christ. Fuck."




Outside, Leslie had watched Jacob slip off and stealth his way through the camp, get lucky at the fence and enter the building. She wasn't about to follow the idiot. If she had learned one thing about Jacob, it was that he was as lucky as they came, and he was bound to pull some trick out of his ass. She thought her time would be better spent prepping for his escape. She'd need to secure a vehicle, and that meant getting either something from the camp (stupid) or something from a nearby farm (slow). She gritted her teeth, glanced down the hill and sighed.

"Nothing risked, nothing gained," she grimaced, and moved towards the camp.




Rich unslung his rifle and glanced down the stairwell. He cleared his throat. "Hey," he shouted in his best imitation of a dumb grunt. "You lot lost down there?"
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Postby Ostehaar » Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:22 pm

"No, we aren't," Martin replied, letting his voice echo up and down the stairwell for a moment. "We were instructed to head down here to check the rooms under the turbine hall. It should take around an hour or so to get this done."

Both agents made sure they were in quick reach of their pistols, hidden under their white lab coats.

"Thanks for making sure, sir. We're alright."

While Martin spoke, Alek used a small flashlight to scout ahead and see what lies at the bottom of the stairs. He reached a hard metal surface, which felt a bit loose in its location but still firmly locked.

He checked around and noticed a small electronic locking mechanism connected to the door handle. He brushed off the layer of dust which covered the keypad and concluded that the device it either dysfunctional or broken in some way.

He shoved a hand into his pocket and drew out a small screwdriver in order to open the device and try to activate the door from the outside.

"Keep talking to him," he whispered to Martin as he started removing the screws. "This is going to take a few minutes, I think."

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Postby Atnaia » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:47 am

Jacob could hear the soldier's voice echo around the stairwell. The back of his brain was running through a few dozen possible courses of action, but the echoing of the voice caught him by surprise. The response from below was even more surprising.

Okay, he thought. Okay. I'm just stuck in a stairwell in a nuclear facility with a soldier, an unknown amount of possible enemies and an Atnaian blacksite under my feet. This could be worse. I don't really know how, but it could.




Leslie slipped between a few tents.

"Jesus," she heard someone say from within one. "What I wouldn't do for a decent WiFi signal."

"Give it two months and Heron'll be all over this rock," came a reply. "How much do you wanna bet they're already laying fibre optics under the channel?"

She darted across a swath of open ground and skidded to a halt behind a military green truck. The two soldiers stepped out from the tent and walked towards her, still chatting. Using the truck as cover, she carefully wound around the side of the vehicle. The two soldiers passed her by without noticing, and Leslie let out a sigh of relief. Checking her surroundings, she popped open the door of the truck and pulled herself in. She tossed her supplies in the backseat, quietly closed the door, and slipped into cover next to her backpack. She reached into her backpack's main pouch and withdrew a pair of pliers and a screwdriver. Then, she grabbed the headset she had packed, linked it to her radio with a wire, and popped it on so that she would be able to hear Jacob as soon as he called for her. She slipped back into the front, jammed back the driver's seat as far as it would go and contorted into the space under the steering wheel. Keeping an eye through the windows, she popped open the underside of the front unit with the screwdriver and got to work hotwiring the vehicle.




Rich frowned at the response he received. Quietly as he could, he slinked around the edges of the staircase to try and get eyes on the labcoats below. He was tempted to turn on his torch, or drop a handful of glowsticks down below to get some light, but didn't want them to get a bead on him.

"Need some help?" he asked, trying to sound nonchalant.
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Postby Ostehaar » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:18 pm

"No," Martin replied in confidence, "we are certain we can handle this. Thank you for your concern, sir."

He looked at Alek, who was still trying to open the keypad, with a puzzled look. Alek mouthed a silent "not yet" to him, and took out the final screw, catching it with his hand as it fell to the floor. Martin gasped as the screw fell, fearing the sound of it hitting the floor would have alerted the soldier to the fact that they didn't know what they were doing there.

"Actually, sir," Martin called into the dim stairwell, "are you still there? We can't seem to get a signal down here, so is it too much to ask that you find our colleagues and tell them that we are fine, that we've found the right place, and that we will be done with the job in about an hour? They should be handling the cooling system right now. You can talk to a person named Ben, who is the head of our inspection team."

Alek nodded to Martin in approval as he pulled out another bunch of wires and tried to find a way to activate the automatic fail-safe mechanism of the door, which he thought would unlock the door and let it open from the outside. A few seconds later, the door produced a sharp metal-to-metal sound which could be described as the sound of a robot deliberately cracking its artificial joints after a long day of work. Alek turned to his partner with a semi-surprised look, as if he didn't actually believe he would manage to unlock the door only a second earlier.

He slowly but forcefully pressed the door handle down, producing a piercing screech. There was still a lot of friction in the system, but he could feel it was movable, so he pushed harder until eventually the handle fell down to its open position in a loud clang.

"We will be down here for a little while," Martin shouted up the stairs. "We'll report back to our team when we're done. Thanks again, sir." With that, he marched towards the door and pushed it open, revealing a straight set of concrete stairs ending in a right angle turn. The two rushed down and pushed open a second steel door, entering a lower level underneath the turbine building.

Alek automatically sent his hand sideways to feel along the wall, and found a power switch lever. He grabbed it and pulled it all the way down, eventually sparking a power surge and causing the old lights around the room to turn on.

"This wasn't in the architectural plans, mate," Martin mentioned worriedly as they gazed upon the wide hall in front of them.

"Nope."

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Postby Atnaia » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:15 am

Rich closed his eyes for a moment, then sighed. Paranoia or not, I can't let them wander around, he thought, and followed after them as quietly as possible.




Jacob stuck his head out and watched the soldier move down the stairwell. He cocked an eyebrow. He's suspicious, Jacob thought. He followed the soldier down the stairs and to a metal door. Jacob watched as the soldier slipped through, then moved up and glanced after him. He just managed to catch sight of the soldier's foot disappearing around a corner. He counted to three, then slipped down the stairs and glanced around that same corner. The soldier was at the bottom, at another steel door, only twenty or so feet ahead. Jacob swung back around and went over his options.

I could knock him out, he thought. Only takes ten seconds or so with a sleeper hold...

He didn't even get to complete the thought. There was a sudden, cacophonous wail and red emergency lights began flashing.

Somewhere, for some reason, an alarm had been tripped. Jacob glanced towards the ceiling. "Please don't be a meltdown," he mumbled, muted by the sirens. "Please God in heaven do not be a meltdown."




Leslie raised her hands above her head. Behind her, the truck was purring idle. In front of her, a pair of soldiers had guns trained on her. Alarms were already blaring.

"Out of the truck!" one of them shouted.

Leslie pulled herself out slowly, assuming the men had itchy trigger fingers. She stood in front of them, arms raised somewhat casually.

"So," she said, "about this..."
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Postby Atnaia » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:00 am

Alarm claxons wailed and red, flashing lights cast the hall in a hellish red glow. Rich glanced around and frowned, his face contorting into a half-shadowed rictus in the siren lights. He looked forward, to where the Osters had gone. Was this them tripping something? Or was the whole place melting down?

If its a meltdown, not much else to be done, he thought. We're all dead anyways. Best to assume they tripped some sort of security...

Rich followed the scientists through the door they had passed through at the bottom of the stairs. He found himself in a large, half-familiar chamber. It was a strange reflection of Atnaian Panopticon prisons: a large, circular central chamber expanded before him, with a single short tower rising from the middle with a long disused guard station at the top. Two floors of doors were visible, ringing the room. The top story of rooms were small cells with tinted plexiglass doors for their interior walls, so that a guard in the central tower could see in. There were twenty cells in total, each marked with a Roman numeral above the cell in question, ringing the entirety of the room.

The ground floor, where Rich had emerged, was connected to the floor with the cells by rusted steel staircases to a grate-floored catwalk that linked the cell doors together. One of the cells above had been smashed at some point, and shards of plexi had slipped through the grate to crunch under Rich's feet as he moved. Looking down, he noticed that one side was reflective. A two-way mirror. The guards would have been able to see in, but the prisoners would have only seen their own faces, no way of knowing if they were being observed at any given time. The rest of the ground floor was home to a half dozen steel doors in a ring, including the door Rich had just passed through. An exit sign hung above Rich's head, but the bulb within had long since broken or burned out, and the red sign did not glow as it might have once, long ago. The other doors were all marked by small, white plastic plaques above their frames: Test Chamber 1, Test Chamber 2, Radiation Chamber 1, Radiation Chamber 2, Logistics.

The entire chamber was coated in a thick sheet of dust, giving it a tomb-like atmosphere. Old, half-burned flourescents lit the place, a circuit-breaker next to the exit door having been thrown by the scientists. The lights flickered and buzzed, occasionally popping out and sending the chamber into momentary, yellow darkness. A part of Rich's brain whispered something to him, a deep, lizard fear of the darkness and the strangeness. The buzzing ate into his brain, infrasound setting his teeth on edge and filling him with palpable dread. He could almost imagine, for a brief moment, that the place was haunted. Every time the lights flicked into darkness, he could see movement in the shadows. If he was a more superstitious or fearful person, he might have turned and left. Instead, he hefted his UAR-36, checked that it was clear, and moved into the room.




Jacob counted to three and followed the soldier. He slipped through the door into a Panopticon-like room. His feet crunched against broken plexiglass on the ground, and the sound seemed to echo around the chamber. He nearly groaned, but bit his lip and tightened his grip on his pistol. The soldier wasn't even twenty feet away, but hadn't seemed to notice. The man was moving in a military stance through the chamber, his rifle up and sweeping the shadows. The lights flicked off for a moment and Jacob slipped the opposite direction, following the edge of the circular wall with his hand and keeping the soldier in eyesight. As the guard tower in the center of the room passed between them, Jacob darted forward in a low crouch and pressed his back against the structure. He counted to six, and snuck around it.

The soldier was gone, having passed through one of the doors, either the one marked Test Chamber 2 or the one marked Logistics. Both stood half open. Jacob's head moved fro door to door.

"Eanie meanie miney moe," he whispered, gaze settling on the door marked logistics. If there was information anywhere, it was there, and so that's where the scientists would have gone. And where the scientists went, so did the soldier. Jacob took a step away from the tower towards the door.

He was met by a sudden sharp, biting pain in the center of his back, right between his shoulder blades. He fell onto his knees, and instinctually twisted to the left and rolled across the dusty floor before the second blow came down. The soldier had hidden himself behind the guard tower too, and had just struck Jacob with the butt of his rifle. Jacob skimmed up to his feet as the soldier levelled his rifle at him. Jacob's own hand swung up and aimed the pistol at the soldier's head.

"Lower your weapon," the soldier grunted.

"You lower yours."

They were quiet for a moment. "I am a Sergeant of the RAA," the soldier grunted. "I'm ordering you to lower your gun."

Jacob glanced at the man's chest, where his name was stitched above a pocket on his camouflaged chest. "R. Worthington," he read. "Alright, Worthington. Alright."

Jacob leaned down and set his gun on the floor.

"Kick it over," Worthington said. He was being quiet, trying to avoid alerting the scientists.

Jacob raised his hands above his head, put his toe on the gun and kicked. The gun did not skid along the ground as Worthington had expected, but arched up in a rapid flash and slammed towards the soldier's face. Instinctually, the point of the rifle drifted sideways as Worthington tracked the sudden movement, and Jacob took the opportunity to dart forward. He wrapped his hand around the barrel of the rifle and pushed it further sideways. There was a bang as the Worthington squeezed off a round, probably accidentally tugging the trigger as Jacob wrenched the gun free from the soldier's grasp. Jacob felt a pain on the side of his pinky finger and blood slicked the barrel of the rifle. It went twirling off into the on-and-off darkness. Both men met each other's gaze, momentarily stunned.

Then, simultaneously, they tackled forward.
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Postby Ostehaar » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:44 am

Alek's eyes were starting to hurt. He spent the past several minutes trying to read documents written in small font, while above him the lights flickered and danced. He peered at the pieces of text and blinked constantly, until he eventually gave up on some of the documents and simply took pictures of them. We'll read them back home, if we ever get there, he thought.

The gunshot caught Alek and Martin by complete surprise. They both turned theirs heads sharply towards the room's entrance door, leaving their hands hanging in the position they were in. Martin then laid down the pack of papers he was holding and drew out his pistol.

"What the hell was that?" He said with a horrified look to his face, eyes wide open as if he had just seen a ghost. "What the fuck did that soldier just shoot at?"

One hand still holding the small camera he was using to document the place, Alek threw his other hand forward to block Martin and lower his gun. "Don't move," he ordered calmly. Clearly, Alek thought, this wailing alarm is affecting Martin's judgment. He waited until he felt Martin had loosened himself. "Let's get as much information as we can before we do anything else. Whatever happened out there... well, he didn't shoot us, that's for sure."

Sounds of breaking glass echoed into the room. Martin turned to Alek again, slightly tilting he head towards the door for a moment. "I'm going to have a look, mate," he announced, and walked cautiously towards the door. With one hand on his pistol, he slowly peeked outside and quickly retreated.

"Fuck," he spat out, "guess who is fighting that soldier right now out there."

Alek gasped voicelessly. "Son of a bitch. The ginger spy!?" Martin responded with an approving nod.

"Alright, it's getting too risky. Let's wrap everything up and get out of here. We're two of us and there are two of them, and they're currently fighting each other. Let's split before they realize we're the enemy."

Alek took several more pictures as Martin shoved as many papers as he could into his bag. Both took out their weapon and walked out the open entrance door, keeping an eye on the two men wrestling across the room.
Last edited by Ostehaar on Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Atnaia
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Founded: Dec 08, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Atnaia » Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:12 am

The two men slammed together, fell sideways and rolled across the floor. Their momentary scrum fell apart and they rolled up their feet. Rich scattered for the nearby pistol, but was met by a boot to the stomach, sending him reeling backwards. Jacob leaped off the ground and drove his fist down into Rich's shoulder from above. Rich fell to a knee, but dodged sideways as Jacob landed and drove a knee upwards to his face. Rich found his feet, crunching against crumbled concrete, and threw a wild haymaker at the side of Jacob's face. Jacob caught the blow against his left arm, twisted, and locked the arm under his own.

"Nothing personal," he said, and drove his free elbow into Rich's arm-locked shoulder. There was a pop as the bone jolted out of its socket. It was only a minor dislocation, but it sent waves of pain up and down Rich's arm and neck. He let out a pained growl in his chest, jerked sideways and slammed his knee into Jacob's groin.

Jacob released Rich's arm and stumbled back, keeling over slightly. Rich slammed forward and drove his fist down into the back of Jacob's skull. There was a cracking of bone as Rich's knuckles broke, and Jacob slammed onto his hands and knees. His vision blurred momentarily, but he managed to retain consciousness and stand back up as Rich withdrew and nursed his broken hand.

Rich glanced towards his opponent. Jacob slipped his hand into his pocket and withdrew a small, red Swiss Army Knife, the kind you could buy at corner gas stations. He flicked out the two inch blade and held it in a backhand grip. Rich already had his hand on his combat knife. It was a comical discrepancy in size and deadliness, but Rich also knew that, whoever this guy was, he was a much better melee fighter than he was. Rich had gotten in a lucky hit, but this guy seemed the type to have daily june keet do classes in between his Krav Maga lessons. Jacob held himself with the easy, loose, low stance of a practiced martial artist. Rich himself was tense, better with a gun than a knife, and the nearest gun was ten feet away on the ground. Practically another continent with Jacob wheeling around him.

"So," said Jacob. "Who goes first?"

Rich dashed forward, hoping to take advantage of his slightly larger build and the element of surprise. The knife flashed down, and the lights suddenly slammed out. When they came back up, Jacob had slid sideways away from the large blade. He drove his own knife down, and Rich's hand came up instinctually to defend his exposed neck. The small, steel blade sliced into the soft spot between Rich's thumb and forefinger and drove into the hilt of his own knife, lodging in place. Rich groaned and twisted away. With Rich's white knuckle grip on the combat knife, and the weaker Swiss Army knife embedded in the handle, there was a pinging noise and Jacob's knife snapped off, still embedded in Rich's hand. Jacob glanced down, momentarily shocked.

"I paid five dollars for that," he said with consternation. Rich wastrying to excise the blade that was impaling his hand, but wasn't doing much good without tearing tendon and muscle. Jacob, still holding the red handle of his weapon, reached down and flipped out the corkscrew. Gripping it in his fist so it extended from between his fingers like a claw, he into a low stance.

Rich gave up on his impaled hand and moved in, sweeping his combat knife down towards Jacob's face. Jacob dodged left and punched up, the corckscrew slamming through Rich's tricep. Jacob twisted his fist and yanked down, scraping the corkscrew across bone and tearing muscles. Rich's arm jerked down and he yelled and his knife went clattering across the concrete floor. Jacob lost his grip on the blood-soaked multitool and stumbled back.

It was at that point that fate seemed to take a liking to Rich Worthington. Jacob's foot landed on his handgun, which slipped across the concrete, sending the spy falling backwards. Rich, bleeding badly, moved in and drove his fist down into Jacob's already-broken nose. There was a squelching noise and Jacob saw white for a moment. He felt hands wrap around his head. As his vision came back, he saw the soldier on top of him.

"Not me head," he groaned, "I use that for wearing hats."

Rich slammed down, bashing Jacob's head across the concrete twice. When the red-headed man was still, Rich stood. He looked at the Swiss Army Knife sticking out of his arm and the blade in his hand. "Shit," he said. He could hear movement through one of the doors. He still had a job to do. He stumbled off after the Osters, trailing blood.
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Ostehaar
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Ostehaar » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:38 am

"Excuse me, gentlemen, lady," the soldier approached the Oster nuclear engineers in the cooling system building, "an alarm has been set off in the main building so I need you to stop doing whatever it is you're doing and follow me, please."

"Sir," Doctor Lihner tried to respond, "we really think that -"

"I'm sorry," the soldier interrupted her, "it wasn't a request. You need to follow me now."

The doctor sighed and took off her glasses, shoving them into the pocket of her coat. "Okay. There are two more of our team here. They're in the main building. Can you please make sure they join us now?"

The soldier narrowed his eyes. "In the... what? Didn't you come here today to -"

"We did, sir, but last time we were here, we decided there's a need to check the turbine chamber as well, and we didn't have enough time to do it then. We needed to check it today."

"That's..." the soldier struggled for a moment with what he had in mind, "fine, I'll make sure. Now, please come with me."



"He's up! he's up!" Martin called up the stairs as Alek tried to pull open the outer, heavy steel door they had to break through earlier.

Alek groaned in pain as he tried pulling the door a second time. "I can't get it to open," he said as Martin ran up the stairs to help. "Dammit," he announced, "this door is a lot easier to push than to pull."

"You think!?" Martin snickered as they both used their full force to draw the door handle back up and pull it towards them to open the door. After a few moments, when the Atnaian soldier was already at the bottom of the stairs, the door finally gave in and the two Oster agents were thrown backwards with their backs against the wall to the side of the door. Alek quickly pushed his hand forwards and used it to keep the door open.

Martin drew out his pistol and aimed at the soldier, slowly squatting to pick up his bag at the same time. Meanwhile Alek managed to move to the other side of the door, and he drew another pistol himself. They were both ready to leave.

"We outnumber you and we're not wounded," Martin said calmly, "we'll be outside now, and we'll close this door behind us. You'll get it open eventually, but we won't be here by that time. So stay where you are."
Last edited by Ostehaar on Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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