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Old May 25th, 2019, 10:55 AM #21
scikaiju's Avatar
> scikaiju
Power Ranger
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 382
Power Ranger
scikaiju's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 382

Special Police DekaOps

OP – Alter Bridge – Metalingus

Dan and Rev were in a small room with nothing but a table and a couple of chairs. Dan slowly paced the room looking over a file in his hands occasionally glancing over to the third person in the room. A redish skinned, bald, four armed piece of work they brought in earlier, the perp was caught trying to push a super steroid in various gyms. A real small fish in the scheme of things, but apparently connected enough to get an apprehension order. Rev made some small talk, seeing if he was comfortable. Dan closed the file and slapped it on the table. “So,” he said evenly, “your name is Orion Pax?”

“Yeah,” he grunted.

“An Andorian?”, he nodded. “That’s funny, because I meet a couple of Andorians and they look nothing like you. Have you ever seen an Andorian that looks like him Rev?”

“While it has been awhile since I have visited the planet, nor have I visited…” Dan coughed, the signal to get to the point, “No I haven’t Captain.”

“There’s a lot of different types on my planet,” the prisoner said. “I’m just from the south part of the planet.”

“The southern part of the planet?”, Rev repeated.

“Lots of planets have a south,” he said.

“Why would a planet not have a south?”, Rev asked. He didn’t seem to have an answer for that one. Dan leaned there against the wall staring a hole through him with steely eyes as Rev continued. “It is standard procedure to contact immigration whenever we bring somebody in. And I do apologize for making you wait so long. There was an interesting discrepancy in your file.”

“Then that’s their fault not mine,” he stated.

“A possibility,” Rev agreed.

“But this has to be the biggest discrepancy in the history of discrepancies,” Dan cut in. He activated a small device on the table and an image appeared in the air. Pax shifted in his seat uncomfortably. “This is the Andorian Orion Pax they have on file. This Orion Pax has blue skin, white hair, the antennas and what I find really interesting,” Dan put his hands on the table and leaned in until he was in his face, “two arms!”

“Captain please,” Rev said pulling him back. “This is counter productive.”

“Right after he tells me why the locals found an Andorian body matching this Orion Pax’s description two weeks ago.”

“I don’t know nothing.”

“And I know you’re lying.”

“Captain please,” Rev said a little more forcibly. Dan backed off and leaned against the wall. After a few moments Rev continued, “You can see why we are a little curious about all of this.”

“I don’t know anything about a dead body,” ‘Pax’ told them.

“Sure you don’t,” Dan said sarcastically.

“Captain,” Rev said warningly.

Dan ignored him, “Not only do I think you know something I think you did it.”

“You think you scare me?”, ‘Pax’ challenged.

“You saw Pax, waited until he was alone and shot him in the back. You took his ID, his visa and prayed to whatever God you believe in that humans would be too dumb to notice.”

“You can’t pin this on me.”

“Oh yes I can. I’m a black badge in case you didn’t notice, I can make you disappear and nobody would question it one bit.”

“I have rights” their prisoner told them.

Dan held him down as he tried to get up, “You’re here illegally. Your rights are what I say they are!”

He tried to get up again, “I don’t have to take this.”

“Sit down!”, Dan shoved him down hard he almost toppled over.

“Captain that is enough,” Rev said pulling him back. “I have a lot of respect for you but this has gone on too far. I suggest you leave now.” When Dan wouldn’t budge he added, “I will have you escorted out of here, forcibly if necessary.”

Dan stood there for a few seconds before heading for the door. “Always looking out for each other, it’s sickening.” Slamming the door behind him he stood there for a second. Seeing the Major watching things on a monitor he smiled, “Have I mentioned how much I love the fact you had them put in a door I can slam? Because the other sliding doors we have around here wouldn’t have the same effect.”

The Major sighed, “Have I mentioned you like playing the bad cop a little too much?” Dan joined him at the monitor and watched Rev do his thing with the prisoner. “And you were pushing the envelope a little too much for my taste.”

“I know,” Dan said, “but these guys always stop short when it gets to the Agents. And I’m tired of these guys being more afraid of them than they are of us.”

“I didn’t kill that Andorian,” Pax said.

“I want to believe you,” Rev told him. “Unfortunately the evidence we have paints a different picture. And I’m afraid the Captain is particularly good at painting whatever picture he wants.”

“You guys are corrupting him, you know that right?”, Pierce asked. “He wouldn’t lie like that before.”

“Just teaching to use what he’s seen and heard to his best advantage,” Dan said.

“I bought the ID and Visa,” the prisoner admitted. “He said nobody would notice and to not worry where it came from.”

“Who sold you them?”, Rev asked. He remained silent, Rev urged him on, “The Captain is dying to pin this murder charge on you. I am trying to help you but I need all the information you can provide.”

“You don’t understand, he’ll get me and I’ll never see it coming. He can turn invisible, he can stab me in the back in broad daylight in the middle of the street and nobody would know it was him.”

Dan cocked his head slightly as he heard this person could turn invisible. Commander Mynx words came back to him, “He was able to turn invisible Stevens. That's not natural, at most he should have changed his skin color to blend in with his surroundings.” No way, it couldn’t be him.

“Listen to me,“ Rev said calmly. ”I need to hear all you know about this individual. I need a name.”

“I don’t know much. Grapevine said he used to work for both sides but I don’t know for sure. I know he was genetically altered. He’s a chameleon-seijin named…”

“Chatrox?”, Dan said in disbelief.

“Chatrox,” their prisoner said at the same time.

“Dan how did you know that?”, Pierce asked but Dan was already running down the hall.

Michelle jumped a little when Dan came rushing through the door. There was a slight panicked look on his face that worried her a little. “Dan what is it?”

“I need you to check the database for a chameleon-seijin named Chatrox.”

“Alright,” she said a little confused. “It would help narrow down the search if I knew where to start, arson, robbery, murder, jay walking.”

“Start with the SPD officer database,” Dan told her. Michelle looked at him, “Just do it, please.”

“Dan what’s going on?”, Pierce asked as he finally caught up. “How do you know the name of this Agent?”

“An Agent?”, Michelle was more than a little surprised. “Why an I looking for an Agent in the officer database?”

“He was on Nagaus 7,” Dan explained, “he was part of the Ops field leader training that I was in. During the final exam he was caught sneaking back into the main compound and trying to access and download the computer database.”

“Found him,” Michelle announced. “Ok, skimming the boring parts… It’s like Dan said. Wait a second,” she trailed off. “This can’t be right.”

“What is it Michelle?”, the Major asked.

She looked up from the readout, “According to this he’s dead.”

“No way,” Dan said. Michelle put the file on the big screen. “That’s him, I know that smug ‘I’m better than you’ look anywhere.”

“Dan according to this when he was being transported back to SPD headquarters for questioning the Alienizers attacked his transport. There were no survivors found when the rescue crafts showed up.”

“No,” Dan said, “it has to be him.”

“Maybe it’s another Chatrox,” the Major offered

“Two chameleon-seijin named Chatrox, both genetically altered to become invisible?”, Dan told him. “That’s stretching things a bit.”

“So is thinking that this is the same guy our guest is talking about,” the Major countered. “It’s possible he’s using his identity to cover his track. He appears to have a track record of doing so.”

“Well, there is one way to find out,” Michelle said. “We have a guy who has seen the agent and we a got an image. To play it safe I’ll pull a few more chameleon-seijin images from the database for a picture line up.”

“And if he picks out this picture then he’s our guy,” Dan said following her line of thought.

“I’ll have Rev do this alone,” The Major told him. “No offence Dan but I don’t want you to intentionally, or unintentionally, leading him to this picture.”

“Fine,” Dan agreed. It took no time for Michelle to make a printed copy of Chatrox image and several others. The Major took the pictures and went back to the interrogation room. While they waited Dan started pacing the Command Room like a caged animal. Michelle watched him knowing exactly what he was thinking. If this was the same Chatrox then he told the Alienizers about Nagaus 7 and what ended up happening to his friend Tony.

After what seemed like forever the Major and Rev finally came back. Rev walked foreword and held out a picture, “He identified this picture as Agent Chatrox.”

Anger flashed through Dan’s eyes at he looked at Chatrox’s image, “I knew it.”

“I’ll inform SPD Command about the situation,” Pierce said taking the picture.

“I’m going in there,” Dan stated, “and pry out where he the last place was he saw him.”

“I already have the location Captain,” Rev informed him.

“How did you get it?”, Dan asked.

“He was keeping quiet about the situation,” Rev started, “then I suggested I might leave the room and let you talk to him alone. After that he was very informative. He also gave me a future meeting time and place, which is in a few hours.”

Dan started smirking as he looked at the Major, “You’re right, we are corrupting him. Good job Rev, we’re launching as soon as we can.”

“Wait a second Dan,” the Major interrupted. “I want to take this guy down too, but Agents are dangerous. I want the full team in on this one. And with Boomer still on his honeymoon we’re one person short.”

“There’s always me,” Michelle offered. “I know I’m not a regular field member but I can fill in.”

“Dan?”, the Major asked.

He nodded, “I’d want her along even if Boomer was here, just for the extra firepower.”

“Alright then,” Pierce said. “Dan you get Ace and D.E. up to speed. Rev you give the location to Michelle so she can work her magic before you leave. This is a big one, so make it count.”

Tension aboard the Shepard was high, mainly coming from Dan. He was unusually quiet the entire trip. Michelle kept glancing at him from Boomer station. He sat there barely moving as he looked out the cockpit window. All of them expected him to get up and start boxing his shadow before too long. D.E. finally broke the silence, “Cap?”.

“What?”, Dan snapped.

“I don’t mean to pry or anything, but it seems you have something personal against this guy.”

“Dan thinks this Agent is responsible for the information about Nagaus 7 getting out,” Michelle said.

“I don’t think he did,” Dan corrected her, “I know he did.”

“I just don’t get one thing though,” D.E. said, “if this guy was working for the Alienizers how did SPD not know?”

“It’s a big organization,” Ace said, “They can’t keep track of everybody. And let’s face it the Alienizers probably found his price.”

“Probably all the bugs he can eat,” Dan muttered just low enough to be heard by everybody.

“Cap!”, Ace cried out in shock.

“You’re letting it get personal again,” Michelle told him.

“You’re damn right it personal!”, Dan exploded. “It’s bad enough he was making my life hell during training. Now thanks to him Tony is dead.” He leaned back in his seat as he held his hand, “Damn it, I thought this was over after we got Waven.”

Michelle got out of her chair and went to him, “We’ll get him. But your head needs to be in the game for this to work. I don’t want to lose you to this bastard.”

“None of us want to lose you either Cap,” Ace added. D.E and Rev agreed.

“Tell us about this guy,” Michelle told him. “Why does this guy seem to be under your skin more than usual? You didn’t act like this when you went after Waven and his group.”

He sighed as he looked out the cockpit. “Let’s just say the bad blood grew real quick. When I told you guys I had everything I was thinking before I joined SPD thrown back at me him and his little group was the main source. Even after I got my act straight and started to earn Tony’s and the others respect he was still making the snide little comments. Seemed like every time I turned around I was hearing ‘That was lucky human’ or ‘Why is the lowly human still here?’ or ‘It’s hard to eat this food with the human stench in the air’.”

“And they didn’t say anything?”,Ace asked.

“He was smart enough not to keep it to himself whenever anybody in charge was around. Tony and a few of the other said if I wanted to take a shot they make sure to look the other way.”

“I think I would have taken them upon it,” D.E. commented.

“I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction. So I decided to do the next best thing, I tried to one up him at everything. Every test, every exercise I did my damnedest to out do him. And he did the same just so he could put me in my place. Even during the final exam my goal was to outlast him. I didn’t care if I came in sixth and failed, just as long as he was seventh. They should have deleted his sorry ass as soon as they caught him,” he added without thinking.

“Captain,” Rev spoke up, “normally I wouldn’t question your state of mind. But taking into account your behavior and what you just told us I am afraid I must.” Michelle, Ace and D.E. started protesting while Dan remained quiet. “I take no pleasure in this, but as the medical officer I must voice my concerns. There is a potential the Captain may put his personal vendetta over the team well being.”

“That’s the most ridicules thing I ever heard,” Michelle told him.

“I agree with him,” Dan said suddenly. Michelle started to say something but he put up a hand to stop her. “I don’t know what I’m going to do when I see him, I don’t even know what I’m going to think. And the team’s safety has to come first. Ace you have the lead, I’m following you on this one.”

Nobody knew how to respond until Ace said, “Alright, here’s what we’re going to do. The fact you think you can’t be trusted in this situation tells me you’re still thinking straight and as far as I’m concerned can still be trusted. I’m going to follow you since you know this guy better than the rest of us.”

“I gave you command,” Dan stated

“I know, I just gave it back,” she said.

Turning to Michelle he asked, “Is there any way I can turn that into an insubordination charge?”

“What insubordination?”, Ace asked. “You gave me command and I made a decision.”

“Thanks Ace,” he said feeling grateful for the vote of confidence.

“Don’t thank me just yet,” she told him. “The moment I think you’re going off the deep end I’m yanking command back.”

“Fair enough,” he agreed. Rev seemed satisfied by the arrangement and turned back to his instruments. Now all Dan had to do was not majorly screw up their faith in him.

“Where is that idiot?”, Chatrox asked as he waited designated meeting place, a warehouse that was closed for the night. He was on time for the previous meeting and if he wanted one of the main ingredients for that stupid super steroid of his he better show up soon. If he had to reschedule the price was going to double, if he was in a generous mood and that was a long shot. A familiar feeling started to crawl down his spine. A feeling he learned to trust, something in the air was off. Perhaps it would be prudent to call it an early night. He turned to head back to his ship when he heard a snap that made him freeze.

“Going somewhere?”, a sickenly familiar voice said from the darkness.

“Stevens,” he growled as his eyes scanned everything around him. “I knew this day would come sooner or later. How did you find out about me? Who was dumb enough to talk? Or did you take some perverse pleasure in beating it out of them?”

“That would imply people where loyal to you to begin with,” he shot back. “Then again the Alienizers never seemed that loyal of a bunch to begin with. You fit right in don’t you?”

“Fitting in, that’s funny coming form you Stevens. How you rushed to fit in on Nagaus 7 with your human ideals and beliefs and all so mighty attitude. I was surprised so many swallowed your act, but I knew better. I knew you still believed you were better than everyone there.”

”No, but I knew I was better than you.” Chatrox turned around and saw him in his black and red Dekasuit and found himself staring down the barrel of the D-Colt. “Any day of the week.”

“I’m surprised you didn’t shot me from behind when you had the chance.”

“That’s your style not mine.”

“Then you should be very thankful for the late Waven,” Chatrox informed him. “Because if it wasn’t for him I would have sliced your throat open while you were hanging there. Without even thinking twice.”

Dan didn’t look moved but he did get in a verbal shot, “You seem to have a problem with finishing the job without getting caught.”

“Is this how you pictured this human? Me helpless and at your mercy with nobody around to witness your personal glory.”

“A, I know you’re not helpless and B, I’m not alone.” The other member of his infernal team came into view. Chatrox raised a scalely eyebrow slightly when he realized the yellow one wasn’t there, and this white one he’d never seen before was. “This ends now Chatrox. Ace, judge him.”

“You are right about one thing,” Chatrox spoke before she could do anything, “I am never helpless.” An Igadroid came out of nowhere and threw several grenades that formed a small battalion of Anaroids and Batsuroids. “We will meet again if you survive this Stevens. And I sincerely wish you don’t because I can not stand your stench for a second longer.”

Dan never took the D-Colt off him, “You’ll be seeing me sooner than you think. Now,” changing his aim he ended up shooting the Igadroid in the shoulder as his team tackled the other bots. Chatrox turned and walked away as Dan went after him. A couple of Ananroids blocked his pursuit, “Should have known.”

Michelle was too busy fighting off the bots to concentrate on hitting keypad on her forearm. When she could she hit in a five digit code and clapped her hands together, “Electro Charge,” and grabbed the heads of the closest Anaroid and Batsuroid. They stood in place shaking as the direct charge fried their processor. That bought her some room to maneuver and time to charge that attack up again. D.E shot at every bot he saw, and there was plenty at the moment. Ace and Rev stood back to back as they unlatched their D-Shots and fired away. At her command they started walking foreword and made a path through the bots. Ace grabbed her D-Shooter and tossed it over the crowd. D.E. jumped up and grabbed it. When he landed he fired in two directions. Dan fought off any of the bots that came at him. Reaching into his pack he spun and jammed his D-Knife into the neck of a Batsuroid. Turning the D-Colt sideways and hitting the switch he moved his arm in a sweeping motion as three shots fired out, each hitting an Anaroid. Rev jumped up and landed on top of a Batsuroid that was coming up behind Dan.

Dan looked over the area when he got a chance and saw Chatrox calmly walking into the warehouse. “Chatrox!”, he shouted as he ran after him.

“Michelle go with him,” Ace said as she saw him leave and saw where everybody else was. Michelle looked at the remaining bots and was unsure. “We got this,” Ace told her. “Go after them and back him up!”

“Right,” Michelle said and gave chase.

Dan kicked the door open and raised the D-Colt in front of him. Michelle caught up with him as he cautiously entered. Looking around he pointed to an upper level. “That might be an office. See if there some kind of master control in there. Maybe a security system too.”

“You’re not ditching me that easily,” she informed him.

“You can see everything from up there even without the cameras, now go.” Reluctantly she did so and he went further in, “Where are you?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” he answered but Dan couldn’t see him. But he sounded close.

“Why did you do it Chatrox?”, Dan asked hoping to get him talking again so he could figure out where he was. “Why did you sell out to the Alienizers?”

“Who says I sold out? For all you know I’m on a special assignment for…”, he started laughing. “Even I can’t say that lie with a straight face. But for why, the Alienizers offered me what I wanted, what I really wanted. Control, power and fearful looks from others. I got none of that in SPD.”

“Then why did you join?”

“Because I foolishly thought I would get that with the badge. How wrong I was. But I was willing to give it another chance when I was offered a spot in the Ops program. I figured my enhanced abilities would serve me well in a secret unit. Then I heard the same rhetoric from Mynx that I heard from my previous trainers and commanders and it made me sick. So I got in touch with my old contacts and offered the bases database.”

“Then you did tell them about Nagaus 7.”

“They weren’t interested at first. Why did they care about an infant program they didn’t consider much of a threat… at first. Then the black badges started making a name for themselves despite the fact nobody could locate any of them. Suddenly my information was very valuable. Not valuable enough to get me off this God forsaken backwater planet,” he said a little bitterly. Dan continued to search for the voice. “But it was worth it when I discovered the tiger had been sent out to control the situation. We both know well that turned out don’t we?”

“I already deleted Tony’s killer, do you think the guy who sent him there going to be much of a problem?”

“Over confident as always Stevens. Even if you realize you’re over classed. Or fail to realize you being lead into a trap.” An invisible punch rocked him as he turned around. “You don’t have the others around to protect you Stevens.” Dan thought he got the voice located and swung but got noting but air. He was knocked back with a kick to the chest. “You would not believe how I’ve dreamed of this moment.”

“Oh I can imagine, I wanted to bash your skull in every time you opened your mouth.” Catching a shimmering effect out of the corner of his eye he shot out his foot. He caught something, he could feel it. But it wasn’t flesh, it felt like that cloak he was wearing. Dan pulled out his D-Rod trying to widen his swing range. Then he was attacked from behind. Resisting the urge to strike behind him he waited, trying to cover as wide an area that his eyes could, trying to find even the smallest hint of that shimmering effect. His ears were starting to hurt as he listened for the faintest sound that would give him away. Then another attack came from right in front of him and wouldn’t let up. Dan tried to fight back but the D-Rod was knocked out of his hand. When it stopped he realized he was looking at his D-Colt hanging in the air in front of him.

“You dropped this,” Chatrox taunted and fired. Three shots hit Dan in the chest point blank. Then another three and another, Dan fell to the ground in pain as his Dekasuit flashed away. The D-colt was flung to the side. Dan pulled out his OpsLicense but it was kicked out of his hands, “No back up and no help for you Stevens.” A noise that sounded like a knife being drawn from it’s sheath could be heard and he started to crawl backwards away from it. “You are not so mighty now are you Stevens? Do you want to start begging for your life now or after I start cutting?”

“I studied your file after training,” Dan said suddenly. ”I was curious about how they could let somebody like you into SPD. There was a lot of Interesting information in the file Mynx let me look at. Like how you were part of a unit but always insisted on working alone. Maybe to hide your secondary job, I don’t know and really don’t care. But that bit of information told me one thing about you. You never saw the benefits in working with a team.” Dan tapped the sensor on the back of his right glove twice.

In the office Michelle got the signal and had already hacked into the computer and security systems and convinced it there was a raging fire on the floor below. As one the sprinklers came to life and Chatrox outline could be seen in the downpour. He realized this quickly and ran off. Dan got to his feet as quickly as he could to follow as he drew his SP-Shooter. Chatrox suddenly turned a corner and Dan lost track of him. Ignoring the downpour as best he could he looked for that outline. Even Michelle came out and searched the floor from her vantage point. By the crates, on top of the crates nothing appeared to be blocking the water. The he saw a small plank set across a couple of rows with a bunch of boxes stored on top forming an arch or some sort or a bridge. Looked like a dry spot too. Turning to go in the other direction he spun around and fired several wild shot under that bridge. One shot hit something low. “Ugh,” Chatrox stumbled backwards holding his leg and became visible again.

“Freeze Chatrox,” Dan kept his aim on the Chameleon as Michelle quickly tried to reach their position. Noticing one of his arms was still under the cloak he ordered, “Hands where I can see them.”

“I’ve studied you and your team as well. I’ve learned quite a few things.” With that he tossed something into the air. Before Dan could react it exploded in a blinding flash of light.

“Shit!” Dan cursed as he held his eyes and stepped backwards. He heard two set of footsteps, one coming toward him and one running away. Aiming at the fading set he fired away praying to god he hit the bastard.

Michelle reached him and tried to check his eyes, “How bad is it?”

“Never mind about me, get him.” When she didn’t budge he pushed her in Chatrox last direction, “Go! I’ll be fine.”

She did so and pulled her DataLicense out, “Ace he’s running outside!”

“I see him,” Ace said. “We’re in pursuit.”

“I’ll be joining you shortly.” Michelle risked turning her head back and saw Dan blinking to get his sight back before heading outside.

“Don’t let him get way!” Ace commanded as they chased after the limping Agent. He was able to make it to the tree line before they could get in range. By the time they got close to the trees an engine could be heard. A small craft emerged from the top of the trees and hovered there. “Fire!” she ordered as they took out their D-Shooters. The shots hit the hull with little pings but seemed to do little damage. Then it started to shimmer in an effect all of them knew. “He’s got a cloaking device. D.E. get back to the Shepard and try to pick up an energy reading. That cloak or those engines has to leave a trail we can follow.”

“On it,” D.E. said running. Ace heart dropped when she heard another sound she knew all too well. The sound of an engine leaving and quickly disappearing. He got away.

Dan sat there on the ground dripping as Ace continued to give him updates from the Shepard’s sensors. Rev gave him a clean bill of health a few minutes ago but wanted to run a few more test on his eyes when they got back, just as a precaution. Michelle came up and handed him a towel, “I found it in one of the equipment bins.”

“Thanks,” he said quietly and started rubbing it against his hair. After a few quiet moments she sat next to him and he asked, “Are you alright?”

“Why wouldn’t I be alright?”, she asked back. “I was the one in a Dekasuit the entire time.”

“I didn’t mean to be that rough with you in there.”

“That wasn’t rough. You gave an order and I didn’t follow it right away. Granted you try that when we’re not on an assignment and I’ll show you the meaning of rough,” she said smiling a little. He didn’t return it. “We’ll get him.”

“We had him,” he countered bitterly.

“And you didn’t kill him in cold blood when you had the chance,” she said. “It’s a small victory but I’ll take it.”

“You’re going to be the only one. The Major is going to blow his stack when he finds out he got away.”

“They made this guy an Agent. Everybody knows how tricky they are. Even the Major said so before we left.”

“Doesn’t take the taste out of my mouth.” Dan sat there before getting up. “Might as well get back and get this over with. Want to join me for a coffee later?”, he asked while holding out his hand.

“Love too,” she said as she took it. As they headed for the Shepard Dan’s eyes kept scanning the area. Part of him didn’t want to think he actually got away. Another part realized that paranoia could get him and the other killed if he wasn’t careful. And he would be damned before he gave Chatrox that satisfaction.

ED – Evanescence – Whisper
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Old May 29th, 2019, 12:57 PM #22
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Power Ranger
Joined: Dec 2012
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Power Ranger
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 382

Special Police DekaOps

OP – Alter Bridge – Metalingus

“You guys took on an Agent?”, Boomer said still a little stunned. D.E. had come over to his and Lisa’s new place to visit after they got back from their honeymoon. As they watched the game the subject about their last assignment came up. “Without me?”, he added sounding a little hurt.

“You were a little busy getting personal with your new wife,” D.E. told him. Lisa came in giving him a look. “Sorry, it was the nicest way I could think of saying it.”

“I’ll let it slide this time but think harder next time, or don’t say it at all for that matter,” Lisa said. “I’ve taken karate since I was five. I have a few moves so watch out in the future.”

“Trust me, they taught her a little too well,” Boomer said flexing his shoulder a little. “Never ask her to show you those moves.”

“You better not let Cap find out about that, he’ll triple your workout load,” D.E. joked.

“Was he upset that the Agent got away?”, Lisa asked. “Bobby said they’re nastier than the ones you usually get sent out after.”

“You could say that,” D.E. debated on telling him or letting Cap and the Major tell him. “Cap knew this guy, they were in the same program.” Lisa looked shocked while Boomer pushed for details. “The guy worked for SPD and the Alienizers at the same time. They caught him trying to hijack the computer database while Cap was in his training exercise. Cap took it a more than a little personal before we calmed him down.”

“I’m not sure I want to go back to base tomorrow now,” Boomer told him. “I remember what he was like after Mexico.”

“He didn’t look as ticked off as he was after we got fooled in Mexico. Everybody still gave him a pretty wide berth after we got back, even the Major. Michelle was the only one brave enough to get close enough to talk to him.”

“Well they’re a couple duh,” Boomer told him. “Speaking of which when are you going to get with somebody? I got Lisa, the Major married and Cap and Michelle are together. You’re like the only single guy on base. Well maybe Rev, did he ever say he could get married?”

D.E. laughed, “Ace was right, you couples do try to get single people together.”

“I did see you two dancing at our wedding,” Lisa said. “I thought you made a cute couple.”

“And he’s already jumping every time she says something,” Boomer joked.

“Lisa,” D.E. said. She smacked her husband in the back of the head. “I can see why she kept doing this, it’s kinda fun.”

“Boomer, welcome back,” the Major said before he got down to business. “And I’m afraid I have to send you and the others right back out.” D.E. gave him a jokingly dirty look before returning his attention to the Major. “Although we had some rather interesting assignments even I have to say this one is rather unusual.”

“How unusual?”, Dan had to ask.

“Earth weapons have been found being used on other planets,” Michelle answered.

“That’s pretty unusual.”

“But I’ve heard Earth being called a backwater planet a couple of times,” Ace spoke up. “So why are our weapons being used.”

“Because we are a little backwater in the weapon department,” the Major explained. “Even with the most basic of SPD weapons there’s a hint of an energy signature. And that makes them detectable in most cases. Earth weapons are still just a flying metal slug when you get down to it and it’s able to get past your basic scan. There’s apparently a pretty good size market out there for them.”

“Who would have guessed,” D.E. commented.

Michelle started talking again, “Since we usually try to find the weapons that are coming in it took us a bit to change gears and to see where they’re going out. And just in case there was any doubt I did pinpoint a possible location, Columbia. I was able to come across the occasional report of an alien who calls himself the Weaponeer and he has an unusual interest in Earth weaponry. So I would say that would be good starting point.”

“Never a doubt in my mind,” Dan said. “We got a target people, let’s check him out.”

The Machine Shepard landed in an open area in the middle of the jungle. Dan didn’t feel that splitting the team up was the best option in case this was the guy they were after. If he was than he’d have a small armory depending on the size of his HQ. Not to mention any off world weapons he may have purchased or brought with him. In this situation Dan wanted the full squad present when they located this guy. “Ace you got point, Boomer you got our backs,” Dan ordered.

“Rodger,” they replied and they headed off.

After they followed a particular trail for a while Boomer ended up asking, “Who names themselves the Weaponeer anyway?”

“I would assume someone who handles and is familiar with the uses of particular weapons,” Rev answered.

“Well obviously, bit’s a bit outlandish even by Alienizer standards. We’re talking comic bookish here.”

“Takes all kinds kid,” Dan told him. A small click made them stop and pull their weapons out. “Eyes on the perimeter,” Dan ordered.

“Guys,” Ace called out a sounding a bit shaky. They looked at her and saw she was frozen in place with a frightened look on her face. “I think I got a problem,” and she pointed at her foot.

D.E. checked under her feet and cursed under his breath, “Mine.” Reaching into his pack he pulled out a device with a disk underneath it and handed it to Dan. “It’s a mine detector,” he explained. “I was going to use it the closer we got to his base. I didn’t think we were going to need it this quick.”

“Don’t worry about it D.E., just do your magic,” Dan told him as he swung the detector around. He already got a couple of more hits.

“Easy there Ace,” D.E. said as he carefully got to his knees. “I’m just going to see what I’m dealing with.”

“Maybe she should activate her Dekasuit to be on the safe side,” Boomer offered.

“No,” D.E. said quickly. “These things are usually pressure sensitive. Any change of weight and it might go off.”

“Then you better activate your suit,” Ace told him

“And let you take the full brunt? What kind of man do you think I am? Now be as still as you possibly can.” Carefully he brushed away the dirt to see what he was dealing with, then he called out, “Cap.”

“Why are you calling for Cap?”, Ace asked nervously.

“Boomer,” Dan said and tossed him the mine Detector. “What is it D.E.?”

“Tell me that isn’t what I think it is.”

“Tell you what isn’t what?”, Ace demanded.

Dan knelt down and got a good look at the markings, “Oh shit, a Bouncing Betty.”

“What is a Bouncing Betty,” Rev inquired.

“An anti personal mine originally developed by Germany during WW2,” D.E. explained as he took out the appropriate tools. “There a small charge that shoots the primary charge up into the air before it explodes. Giving it a wider area of destruction.”

“Can you disarm it?”, Dan asked.

“It’s going to take me a mite longer, but as long as it isn’t enhanced by some alien tech I’m pretty sure I can do it.”

“That could be sweat running down the inside of my leg,” Ace told him, “but I’m pretty sure it could be something else.”

“Have some faith in me would ya?” He worked quietly for several minutes while Dan and the others watched helplessly and Ace prayed to whoever was listening at them moment. Finally he pulled back saying, “And just for the record that is sweat running down your leg. You can call me a pervert for looking after you take your foot off that thing.”

“Rev, Boomer fall back,” Dan ordered. “Just to be on the safe side.”

“If it doesn’t explode when she picks her foot up then we’re good right?”, Boomer asked

“Those things have a four second delay kid,” Dan told him. “They needed to give the person time to walk off it first.”

D.E. stayed with her as she slowly took her foot off the mine. Everybody counted to four. At five they all stayed very still. At six Ace looked over to D.E and wrapped her arms around his neck, “Oh thank you God.”

“I’m sure he heard you,” D.E. said as he hugged her back.

Dan ran over and put an arm around her shoulder, “That was a little more excitement than I needed today kiddo,” and he patted her shoulder. “D.E, good job,” he said as they bumped fists. “Listen up people change of plans. Boomer, give D.E. that scanner, he’s got point and Rev watch our backs. Stay in single file and everybody watch where you step.” They all complied and continued on while D.E drew a line in the dirt with his foot by every mine he came across.

“Hmm, this is interesting,” said a person in green fatigues. He looked human except for his red eyes and gill like slits on his neck. His motion sensors were going off while the thermals were picking up five new heat signatures, four humans and what looked like a Zalmanian. An aerial sensor net he bought from an Agent didn’t go off so they landed outside sensor range. He set the mine field just past the sensors so they were able to get past that. “Finally, somebody worthy to test these things on. It was getting so boring.”

There were several crates he had yet to open. He always liked to test out how these weapons would work before he sold him. Preferably on live targets for demonstration purposes. Usually the sale went faster if the buyer could see what kind of damage the weapon could cause. Rarely was he able to do so on anything human size. The locals kept away from this area and those brave or stupid enough to approach were usually dealt with by the mine field. Five targets was a unique treat so what to use? “I always wanted to see what one of those bazookas would do to a humanoid target,” he said to nobody in particular. His eyes fell upon a sniper rifle and he grinned, “Igadroid.”

“Yes sir,” it answered as it walked foreword.

“Is that program I installed working properly?”

“Yes it is. It is surprisingly compatible with my other programming. I was about to test it out.”

“Oh that is still the plan, but I have a new set of targets for you. I was paid very highly to develop that program and weapon modification. I want to see if he received his moneys worth.” The Igadroid fixed a specially made sensor piece over one of its eyes. Then it picked up a sniper rifle with a sensor package instead of a scope. The Weaponeer was still amazed nobody requested this before.

Dan and the other paid very close attention to their surrounds after they exited the mine field. He paid particularly close attention the ground for any tripwires, who knew what kind of surprises this guy had set up. “Cap,” Boomer called out, “I found something.” The other came to a stop as he checked it out. “It looks like a sensor. You think it’s for another trap?”

“D.E. and Ace already walked past it so I don’t think so.” Dan looked up at the tree and saw another one, it had to be a sensor net of some sort. “I think he knows we’re here.” Dan looked at Boomer and saw a red dot hovering around his chest. “Boomer!”, he acted out of instinct jumping in and pushing him out of the line of sight. A split second later a bullet hit him in the left shoulder, his arm now replaced with an overwhelming sensation of pain as he spun to the ground, “Argh!”

“Sniper!”, Ace shouted and they jumped for cover. Several more hit the ground with a puff of smoke and dust. “Anybody see where that came from?”

“I did,” D.E. answered. With some help from Boomer Rev was pulling Dan behind some trees as he held a hand over the gunshot wound, blood pouring through his fingers. Then Rev reached into Dan’s pack and took out the med kit inside. “I’m going for him,” D.E. announced.

“Be careful,” Ace told him.

He went off into a denser part of the jungle for some additional cover. Pulling out his OpsLicense he called out “Emergency! DekaOps!”. A brief blue digital flash and he was in his Dekasuit. Reaching into his backpack he assembled his sniper rifle on the run. Popping the clip in last he took position behind a fallen tree and took at aim at their attackers last known position. He was seeing nothing through the scope. Slowly sweeping the gun around he saw some movement that caught his attention, he saw an Igadroid. Then he realized it was looking right at him as well. Both of them waited a second to fire. The Igadroid’s bullet hit him in the shoulder causing him to pull back in pain, but relatively unhurt. His bullet pierced it’s exposed eye as it fell backwards to the ground. He checked to make sure that was the only one before heading back to the others.

When he arrived Rev was tightening a pressure bandage around Dan’s shoulder. “Ugh,” he grunted.

“How bad is it?”, D.E. asked.

“The bullet lodged in the bone,” Ace answered him. “Rev is going to get him back to the Shepard before removing it because he doesn’t want to do it in the open. But you, me and Boomer are going to continue the mission, Cap’s orders. So we are going to get the son of a bitch.”

“Do it legal,” Dan said through gritted teeth. “I find out otherwise and you won’t have to worry about the Major.” Rev put a hypospray to his neck and a small hiss came from it. Dan eyes glazed over slightly as he said, “That’s some good shit.”

“I administered a pain killer,” Rev explained. “It should make him a little more comfortable until I can get him back to the Shepard.”

“I’ll help,” Boomer offered.”

“I can handle it Robert,” Rev assured him. “And you have your orders.”

“Take the mine detector,” D.E. said. “I wouldn’t put it past this guy to circle around and erase some of my marks.” Rev took it and got under Dan’s good arm to help him to his feet. They watched as the two of them headed back.

“You heard Cap,” Ace said, “We got a job to do. Let’s make him proud.”

The compound wasn’t that far from where they were ambushed. The Weaponeer had a great seat for the show so far. Time for a really good finale. Cautiously they approached the series of tents only to find the target in plain sight looking like he was expecting them. “Ah there you are,” he greeted them. “I’m surprised three of you made it. I’m even more surprised all of you are still alive, if not wounded.”

“Weaponeer,” Ace stepped forward, “you are under arrest.”

“You,” he pointed at D.E., “the blue one. That was one incredible shot back there. I may have a job for you if you want it.”

“In case you didn’t hear the lady, you’re under arrest,” D.E. told him.

“Oh I heard her perfectly,” he told him. “I was just thinking of that saying you have on this planet. It’s not over until the fat lady sings.” The Weaponeer tossed something at them and they were surrounded by a barrier field.

Ace and Boomer drew their License, “Emergency! DekaOps!”. As their suits formed around them D.E. pulled out his D-Shooter and started shooting the barrier to weaken it faster. Ace and Boomer joined in and it went down in seconds. “Spread out,” Ace ordered, “he couldn’t have gotten far.”

They heard his voice come from somewhere, “Pity, I was hoping to see those shotguns of yours in action, what do you call them again…D-Shots?”

“Oh you’ll be seeing them soon enough,” Boomer said softly.

“Don’t get distracted,” Ace chided him. “D.E. can you tell what he has here?”

“The stuff I can see is marked from Earth. But that Malkarian Barrier says he has some outside weapons too.”

“Ah a fellow connoisseur,” The Weaponeer sounded impressed. “What do you know about it?”

“It’s mainly used for security, designed to last just long enough for the intended target to get away.”

“If you weren’t trying to delete me I would like to sit down and talk shop. I rarely get the chance to do so with anybody who actually knows the merchandise. Usually it’s ‘What will this do?’ or ‘Will this cause a lots of damage?’. It does get a bit tedious at times.”

“And your Igadroid shot my friend,” D.E. said. He didn’t want to give the Alienizer the satisfaction in knowing the team leader was taken off the field. “So I’m not exactly inclined to talk shop at the moment.”

“Pity,” the Weaponeer said, “but perhaps you’ll enjoy this other device I have of Malkarian design, a heavy repeater rifle.” The Weaponeer jumped out from one of the tents with a large gun looking device hanging from his shoulder and let loose a stream of energy bolts at them. They had to scramble to avoid getting hit. “My, that was rather exhilarating.”

“Let’s give him what he wants,” Ace said. They unlatched their D-Shots and tried to return fire. The Weaponeer quickly stopped that plan with another sweep. “D.E., Boomer try to flank him.” Almost on cue he pressed a remote button on his belt and several more barriers went up around the compound, making sure they only had one avenue of attack him from, straight into his firing range. “He’s making sure we play by his rules. D.E. can you get through those too?”

“I get the feeling those are going to be a tad stronger than that security barrier he threw at us,” he answered.

“How about we use a loophole in the rulebook?”, Boomer said suddenly. Reaching into his backpack he pulled out a grenade and threw it. It landed a few feet away from the target and went off, not in a flash of light but an eardrum busting short range percussion wave that made the Weaponeer grab his head from the pain.

“Now!”, Ace yelled as they ran in. The Weaponeer tried to aim but they were already in the D-Shot effective range. Aiming low they fired, a couple of the shot hitting the repeater rifle. It sparked a bit and the Weaponeer dropped it and ran into another tent. Grabbing a semi-automatic pistol off one of the crates he turned around and it was shot out of his hand. D.E. stood inside of the tent with his D-Shooter pointed at the Alienizer as Ace and Boomer entered.

The Weaponeer held his hand and studied the D-Shooter, “It took a lot of rounds to take down that barrier. How many shots do you have left?”

“Just used my last one,” D.E. answered. “All I needed.” Holstering the D-Shooter he grabbed his OpsLicense and switched it to Judge, “Target Orders.” The area went black as a red X and blue circle flashed between them. After a minute the red X shined, “Eliminate target.” They locked their Licenses into the D-Shot and stood in a line, “Strikeout!”. In moments the Weaponeer was deleted, “Got ya.”

“As Cap would say the job not over yet,” Ace said. “That guy had to have a computer around here somewhere. D.E. check the other tents and the surrounding area for any other surprises. We’ll search in here.”

“Rodger,” he replied. Leaving the tent he walked over to the repeater rifle and looked at it for a moment, “I always wanted to take one of these apart.” The computer was found soon enough and they marked the area on a map so SPD could give to the local authorities to take care of, and offer some help if it was wanted. When they arrived back at the Shepard Rev was finished taking the bullet out of Dan shoulder and he was resting comfortably and strapped in for the trip home.

While Dan slowly woke up he realized he was in the Med section by the alien antiseptic smell in his nose and that he wasn’t alone. Opening his eyes he saw Michelle, Rev, the Major and the others standing nearby watching him closely. Groggily he said, “What, you guys never seen a guy wake up before?” , and he tried to sit up. A new wave of pain from his shoulder reminded him why that wasn’t a good idea, “Ugh.”

“Captain you are still recovering from your operation,” Rev said as he put a hand on his chest and gently pushed him back down. “I must insist you lay down. Also the Major requested I save this for you after I had removed it from your shoulder,” he held up a small container with a metal slug inside.

Dan took it and studied for a moment, “I’ll add it to the collection.”

“Yeah I really don’t want to see that collection, “Michelle said.

“I’m assuming we got him?”, Dan asked while looking at Ace.

“We got him and his computer files,” she told him. He gave them a thumbs up.

“How you feeling Cap?”, Boomer asked.

“A little woozy. I don’t now what Rev hit me with but it’s some good…”

“No offence Cap,” D.E. interrupted, “but you already told us that.”

“I’m afraid I must cut this visit short,” Rev announced. “The Captain needs his rest.”

“Rev outranks me in here,” the Major said. “So let’s follow doctor’s orders.”

They said their goodbyes as they left. Michelle hung back to say, “I’ll bring you some dinner later. And if you’re a good boy for Rev I’ll feed it to you as well,” she grinned before leaning in and kissing him. “Love you.”

“Love you too,” Dan told her.

“You still must be under the influence of that shot Rev gave you, you just told me you loved me in front of everybody,” she joked.

Out in the hallway the Major said, ”D.E. hold up for a second.”

“What is it Major?”

“I wanted you to know I pulled a few strings and that repeater rifle you guys went up against should be here in the morning.” D.E. was speechless at that news. “I think it because it was damage in the battle was the reason why I was able to get it so easily. Ace and Boomer overheard you say you wanted to take one apart so now’s your chance.”

“Thank you,” he said still stunned. “But why? You never did it before.”

“Officially, I want you to as well informed as possible about any and all weapons out there. You can learn form a book or data file, but as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing better than some hands on experience.” He started grinning, “Unofficially, you saved Ace’s skin and took out the droid that winged Dan. So it was either that or give you a pay raise. And as my wife keeps telling me I’m a cheap bastard. So enjoy your new toy.” The Major clapped him on the shoulder and walked off. D.E. stood there rubbing his hands together in anticipation. He didn’t do what he did to get a reward, it never even entered his mind. But there was no way in hell he was going to turn down this opportunity.

ED – Evanescence – Whisper
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Old June 3rd, 2019, 03:38 PM #23
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 382

Special Police DekaOps

OP – Alter Bridge – Metalingus

Major Pierce waited patiently for them to enter the command center. Dan was still on the injured list so it was a little strange not to see him with the others as they lined up. Ace even looked over to empty space he usually occupied. She looked very much aware that she was the one in charge for this one. Pierce hoped she wasn’t dwelling about the first time she was forced to take lead on a mission. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a situation in New Mexico.”

Michelle activated the screen, “Sensors have been picking up some strange reading underground in this area. There is no report of any previous seismic activity or any kind of mining operation now or ever.”

“So what is it then?”, Ace asked.

“We’re not exactly sure,” the Major admitted. “Based on these reading Command thinks it might be this individual,” he nodded to Michelle who pulled up an image of a hefty looking mole-sejin wearing heavy coveralls goggles with lenses that were heavily shaded that covered his eyes. “This is, and I’m not joking here, Blinky. He specializes in the extraction of items that are underground, usually those that belong to somebody else.”

“Is there anything out there that he might be after?”, D.E. asked. “An underground government facility or something?”

“There nothing out there that I can tell,” Michelle answered. “I even hacked a few unofficial government agencies computers and found nothing.” The Major shot her a look. “Won’t happen again, I swear.”

Still looking at her for a moment he turned to them, “At any rate Command wants you to head down there and see if it is Blinky, and if it is find out what he’s after.”

“We should be able to handle this with just the four of us,” Ace assured him.

“We should go with a full squad just in case,” Dan said surprising all of them. “Nobody knows what he’s after and you guys might need the extra fire power.” He walked foreword holding the sling in his hand. “Or at least an extra set of eyes.”

“Captain I have not cleared you for active duty yet,” Rev told him sternly.

“I’m well enough for this one,” he told him. “It’s a simple mission, I won’t be that much of a burden.”

“No offence Cap,” Ace spoke up, “but if things get heavy I don’t want to have to worry about you and your injury in the middle of things.”

“I’m nearly healed,” he argued. “Rev just has me wearing this thing as safety precaution. I don’t really need it.” Dan didn’t see Michelle get next to him until she grabbed his left arm. Without warning she quickly raised it up. He couldn’t stop from grunting in pain and grabbing his arm.

“Nice try Dan,” the Major told him, “But until Rev gives me the ok you’re staying here with the rest of us.”

“Ah Major,” Michelle spoke up, “I agree with Cap’s assessment that a full unit should be deployed for this assignment. And seeing how this is a special situation I volunteer to take his place for this one.”

He nodded, “Dan did say he wanted you in the field more often so you could gel with the rest of the team a little better. And this does look like the perfect opportunity so permission granted.”

“Sorry I had to hurt you like that Dan,” Michelle said as she helped him put the sling back on, “but somebody has to make sure you don’t reinjure yourself.”

Dan rubbed his arm again, “With friends like you who needs enemies?”

“Don’t pout.” She gave him a quick kiss in the cheek, “I’ll bring you back something nice.”

“If there’s nothing else, head out,” Pierce ordered.

“Rodger,” they replied. Ace leaned over to Michelle as the others headed for the ready room, “You just wanted to get out of here didn’t you?”

“Shh,” she joked with a smile. Ace started to look apprehensive as she approached the door.

“Ace,” Dan called out, “remember, what happened with Waven was a fluke. You’re more than capable in handling this.”

With a grateful smile she said, “Thanks Cap,” and headed for the door.

“Ace,” he called out again to stop her, “This mission isn’t a silent op, so if you need an outside opinion on anything don’t hesitate to call in.”

Raising an eyebrow slightly she replied, “Right Cap.”

“Ace,” he said for the third time.

She turned around and went, “If anything happens to Michelle give my heart to God because my ass belongs to you, I got it.”

His eyes going wide as she left the room he quickly said, “I wasn’t going to say that!” The Major started laughing, “I wasn’t going to say that.”

“No but you were thinking it,” he said.

“Stuff it,” he purposely waited a few seconds before adding, “sir.” Pierce continued laughing as he left the room. Not sure what else to do Dan took Michelle’s chair at the consol. “So this is what a fifth wheel feels like.”

Ace had to keep reminding herself that Michelle was with then because every time she turned her head she was expecting Cap to be sitting there. The other were doing it too, it was so weird to see somebody else in his chair. “So how is it?”, she ended up asking.

“A lot more comfortable than Boomer’s chair surprisingly enough,” she answered.

“I don’t see why,” D.E. spoke up, “We all have the same one,”

“It’s possible it’s in my head because it’s his seat,” she theorized.

“A possibility,” Rev agreed.

“I’m not picking up any stray signals to or from the area,” Boomer announced. “If Blinky’s there he’s running silent. And I can’t believe I just said that out loud.”

“Onboard sensors are picking that seismic reading again,” Michelle said reading the data off of Dan’s screen. “Something’s there if it’s not Blinky.”

“We’ll find out soon enough, preparing to land and get ready for a hike,” Ace announced. A few minutes later the Machine Shepard touched down and Ace powered down the engines. “Any life signs out there.”

“I am registering something,” Rev replied. “Humaniod, underground that’s all I can tell at the moment. I am having a hard time getting a clear reading.”

“I think I see why,” D.E. said. “I’m getting some kind of stray energy reading, look like it’s underground too.”

Ace looked over to Michelle, “You sure it’s not a government facility or something.”

“Positive,” she answered.

“Right, all right I want this done by the numbers. We find out what the sensors are picking up and take it out if we have too. Rev if we have to go underground I want you to take point with that super hearing of yours.”

“Rodger,” he answered.

“Let’s get going people,” Ace told them as she got up. “The faster we get this done the faster we get to head back and rub it into Cap’s face that we didn’t need him.” Rev looked confused as Boomer and D.E. bumped fist.

Boomer held back a bit as the other headed for the ramp. Checking to make sure nobody was looking he jumped into Cap’s chair, “Hey.”

Chatrox waited as patiently as he could by a particularly large hole, the hood of his cloak pulled over his head as far as possible. Despite the fact he was in the middle of nowhere with no one else around he despised being out in the open like this. He was reminded of an ambush he found himself in the middle of back when he was in SPD. And none of the bottom feeders in charge knew where his true allegiance was. But Chatrox didn’t complain, it was one of the few situations where he could cut loose while wearing the badge and not get reprimanded for it. In fact the idiots actually gave him a medal. Still at the time he questioned his own odds at surviving the encounter and was in no rush to repeat the experience.

A cough put him on his guard as he looked at the hole. Moments later Blinky came trudging out of the hole brushing the dirt off of him. With a laser drill rid strapped to his chest he looked at the Agent. Chatrox thought he saw the mole-sejin eyes blink behind those dark shaded goggles. “Well howdy there Agent. What are you doing around these parts?”

“It’s certainly not for the company,” he sneered. “What’s the status of the target?”

“It’s not here.” He answered.

“What?!”, Chatrox felt his cold blood throb in his head. “It has to be here. The coordinates were calculated precisely to this area of this backwater planet.”

“Now I don’t know anything about any fancy calculating but it’s not here.” He produced a data pad from his coverall, “I’ve been over, under and around this spot and outside of some terran bones there ain’t nothing here. If I had my say about thing then I say this was a wild mynock chase.”

Chatrox studied the pad in his hands for a moment. Reaching out he took it and flipped it over and put it back into his hands. “Try reading the map right side up this time around.”

Blinky started rubbing his head, “Well that’s mite embarrassing.”

“We are both getting paid a large amount for finding this item,” the Agent reminded him. “I suggest you do your job a little more competently.”

“And I’ve been doing line of work before you were even hatched son,” Blinky shot back. “Besides I don’t see you strapping a rig on and looking for it.”

“I am only here to provide security,” Chatrox told him, “outside of the finders few I am receiving for the job. Security, might I add, you refuse to take.”

“You mean those fancy robots you whipper snappers are using now a days,” he waved them off. “Those things just get in my way. Besides I don’t trust anything smarter than a toaster. I wouldn’t even be using this contraption,” he patted the rig, “if some of my clients didn’t insist on a hasty delivery. I tell ya kid there’s nothing like breaking through the ground with a shovel and a pick axe.”

“How quaint,” Chatrox snorted. “I don’t care how you do it, just get the job done.” He turned around and faded from sight. Blinky adjusted his goggles as he read the righted map. Walking about five yards to his left he adjusted some of the dials in the rig. A huge laser beam hit the ground while a smaller beam spun around the larger on to assist in “digging” the hole.

“Ok we are officially lost,” Boomer said after their current search pattern continued to find nothing. “That’s like the fifth time we passed that rock.”

“It’s just the heat affecting you,” D.E. told him. “Right Rev? Wait I forgot, this is a warm summer night to you right?”

“Indeed it is Terry,” the alien answered. “This type of temperature is similar to my spring.”

“Once again I am not visiting your planet,” Boomer told him.

“Any luck on that life sign reading Rev?”, Ace asked trying to get them back on the mission.

“Nothing positive as of yet Trish,” Rev replied. I am still getting some kind of interference in from the area. It’s keeping me from getting an exact reading.”

“I’m getting it too,” D.E. announced. “I can’t even get an exact lock on the Shepard and I can see where we parked it. It seems to be getting stronger the closer we get to it. I’m still trying to figure out what it is so I can help Rev.”

“Let me have a go,” Michelle said as she turned around and held out a hand. “If I can’t figure it out nobody can.” D.E. handed her the scanner and she worked on it a bit. “I think I have an idea, Rev let me see your scanner.” He complied and she started reworking the settings while occasionally taking a look back at the one in her hand. “That should help out a little. I readjusted the sensitivity level based on the interference. It won’t give us an exact reading but it should narrow down the search.”

“Ah,” Rev proclaimed as he checked the readings, “that is a marked improvement, thank you Michelle.”

“I would have thought of that,” D.E. said, “eventually.”

“I’m sure you would have D.E.,” Michelle assured him, “just trying prove my worth.”

“We told you all along you’re part of this team Michelle,” Ace told her. A few seconds later her License started to beep, “Gee, I wonder who this could be?”

“Took him longer than I thought it would,” Michelle laughed.

“OpsBase to Ops5,” Dan called over the link.

“Michelle’s fine Cap, no need to check in,” Ace told him.

There was a small, short curse only Rev heard before Dan continued, “I think I know what’s out there. I was going over some of the more recent reports and came across one about an Andromeda war cruiser that exploded from a core breach about halfway between Earth and Mars sometime last month. That cruiser was apparently carrying low yield Nova class warheads.”

“Define low yield,” Boomer asked.

“If this report is right we’re talking about a creator the size of New York City.”

“Sounds about right,” D.E. commented.

“I played a hunch and looked over the orbital readings for the past couple of weeks. The SpaceBase marked down what they identified as an asteroid impact close top where you’re located. One of the tech guys around here helped me plot a projection of the asteroids path. And based on what he did it looks like it came from the same area the war cruiser. Nothing concrete but it’s a good chance it’s the same thing.”

D.E. half listened to what Cap was saying as he adjusted something on his scanner. Grinning ear to ear he said, “And we got an exact read out. Nova class warheads emit a unique form of interference that purposely screws with scanners that makes them harder to lock on to and shoot down.”

Michelle looked over at Ace, “That’s why he’s the weapon expert.”

“Cap,” Ace spoke up, “is the warhead active?”

“All the information about this particular warhead is coming up as classified so I’m taking that as a yes.”

“So we have a possible active warhead and an Alienizer trying to dig it up,” Ace stated. “And I thought this day was going to be boring.”

“Listen, all of you be careful,” Dan told them. “OpsBase out.”

Closing her License Ace looked at D.E. and Boomer, “If worse came to worse to you think you…”, she trailed off a bit.

“With Boomer helping me out I’m pretty sure we can do it,” he answered.

“No offence D.E. but I don’t think ‘pretty sure’ is going to be good enough.” He nodded in agreement.

Michelle held Ace back a bit as the boys continued one before saying, “Would Dan be that blunt?”

“I’m not Cap,” she answered, “and he told me not to be him.”

Grunting Blinky was pulling the warhead out if the ground. He should have asked that Agent for a trolley or something to get this out of here. Then again he’d probably insist on using those blasted machines. That’s the problem with the young un’ now a days, no taste for some honest work. With one final tug the warhead was cleared from the hole. “Now what did I do with that blasted communicator,” he muttered as he checked his pockets.

“Looking for something?”, a female voice called out. Blinky turned around and saw five individuals dressed in black, four with a colored star on their right shoulder. He focused on the black badges on their chest and gulped. “Blinky, step away from the warhead,” Ace commanded, “and you are under arrest for theft in several sectors.”

“I guess you youngsters got me,” The mole said then quietly hit a switch on the rig. The small laser popped up and started to spin. He swung his body around to create a wide firing arc to make them fall back. “Take that you whipper snappers!”

“Change standby!”, Ace called out. “Emergency! DekaOps!”

“Emergency! DekaData!”, Michelle joined in.

Each one was surrounded by a digital field as the Dekametal formed around them and created the Dekasuits. “Face on!”, they shouted and the Dekametal formed the helmets around their heads. “Special Police,” Ace said and the lights on their helmets started to flash. Together they said, “DekaOps!”

“Eat dirt!”, Blinky shouted as he waved the laser around.

Rev went for his D-Shooter. “No guns,” Ace told him, “we can’t risk hitting the warhead.” Reaching into her pack she pulled out her D-Rod, “Try to flank him.”

“Easier said than done,” D.E. commented. The next several moments dealt with Blinky using the rig to hold them back. For a mole that big he was pretty fast on the draw, every time one of them saw an opening he quickly closed it. Rev tried to jump over the beam but the mole backed up quickly and nailed him with the beam. His suit sparked from the impact but it help up. D.E. used the moment to roll foreword and jam his D-Knife into the laser’s track forcing it to stop spinning. Ace ran in with her D-Rod glowing and sliced the laser off. Michelle and Boomer rushed in and kicked him back. What they weren’t expecting was Blinky falling back and hitting the warhead. Part of it started blinking and all of them stopped and stared at it.

“Oh shit,” Ace muttered.

“I don’t think that’s good y’all so I’ll be seeing ya,” Blinky announced as he got up and ran out of there.

“Boomer, D.E.,” Ace quickly said.

“We got it,” D.E. told her. “Rev we could use an extra set of hands.”

“Right, Michelle we got the mole,” Ace said as she started running after him.

“You got it,” Michelle replied.

Boomer tossed D.E. a screwdriver and they started on the bolts that held down a panel below the blinking light. “I have never worked on an explosive device before,” Rev told them.

“It’s just like operating on a person,” D.E. informed him. “You got to know where to cut and where not to cut.”

“Except when the patient dies you die with him,” Boomer added.

D.E. glanced up at him, “I wasn’t going to tell him that.”

“My bad,” Boomer said as they took off the panel.

“I am fully aware of the dangers of the situation Terry,” Rev said.

“Well, if it helps you any think of it as you’re our nurse this time around.”

Ace and Michelle had a hard time keeping up with Blinky. Suddenly he whipped round and activated the rig’s big laser. They jumped to the side, neither wanting to test the Dekametal against that. The beam started to sputter and disappeared. “Stupid contraption,’ Blinky said as he started slapping the rig.

“Go!”, Ace yelled as both of them got to their feet and ran in again.

Blinky got the beam working again and Michelle raised her left arm up and ran her finger down the first row of keys on the keypad. “Barrier shield!”, she shouted as she spread her arms wide. The beam from the rig hit the energy shield and Michelle was forced to take several steps back but refused to fall down. Ace ran up behind her, jumped up and leaped off her shoulder. Blinky looked up in surprise as she pulled her D-Shooter and shot the rig several times. The beam died down and the shield faded away. Michelle pulled out her DataLicense and switched it to Judgment, “Target orders.”

“Now what a second darlin’”, Blinky started as the area went dark. A red X and blue circle started flashing between them as the mole was scanned. After a minute the red X shined brightly.

“Eliminate target,” Michelle said. Punching a code she went to a knee as the cyclindars on her back swung up and pointed straight ahead. Ace got her D-Shot ready and stood behind her. Michelle hit the trigger on the cannons, “DataBlast!”

Ace pulled the trigger, “Strikeout!”. Seconds later Blinky was deleted, “Got you.”

“Who needs Dan?”, Michelle said as she raised a hand. Ace looked at her. “After they defuse the warhead, right.”

At that moment D.E. and Boomer were both elbow deep in the guts of the warhead. “I see the detonator,” Boomer announced. After a few seconds he said, “Damn it, I was afraid of that.”

“Did they modify it?”, D.E. asked already knowing the answer.

“Afraid so.”

“That is bad correct?”, Rev asked.

“Just makes it a little more difficult,” D.E. told him. “And Boomer don’t add anything.”

“I don’t have time. D.E. do you recognize what they did to this thing?”. Boomer moved aside slightly so D.E. could get a better look. “Those three circle lights.”

“I see them. Yeah I know what that is. It’s going to be easy if I can reach it.” D.E. reached in and struggled for a few moments, “No good, my hand won’t fit in that opening.”

“If yours won’t fit than my definitely won’t,” Boomer told him. “Rev your hands are pretty small compared to ours you give it a go.”

“I don’t know…,” he began.

“I’ll walk you through it,” D.E. assured him. “The middle light is the main part from the look of things.”

“It is,” Boomer agreed using a mirror. “I’m not seeing any wires connecting the other two.

“See if you can reach in Rev.”

Rev cautiously put his hand in, “I am touching the light.”

“Good, now do exactly like I say. Take a hold of the middle light and slowly and gently pull it out.” Rev nodded began to pull. After three inches of it was exposed D.E. said, “Stop. Now twist it ninety degrees counter clockwise. Now slowly push it back in.” It went in with a click that made them all flinch.

Boomer announced, “The light stopped blinking and we’re still here. And Rev just defused his first bomb.”

“A rush and a half ain’t it buddy?”, D.E. asked.

“Quite exhilarating,” Rev answered, “and quite nerve racking. “

“Now we can celebrate,” Ace said after they watched the whole thing in silence. The boys watched as the girls high fived each other.

“This was some experience,” D.E. said to Boomer.

“Yeah,” he agreed. “But it might be something we need to practice every once in a while, just in case.” Both of them looked at Ace.

Putting a hand on her hip she said, “We are not keeping the warhead.”

“The Major let me keep the repeater,” D.E. argued.

“The repeater isn’t going to blow up the base,” she shot back.

Michelle came out of her quarters to find Dan waiting for her in the hallway, “How long have you been standing out here?”

“Not long,” he said. “Want to go get some dinner?”

“Love too,” she said as she took his good arm. “I just have to know, what made you think to look at the reports?”

“Honestly, I was bored out of my mind,” he answered and made her laugh. “I don’t know how you do it every time we go out on a mission.”

“It helps when I think of the tight outfit my boyfriend ends up wearing,” she said with a wicked smile.

“Hey now, keep it clean,” he told her. “Speaking of reports, I read in Ace’s you had a slight disagreement with her command style.”

“It wasn’t a disagreement,” she corrected him. “I just didn’t think she should have said that in front of D.E.. Do you think it’s going to be a problem between them?”

“I already talked to both of them about it,” Dan said, “and he had no problem with it. He told me she was just voicing what was already going through his head.”

“Would you have said anything?”, she asked.

“Me personally, no, but I’ll be honest with you. I know D.E. and Boomer a two of the best, but when I read the words Nova class warhead I had a few doubts pop in. And I’m not going to say anything more to Ace about it either. She has her command style and I have mine.”

“It just seemed off to me,” Michelle admitted.

“It something you better get used to when you go out on more missions,” Dan told her. “Especially when Ace is the one in command. Speaking of more missions,” Dan said with a hint of a smile as they walked into the cafeteria. The Major, Ace, D.E, Boomer and Rev all looked like they were waiting for them.

“What’s going on?”, Michelle asked.

“Dan and myself had a very interesting conversation while you were gone,” The Major said. “And just to be fair I decided to include these four in that discussion. Dan if you would do the honors.”

“Michelle,” he started as he stood in front of her, “we have told you almost from the beginning that you are part of this team. And we decided that it was about time we made that official. Ace,” she came foreword and revealed the white star she was hiding behind her back.

“You don’t have to do this,” Michelle said stunned.

“Oh yes we did,” Boomer said grinning.

“Special situations or not you are one of us,” Ace told her, “it’s about time you started looking the part.”

“I for one say it’s about time,” D.E. agreed.

“Congratulations Michelle,” Rev added with a nod.

“You’re in it deep now,” Dan told her, “and there’s no way to get out of it.” Michelle hugged him suddenly, “Watch the arm.”

“Sorry,” she said as she stepped back. Dan took her lab coat as Ace pinned the star on her right sleeve. Dan gave her a quick kiss on the cheek then she said, “I don’t know what to say.”

“Say it’s party time,” Pierce said. “We didn’t set all of this up for nothing.”

“I’ll drink to that,” Ace said as she grabbed a beer. Dan quickly took it out of her hand, “Hey!”

“You’re not even twenty-one yet,” he informed her. Then he opened the can for himself.

“Oh come one.”

Michelle looked at the star on her arm still stunned. She’s been part of this since the beginning and never complained. But right now she felt like she really was one of the team, and she hasn’t been prouder of anything in her life.

ED – Evanescence – Whisper
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Old June 6th, 2019, 11:53 AM #24
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Hey Bro It’s me BEE from Toku Asia. I think I remember you posting this on that site. I always wondered are all your fanfics set in the same universe?
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Old June 6th, 2019, 07:05 PM #25
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Hey man, long time. And no, they're all separate universes.
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Old June 7th, 2019, 03:42 PM #26
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Special Police DekaOps

OP – Alter Bridge – Metalingus

As much as he hated this planet, Chatrox was amazed at how many place there were for a person to hide. A faint light coming from deep inside a cave was the only hint somebody was inside. Even then he had to look for it as it was well hidden behind the brushes that were growing deep in the middle of the woods. So far the stories he had been hearing had been true. Now if it was really him. Turning invisible he made his way inside. His initial concern was tripping some sort of booby trap, but if it was him that would be the least of his worries.

He found the source of the light in an inner chamber. The light itself was a rounder older style interior light found on most cargo ships, and it was hooked up to a rather modern looking generator. Dressed in rags and kneeling before it was red skinned humanoid. His right eye and most of that side of his face along with his right arm was cybernetic. Any doubt Chatrox had about it being him quickly disappeared. But instead of feeling joyful he found himself being very afraid. A fear that grew when the person’s head turned to face him, that cybernetic eye focusing right at him. “Leave now,” the person ordered.

Seeing no point in hiding he turned visible and kept a tight grip of the handle of his knife under his cloak, “Nax, the most wanted assassin in the known universe.”

He turned back to the lamp, “That life is behind me now.”

Chatrox cautiously circled around him, “The bosses didn’t know where you disappeared to. Rumors have started to spread that you were devoured by a black hole.

“I started that rumor,” he said plainly. “It started out as an explosion on my ship and grew from there. Now leave me alone.”

Again the Agent didn’t obey, “But to hide out on the most Deka infested planet in the known galaxy. That takes a special type of madness.”

“Much like the type of madness that is keeping you here,” Nax said adding a dangerous edge to his voice. To prove his point he added, “Do you really thing that knife or that device strapped to your chest is really going to help you?”

Chatrox let go of the handle and drew his cloak tighter around him, “Why did you run and hide Nax?”

“I didn’t run,” he replied without any emotion. “I got tired of that life, death after death after death.”

“So you had a spiritual awakening and realized what you were doing was wrong,” Chatrox taunted, realizing the dangerous game he was playing.

“I had an epiphany that the last death would be my own if I stayed in that life.”

“Is the assassin afraid to die?”

“I am afraid of the unknown.”

“Perhaps you should be afraid of the bosses,” Chatrox told him. “No ones truly leaves this life Nax. Not of their own violation. The moment you disappeared and nobody could find any proof that SPD eliminated you there was a very large price placed on your head.”

“And you are here to collect?”, that edge returned to his voice.

“I am an Agent, not an assassin.” Nax bristled and looked like he was about to strike out. “But I am willing to forget I ever saw you.”

“And I can kill you now and not worry about paying you,” Nax threatened.

Chatrox opened his cloak to reveal the device on his chest. “This sends my bio-reading to my personal Igadroid. If those reading ever stop he his to transmit my current location and the reason why I am here on all frequencies. Every Alienizer on the planet will know where you are. And I’m sure more than one will be looking to collect on that bounty.”

“How much do you want?”, he demanded, cybernetic finger twitching.

“You don’t seem to have much,” he commented while looking around. “So I am not looking for money. I want somebody eliminated.” He threw a disk on the ground. An image of a human with short blond hair wearing a black uniform with a red star on his right shoulder hovered above it. “I had a plan in place to eliminate him personally then I started hearing the rumors about you being here. I just couldn’t resist.”

“Who is he?”

Chatrox grinned, “His name is Stevens, and he is a black badge that been a thorn in my side for far too long.”

Nax looked curious, “Black badge? Since when has there been a black badges?”

“Ah yes,” Chatrox remembered, “the black badges came into prominence shortly after you disappeared. Basically put, SPD High Command authorized the formation of some covert units designed to go in where they are not wanted and eliminate us at will. This human leads the unit based on this planet. I do not know where their base is but I have a general area where they have been seen frequently.”

Studying the image Nax said, “I am going to need weapons.”

“Of course,” Chatrox said, “whatever you request, no charge.”

“You must hate this particular human,” Nax comment finally showing some emotion by smiling.

“Like I said he’s been a thorn in my side.”

“I’m going to miss this cave,” Nax said looking around. “It was a place where I finally found some peace.”

“Worry about your peace of mind later,” Chatrox told him, “you have a job to accomplish.”

The command room was buzzing with excitement, the field team got a night to themselves and they were all planning to go out. The Major smiled as the stress of their job lifted there faces. Or in Dan’s case concern as apprehension replaced it. Of course the last time he met up with some old friends things didn’t go all that well. Michelle, who was readjusting his bomber jacket, noticed as well. “You sure you want to go alone?”, she asked. “I can get dressed in no time.”

“No,” he said, “they’re just expecting me. I don’t want to drop everything on Barry all at once.”

“Well if things don’t go well over there you can always join us at my folks place,” D.E. said. “They’ve been wanting to meet you guys for awhile now.”

“You can come with us Michelle if you want to get out of here, “Ace said.

D.E. agreed, “Yeah Michelle, my folks would love to meet you too.”

“Sorry guys, that offer was just for Dan here,” she told them while giving him a quick hug.

“Don’t we feel special,” Boomer deadpanned.

“Besides somebody has to get those security updates for the database that Command been barking about done,” She told them. “Now I can get that done without the usual commotions,” she looked slyly over to Dan, “or distractions.”

“And to think I was happy when you two got together,” the Major said as he left he room. “Now you guys are just getting annoying.”

Dan leaned into Michelle, “You, me, his desk later.”

“I heard that!”, Pierce yelled from down the hall.

“Just checking,” Dan called back.

“Terry,” Rev spoke up, “I am still unsure of the protocols for such an event.”

“Just be yourself Rev,” D.E. told him. “My family already knows what we do so there no need to hide anything. And you know my little bro’s been dying to talk to you again.”

“Come on, we better get going,” Boomer said. “We still got to swing by my place and pick up Lisa.”

“Right,” Ace said. “Catch you guys later,” she told Dan and Michelle as they entered the elevator to the building on the surface.

“Have fun,” Michelle told them. Of course she noticed Dan was still standing where he was. “Never thought I’d ever see you get cold feet,” she commented.

“It’s been over a year,” he said. “I can just picture tonight already. They’re going to catch me up on Danielle. Then they’re going to tell me what they been up to. And at some point they’re going to realize I’m keeping quiet about what I’ve been doing.”

“Well,” she started as she put her arms around him, “tell them you’re working for the Major, but it classified. I’m sure both of them will understand. You can mention what kind of characters you’re working with. From what you’ve told me about your old clique I’m sure Barry will get a laugh out of it. And if you want,” she flipped her hair back, “you can mention you’re dating a smart, particularly gorgeous woman.”

“I am?” She reared her hand back like she was going to hit him. “I’m joking I’m joking.”

“You’re lucky you’re still cute or you would be so dead right now.” She put her arm back around him, “I know your ready for this, otherwise you wouldn’t have asked me to look up his current number.”

“A lot of guys can change in a year.”

“And if that was true you wouldn’t have spent an hour and a half talking to him. And if that emergency call didn’t come in I’m convinced you would have talked all night. Go, you’ll have fun, you’ll regret it if you don’t.”

“How did I luck into getting with you again?”

“I beat you over the head until you realized what a great catch I am. Now get out of here I have updates to do,” she said as she headed toward her station.

“Love you too,” Dan said, smiling as he headed for the elevator. “They probably already took the good jeep.”

“Here we are guys,” D.E. announced as he stopped the jeep by the curb. “My home away from base.” His parents’ house was a single story, light blue house in the middle of a big yard. An older gentleman waved from the swinging bench on the porch. “Hey dad.”

“Molly they’re here,” he called into the house then came toward the jeep. “Terry, I’m happy you and your friends could come. And I see you had to bring Bobby as well.”

“Tonight is just not my night,” Boomer said.

“I still love you baby,” Lisa said kissing him on the cheek.

“I’m just pulling your leg Bobby, you know you’re always welcome here,” D.E. father said. “Just call first.” He looked at the group and took a quick head count, “Hey where is your Captain?”

“He had plans to meet up with an old army friend he hasn’t seen in a year,” Ace explained.

“I totally understand, army buddies are buddies for life.”

“Terry,” his mother came out of the house.

“Momma,” he met her halfway and gave her a big hug. “Have you been eating enough? You look like you lost weight.”

“That’s my line smart guy.” She let go and gave Boomer and his wife a hug, “Hello you two, I’m sorry we couldn’t make it to the wedding.”

“Will you stop apologizing,” Boomer told her. “It was a Caribbean cruise. I’m hoping I can save up enough to take Lisa on one.”

“I’m going to hold you to that,” Lisa said.

“It’s good to finally meet you Mrs. Kennedy,” Ace said as she took her hand. She was a little surprised when she was pulled in for a hug.

“Dear it’s Molly and Tony,” Molly said. “I get enough of that with people I barely know.”

“Ranzack!”, a young boy shouted as he came running out of the house.

“Hello again William,” Rev greeted the boy.

“Nothing for your big brother?”, D.E. asked.

“I can see you any time.”

“Billy,” Molly said appalled.

“It’s ok Mom,” D.E. said as put him in a headlock and headed for the house, “I’ll take care of it like usual.”

“A pair of nice boys,” Molly said looking at the sky, “that’s all I wanted.”

“So Ranzack”, Tony said as he put an arm around his shoulder and guided him toward the house. “I just have to know one thing. The grill’s already fired up so how do you like your steak?”

“Still mooing,” Boomer answered for him. Ace and Lisa both elbowed him in the side, “Ugh.”

“Rare,” Tony said, “my type of man.”

Dan stood in front of the door and just stared at it. For the third time he started to knock but again he stopped. He’d faced off against enemy forces, human and alien. He stared down a countless number of bots. He barely even blinks when things turn into a fire fight. Yet this door was kicking his ass. The Major would be laughing his butt off if he could see him. He was caught off guard when it opened suddenly revealing an annoyed looking blond woman, “Since when is standing outside looking like an idiot been your idea of a good time?”

He smiled, starting to feel a little more at ease, “Hey Paula.”

“Get you butt in here soldier,” she said and gave him a quick hug when she did. Closing the door she announced, “He finally decided to come in.” A small girl quickly ran toward him, “Dani I told you no running in the house.”

She didn’t listen as she grabbed him around the leg, “Uncle Danny!”

“Hey munchkin,” he said as he picked her up. “Man you’re getting big. What have you guys been feeding her?”

“Talk to her father,” Paula said as she took her. “I been wanting to keep her small, but Barry insist on letting her grow up.”

“Oh sure blame the guy in the wheelchair,” Barry said as he wheeled himself to the door. “What’s up man?”

“Not much man,” Dan replied as he took his hand.

“So is that rock you been hiding under still going to be there when you get back,” he joked.

“I got it bolted down,” Dan chuckled.

Dani got out of her mother arms and took her godfather’s hand, “Wanna see what I did in school?”

“Sure kiddo,” Dan said without much choice but to follow her.

“So what are you up too now a days Danny?”, Barry asked as they followed. “It’s like you fell off the face of the planet or something.”

Those nerves suddenly came back, “I’m… working with Major Pierce again actually.”

“There another guy who dropped off the map,” Barry commented. “So what are you guys doing?”

“Ah…”, Dan stalled trying to figure out what to say.

“It’s probably one of those super secret military things,” Paula said. “You remember what it’s like.”

“Here it is Uncle Danny,” Danielle said excitedly. She handed him a painting that was actually pretty good for a six year old. “Do you like it?”

“This is excellent munchkin,” Dan told her. The little girl beamed.

“Dani’s teacher says she the best painter in her class,” Paula said.

“You’re taking after your mother munchkin, that’s good,” Dan said, “because I’m sorry to say your daddy has no talent what so ever.”

“You weren’t saying that when I was pulling your backside out of that foxhole,” Barry told him.

“Come on Dani,” Paula said taking her hand, “let’s get the table ready for dinner.”

“Ok,” Dani replied.

“I’m glad you called man,” Barry said after they were alone.

“I’m glad I did too,” Dan said as he took the chair that was next to him.

“It’s been a hell of a year Danny,” he said looking thoughtful. “With what happened to Jase, Petey dying and Andy apparently going nuts.” Dan got real uncomfortable real quick and looked away. His friend didn’t notice as he continued. “The Eagles were flying high back in the day. Looks like you’re the only one doing any flying,” he grinned while adding, “Fast track.”

“Not quite so high now a days Hot Shot,” Dan smirked.

“So what are you now any way?”, Barry asked. “Last I heard you were a Lieutenant.”

“I’m a Captain now actually, I got the rank after I joined up with Pierce.”

“So what type of crew do you got working under you now?”

Dan thought about it, “The type you’d expect the Major to put together.”

“The type of crew that’ll make you want to pull your hair out,” Barry laughed.

Dan laughed too, “At first but they grow on you.”

Nax, now wearing a black body suit with an extra weapon belt strapped across his chest, walked toward the factory in front of him. This place would be the perfect place to attract his attention. That was the plan: get this Stevens’ attention, do the job and get out of there quick. Not that he was worried about Stevens teammates, he never, ever trusted an Agent. More than likely this Chatrox would try to blackmail him again or sell him out to the highest bidder. Which was exactly why he had his ship nearby and ready for a fast take off. He was going to punch in some random coordinates and hit the nearest star portal, hopefully he find someplace secluded rather quickly.

“Hey you!”, a security guard called out and tried to get in his way. “You’re not allowed here.” Nax made a fist with his cybernetic hand and a spike came out of his knuckle. He jammed it into the guard’s throat and let him drop, quickly losing blood. The guard partner saw that and ran for his life. Pulling a small cylinder off the strap around his chest he tossed it at a tower. It was incinerated a moment later. This would do for a start.

After a couple of hours they put Danielle to bed and the adults spent the next few hours catching up. Dan was relieved at how little Barry and Paula changed over the year. He was starting to worry about how much he had changed after joining SPD. If he had they weren’t letting on. Dan was currently watching their reaction after what he told him about his team.

“I still can’t believe you made the youngest woman there your second in command,” Paula said.

“That’s how Danny is,” his friend defended him. “He only picks the people he feels he can trust. In every unit I ever been in with him there was always the guy the brass thought was his second because of rank. Then there was the guy he actually turned to behind their backs. And most of the unit thought that way too most of the time.”

“And the ranked guy never complained,” she asked.

“Well there was that one guy,” Dan answered. “What was his name? Rodgers I think.”

“Oh yeah him,” Barry grinned.

“He was making some noise at first. Then somebody put a homemade stink bomb in his tent while he was asleep.”

Paula’s’ jaw dropped, “You didn’t.”

“Don’t be looking at me.” She looked at Barry.

“Hey I wouldn’t have done anything if my CO didn’t put the idea in my head.”

“I would never do that,” Dan stated. “Besides, if you were actually listening to me you would have put the camel shit in his boots.”

“So what happened, did Rodgers find out?”

“Unfortunately,” Dan answered, “and he had me deal with it. So I gave Barry a very stern talking to, while trying very hard not to laugh because it was pretty damn funny. I don’t know what you guys put in that stink bomb but he had that smell for days.” Dan reached for the coffee pot on the table to refill his cup, Paula beat him to it, “I can do it.”

“You’re a guest in our house Dan,” she told him. “Now sit and relax. So are you seeing anybody at the moment?”

“Yeah, her name’s Michelle, she pretty special.”

“You got a picture of her?”

“Paula,” Barry said.

“It’s alright,” he pulled out his wallet. “Here’s one we took a couple of weeks ago.”

“She’s a looker,” Barry said. “How in the hell did you get with her?”

“Barry,” Paula shot back. Then she noticed the other picture in his wallet. “We have to get you a current picture of Danielle.”

“I’d like that.”

“So where did you two meet,” Paula asked.

He already knew what they’re reaction was going to be, “I… work with her.” Like he thought they looked at him stunned.

Then Barry started grinning and looked at his wife, “You owe me twenty bucks.”

Dan looked at them, “You’re betting on my love life?”

“No,” Barry corrected him, “we were betting on you finally breaking that stupid rule of yours.”

“It’s not a stupid rule,” Dan said a little defensively.

“Honey, trust me it’s a stupid rule,” Paula told him while patting his knee.

“Mommy,” Dani said as she came downstairs and rubbing her eyes.

“Did we wake you sweetie?”, Paula asked as she got up.

“I can’t sleep.”

“We’ll let’s try again. It’s time for big girls like you to get their sleep. Now say good night again.”

“Good night munchkin,” Dan said as he took a sip of his coffee.

“Get that pinky up mister,” Dani said before Paula could guide her back upstairs. Something in her voice made his little finger go straight up.

Looking at Barry he asked, “Have you ever told her she reminds you of sergeant we used to know?”

“Constantly,” Barry said. His OpsLicense went off. “So I’m guessing that’s you?”

“Afraid so. Is it ok if I take this in the kitchen?”

“Go ahead man. Hopefully they’re just checking in on you.”

“I wish,” Dan mumbled as he entered the kitchen. Making sure the door was closed he switched his License to Phone. “This is Stevens, go.”

That was followed by a, “This is Ops5.”

Michelle spoke next, “Sorry to disrupt the festivities but I just intercepted a report of some sort of disturbance at the Mason factory. I’m getting conflicting reports about it, some are saying it’s an alien other are saying it’s a robot of some kind. The locals already arrived but they can’t find anything about what caused it.”

“I past that on the way here,” Dan said. “I’m about a couple of miles away. I’ll check it out and see if I can find anything. Michelle, see if you can get the locals out of there so they don’t get in the way.”

“Hang on and we’ll join you,” Ace said.

“Stay on stand by for now,” Dan said. “I’ll go in first and scout the situation.”

“You sure that a good idea Dan,” Michelle asked him.

“We don’t even what there yet,” Dan said. “It could be some sort of prank from the sound of things. No point in going full force until we know for sure. Ace, let the other know just in case.”

“Rodger,” she complied.

“Michelle I’ll let you know what I find out.”

“I’ll be waiting for your call,” she said. Dan just happened to turn around and see Barry in the doorway.

“Stevens out,” he said as he lowered his License. How was he going to explain this one?

“And to think I knew you when you were anti-SPD,” he said as he wheeled over to the sink. “So I’m guessing your part of that mystery Deka team that McGee guy keeps ranting about.”

“Barry look…”, he started.

“Maybe,” he continued,” it because I’ve been on a few covert assignments in my day, but I can see a need for one in SPD. I don’t now what changed your mind but after awhile of just watching the news you can see how dumb we were back then. Don’t worry, I won’t tell Paula why you left. Just kick some alien butt and remember you are welcome back here anytime. And bring Michelle, she sounds nice. Actually she sounds like a saint if she willing to put up with you.”

“Thanks Barry, you have no idea how much that means to me. I’ll explain it to you later.” He started to leave but something that been nagging his mind stopped him. “Barry, tell me something, why did you believe me when Jase and Petey didn’t?”

“I know you man,” Barry answered. “If you did turn Andy in you wouldn’t have lied about it. You would have looked us right in the eyes and told us you did it. The other couldn’t look past the rank or something. Now go get that guy and remember we are doing this again.”

“Thanks again Barry.”

“Thank me by helping me build a moat around the house when Dani becomes a teenager.”

Dan grinned, “I’ll even scare away the first couple of boys for you.” Barry laughed then he headed for the front door.

“Did Cap seem a little off at the end there to you?”, D.E., who had been listening in, asked.

“A little,” Ace admitted.

“Do you think he got caught?”

“What? No,” she quickly dismissed it. “Cap’s too good for that. Even if he did he’d find a way to cover it up.”

“Wow Ranzack,” Billy suddenly exclaimed, “You’re really good at this game.” They looked over and say Rev playing a video game with him. Then they noticed his score.

“He’s a little too good,” D.E. commented. “I thought we helped him break that habit.”

“We better nip this in the bud now,” Ace said, “Or Cap’s gonna put our butts in some slings.”

Like he thought he did pass the factory on his way here. By the time he pulled up a regular police patrol car was starting off, “Thank you Michelle”. Dan studied the place from the jeep. Something happened here alright. Yellow police taped blocked off a hole that was roughly larger than a human, and it looked like that creator was rather new. But no visual signs or trace of the person or persons who did it. He was starting to think this was some sort of intergalactic college prank, then he saw the chalk outlines on the ground. Making sure nobody as watching he quickly crossed the road and climbed over the fence. He rotated his shoulder slightly after landing, Rev may have given him the green light but it was still a little tender. Dan pulled out his License to do a scan of the area but was getting some type of interference, “What the hell?”

“Stevens!”, a voice made Dan look around. Seeing nothing he looked up and saw a red skinned alien with cybernetic parts standing on top of a water tower. “My Name is Nax, and I have been sent to kill you.” Dan vaguely recalled a Nax from the database as he went over his options. “Now before you get any ideas about calling your comrades I should tell you that my client has surprisingly intimate knowledge about SPD frequencies and right now all of them are being jammed.”

Dan took a quick glance at his License, it told him the same thing. Somebody who wanted him dead and had that kind of inside info about SPD? All of the clues added up to one thing, “Chatrox.” Looking back up at Nax he shouted, “So why haven’t you done the job yet. You had me as soon as I entered the lot from that vantage point.”

“I never cared about the far away kill, it never seemed honorable. I prefer to look my target in the eyes as they die as a show of respect. Besides you Deka are more interesting to hunt after you suited up,” he grinned sinisterly.

Closing his OpsLicense he switched it over to change, “Then I’m not going to disappoint. Emergency! DekaOps!” Dan was surrounded by a red digital field as the Dekametal formed around his body in a flash of white light. It changed into black body suit in a burst. A dark red stripe went down the middle of his body from his shoulders to the top of his boots, on the left side of his chest the red and black formed the outline for a number one. A backpack solidified on his back and the D-Shot appeared in a flash. "Face on!", Deka metal flashed over his head and formed a dark red helmet.

Dan drew his D-Colt and started running to the side as Nax aimed his blaster. They both pulled the trigger on their respective weapons. Energized slugs passed each other on their way to their intended target. Nax moved to the side to avoid getting hit while the ones after Dan hit the ground behind him. The assassin changed his aim to hit the ground in front of him. Dan leaped forward to avoid the shots, rolled as he landed and brought his D-Colt back up. Nax was gone. Quickly checking the ground and seeing nothing he looked back up at the catwalk around the tower. He saw movement and fired forcing Nax back. The alien smiled to himself, “This could be fun.”

Seeing a truck behind him Dan quickly went for cover while keeping his eye on the tower. Both of them exchanged another round of fire while trying to figure out a way to get the advantage. Nax grabbed another cylinder off his belt and used his electronic eye to pinpoint his aim and threw it. Dan saw it the air, “Shit,” and ran as the truck behind him exploded as soon as it landed. Dan turned around to see Nax sliding town the water tower’s ladder. Then he stopped mid way and fired at him. Dan barely just got out the way as the shots whizzed past him. Seeing he was close to the factory he made a run for it. His luck was going to run out eventually if things stayed out in the open.

Nax realized what the human was thinking and let him enter the building. It only made thing more interesting. Cautiously he made his way to the door the Deka just smashed through. Heavy machinery was everywhere, and something about it was interfering with his eye. Outside the occasional flash of a heat signature he wasn’t getting anything. He pointed his blaster at those flashes but didn’t fire. No point in wasting bullets needlessly. Meanwhile Dan was hiding behind one of the metal presses looking at the pad in his left hand after he threw the sky probe into the air. “Come on where are you?”, he muttered to himself. Eventually Nax entered the picture. He looked right at the probe and smiled. Raising his blaster he shot it. Dan stopped paying attention to the pad the moment Nax spotted it and looked in the general area of where the probe was and saw it explode. “Got you,” Dan said as he got out of hiding and ran to that area.

Nax looked around quickly figuring the human was close by. He turned around to see the human come at him firing. Returning fire he was able to hit the Deka several times while he took a hit to the shoulder. He nodded approvingly as the Deka got to his feet and came at him again. “It’s been awhile since I took on a warrior,” and ran in too. Neither fired their weapons but when he was close enough Nax raised his. Dan rolled foreword, ducked a punch from the alien free hand and kicked the gun out of his hand as he turned around. Dan raised his sidearm quickly but Nax was faster as he grabbed him by the wrist with his cybernetic arm and squeezed. Resisting as hard as he could his hand eventually betrayed him and opened up dropping the D-Colt to the ground. Nax threw him to the side and kicked the D-Colt away. “Let’s see how you are warrior to warrior.”

“Let’s rock.” Neither waited to get in position before going hand to hand. Both were able to counter the others’ punch, kick or throw. Dan tried to avoid that cyber arm more than anything since he had no idea of what it could really do. Nax was amazed this Deka was able to keep up with him. They locked up and looked at each other. “You talked about being honorable,” Dan said. “So why kill innocent people?”

“A necessary evil,” Nax explained, “to get your attention.” He pushed Dan away and reached behind his head. “This has been fun, in fact I wish I could battle more people like you,” he pulled out a sword that had a faint energy glow around it, “but regretfully this must come to an end.” Dan backed up with each swing watching as it sliced through the machinery around them. Jumping to the side unexpectedly Dan unlatched his D-Shot and fired a round off quickly. Nax dropped to the floor as a hole was blasted in the machine behind him. He got up and ran for cover as Dan primed another shot and fired. Much to his dismay he lost track of the Alien pretty quick. Slowly walking through the factory he looked and listened for any sign of the assassin.

Hearing something drop behind him he looked up and saw the alien prepare to drop down on him. The blade came at him and on instinct he put the D-Shot up to block the strike. His weapon was no match for the blade as it cleanly sliced through it. Briefly looking at the exposed insides of his weapon he dropped them and backed up reaching into his pack, coming out with his D-Rod in his right hand and his D-Knife in his left. Nax nodded in appreciation as he put them in a guard position. Again they stared at each other for a moment before circling each other, waiting for the other to make the first move. Energizing the D-Rod he swung it only to have it blocked. They went into another dance as energy flashed left and right, up and down and clanging metal filled the air. Dan got in a slash with his D-Knife that cut through his shirt and into his flesh. Nax got angry and slammed the blade down, Dan blocked it with the D-Rod but with a quick circular motion Nax disarmed him. A kick to the gut bent Dan over and a knee to the head knocked him down.

Looking like he was holding his back he reached into this pack one more time and pulled out his hold out D-Shooter, unleashing all four shots at the blade above his head. One of the shots hit something in Nax’s cyber arm that caused his hand to pop open and drop the sword. Dan quickly got up and went at him, forcing him back from the assault. Making a fist Nax popped the spike slashing it across his opponent chest sending sparks flying in all directions. A hard side kick to the chest forced Dan against another metal press. Yelling Nax aimed the spike right at his head. Dan moved and he impaled the hydraulic line and he was sprayed by the contents. Trying to free himself he didn’t see Dan spin around behind him. He jammed the D-Knife right into his cybernetic eye. Nax screamed in pain as he knocked Dan away, freed himself and pulled it out, a black liquid spurting out.

Trying to keep on his blind side he tried to take Nax down. Unfortunately that left him open to the spike. He was caught with a back hand that spun him around. Dan forced a leg out and kicked his opponent in the head. There was enough force behind it to knock him back a couple of feet. Dan got to a knee as a black and pink and a black and yellow clad individuals jumped over him and kicked Nax back even further. “Sorry we’re late,” Ace said. “We came as fast as we could after Michelle said she couldn’t get into contact with you.” Dan said nothing, he and Nax just stared at each other one more time. Disappointment etched the alien’s face. If he had to be honest with himself, Dan was feeling it too. Both of them wanted to finish this one on one.

“I think Cap did most of the work already,” Boomer commented.

“So let’s finish it then.” Ace pulled out her OpsLicense and held it up, “Target orders.” After a minute the X shined brightly between them, “Eliminate target.”

“Delete me if you must,” Nax said standing up and pointing at Dan, “but he does it.”

“We do not…”, Ace started.

“Stand down Ace,” Dan ordered sounding fatigued. They looked at him as he stood up and walked foreword. Holding out a hand Ace slowly put her D-Shot in his hand. Locking in his OpsLicense he pumped the grip and primed the shot.

“From one warrior to another,” Nax sax tiredly but standing tall, “thank you.”

Dan nodded and took aim, “Strikeout!” In moments Nax was no more.

He sat down and deactivated his suit as Ace and Boomer did the same and gave him some time alone as they searched the factory for the equipment he dropped and what was causing the jamming field. Boomer came up with both halves of his D-Shot, “Yeah that’s coming out of the paycheck.”

“So where are the others,” Dan asked as he got some of his energy back.

“D.E. brother keeping Rev busy,” Ace said as she and Boomer exchanged glances. “And D.E.’s mom had him cornered asking when he was going to find somebody and settle down. So we were the only ones able to get away.” She gave him a concerned look, “So what was all that about?”

“I’ll explain later,” he said. Rubbing his neck he told them, “I was running out of trick there so I think I owe you guys one.”

“You can pay me back by teaching me how to box,” Ace told him.

“You want to learn how to box?”, he asked.

She shrugged her shoulders, “Why not?”

“Cap,” Boomer started to say.

“No,” Dan quickly said.

“I didn’t get a chance to say anything.”

“I said I owed you guys one. She beat you to it.”

“Well that’s not fair,” Boomer complained.

“You’re right,” Dan agreed, “let’s hear it.”

“I was wondering if we could get one of those robotic dogs like the other units have. The ones that turn into a cannon.”

Dan thought it over for exactly two seconds, “No.”

“Why not?”, Boomer demanded.

“I’m allergic to dogs,” he answered as he got up and headed for the exit.

“You said you had a dog growing up,” Boomer reminded him.

“I’m allergic to robot dogs,” he amended. “And I’m taking the good jeep.”

“This really isn’t your night is it,” Ace joked.

Dan knew he should have headed back to base but he had one extra stop to make first. Pulling up in front of the house he saw the rest of his team and D.E.’s family standing outside. “Cap what are you doing here?”

“Just thought I stop by and say hello to your parents,” he explained.

“So you’re the guy holding the reigns on my boy,” Tony said as he extended a hand. Dan took it, “Good grip you have there son.”

“Thank you sir,” Dan said. “I’m not blowing smoke by saying Terry one of my best men.”

“He better be,” Tony laughed, “runs in the blood don’t you know. Say, are you alright son, you look a little beat.”

“There was a situation, but it’s taken care of,” Dan explained. “I hate to great and run but I have to get back to base and file a report about that situation. Ace and Boomer should be pulling up pretty soon, but you can take your time getting back if you want.”

“You got it Cap,” D.E. said.

“Nice meeting you sir, ma’am,” Dan said as he headed back to the jeep. He paused before turning on the engine, thinking about Nax. He wondered about what other assassins where on planet or on their way here. He’d have Michelle check it out when he got back. Some how he didn’t think they’d be as honorable as Nax said he was.

ED – Evanescence – Whisper
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Old June 11th, 2019, 03:18 PM #27
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 382

Special Police DekaOps

OP – Alter Bridge – Metalingus

The sun overhead shined down on the field of white below it. The near pristine snow betrayed nothing as three machines made their way over it. The snowmobiles where white with black trim with the SPD Earth symbol embossed on the side. Each of the five individuals riding the machines wore a white padded bodysuit, a black SPD badge on their chest. The lead machine in the middle came to a stop and the other two did the same. Rising up Dan lowered his goggles from his eyes and put a pair of binoculars to them. Still seeing nothing he looked to his right and asked, “Any idea how close we are?”

Michelle, who was sitting behind Ace, looked at the monitor in her hand. “We’re near the projected landing area. There should be a sign somewhere.”

“Maybe a few months ago when they first landed, “Ace reminded her. “If these guys are so dangerous why are we just hearing about it now?”

“Because Command didn’t know about it until that other Ops unit did that raid,” Michelle told her. “The Iczians are hard enough to track as it is. Most planets don’t know they’re there until it’s too late. We got lucky this time around.”

“Like a meteor hit in the Arctic wasn’t a big enough clue,” Ace shot back.

“Wouldn’t Rev be helpful in this situation?”, Boomer asked from behind D.E.. “Tracking life signs is kinda what he does.”

“And Rev looked like he was about to fall asleep back in Alaska,” Dan said replacing his goggles. “He’d probably be in a coma if we brought him up here, even with the polar suits.”

“Who actually saw him yawn?”, Boomer asked. Dan, Ace and D.E. raised their hands. “That was a rhetorical question.”

“Look at the bright side,” D.E. said, “at least we’re getting to test drive these Machine Polar Bears. These babies handle like a dream.”

“So why ain’t I driving one again?”, Boomer demanded.

“You lost the coin toss,” Ace reminded him.

“Just remember to keep your hands above the waist buddy,” D.E. said.

Boomer quickly pulled away, “That’s not funny.”

“Why do you think Dan won’t let me ride with him,” Michelle smiled. Ace shook her head. “What, they can joke but I can’t?”

“In your case it wouldn’t be a joke,” Ace said. Michelle slapped her on the shoulder.

“People,” Dan said sternly.

The other got serious as Michelle said, “Sorry.”

“You can joke after we locate these guys,” Dan told them. “D.E., Michelle work on a grid for a search pattern once we hit the coordinates. Boomer, listen for anything other than the chattering of your own teeth. Ace, you and me are going to keep our eyes peeled for anything that looks out of place.” The team confirmed his order and they headed off again.

In an underground cavern dug out of the ice a creature in a robe and covered with white fur sat while he watched the screen made of ice. Various lights below it combined to form an image of the surface above. He leaned foreword a bit and raised his eyebrows slightly. “Darling,” he called out with a slight gravely sound to his voice, “come look at this.”

“What is it dear?”, a female of the same species said. Wearing a longer robe with jewels in the labels she leaned on his shoulder. “More of those pesky humans?”

“It looks like it is, but they seem different.” Waving his hand over a crystal like device the image changed to an readout with three still moving lines. “These are in a search pattern from the look of things.”

“Do you think they’re looking for us,” she asked not sounding concerned.

“Well they did warn us about adding a planet with so many of these so called officers of interstellar law darling.”

“I know dear, but remember we need to expand our territory some how, and show these lower life form the beauty and joy of the natural cold.”

“I know darling,” he sighed, “but it would be so much easier if they didn’t fight back. How anybody can live in such weather. It’s unnatural. It’s uncivilized.”

“That is why we made it our mission to civilize these primitives dear. It’s a pity really that those ‘officers’ would rather cater to the common rift raft than do the bidding of the elite.”

“It’s not like those Alienizers are any better darling. All they care for is profit. I wouldn’t be surprised if they fought along side the officers to try and stop us.

“And won’t that be a sight to see,” she laughed. “Well in a few hours it won’t matter, the generator is almost ready. Then the beautiful cold will take over this poor planet.”

“It will be a thing of beauty, almost as beautiful as you,” he said as he took her hand and kissed it.

The search went on for another hour before Dan looked at the sky. It was going to be dark before they knew it, and while the polar suits were heated it was going to get cold fast and get harder to see. And they couldn’t risk waiting for the sun to come back up. “Cap,” Boomer shouted, “I saw tracks!” He pointed to an area behind them. Turning the Polar Bears around they went slow before Dan saw the tracks too.

Getting off the snowmobile Dan walked over and examined the tracks in the snow. Ace came up behind him and asked, “Are those what we’re looking for or are those animals tracks?”

“I’m seeing human and animal traits,” he said while gesturing at the tracks shape, “so it’s definitely humanoid.” Unzipping a pocket he took out his OpLicense and scanned the footprint. “The track fits the basic Iczian footprint, so we got a lead.”

“Dan,” Michelle called out, “I found another set of tracks.”

Ace ran over and called back, ”It’s the same print.”

“Are they heading that way?” he asked pointing in the directions the tracks were. She pointed in the opposite direction. “Great, one set going toward something and another heading away from something. So which is which?”

“Do we split up?”, Michelle asked.

“No,” Dan told her. “Either one can’t be that far away, no matter how much these guys love the cold.

Boomer looked around and pointed at something, “How about that?” They looked where he was pointing and saw what looked like a hill of ice in the middle of the field. With a finger he traced the path of the tracks by him.

“And we have the tracks leading way from something,” he said to nobody in particular. Looking the other way he didn’t see anything of notice, so for the moment they had a destination. “Good eye Boomer. Try not to disturb the tracks to much, we may have to follow them the other way.”

“That’s two for me man,” Boomer told D.E.. “Looks like that Dead Eye of your needs a vacation.” D.E. hit the accelerator on the Polar Bear without any warning and Boomer almost fell off, “Whoa!”

They arrived at the hill in no time and they hopped off the Polar Bears and examined it. The tracks lead to the edge and disappeared. D.E. cautiously reached out and touched the surface and moved it over the ice. Suddenly he stopped and announced, “I think I found a crease.” With his finger he followed it and traced an outline of a door.

“See if you can find a lock,” Michelle said. “Maybe I can hack into it.”

“Or we could have Boomer use his special key,” Ace said. Boomer took off his backpack and took out five small disks with spikes on one side that he pushed into the door.

Dan and Ace drew their SP-Shooters and stood on either side of the door about a foot away from the edge as the other got behind them. Counting down with his fingers Dan gave the signal to activate the devices. They heated up quickly to melt the ice right to a gaseous state. Once the remaining ice fell away Dan and Ace moved and pointed their weapons into the opening. They found a stairway leading down. “Clear,” Dan told them.

“I wonder how much Agents charge for robot anti-freeze,” Boomer joked.

“You’re not going to find out this time around, “Michelle told him. “Iczians are one of the few races the Alienizers won’t deal with. I’ve read the case file where they tried. The Alienizers wanted to hold the planet hostage but the Iczians didn’t care about the money. I won’t go into the details but the disagreement between the two got ugly quick. The Iczians only goal is to expand their empire one flash frozen planet at a time.”

“Which is why we have first crack,” Ace said.

“Wait, do we judge them this time?”, D.E. asked unsure about what the procedure for this one was.

“The Major said this wasn’t a silent operation, “Boomer informed him.

“The other units have been informed about the situation and have been put on standby,” Dan added. “For any reason we fail the commanders are already cutting through the red tape.” Dan went a few steps down and checked for any surprises. “They may not have any bots but these guys aren’t defenseless. So keep your eyes open for anything.” They complied and followed him down the stair well.

“Why those ruffians!”, the male Iczain said outraged. “Just barging in unannounced! And destroying private property to boot. What kind of savages do they breed on this planet?”

“Calm yourself dear,” his companion said. “You’re heating yourself for no reason. It’s not their fault they were not raised with proper etiquette.”

“You’re right darling,” he said trying to force himself to relax. “It wouldn’t be the first time some primitives tried resisting having their life improved. Which is why we had to create those things so we can ‘communicate’ in a language they will understand.”

“Just sit down and try to remain calm,” she gave his shoulders a quick squeeze. “I’ll activate the Crystalines to take of them.”

“Thank you darling, I don’t know where I’d be without you.”

The stairs lead to a hallway withy several doorways and turn offs. Checking each turn off they came across for any surprises D.E. and Michelle waved their energy scanners around. After a few moments Michelle ending up asking what was on all their minds, “Is it just me or is it getting colder?”

“It’s not just you,” Dan said. “I keep glancing at my Shooter to see if it’s icing up.”

“And it’s not this cold outside either,” Ace piped in. “I’ve checked the readout from where we landed the Shepard twice. It’s forty degrees colder down here than it is topside. I’m starting to wonder if the polar suits are going to hold up.”

“Then let’s find that machine they’re setting up and get this over and done with,” Dan told them.

A second later they started to hear a crackling sound. The wall seemed to be falling apart. Then it looked like part of the wall was walking away from the rest. They were humanoid shape for the most part, but the pointed head had no recognizable features. Michelle knew what they were instantly, “Crystalines.”

“Open fire!”, Dan shouted but they didn’t need the prompt. The Crystalines shook from the impact of the shots. Eventually they cracked and fell apart leaving nothing but chunks of ice.

“Well that was easy,” D.E. commented. There was another crackling sound as the chunks started to shake. They moved toward each other and reformed their original form. “Or maybe not.”

“I didn’t see that hole coming,” Dan said.

“This wasn’t in any report I’ve read, “Michelle said. “It must be a recent upgrade.” One of the Crystalines regained its’ humanoid form and raised an arm. Several Ice shards flew toward them. Michelle dove for the floor as the others jumped to the sides. “I think that’s new too.”

D.E. quickly shot the arm, shattering it. But it quickly began to form again. “And that’s getting old fast.”

“Then we bring out the big guns,” Dan told him. “Change Standby. Emergency! DekaOps!”

“DekaData!”, Michelle added. Digital fields flashed around them as their respective Dekasuits formed around them. Michelle quickly ran her finger down the keypad on her left arm and held her arms out wide as another salvo came at her, “Barrier shield!” Several rounds of D-Colt and D-Shooter fire turned them into ice chunks again.

“Move!”, Dan yelled as he ran toward the reforming chunks. They ran past them, Dan slid to a quick stop and aimed his D-Colt behind them. Ace and Boomer did the same as the mowed the Crystalines down again. “Boomer, Michelle find that machine and take it out. We’ll cover you from here.”

“Right,” Boomer answered.

“Be careful,” Michelle said as they headed started down a corridor.

“Always,” Ace said as she squeezed off a shot that took the head off of one of the ice creatures. “Not to question your authority or anything Cap but how do we do that without running out of ammo first?”

“We find out how small a piece these things can regenerate from,” he answered while holstering his D-Colt and unlatching his D-Shot.

“How did I know out were going to say that,” D.E. said while he and Ace did the same.

“I say darling,” the male said as he continued to watch the screen, “for a band of primitives they are rather surprising. It occurred to them to run past he Crystalines as they were reforming.” Looking thoughtful for a moment he added, “Remind me to send a note to the researchers, there has to be a way to speed that process up.”

“Of course dear.” She leaned on his shoulders again, “So what are they doing now?”

“They split up apparently,” he pointed at the screen. “This group here are attempting to hold the line while these two here…,” he trailed off as he studied the situation a little closer. “My, this could be a bit of a problem.”

“What is it dear?”

“Well these two ruffians appear to be heading for the ice generator. In fact it appears they have been able to lock onto it faster than I anticipated.”

“Then it is a good thing I placed some Crytalines in the generator room as a precaution.”

“Such foresight as always darling, do make sure they are properly taken care of.”

“Of course dear,” she kissed him on the top of the head and went to activate the guards in the generator room.

“I got a reading,” Michelle said as the scanner started to beep. Boomer followed her as she ran toward the source. The beeps got louder the closer they got. Entering a large chamber they slid to a stop stared at a large machine that was a couple of stories tall, and looked like it went a bit into the ground beneath them.

“That’s bigger than I was expecting,” Boomer commented.

“It’s designed to freeze the planet, it’s not going to be small.” Michelle entered a command into her scanner and pulled up a schematic of the generator. “Command was able to study enough of these things to identify a couple of weak spots we can exploit. It won’t destroy it completely but it should stop them from activating it.”

They heard the crackling sound again and got ready as more Crystalines came out if the wall. Boomer drew his D-Shooter and started shooting. Michelle decided now was good as any to try out that new program she developed. Running at the ones coming from the other wall she punched in a five digit code into her keypad, “Electro kicks!” Energy built up around her feet as she threw every kick she knew at the Crystalines. She stopped as they started cracking and shattered. Running back to Boomer she forced the scanner into his hand. “Go, we got to take that generator out.”

“Do you have any idea what Caps going to do to me if I let anything happen to you?”

“Do you have any idea what he’s going to do to you if you let the planet become a giant icicle?”

“Point,” he conceded. Giving her his D-Shooter he said, “Take it you’re going to have to keep them at bay for as along as possible.”

“Right,” she said.

Dan and the others were learning the hard way these things could regenerate from some pretty small pieces. And with the small amount of cover they have now it turning into a question of how many times could they do that before they, hopefully, degraded. “I could really use a flame thrower right about now,” Ace commented as she put her back to the wall, as another volley of shards came at them.

“I’d settle for a hair dyer set on high set on high,” D.E. half joked.

One of the Crystalines changed tactics and shot a stream of ice at them. Dan was a second too slow as his left arm was quickly frozen to the wall beside him. “Again with the fucking arm,” he grunted as he reached into his pack. Extended his D-Rod to its’ full length he smashed it against the ice until it broke and he could pull his arm free. “We’re changing tactics,” Dan ordered. Picking up his D-Shot he locked his License into it. “Bring down the house,” he said as he pumped the grip and primed the shot. All three aimed their D-Shots at the roof above the Crystalines, “Strikeout!” The beams stuck the roof and huge chunks of ice fell on top of the ice creature.

They held their breath listening for that crackling sound. When it wasn’t coming right away D.E. went, “Did we do it?”

“I’m not waiting around to find out,” Dan said. “Come on, we got to see if Boomer and Michelle are having any trouble.”

Michelle was barely holding her own while Boomer continued to place explosives on the generator. She tried to shot any of the creatures that were taking aim at him, at most she was able to distract them momentarily. She really needed to spend more time on the firing range. So it was time to play to her strengths. Creating some space by throwing some kicks she punched in another code, clapped her hands together and prayed this was going to work, “Electro charge!”. Dropping to a knee she put both hands on the ground and an electrical charge ran through the ice. Like she hoped the Crystalines started to crack and stopped moving. She started smashing them as fast as she could. Then one reformed around her leg as she kicked it in the chest and it started to raise it’s hand at her, “Oh shit.”

“Michelle heads up!”, Boomer shouted and dropped his D-Shot. She caught it, primed a shot and blasted the crystalline point blank.

It shattered and her leg was free, but she got herself in the process as she came away limping, “Fuck.” Punching in another code the cylinders on the pack on her back flipped foreword, “Datablast!” She swung her body around as the green beam mowed through the Crystalines.

Boomer dropped down and grabbed her by the arm, “They’re set, let’s go!” They ran past the reforming ice creatures. As soon as they got past the door Boomer hit the trigger in his hands, “Fire in the hole.”The explosives he placed went off. They heard a loud crackling sound as the lights went off and the emergency lights kicked in. Looking behind them they saw the Crystalines start to crumble. “Did we get lucky or what?”

A few minutes later they saw Dan and Ace slide across the floor at them and D.E. flew in their general direction seconds later. Michelle was shocked, “What’s going on?”

“The alien snowman is kicking out ass,” Dan grunted as they got to their feet. Just them the female Iczian came up behind them as the male stormed in from the front.

“Ruffians!”, he bellowed. “How dare you come in unannounced and tear apart our home!”

“Hey,” Ace cut him off, “you’re the ones who snuck in and planned to freeze our planet.”

“To bring you civilization,” he dismissed her. “Now we have to start all over again.”

“I don’t think so,” Dan told him. “Boomer put down the disk.” The Iczians backed up as he took a silver disk out of his pack and placed it on the ground. After a moment the image of Commander Numa-O and Scorp hovered in the air.

“I assume you are the Iczian representatives for this particular endeavor,” Numa-O started.

“I am,” the male said. “Are you the one in charge of these ruffians?”

“In a general sense that I am the Supreme Commander of SPD. Commander Scorp here is the one in charge of the Ops program.”

“Then I suggest one of you orders these… dogs out of our home and reprimanded then for the destruction they caused.”

The clicks coming from Commander Scorp were translated, “But the truth of the matter is you this is not your home. You came to Earth illegally and plan on severely damaging it’s ecosystems.”

“We are here to save it,” he argued, “to preserve it under the ice the natural cold provides. It is one of our gifts to the uncivilized in the universe.”

“An unwanted gift,” Numa-o stated sternly. “Planets are still out there trying to recover from your ‘gift’. Let me cut to the chase, you are to stop your plans and leave the Earth immediately.”

“And what if we refuse to be bullied like this by a commoner?”

“Because you are not part of the Alinizer organization,” Scorp said, “we have held off on judging you. If you refuse to take this offer it will be waived. And I assure you the judgment will not be in your favor.” Dan held up his OpsLicense and waved it slightly to drive that point home.

“What makes you think they will have the chance to do anything?”

“As we speak the other Earth Deka Units are preparing to come in and finish the assignment this unit started if need be,” Numa-O informed him.

“And I have ordered the other Ops units to this planet,” Scorp added.

“What are you going to do dear?”, the female asked.

“If these primitives are that desperate to resort to that sort of violence to prevent this lowly planet from receiving our gifts, than it is not worth the effort. Come darling, let us leave these savages to their ways. I am sure we can find another planet in need of civilization.” He took her hand and they walked off without another word.

After making sure they were alone Commander Scorp spoke, “Captain Stevens, I think it would be wise if you stayed in the area to make until after they leave. Just in case they decided not to keep their word to the ‘primitives’.”

“Understood Commander,” Dan complied. “We’ll report what happens after we get back to base.”

“Make sure to leave a marker for your location in case they leave the generator,” Numa-O added. “No point in leaving around to be found and accidently activated if it wasn’t damaged enough.”

“Will do, Steven out.”

“SPD Command out,” Numa-O said before the image faded away.

“Not to mention we still go to dig our way out of here,” D.E. commented.

“What are you talking about?”, Michelle asked.

“You’ll know it when you see it,” Ace told her. Then she noticed she was limping a bit, “What happened to you?”

“She took the phrase shooting yourself in the foot a little too literal,” Boomer said.

“D.E.,” Michelle said. He promptly punched Boomer in the arm, “Hey, you’re right that is kinda fun.”

“The mission not over yet people,” Dan reminded them.

“Is he always like this after the bad guys are sent packing?”, Michelle whispered to Ace.

“Usually until we get back to base,” Ace answered.

“I was really hoping he was only like that because we lost Chatrox.”

“Don’t remind me,” Ace told her.

“I don’t know about you guys,” D.E. said, “but as soon as we get back to base I’m going to find out exactly how hot those showers actually get.”

“I’m never going to complain about winter ever again,” Dan said out of the blue. Letting Michelle lean on him he headed for the entrance, “Come on the faster we start digging the faster we can go home when they leave.”

Ace tapped D.E. on the arm, “Do you think she’s making him a little soft?”

“Don’t say that so loud,” D.E told her. “Cap overheard me say something like that last week. Next thing I know I’m running laps in my shorts. So I’m going to say no because I’m cold enough as it is.”

“Wait, I missed that?”, Ace asked. “Where in the hell was I?”

“I don’t know but I think you were the only girl on base who didn’t see it,” Michelle called back.

“That’s what I get for staying in the hanger tweaking the Shepard.” She started rubbing her head as a thought hit her, “I do not want to see the ice build up on my engines.”

ED – Evanescence – Whisper
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Old June 15th, 2019, 03:01 PM #28
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 382

Special police DekaOps

OP – Alter Bridge – Metalingus

“Are you sure this is a good idea?”, said a blue skinned alien with pig like features. He mopped his brow with a dirty rag as he looked nervous. “I mean to let them know where I am. Let them know what this is?”

Agent Chatrox silently studied the jellyfish like creatures floating round in a fluid tank in front of him. Every so often one would sense him and try to attack him, only to be stopped by the special glass barrier between them. Not taking his eyes off the tank he replied, “This was the plan the bosses came up with. Don’t you have any faith in these ‘pets’ you created?”

“I would put my creations up against any Deka unit in the known universe,” he said feeling insulted. Then the nervousness crept back in, “But a black badge unit.”

“They are just like any other Deka unit,” the Agent said sharply. “They have a little extra training, a little extra freedom. That is all.” Tightening his cloak around him Chatrox continued, “Besides you have your newest shipment and those new toys of yours.” Finally facing his customer Chatrox let his curiosity get the better of him, “Why does a scientist need two laser whips?”

“My family were slave masters for generations,” he answered. “Before my intellect was discovered my Father taught me several techniques that I modified for my own personal use.” He stated to check the readout on another tank, this one containing some rock like pods. “But why this particular black badge unit? There’s like four in the entire galaxy.”

“Because this is the one stationed on a singular planet,” Chatrox answered. “So your pets won’t have to wait that long for them to arrive. The bosses also wants to hurt the black badges, remind them they are vulnerable. They tried to prove it with Waven and his group. They momentarily succeeded when they killed the unit lead by the tiger. And they almost did the same to this planet’s unit, but they proved to be unpredictably resilient.” Chatrox lips twisted into a disgusted snarl, “Even without their leader.”

“But I’m not sure they’re ready yet,” he said. “In a controlled environment they work wonderfully.”

“Than think of it as the ultimate field test,” Chatrox cut him off. He walked up and talked into his ear, “Just think of it Tras. If your little pets can take out a black badge unit you will be able to name your own price from then on. Everyone in the galaxy will be knocking at your door.”

The alien thought it over, Chatrox could almost see the credits in his eyes. Placing a hand on the tube he said, “Even if they don’t perform as planned they can still do some damage. The data gathered from this incident would be most helpful.”

“Excellent,” Chatrox removed a data pad from under his cloak. “Set some of your pets in these locations. I have studied this particular unit for a long time. In fact I’ve know their leader for far longer. I am confident I know how he’s going to react when he hears the news.”

Pierce looked over the information in his hands for the hundredth time, he wasn’t sure what to make of this at first. Then Michelle said it was legit but part of him was expecting it to be a prank from somebody in command. Still they had to follow through on this information, especially if it was on the New Mexico/ Mexico border. The team filed in line as soon as Michelle called them. He waited a few beats before saying anything. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a unique situation on our hands. We have an Alienizer who wants to change sides.” Like he expected they didn’t believe it either.

“No way,” Ace exclaimed.

“I know, but Command sent this one,” The Major informed them. “They received the transmission this morning and immediately handed it to us.”

“How often do these jumps happen?”, Dan ended up asking.

“Not often,” Michelle answered. “More times than not the Alienizers find out about it and the jumper is never heard from again. Even after they’re in SPD custody they can find a way to get to them at times. As you can imagine that tends to give those who want to a case of cold feet.”

“So who’s feeling lucky this time?”

Michelle pulled up an image of a blue skinned alien, “His name is Tras, he’s a geneticist who specializes in highly unauthorized experiments. According to his file he was a highly respected member of the scientific community. Then he started voicing the idea that he and his fellow scientists should be creating life in order to understand it better, the more intelligent the better.”

“Five bucks that didn’t go over well,” Boomer quipped. D.E. nodded his head in agreement.

“That goes without saying,” she continued. “He went underground soon after. This is the first time anybody heard from him since.”

“So why now?”, Dan asked looking suspicious.

The Major took over, “He says he’s tired of living on the run. He’s willing to exchange what he knows about the Alienizer organization for asylum. Command sees this as a high priority and wants him in custody as soon as possible.”

Still looking skeptical Dan said, “So we escort him to a safe house to be named later.”

“More like here,” The Major corrected. “Since this base is unknown to the Alienizers they feel it is the safest bet for now.”

“Lovely,” Dan muttered. “Let’s get him and get him back here,” he addressed to the others.

They complied and went out the door. All except D.E. who noticed Rev was hanging back a bit as well. “Something wrong buddy?”

“I am not sure Terry,” he said. “I am feeling uneasy about this assignment.”

“I think we all are Rev.”

“I know, but…,” he seemed lost for words for a second. “I am experiencing a sensation of dread that I am finding unnerving.”

“It’s probably just who we’re after,” D.E. offered. “What I just heard about this guy is creeping me out too.”

Rev thought it over but didn’t look all that convinced, “I hope that’s all it is.”

The trip was uneventful and quiet. D.E. and Boomer was trying to get Rev out of whatever funk he was in with little success. While that was going on Dan was studying the area of the meet. “D.E., I know Command says this guy is important but I want to cover our butts just in case.”

“Do you want me to take sniper position?”, He asked. Dan said he did.

“Captain,” Rev spoke up, “is it wise to split us up in this situation?”

“Probably not,” he admitted, “but something telling me that we would be worse off to keep us in one spot. Boomer, go with D.E. as his spotter.”

“You got it,” Boomer complied.

“Rodger,” D.E. said soon after.

They landed in a clearing near the meet point. Dan ordered them to activate the Dekasuits as soon as they landed, just in case the Alienizers choose then to take care of the “defector”. They waited a few minutes after D.E. and Boomer headed out to give them time to get ready. Rev kept glancing in the direction they went, still unable to shake that feeling. A ten minute walk lead to another clearing and a compound of some sort, camouflaged to look like the surroundings. Another minute went by before Tras walked out followed by a couple of Batsuroids. Ace went for her D-Shooter Dan held up a hand to stop her. “My apologies,” Tras said after he ordered the Batsuroids to stand down as well, “but I can’t be too careful.”

“I understand,” Dan said. “I hope you don’t mind if I have to do the same.”

“It’s not a problem I just want to get this over with.”

“Something else we can agree on. If there’s anything you need to grab you might want to get it now. I’m not sure how much time we’re going to have before your former friends come looking for you.”

“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.” The way Tras was smiling was making Dan nervous. “You see I’m already protected. Several of my creations are lying around in the open, just waiting for anybody to come near them. Like your companions for example.” Looking back he nodded to the Batsuroids who raised their weapons and stepped foreword.

“I think it’s going south,” Boomer said. He was watching the situation through a pair of binoculars.

Above him on a mountain ridge D.E. already had them in his sight as he lay on his belly, “I see it.” He lined up a shot but before he could pull the trigger a cracking sound got his attention. Looking to his right a rock near him was splitting in half. All he could get out was, “What…?”, before a jellyfish looking thing jumped at him.

Dan and the other drew their weapons, “Why am I not surprise this was a trap,” Ace said. Dan was wondering what was taking D.E. so long.

“As always the grunts know more that the masters,” Tras said. “Much like how Agent Chatrox knew you.” Before they could say anything he continued, “He knew you wouldn’t totally trust the situation. So he had me set out my pets accordingly. I must say I am proud of this particular creation of mine.”

“Call off the Batsuroid,” Dan ordered but he was ignored.

“I based these off your jellyfish. They can secrete an acid that can melt through just about everything, including Dekametal. But their main objective is to latch ion the head of the nearest target. Then they take over sending the target into an uncontrollable rage. After that they either take total control of the target dies. They even developed a means to stop themselves from being removed before they are finished. Of course then it’s too late. I must say though, it is a thing of beauty.” Their License beeped and Tras smirked at them, “One of you might want to get that.”

Keeping his D-Colt on Tras Dan warily answered, “This is Stevens, go.”

A panic Boomer responded, “Cap we got a situation here!” Gunshots cut him off and somebody yelled in the background.

Ace went cold as she went, “D.E.”

“Right now you have two options,” Tras said. “You can either attempt to take out my bodyguards and apprehend me. Or you make a futile attempt to save your companion.” Ace and Rev looked at each other while Dan never took his eyes off of Tras. Then he quickly turned around and ran for D.E. location with the others right behind him. Tras had a nervous smirk on his face, “Just like I thought. We need to get out of here now.”

They ran as fast as they could, praying they weren’t too late. Dan told them to double time it as they hit the mountain. Ace was trying not to think about the worst. About three quarters of the way up Rev saw something blue and slowed down just long enough to pick it up. It was D.E.’s helmet and it looked like a hole was melted into it by the right temple. “No,” he whispered and he dropped the helmet and quickened his pace. They found Boomer first, he was in pain but he made them go ahead.

They found D.E. further up grunting in pain and clutching at his head. “D.E.”, Dan called out. He stood up and looked at them. There was a jellyfish looking thing attached to his forehead but the rage in his eyes made them pause. Suddenly his D-Shooter was aimed at them and he fired. Dan was able to get out of the way but Ace took a shot in the chest. Rev ran in and jumped up, planting both his feet into D.E.’s chest as he knocked him down. Boomer recovered and knocked the Shooter out of his hand as he and Dan jumped on top of him to keep him down. He started fighting against them as Ace joined in. “Get that fucking thing off of him!”

“Captain,” Rev said looking at him, “Tras…”

“I know what he said,” he snapped. “It doesn’t mean it was true.”

“And it doesn’t mean we can’t try either,” Ace said. He started kicking at her, “Damn it D.E. fight it!”

“Come on buddy,” Boomer said, “You can do this.”

Rev pulled out a scanner and tried to study the creature. D.E. started to thrash around harder. “Hold him still.”

“What to you think we’re trying to do?!” Boomer yelled at him. He was getting freaked out at the hate and rage in his best friends’ eyes.

Dan and Rev both tried to keep his head still as the scanner did its’ work. “It bonded itself to his skin,” he said after awhile.”I am seeing some sort of appendage in his head. It appears to have pierce his skull and into his brain. There appears to be several tendrils coming form the appendage,” he said after scanning a bit deeper. “It seems they are bonding themselves to his nervous system and various synapses. “I can not tell for sure, this scanner is not strong enough and he refuses to stay still.”

“Can you get it off of him?”, Dan demanded.

“I am…,” he looked at the readout again, “I am not sure. We must get him back to the Shepard before…”

While they were talking D.E. was able power them off and scramble away. He turned and pointed another D-Shooter at them. Boomer discovered it was his after they checked their weapons, he must have grabbed it while he was getting away. Ace quickly pointed her weapon at him but her aim waivered slightly, “Drop it D.E..”

He looked like he was struggling as the Shooter slowly lowered. His eyes went back to normal but looking pained he struggled and he said,” Cap… I need to talk to you. Face to face.” Dan hands never left the handle of the D-Colt. “Don’t… don’t you trust me.”

Biting his lip for a moment Dan replied, “Yeah D.E., I trust you.” Cautiously he removed his helmet and the others did the same. D.E. raised the gun again, Dan dropped his helmet and aimed the D-Colt at him. “That thing on your forehead is another thing entirely.”

Smiling weakly as tears started to well up in his eyes D.E. said, “That’s what I always liked about your Cap. You were always straight foreword with me. I never told you how much I appreciated that. How much I appreciated all of you.”

“You can tell us that any time you want,” Dan told him. “Just drop the Shooter.”

“I’m trying,” he said. “It’s getting too much control over me.”

“Fight it D.E.,” Ace pleaded, “please fight it.”

“Terry we will get you back to base,” Rev spoke up. “We will think of something.”

“Yeah,” Boomer said quickly, “and if Rev can’t figure it out I sure the SPD big brains…”

“I don’t think there’s a plan B for this one,” D.E. said suddenly.

“There’s always a plan B Terry,” Dan told him, wanting to believe it himself.

“You don’t understand,” the tears started to fall, “I heard you and Rev. I know what you guys were talking about.”

“He is an Alienizer jackass who was trying to scare us,” Dan quickly told him. “We’ll do everything we can to help you. Just put the gun down before that thing makes you fire.”

The Shooter shook in hand but it wasn’t dropping. “I can feel it inside me. It’s growing right now, it feels like it’s trying to take over my mind. Like it’s trying to get into my memories. Finding out what I know and who I care about.”

“That’s just your imagination Terry,” Boomer told him.

“I don’t think so.” D.E. was quiet for a few moments. Then his voice was barely above a whisper as he said, “I told Rev the reason why I fight is I’m afraid of what will happen to kids like my brother and his friends if we let a nasty one get away.” The tears started to fall freely as he added, “I think I’m becoming one of the nasty ones.”

“No your not!”, Ace argued. “We’ll… we’ll think of something.”

The D-Shooter in his hand stopped shaking. “D.E. drop the gun or I’ll…,”Dan couldn’t finish the sentence, or he’ll what?

“I love you guys,” D.E. told them. “I have to tell you guys that before…,” he trailed off. “I loved every second of it. The Major, Michelle, every mission we went on. All of it.” He closed his eyes and looked like he was struggling again. Boomer and Ace toward him but he looked at them. “If this doesn’t work tell my… tell my family I love them.” Slowly he started to raise the gun toward his head.

“Terry don’t do it!”, Dan ordered. All of them were too afraid to move. He put the barrel parallel to his head, pointed at the creature and closed his eyes.

“Terry!” Ace and Rev yelled.

“Terry don’t…,” Boomer cried out.

He pulled the trigger and shot through the creature. D.E. looked at them and smiled weakly. A rancid smelling liquid came from the creature as he rolled his eyes into the back of his head and he dropped to the ground. “Terry!” Ace cried out as they ran to him.

“Do not do this to us Terry,” Dan told him as Rev ran a scanner over him. It beeped wildly as his life signs became erratic.

“The creature injected some sort of toxin into him before it died,” Rev said. “It is paralyzing his systems, trying to stop them all together.”

“Counter act it!”, Ace ordered.

“I am trying to calibrate the correct anti-toxin now,” his fingers danced over the scanner. Boomer clutched at his hair feeling totally helpless.

Dan grabbed D.E.s head. “Fight damn it! Do you hear me? That’s an…,” the scanner started to emit a long continuous beep, “…order,” he finished weakly. All of them looked at Rev as he stared at the scanner. Slowly he reached out and put one hand on his face to close his eyes. He sat back and started praying. Boomer wrapped his arms around Ace as both of them started crying. Dan punched the ground in anger and tears started to drop by his fist. Slowly he looked at the compound in the distance.

“Hurry up you idiots,” Tras ordered his Batsuroids and Anaroids. “We have to be packed and on that transport now. If any of those black badges survived they’re going to bring SPD down on top of this place in force. And I don’t want to be here when that happens.” He quickly went over and checked out the readout of a chamber ready for transport. These were still fairly new and could be damaged easily. “Don’t worry,” he spoke to the creatures inside, “I’m going to take good care of you. I don’t want you to get hurt before I can put you in your shells.”

The roof above him exploded and Tras dove for cover out of instinct. He saw that the rubble crash on top of the tank. As the light poured in four ropes dropped through with the black badges following soon after. Before he could give an order they fired on his bodyguards as soon as they landed. Ace and Boomer were firing at anything that looked mechanical. Rev dropped anything that near him. Dan made a small hole into the chest of a Batsuroid with his D-Shot, then he saw a tank with more of the creatures in it. He didn’t even think twice as he fired at the tank until it cracked and spilled its contents. He walked over and stepped on one of the creatures, grinding it under his heel. “Leave my creation alone!”, Tras screamed.

He grabbed the handles of the laser whips on his belt and activated them. Tras whipped the twin beams at him. Dan dodged, making him hit his own equipment. The Alienizer cursed at him and started swinging wildly. Ace and the others tried to get out of the way and Dan couldn’t get out a shot. Knowing he had to close that gap fast Dan ran in. Tras swung both beams horizontally toward each other. Switching the D-Shot to his left hand he drew the D-Colt and slid under the beams. He fired twice, a bullet for each shoulder that made Tras drop the whips. Then he fired two more times, this time at the knees and made the Alienizer drop. Dan quickly got to his feet and stared at him, looking so helpless at the moment. Putting the D-Shot on a table next to him he reached up and removed his helmet, red eyes glaring at Tras. Ace saw what was happening, “Cap what are…?”

“Equipment malfunction,” he snapped. A cold hard stare fixated on Tras he walked up and placed the barrel of the D-Colt right between his eyes. Tras started weeping and begging for his life as Dan finger started to curl around the trigger.

“I too,” Rev said making Dan look over his shoulder, he was removing his helmet, “appear to have an equipment malfunction.”

“Ditto,” Ace said as she did the same.

Boomer joined in, “Somebody is really going to have to check into that when he get back.”

Dan turned his attention back to Tras. His lips curled in disgust as he started to squeeze the trigger. Tras closed his eyes but nothing happened. Dan put the D-Colt back in its holster and backed away grabbing the D-Shot along the way. “We do this legal.” He raised his OpsLicense in front of him and pressed the button on top, “Target orders.”

It felt like forever as X and circle flashed between them. Boomer was muttering, “Come on X, Come on X.”

The circle flashed between them and Dan muttered in disbelief, “Apprehend target?”

“HAHAHAHA!”, Tras cried out in relief. Dan stared at the License in his hand for a long time before slamming it shut. Motioning for Boomer and Rev to get him they put the D-Whoppers around his wrist and hauled him up. As they came toward him Dan got in Rev’s way and forced him to stop as Boomer and Tras kept going. He smashed the butt of the D-Shot into the back of Tras’s skull and he crumpled to the ground.

Ace looked shocked for a moment but then she smiled slightly, “He resisted arrest. I saw the whole thing.” Dan said nothing as he headed for the door.

The Major and Michelle were together when they got the call. Dan called for the area to be quarantined until a specialized SPD clean up crew could take care of the remaining creatures. But both of them were confused and a little worried, Dan sounded off. Like he wanted to say something more but couldn’t. Of course Pierce heard that tone in his voice before and prayed he was wrong about it now. They waited anxiously in the hanger as the Shepard landed. As the ramp lowered some technicians ran in like protocol demanded when they had a prisoner. They heard Ace angrily shout, “Get that son of a bitch off my jet!” Michelle looked at him feeling confused. A confusion that grew in both of them as the techs carried a bandaged up Tras on a stretcher past them.

Dan, Ace and Boomer followed looking angry and upset. Michelle found her voice and asked, “What happened to him?”

Not looking at her as he past Dan replied, “He fell.”

Ace continued with an, “Into a door.”

“A lot,” Boomer finished as they kept heading for the hanger door.

“I can’t over look this,” The Major said. “A line was crossed…”

“Major,” Michelle gasped and grabbed his shoulder. He looked at her and saw tears starting to form. Then he looked at the Shepard. Rev and another tech were carrying out a second stretcher, this one carrying a body bag.

Pierce closed his eyes as they started to water up and lowered his head. Tapping the bottom of his cane on the hanger floor he finally said. “It would have been nice if they let us know he was that clumsy from the start.”

Dan paced the floor of his quarters. His mind was so mixed up right now he didn’t know what to do. Looking at his reflection he knew there was one thing he had to do before anything else. Throwing his bomber jacket over his uniform he walked out of his room. The Major and Michelle looked surprised to see him as he entered the Command Room. “Dan where do you think you’re going?”, the Major asked.

“There’s something I have to do,” was his only answer as he headed for the elevator.

“Wait a second Dan,” the Major tried to cut him off, “Command wants to talk to all of you about this.” He continued for the elevator door. Pierce motion for a couple of people to get in his way. He was relieved when Dan didn’t try to fight his way past them. “I don’t know what’s going through your head right now but it has to wait until this is over.”

“He died on my watch.” Dan looked at him and repeated, “There’s something I have to do.”

Nodding as he finally understood the Major ordered the techs away from the door. “I’m sure Command will understand if you’re a little late for the debriefing.”

Taking a jeep Dan headed for the city. He had only been to his destination once, but he was only passing by at the time. If only he was visiting again under better circumstances. Pulling up in front of a house he saw an older couple sitting on a swing on the porch. Steeling himself he got out and headed toward them as they stood up. Back in the army a couple of his buddies who had to do this said that sometimes the family just knew the moment they saw you. Watching them brace themselves Dan got the feeling they knew too. Stopping a few feet in front of him he tried to keep his voice steady as he said, “Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy, it’s about Terry.”

Ed – Evanescence – Whisper
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Old June 18th, 2019, 04:03 PM #29
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Special Police DekaOps

OP – Alter Bridge – Metalingus

D.E.s’ funeral took place a few days after it happened. The Major gave the usual speech about not appearing in uniform and keeping up appearances, but it was really half hearted. And nobody listened to him this time around. Michelle and the others were dressed in their police uniforms while Dan wore his dress greens. The Major ignored his own advice and appeared in his dress greens as well. Meng Yeow and Gyoc Row appeared at the service to extend their condolences to his family and to the unit. D.E.s’ parents allowed Rev to perform a traditional prayer of mourning from his planet. At the Major’s command four police officers and three SPD officers fired off a twenty-one gun salute in his honor. Then he was laid to rest.

A week later late at night Michelle was half awake in a hotel room. She reached out and felt a big empty space next to her. She looked around and found Dan sitting on the edge of the bed watching the television with the sound turned low. She got behind him and wrapped her arms around him as she rested her chin on his shoulder. He was watching a rerun of a news report she saw earlier in the day, one about those Earth First morons getting more aggressive. Seeing the remote next to him Michelle picked it up and turned the set off. “Come back to bed,” she told him. “Your leave’s up today.”

“My forced leave,” Dan corrected her. He didn’t sound bitter about it, but he did seem a little distracted.

“They just want to make sure your head’s still on straight,” she reminded him. “After admitting to what you almost did you shouldn’t have been surprised.”

“I know,” again he sounded distant.

“Dan you have to stop blaming yourself, it wasn’t your fault.”

“It happened under my watch,” he said getting up. “I gave the order to split up, so it’s my fault. If I listened to Rev it wouldn’t have happened.”

“And you didn’t know it was a trap. I personally went over the Shepard’s scan reading with a fine tooth comb. There was nothing to indicate those things were there. It’s probably why they wanted him alive.” He didn’t say anything but his hands got a little tighter. Michelle reached for him and pulled him toward the bed. “Look I’m loving the fact we were able to get some time away from base and all. But it seems so empty now so I need you there. Besides our new Ops2 is coming in today too.” Michelle had no idea why she worded it like that. She guessed she didn’t want to say D.E. replacement.

“Yeah that’s not going to be awkward,” he commented and laid back down. “Any idea who the new person is?”

“Not really, only that she’s the one D.E. edged out of the position.”

“So we’re getting the silver medalist?”

“Not in the way the Major put it,” she explained. “According to him the decision went down to the wire and it was still a toss up. I got the feeling either one would have been would have been a good pick.”

“I guess we’ll see when she arrives.”

Michelle was already getting dressed to leave when he woke up, saying there were some reports she had to get a jump on and that she’d see him back at OpsBase. A couple of hours later he was checked out and on his way back himself. When he got to the entrance to the cover building above ground he just stood there and stared at it, remembering the first time he arrived and met him. “Might as well get this over with.” Slinging his duffle over his shoulder he entered the building and headed for the hidden elevator that would take him underground. The doors opened and he found his command voice real quick when he saw Boomer and Rev just hanging around the Command Room, “Turned into a bunch of goldbricks while I was gone I see.”

“Cap,” Boomer said excitedly. “I was starting to think they got rid of you.”

“Captain,” Rev walked over and offered a hand, “it is good to see you again.”

“I wasn’t gone that long,” he said as he took Rev’s hand.

“We’re just glad you’re back, “Boomer said. “It’s been a little weird around here since you’ve been gone.”

“I would think so with everything that happened…”

“No I mean with Ace,” Boomer informed him.

“She has been acting rather strangely,” Rev agreed.

Dan shot a confused look over to Michelle who simply said, “I didn’t want to bother you with it while you were out.”

“So you thought you’d spring it on me as soon as I got back?”

Before anybody could answer Ace came in and headed straight for Boomer. “Where’s that inventory report the Major asked you for?”, she demanded.

“It’s on your desk in the hanger,” he said.

“And why in the hell did you put it in there?!”, she snapped. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep anything on that desk? We test the engines daily…” Dan coughed and she noticed he was there for the first time. “Cap… how do you deal with this dumbass?”

“Well I don’t call him that to his face for one, but that’s just me.” Boomer started to say something but Dan added, “Kid do yourself a favor and keep your mouth shut.”

The elevator doors open again to reveal the Major. “Dan I’m glad you’re here. Now I can introduce you to our newest member all at once.” He stepped aside to let the African-American woman behind him in. They gave her a moment to take everything in before anybody said anything. “Ladies and gentlemen allow me to introduce our new weapon expert Sgt. Angela Thompson.” He then proceeded to introduce the other members of the team.

Angela walked up to Dan and saluted, “Captain Stevens.” Dan returned it, “Major Pierce told me a lot about you. I promise not to disappoint you as your second in command.”

Ace looked stunned while everybody else looked confused. Dan looked over to the Major who apparently just realized he left something out. “I,” Dan started slowly, “already have a second in command.”

Now it was her time to be confused, “Not to sound cruel Captain, but from my understanding you don’t.”

Dan looked at her at a few moments then looked at the group, “You leaving us Ace?”

“It the first I’m hearing of it,” she said stiffly.

“Looks like I don’t need a new second in command.”

Angela stared at both of them, “No offence Captain but is it wise to have the least experience member of the unit in that type of position?”

“No offence Sergeant,” Dan told her, the uncharacteristic sharp edge in voice catching everybody by surprise, “but Ace has been with this unit since the beginning and has proven her worth time and time again. You on the other hand are an unknown commodity and have no place saying what is good for this unit. If there’s nothing else Major I’ll be in my quarters.”

After he left the other followed suit, Ace mumbling something under her breath while Boomer and Rev at lest said goodbye first. Michelle looked at her and smiled weakly, “Welcome aboard? Don’t mind them, they just had a bad past couple of weeks.”

“I wanted to apologize for Dan and the others,” The Major after they entered his office. “They’re usually not like that. Actually that’s the first time I’ve seen Dan that close to dressing someone down.”

“I understand Major,” Angela said. “I also realize I stuck my foot in my mouth back there. I should have realized there was a command structure in place before I arrived.”

“And I should have told you Ace has been second in command almost since the beginning.” Angela looked surprised again but said nothing. “We’re not what you would call a traditional unit.”

“I’ve noticed. May I ask what Captain Steven is usually like?”

“He’s stern but fair,” he replied. “And once he opens up to you it’ll be like you’ve known him for years. Out in the field Dan will, and has actually, take a bullet for those under him. That’s his biggest strength and one of the main reasons I fought to get him in this unit, he’ll do just about anything to make sure everybody comes home alive.”

“And his biggest weakness?”, Angela asked.

“There are time I think his biggest strength is his biggest weakness,” he smiled sadly. “Every time he loses a person he takes it hard. It’s why he created that rule of his to begin with. But he always snaps back to normal.”

“And Sgt. Fieldman?”

“Ace definitely hasn’t been herself either the past couple of weeks,” the Major mused. “I haven’t seen an equipment request form from her since it happened. Usually she would be the first one volunteering to show you around. The others have been trying to get her to talk but she keeps shutting them down. I know I don’t know how to tackle the situation at the moment. I was never any good at handling the personal stuff when it came to my men.” The Major looked disappointed with himself then quickly shook it away. “I should point out we’re not really all that formal. Granted everybody calls me Major and Rev the only one who calls Dan Captain. Everyone usually goes by a nickname most of the time.”

“I’ll try to keep that in mind,” Angela said. “What about the rest of them?”

“They’re pretty much back to normal as far as I can tell. Outside of today that is.”

“I realize I have some pretty good shoes to fill as the outsider…”

“Now wait one moment Sergeant,” the major leaned forward in his chair. “I don’t want anybody thinking you’re the second best option, not even you. If your record indicated anything like that I never would have considered you for the position to begin with.” He leaned back again, “But he did leave a pretty big hole around here. Dan might have been the first person I recruited but Terry was the first official member to sign up for the team. I’m not saying it not going to be a big adjustment for everyone, but give it some time. I’m sure everyone will open up to you.”

“I’m sure you’re right. If that will be all Major I better get into uniform.” She got up and headed for the door. Angela paused and turned back around, “If I may ask…”

“Why did I pick Terry over you?”, he chuckled as she nodded. “Believe me it was a hard choice. When it came down to scores you were higher in some area and he was higher in others, so that was pretty much a tie.”

“So what put him over the top?”

“It was weapon knowledge,” Pierce stated. “Both of you had excellent knowledge of SPD weaponry. But while you had a passing familiarity with Alienizer weapon, he knew things that made me recheck his background information to make sure he was who he said he was,” he finished with a laugh. “Nothing personal Angela but anybody who goes that far deserved that spot in my eyes.”

She smiled a bit, “looks like I better get studying, he set the bar pretty high from the sound of things.”

Dan and Michelle looked all over the place for her. Finally they found Ace in the rec room staring at the blank television screen. She didn’t even notice they came in. When they said she was acting strange they weren’t kidding. And he had no idea what they wanted him to do about it. “Ace,” Michelle said.

Ace was startled, “I’ll get out of your way,” she said quickly.

“Ace we wanted to talk to you,” Michelle told her.

“There’s nothing to talk about,” she headed for the door.

Dan got in her way, “I think there is.” When she wouldn’t look at him he continued, “Come on Trish, everybody can see something bothering you. I saw you snap at Boomer. Granted it’s Boomer but still.”

“There’s nothing wrong,” she insisted, still not looking at him.

“Ace you’re shutting me out,” Michelle said. “And we tell each other everything. You’re not acting like yourself.”

“I don’t know how to act all right,” she snapped. “Are you happy now?” Dan sat on the arm of the couch as they let her talk without interruption. “I never lost anybody before. Both of my grandparents are still alive. My parents are hearty and healthy. My cat is fourteen years old and still as active as when she was a kitten. I been watching everybody else get over it, but I don’t know what I should be doing.”

“You can always let it go,” Michelle offered. Ace crossed her arms and turned away from them. “It’s alright to let it go. Nobody going to think anything about it. Boomer said he hasn’t seen you cry since the day D.E. died. I didn’t even see you shed a tear at the funeral.”

Her voice was small as she spoke, “Soldiers don’t cry.”

“You’re a cop Ace, not a soldier,” Dan told her. “And believe me soldiers cry.” When she didn’t react he said, “Ace where was I after that whole mess with Jase went down.”

“I don’t know,” she told him. “You disappeared for a couple hours afterwards.”

“What do you think I was doing?”

Ace said nothing. Michelle wrapped her arms around her the moment her shoulders started shaking. The tears started flowing right after that, “Why did he have to die?”

“I don’t know honey,” Michelle tried to comfort her. “But he’s in a better place now, you have to remember that.”

Dan got up feeling uncomfortable. He patted Ace on the shoulder and told her it was going to be ok. He went out the door muttering, “And they wanted the fucking bastard alive too, just like with Jase.” Michelle watched him leave. Obviously he was still dealing with a different issue altogether.

Boomer was talking to Ace in the cafeteria later. She was trying to apologize up and down for going off on him but he wasn’t having any of it. “I understand alright, you were still grieving and keeping it bottled up inside. It had to go somewhere. It didn’t have to be me all the time but I didn’t understand.” When she didn’t react he said, “Hey that was a joke, your starting to make me feel bad.”

“I know but…,” she paused to collect herself, “I still can’t believe he’s gone.”

“I hear you,” Boomer said. “I still find myself expecting him to come through those doors and say ‘Hey buddy, you ready to get your tail kicked in another game’.” It was hard for me to come in the next day, I didn’t want to even come. But Lisa told me to get it over with or it would just get worse. I can’t even imagine what it was like for you guys.”

“I’ve never thought this place could feel this empty. I’m seeing him everywhere. I tried to help Rev collect his things from his room but I couldn’t stay in there.”

“It was hard for me too,” Boomer admitted. “My best friend and I couldn’t do a thing to help Rev out.” He looked up and saw Angela in her uniform carrying a tray from the line. “Speaking of situations being hard on people.”

Ace looked wincing, “God I was horrible to her.”

“You weren’t horrible,” Boomer assured her. “Besides we all gave her the cold shoulder when she arrived. But maybe we can try again. Angela over here,” he waved her over. She looked a bit unsure at first but she came and sat next to them. To Ace he said, “That was faster than it took with Cap.”

“Sgt. Fieldman, “Angela started, “I didn’t mean to step on any toes earlier. If I …”

“It’s all right, no harm no foul,” she told her. “I was giving off a bit of an attitude too. And call me Ace, everybody does.”

“Boomer,” he chimed in with a grin.

Angela smiled in return, “Ace, Boomer, that’s going to take some getting used to.”

“We’re a weird unit,” Boomer told him.

“So I’ve heard.”

Ace looked at the data pad on her tray, it showed a schematic of the rifle that brought the team together. “I should probably tell you now we have an unofficial rule around here, no work in the rec room.”

“I’ll try to remember that,” she said. “Although you might find my face in a pad for awhile.” She tried to find away to say this without bringing up any bad feelings, “From what I understand the bar’s set pretty high. I want to make sure I meet it.”

“If you’re here you will,” Ace assured her. She looked at the schematic again and started smiling, “Hey Boomer, do you remember when D.E. took the power core of that thing apart?”

He started smiling too, “I remember the Major say those are prone to explode if disturbed afterwards. I think D.E. turned the whitest out of all of us.”

Angela just looked at them, “Wait he took the power core of this thing apart? Was he nuts?”

“Well he called us nuts too so it even outs,” Ace said. “In this unit you kinda have to be.”

“You don’t really have to be, but it helps,” Boomer joked.

“Angela let me know when you’re settled in,” Ace told her, “I’ll give you the nickel tour later if you want.”

Angela smiled again, “That’d be great.”

It was late afternoon and Dan had to get up top. He didn’t really need the air he just had to get out of there. Going to one of the side benches he sat there for awhile, then he got back up. Turning toward the wall he got in a familiar stance and started boxing his shadow. Not being sure how long he was doing this he was surprised when Rev appeared out of nowhere. “There is something bothering you,” it was more of a statement than a question.

Everybody knew about the shadow boxing thing but he played it off anyway, “What makes you say that?”

“Captain,” Rev said as he sat on the bench, “I realize we are not that close. But I do like to think that bond that was created between us when that deal that placed us in this unit was made would allow you to talk to me.”

Dan stopped just long enough to look at him, “Michelle sent you didn’t she?” Rev said nothing. “She thinks because I let something slip I’m ready to talk about something.” His punching got more aggressive as Rev watched in silence. Suddenly he stopped and dropped his arms, “And she’s right. Twice now somebody I cared about died and twice the higher ups wanted the bastard responsible alive. Alienizers who blow up cities and kill millions, hell ones who trade weapons or just steal things, we can delete all we want in the name of justice. But as soon as one of their own wants some of that justice it’s we want to talk to them.”

“Captain,” Rev said, “do you really think looking for and getting revenge would have made you feel better?”

“Hell yeah it would have made me feel better!”, he snapped. “Especially with Tras. I had him right there,” he turned his hand into a gun and pointed right between the eyes of an imaginary target. “All I had to do was pull the trigger and that would have been all, eye for an eye. A life for a life.”

“Terry wouldn’t have wanted you to get revenge for him.”

“It wasn’t about what D.E. wanted!”, Dan exploded. “Right then and there it was about what I wanted! And I wanted to see Tras sent straight to Hell! And I wanted it done by my hands.”

“So why didn’t you?” Rev asked calmly.

Dan lost whatever steam he built up and walked away a couple of feet. Eventually he admitted, “Because you idiots were going to let me.”

“I don’t understand Captain.”

“I wasn’t lost in a rage Rev. I knew exactly what I was doing. And I knew exactly what the consequences were going to be if I killed Tras in cold blood without judging him first. And I knew what was going to happen to all of you.” Being quiet for a moment he continued, “Rev I was fully prepared to throw my career, everything I’ve worked for, with a pull of a trigger I was going to throw it all away. I had no intention on bringing the rest of you down with me.”

“I think I can speak for the others when I say I am glad you decided not to pull the trigger.”

Dan wanted to smile but he couldn’t, “Thanks Rev. Don’t think ill of me when I tell you I still wish I did.”

“I would be looking at you differently if you weren’t affected by all of this. All of us were after all.”

“Yeah I know,” Dan said looking at him. That’s when it came to him and he really couldn’t think of a reason not to do it. “Rev, find Michelle, Ace and Boomer and meet me back her in twenty minutes.”

“As you wish Captain, but may I ask why.”

“It’s for something I should have done the day it happened.”

Dan had a cooler by his feet when they arrived. As all of them looked at him he wasn’t sure where to begin. Michelle had an idea what he was going to do but stayed quiet to let him do it. “After the Eagles got together we started what became a tradition every time we lost a friend or comrade in the line of duty. I’ve tried to keep that tradition alive in every unit I was in command of. I know the timing’s off but I hope D.E. can forgive me for waiting this long.” Kneeling down he opened the cooler. Looking at Ace he said, “I think we can over look the age limit just this one time,” and tossed her a can of beer. Handing the others one he took one for himself and stood up. Following his lead they opened them and clink them together. “Drink half of it,” he told them and they did just that. Dan held out his out and the other did the same. They turned them over and let the rest spill on the ground.

“I’ll see you again buddy,” Boomer said.

Ace started to choke up, “Goodbye Terry.”

“We miss you,” Michelle spoke up.

“Good journey my friend,” Rev said.

All Dan could say was, “Goodbye D.E.” None of them said anything after that.

Major Pierce and Angela slowly approached them. “I know this is a field team thing,” Pierce said, “but I hope you guys don’t mind if we crash this particular party.”

“The more the merrier,” Michelle said.

“Sgt. Thompson,” Dan walked over to her, “I wanted to apologize for getting us off on the wrong foot.”

“Do you people apologize for everything around here,” she half joked.

“Every third Tuesday of the month,” he said quickly. “At least let me officially welcome you to the team,” Dan held out a hand.

She gladly took it, “It’s good to be aboard.”

“We got to give her a nickname,” Ace chimed in.

“We could always call her Target,” Boomer offered, “or maybe Bulls-Eye.”

“Isn’t that a little obvious for a sharpshooter?”, Ace asked him.

“About as obvious as calling our explosive expert ‘Boomer’,” Dan commented.

“I though he received that name after eating a bean burrito,” Rev said looking quite pleased with himself. A look that quickly faltered when he noticed they everybody was staring at him. “Was that not humorous?”

“Yeah,” Dan told him, “but you said it.”

Boomer looked confused, “Did Rev just crack one on me?”

“It’s not his fault you’re an easy target,” Ace told him.

“Hey,” Boomer protested.

The Major got in Angela’s ear and said, “Now this is the team I was telling you about. I knew they’d show up sooner or later.”

“I’m just happy it was sooner rather than later,” Michelle told her. “Then they’ll really welcome you into the group.”

Dan knelt down and handed out another round of beers, except for Ace who was protesting when she got a can of pop. “I said we over look it one time and that was it.”

“Well that bites,” she said.

“I’m going to blame that on the first beer I gave you,” Dan told her.

Angela took it all in and commented to herself, “I get the feeling this place doesn’t stay boring for long.”

Michelle gave her a knowing smile, “You have no idea.”

ED – Evanescence- Whisper
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Old June 22nd, 2019, 06:28 PM #30
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Special Police Dekaops

OP – Alter Bridge – Metalingus

Angela said nothing as she pumped her legs as she ran, telling herself this was part of the job she signed up for. She personally hated to work out but she knew in order to be a cop she had to stay in top shape. And especially if she wanted to be part of SPD, so she worked her ass off when it came to training. Like now Cap had them running sprint drills, the one where you had to run to a marker, pick it up and run back to start then run out to a further marker and do it over again. Cap went first to, as the other put it, set the bar. Being the rookie she went last. When she dropped the last marker at the starting point she put her hands on her knees and breathed in as hard as she could. She didn’t feel too bad though, Cap was a huffing a bit when he finished too. “Why are we doing this last?”, she asked.

“Because anybody can get a good time when they’re fresh,” he answered. “I’m more concerned about your reaction time when you’re tired.” He went over to Michelle who was keeping track on the times. According to the others she just started training with them regularly too. Apparently she wanted to do a little more field work. Comparing the times, not counting Cap, she was second behind Rev. Cap looked pleased with the results then said, “Not bad guys, but we can do better.”

Boomer, who was sitting on the floor, groaned and fell to his back, “Would it kill you to say ‘Great job guys, I can’t imagine you doing any better’ just once?”

“Me no, you yes,” he said in a matter of fact tone. “Alright people hit the showers. We’re doing this again tomorrow no matter what.” Boomer groaned again but he got up and headed for the showers with the others.

While they were heading for the women locker room she got Ace’s attention. “What’s up Target?” she decided to not fight the fact they stuck her with that nickname. Besides it could have been worse.

“I was wondering if you could clear up something I overheard,” she said. “I heard a couple of people wondering on when Cap going to take me to the ring?”

“Oh that,” she chuckled a bit. “It’s nothing, Cap just going to spar with you to see how your hand to hand skills are. He did it with everybody on the field team.”

“Is there a reason why he does that?”

“Look Target,” she stopped to explain, “you’re going to find out That Cap has a few different philosophies. One of them is anybody can fire a gun but not everyone can hold their own in a fight.”

“He wants to see if there’s any room for improvement,” she said thinking it out.

“Exactly,” Ace said. “It’s nothing personal, Cap just wants to make sure everybody at their best.”

“That didn’t stop Boomer from complaining,” she commented.

“Boomer bitches at every training session. Haven’t you noticed that by now?”

Sticking to the shadows Chatrox walked the alley until he found the hidden door. The entry code was a series of knocks, two-four-two. The wall slid away only to slid back after he entered. The hallway itself was barely lit. One because the occupant was highly sensitive to light and two, to make sure you didn’t see the weapons on the walls until it was too late. A simple but effective set up. Besides back when he was working both sides he operated in plenty of dark areas so this was no problem.

Walking into the main room he looked at a green skinned humanoid with no hair and wide black eye sit behind a table. As usual they sized each other up. He hated dealing with this particular alien, he was so… human. “Do you got the stuff?”, he asked.

Chatrox nodded, the alien slid a data card across the table. The Agent took it and ran it through a reader. After verifying the amount on the card he said. “You’ll find it in the usual location.”

“You know this would be easier if you would just bring the stuff with you,” the alien commented.

“And your order consist of several large drums,” Chatrox reminded him. “Bringing that all here would not be in the best interest of keeping your location a secret.”

“Don’t get smart with me Agent, if you want to get out of here alive that is,” he threatened.

Chatrox lips twisted into a scaly smirk. He could think of several SPD approved ways from his training to get out of this situation if the alien tried anything. But they weren’t as much fun as they other, non SPD approved ways, that popped into his head as well. Still smirking he said, “Of course not, a client’s happiness is always a top priority.” With nothing else left to say he left. A top priority right behind making a profit that is.

He was getting tired of dealing with this alien. Thinking things over Chatrox realized he hadn’t heard from Stevens and his accursed Deka unit in a while now. Perhaps some well placed leaked information would bring them out of hiding. Then again, as annoying as he is he was still a well paying client and it would be a shame to lose getting that much credit on a regular basis.

The Major was late getting to the Command Room. The other were already assembled and waiting. “Sorry to keep you waiting but I was still getting the information while Michelle was calling you,” he informed them. “Command has been getting reports of a new drug hitting the streets called Red Diamond. “

“I only glanced at the reports so far,” Michelle said, “but from what I’ve seen it pretty potent. One hit of the stuff will put you in a near coma like state fro a couple of hours. But it’s so addictive you’re almost immediately craving another hit of the stuff.”

“Command has been able to get a hold of few samples. So far they have confirmed the compound is alien based with some Earth components thrown in. So that puts it squarely in our ballpark. And from the few dealers they had been able to arrest pointed in our direction as the source. Because it’s in our backyard we’re getting first crack. Because we’re still compiling information I want you to wait an hour or so before going out in the field. Rev I want you to use that time to study what we have on the compound. Maybe you can help figure out what’s going into it that you can counteract.”

“I will do my best Major,” Rev replied.

“See if you can devise a way to track this crap while you’re at it,” Dan added.

“I do believe the correct phrase is I’ll add it to the list.”

Dan shot a look toward Ace and Boomer, “I’m blaming the two of you for teaching him that.”

“Why am I getting blamed for it?”, Ace protested.

“You’re in my line of site.” Before she could respond he said, “We’re doing this is civvies people. Since we got time recheck your SP-Shooters to make sure they’re in working order. Ace work with Michelle and plot out some potential hot spots.”

“Rodger,” everyone complied and quickly set off to their assignments.

Dan glanced over to Michelle, “So much for a relaxing evening at home.”

She smiled slightly, “The night still young.”

The night air was slightly cool as they headed out. Target tightened her blue letterman’s jacket around her. Dan even buttoned up his bomber jacket up a bit. Ace and Boomer looked unaffected by the weather as she drove. Rev was still studying the datapad in his hands silently. Boomer looked in her direction, “Looks like you’re getting off easy on your first assignment.”

“If you say so,” she said. Target was trying to hide the fact she was nervous as hell at the moment. Boomer smiled like he knew any way but said nothing.

“We’re in the middle of the closest hot spot,” Ace announced as she parked the jeep. They piled out and Target found herself looking around. She took some small comfort as she noticed the others doing the same.

“We’ll cover more ground if we split up,” Dan announced. “Rev, Target you’re with me. Ace, Boomer check out the west side of the area, we got the east. And Ace, don’t kill him.”

“I’m not making any promises,” she said before they headed off.

While they checked the other direction Dan and Rev made some small talk to pass the time. Target just watched at how relaxed they were with each other. She had been with the unit for a week and she still felt like the outsider. Nobody was treating her like one but the feeling still remained. She was so lost in thought she almost missed that Cap was talking to her. “I’m sorry Cap, what did you say?”

“I was wondering why you were keeping so quiet,” he repeated. “You’re usually pretty talkative back at base.”

“I was just wondering if you wanted to see how the newbie does in the field,” she told him

“Not at all,” Dan informed her. “And never call yourself a newbie Target. Trust me I understand the feeling though. Me and Rev were the last two to officially join the unit. The others were already pretty well gelling as a unit before we got here. It took us awhile to fit in too.”

“Although,” Rev commented, “You were trying to keep you distance me and the others personally for as long as possible.”

“I told you that was for professional reasons,” Dan said quickly.

“So why did you want me with you?”, Target asked getting the conversation back on track.

“Because Boomer has a tendency to jabber on these smaller assignments and I didn’t want him to talk your ear off your first time out.”

“Hey,” somebody said coming toward them. He was dressed normally but he had a stoned out look in his eyes. “You three wanna try some Diamonds?”

Dan looked at the others then walked foreword as they kept watched. It would be really hard to explain if they were caught by the local police. “How much?”

“For you guys, three diamonds for a hundred bucks.”

“That’s a little steep,” Dan protested. Actually according to Command one Diamond had a street value of a hundred dollars. So this was a steal. Or the guy was a complete moron. Taking another look at him Dan was siding toward the latter.

“Ok seventy five, but that’s my final offer. You’re robbing me blind here.”

“Alright, alright,” Dan told him. He paid the man and got three bags each with a small red colored diamond. “Thanks man. Oh and by the way…,” he trailed off as he flashed his Springfield PD cover badge.

“Oh shit,” the dealer cried out before running like a bat out of hell. They gave chase and quickly caught up with him. Dan tackled him to the ground, then forced him up and against the wall. “Let go of me you filthy pig!”

“How about you tell me where you’re getting he red stuff first and I’ll forget you just insulted me.” When he said nothing Dan glanced over to the others. “Rev, help me search him for more Red Diamonds. Maybe we’ll find where he’s been.”

“As you wish Captain,” he replied.

“Keep that filthy skag away from me!”, the pusher shouted. Target knew the word and wasn’t all that surprised this particular low life used it. The look on Dan’s face and how he reacted, however, did catch her off guard.

He pulled the punk off the wall then slammed him back harder and snapped, “Strike two jackass. Try for three I’m begging you.”

The pusher started to squirm under Dan gaze, “Alright, alright I get the stuff from a ska…,” Dan tightened his grip around his collar and he quickly changed his words. “My supplier is in this shithole of an alley around Fifth and Broadway. That’s all I know I swear to God.”

“Alright,” Dan said. In moments he had him handcuffed around a lamppost and started walking away. As he loudly protested his treatment Dan casually said, “Rev leave an anonymous tip about that loser if you’ll please.”

“At once Captain,” he said.

“That was a little rough for police work,” Target commented.

“I like to think we have a little extra leeway compared to the other units,” he said. Pulling out his OpsLicense he said, “Ace, Boomer we got a possible location. Meet us back at the jeep.”

“We’re on our way. Ops5 out.”

“I’m guessing the easy part of the night is over,” Target said.

“Pretty much,” Dan answered. “But the fun part is about to start.”

“Remind me to discuss your and the others definition of fun one of these days,” Rev said.

It took a few moments to find the alley the dealer was talking about. Shithole was a pretty good description for it. Unfortunately there was no way to get to this supplier he was talking about that they could see. After a few moments of searching Boomer suggested, “Maybe this is a meeting place.”

“It’s possible,” Target said, “he only said he got it in this alley. We just assumed it be here.”

“No it’s here,” Dan said. “Look at the ground.”

She did and after a few moments saw what he was seeing, “There’s a path in the trash.”

“For an out of the way place this alley gets a lot of traffic.”

“Depending on the scheduling of the pick ups this could still fit the meeting point theory,” Target argued.

“Only if the supplier likes to stand in a certain spot every time, “Dan commented, trained eyes following the pathway. Standing in front of the brick wall he studied it. Gingerly he felt it with his fingertips. There was something there. He knocked on the wall in a couple of places.

“Captain,” Rev said, “could you knock on those last couple of places again.” Dan complied as Rev tilted his head slightly and listened. He repeated it a couple of times. “The second knock sound more hollow than the first,” he announced.

Target pulled out her License and did a scan of the wall. There was a passageway of some kind behind it. She looked at Ace who simply said, “He’s has really good hearing.”

“Boomer,” Dan spoke up, “I’m guessing you don’t have any explosives on you but do you remember that little trick you pulled in Hawaii?”

“Yeah,” he answered, “But this one is going to be trickier, if I can do it at all. Last time I had access to the insides and my comm. gear. Besides we don’t know if that door is automatic or not.”

“Do what you can,” Dan told him. “I don’t want to draw any undo attention to ourselves unless we have too.”

“Right,” he said. Standing on one side of the wall he pulled out his License and went to work. Dan pulled out his SP-Shooter out of his pocket and motioned for the others to cover the door. After a few minutes the started to open up and Boomer quickly said, “That wasn’t me.”

An Anaroid charged out in the next instant but it quickly went down as four shot hit it. “Change Standby!”, Dan ordered, OpsLicense switched to Change. “Emergency! DekaOps!”

Dan was surrounded by a red digital field as the Dekametal formed around his body in a flash of white light. It changed into black body suit in a burst. A dark red stripe went down the middle of his body from his shoulders to the top of his boots, on the left side of his chest the red and black formed the outline for a number one. A backpack solidified on his back and the D-Shot appeared in a flash. "Face on!", Dekametal flashed over his head and formed a dark red helmet. “Ops1!”

Target was surrounded by a blue digital field as the Dekametal formed around her body in a flash of white light. It changed into black body suit in a burst. A dark blue stripe went down the middle of her body from her shoulders to the top of her boots, on the left side of her chest the blue and black formed the outline for a number two. A backpack solidified on her back and the D-Shot appeared in a flash. "Face on!", Dekametal flashed over her head and formed a dark blue helmet. “Ops2!”

Rev was surrounded by a green digital field as the Dekametal formed around his body in a flash of white light. It changed into black body suit in a burst. A dark green stripe went down the middle of his body from his shoulders to the top of his boots, on the left side of his chest the green and black formed the outline for a number three. A backpack solidified on his back and the D-Shot appeared in a flash. "Face on!", Dekametal flashed over his head and formed a dark green helmet. “Ops3!”

Boomer was surrounded by a yellow digital field as the Dekametal formed around his body in a flash of white light. It changed into black body suit in a burst. A dark yellow stripe went down the middle of his body from his shoulders to the top of his boots, on the left side of his chest the yellow and black formed the outline for a number four. A backpack solidified on his back and the D-Shot appeared in a flash. "Face on!", Dekametal flashed over his head and formed a dark yellow helmet. “Ops4!”

Ace was surrounded by a pink digital field as the Dekametal formed around her body in a flash of white light. It changed into black body suit in a burst. A dark pink stripe went down the middle of her body from her shoulders to the top of her boots, on the left side of her chest the blue and black formed the outline for a number five. A backpack solidified on her back and the D-Shot appeared in a flash. "Face on!", Dekametal flashed over her head and formed a dark pink helmet. “Ops5!”

“Special Police,” Dan said. The lights on the side of their helmets started to flash. As one they announced, “DekaOps!”

More Anaroids and some Batsuroids rushed out of the new door and into the alley. Dan took a quick look at what was coming out and at the space they had to work with. He glanced at the others and saw they were doing the same and felt a little pride for his unit. Drawing his D-Colt he only had one order, “Make some space.”

They followed that order without another word. Dan turned to his left and fired at some bots that were trying to flank them. Rev was doing the same with a Batsuroid that was trying to do the same on their right. Ace and Boomer had their D-Shots in their hands and was cutting down any other bots that was coming through the door. Target fired off at those coming at her. She dodged a blast and fired at the same time. An Anaroid charged her, she spun out of the way and ducked as another volley flew over her head. Three more shots held fell the bots that fired them. She noticed Cap looking at her with his arms crossed. “Too flashy?”, she joked.

Holding his finger and thumb about an inch apart he said, “But impressive.” Raising his D-Colt he fired a shot that hit the Batsuroid that was trying to come up behind her.

Looking at the fallen bot she said, “Always stay aware of your surroundings.”

“Learn it faster than Boomer and you’ll do fine,” he told her. No more bots were coming out of the door and the ones that did were sparking on the ground.

“Why am I always your example for what not to do?”, Boomer complained.

“Do you really want him to answer that?”, Ace asked him. “So do you think the hallway is booby trapped?”

“Only one way to find out,” Target said. She picked up an old bottle and tossed it into the doorway. The moment it hit the hall four red beams obliterated the bottle. Target tried to figure it out. “Obviously a computer tracking system. Something that tracks motion or maybe air currents. There could be an outside chance it could detect heat signature, reading the residual heat left by my hand. Or maybe…,” she trailed off when she noticed Cap was staring at her again. “Too much?”

Again he held out his finger and thumb, “Right now I’m more concerned about getting past it.”

“It would be easier to tell you if I knew what we were dealing with.”

“Maybe it’s time to use that new toy Michelle gave me,” Dan said. Reaching into his pack he pulled out a modified pad with a tube like device on the side. Flipping it up he leaned against the wall and turned on the pad. Touching the screen in a few places the tube started to extend and turn around the corner. A camera on the end of the tube showed what it was seeing on the screen. “Pretty dark in there,” he commented. Touching another part of the screen he activated the night vision. They saw a head peek around the corner at the end of the hallway and quickly disappear.

“Captain may I see that individual again?”, Rev asked. Dan rewound the feed and froze on the image and the person in question. Huge eyes stared in their direction. “A Sullarian,” he commented. “That explains the darkness as the Sullarians are highly sensitive to light.”

“Light,” Target said suddenly. “The Sullarians developed their own automated weapon system. The main weakness is very intense light.”

That was all Dan needed to hear, “Boomer…”

“Way ahead of you,” he said throwing a flash grenade into the hallway. It exploded in a bright flash of light that fried the guns sensors. The Sullarian got enough of the flash from where he was and held his eyes as he screamed in pain. Target and Ace both jumped in with their D-Shooters out. They quickly spotted the guns and fired.

Target took out three of the four wall guns. Looking at Ace she said, “Now that’s how you do it.”

“Don’t get cocky,” Dan told her as the rest of them entered the hallway. They found the Sullarian on the floor rubbing his eyes.

“Please don’t get up,” Boomer told him.

“Rev,” Ace spoke and he proceeded to punch Boomer in the arm.

“She got you doing that now?”, he whined while rubbing his arm.

“You’re not going to get me,” the Sullarian told them as he got to his feet.

“Dude you been caught,” Ace informed him.

“You’ll never be able to get rid of all of my Red Diamonds,” he said.

“Rev?”, Dan asked.

“From the material I have studied I can safely dispose of the Diamonds here.” He looked around the room, “And since the Diamonds are created with those pieces of equipment over there we can dispose of it as we wish.”

“This only one lab,” the Sullarian said suddenly. “You won’t find the others without me.”

“One step at a time,” Dan told him. “Besides, it’s not our call to make. Target if you will.”

“OF course.” She pulled out her OpsLicense, switched it to Judge and held it before her, “Target orders.” The area went dark as a red X and a blue circle flashed between them. After the Sullarian was scanned the red X shined brightly, “Eliminate target.” Ace stepped up as they locked their License into their D-Shots and primed the shot as they took aim, “Strikeout!” Two blue stream later and the Sullarian was deleted.

After it was over Dan spoke up, “Rev do what you got to do. Target good job on your first time out.”

“Teacher’s pet,” Boomer joked. Target smiled to herself behind the helmet. For the first time she actually felt like she belonged.

The next day, just like the others said, Dan was testing her hand to hand skills. She didn’t think they would actually be boxing but she was proud of herself for holding her own so far. “So what do you think of the rookies skills?”

“Not bad,” he admitted. Then he hooked his leg around hers and tripped her. Before she knew it the palm of his hand was an inch from her nose. He took the hand away saying, “Ace told me she already told you about my first rule. Here’s rule number two. The fight is not over until somebody either tied up, knocked out or dead.”

“That wasn’t in any police manual I’ve ever read,” she told him. “I know, I know we’re not a traditional unit.”

Dan sat down on the mat next to her as she sat up. “Look I’m Army through and through, but I have not once said police procedure didn’t have a place in what we do. But the way I see it we have to be prepared to get our hands dirtier than anybody else if it comes down to it.”

She nodded in understanding, “How about you, did you have trouble adjusting to this?”

“It took me a while to wrap my head around the whole delete thing,” he admitted. “But I found away to live with it.”

“So what’s the final verdict on the hand to hand?”

“You’re good, but you can do better.” She knew that was coming. “And the next time I hear you call yourself a rookie you’re running twenty laps around the gym. Is that clear?”

“Yes sir,” she said with a salute

“Ok hit the showers. Oh just a word of warning,” he added. “I have it from a very good authority that Boomer is planned an official welcoming party for you. If you know anything about Boomer…”

“I’ll try not to hurt him,” she said.

“See you’re fitting in already.” Target chuckled a bit as she headed for the locker room.

ED – Evanescence – Whisper
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Old June 26th, 2019, 06:16 PM #31
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Joined: Dec 2012
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Special Police DekaOps

OP – Alter Bridge – Metalingus

Rev sat across from the Captain, unsure of what to make of this. He and the Captain got along well enough, but this was the first time the Captain had asked him to go top side for a cup of coffee at a local cafe. Even stranger he was attempting to make small talk, as the humans say. Rev talked along with him, not wanting to make this awkward moment for him even more so. Finally his curiosity got to be too much for him. “Captain, may I ask you a question?”

“Go ahead Rev,” he said.

“I do not want to sound unappreciative Captain, but I am unsure of why you asked me to join you today.”

“Like you said Rev, that deal that put us in this unit made a bond between us. It’s about time we started we started using it.”

Rev thought that over, “While I appreciate the effort the timing still confuses me a little. I know your relationship with Michelle has left you a little more open…”

“I didn’t ask you out here because of my relationship with Michelle,” Dan told him. “And it isn’t about what about what happened with D.E.” He looked thoughtful for a moment, “Ok, it might have a little to do with it. It just occurred to me I’ve spent more one on one time with everybody else than I have with you.”

“There have been several times time we have shared parts of a mission.”

“Those are missions Rev,” Dan countered. “I’m talking personal time here. I can’t think of the last time we just sat down and talked.”

“I assure you this isn’t necessary Captain,” Rev told him.

“I think it is.”

Rev took that in. “That does seem to contradict your rule about not mixing your personal and professional lives.”

“I know.” He admitted, “but after I started that rule I found out pretty quick that the people under me have a hard time trusting me if they don’t think I trust them. And you can only trust somebody if you know them. I had to work hard to find that middle ground.”

“I see. If I may ask another question, why did you want to do this off of base?”

“Because I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen you actually stepped outside. And I’m talking non mission related.”

“I do not want to be far from Base in case we get an assignment.”

“It can’t be healthy being cooped up down there like that. Even you need some sun every so often.”

“I get plenty of sun when we go on assignment.”

“You know what I mean.”

“It is part of my upbringing as a Shalimon,” he explained. He felt weird talking about this, but if he couldn’t trust the Captain to understand who could he trust. “We are taught that devotion to our duty is to be second only to the Great Spirit. Although my life journey took a slightly different path I do try to uphold those teachings to the best of my abilities.”

“Outside of one of us trying to drag you away from that?”, Dan said with a smirk.

“I mean no disrespect Captain,” Rev quickly said.

“I know you didn’t Rev, I’m just messing with you.”

“Why don’t you eat somewhere else you filthy Skag!”, somebody he didn’t know shouted across the café. Dan got up ready to argue the point with the person but Rev held him back. The manager quickly got involved and escorted the person out. “Fucking Skag lover! I’m never going to fucking eat here again.”

“You are more than welcome to take your business elsewhere,” The manager told him as he pushed out the door. Coming over to their table he said, “I am extremely sorry for that.”

“It is of no fault of your own,” Rev assured him. The Manager apologized again before leaving the table. After a few more moments Dan’s OpsLicense went off, he was getting a call. Leaving money for the bill they headed outside and found an isolated spot.

Making sure nobody was looking Dan answered the call, “This is Stevens, go.”

“Sorry to interrupt you guy’s play date,” Michelle said, “but we have something here the Major wants Rev to check out.”

“Understood, we’ll be there as soon as we can. Stevens out.”

“Play date?”, Rev asked. Since his time on this planet he had learned a lot. Although his friends still occasionally said something that confused him.

“I’ll explain on the way,” Dan told him

When they got back the Major gave them the lowdown. There was another new drug that just hit the streets. SPD was able to get a sample of it rather quickly but so far had a hard time identifying it. The Major had suggested Rev be given a sample of it, just as a fresh set of eyes and he could bring a different perspective on it. Besides with his study of the medical procedures of different cultures he might have seen it a little more recently.

A few hours later Rev was still working on it, but he wasn’t trying to identify it. He recognized it almost immediately. The entire time he was trying to prove himself wrong. There was no way the Alienizers had gotten a hold of it, there was just no way it was possible. He was so deep into his task he failed to notice when somebody walked in. “I know you told me you’re taught to be totally devoted to your task but I’m hoping even Shalimon took the occasional break.” He looked up to see Dan holding two cups of coffee, and Michelle right behind him.

Taking one of the cups he said, “Thank you Captain,” before returning to work.

“This must be a tough one,” Michelle commented as she sat on the other side of him. Both of them studied Rev as he concentrated on the drug in front of him.

“You know what it is, don’t you?”, Dan said. Rev said nothing as he looked away, but his left antenna twitched slightly. “How bad is this going to be?”

“I feel this is worse for me at the moment than anybody else,” he told him.

“I don’t understand,” Michelle said. “What’s in that compound that’s so bad?”

“It is not a compound,” Rev explained. “It is an extract of a plant found only on my planet.”

“So we have Command contact your planet and have them watch the plant until an Alienizer shows up,” Dan said.

“From the look on his face I don’t think it’s going to be that simple,” Michelle told him.

“You are correct,” Rev said. “Because of our physiology we can use the plant for medical purposes, in small doses. In other species the plant has a hallucinogenic that varies from species to species. Because of this the Shalimon cultivate and prepare the plant in our temples. Only those in the highest level of the order are permitted to tend and harvest it.”

Leaning against the table with his arms crossed Dan said, “Sounds like it might be an inside job.”

Rev immediately shot off of the stool and confronted him. “Captain, to even suggest that any Shalimon at any level of the order is behind this is an insult.”

Dan was startled at his outburst but he didn’t show it. “I know the order means a lot to you Rev, but I have to consider every possibility. Show me some proof they’re not involved and I’ll apologize to you on the spot. But until them they are on the list.”

“I think we can solve this problem pretty quickly,” Michelle said. “We can contact your planet and find out if anything has happened recently.”

“That may be difficult,” Rev told her. “The Shalimon are very secretive and very rarely reached out to the other sects when we had any problems.” His antenna drooped a bit as he continued, “And because I decided to join SPD most of my relationships are strained as a result.”

“There has to be somebody willing to talk to you,” Michelle said. “Give me some names I’ll help you out.”

In an underground cavern lit by floating glowing orbs a light green skinned Zalmanian sat at a table. Wearing Earth clothing and propping his feet on the table he counted various denominations of the local currency. “I have to make a new rule, no bills smaller than a ten. I am tired of counting fives. Eh money is money I guess. Right old man?”

Behind him, guarded by a Batsuroid, a Zalmanian who was so old his skin was grey kneeled on the ground in tattered robes. Before him were several rows of a two foot tall purple plant. Carefully he examined each plant. Every so often he would consider picking a plant that wasn’t quite ready. But every time the Batsuroid, almost as if it was reading his mind, would inch foreword and paid him some extra attention. If that was even possible.

“Hey old man,” the younger one repeated. “I am talking to you. Get the dirt out of you ears.”

“It is bad enough you have me doing this,” he replied but didn’t look back at him. “Do not drag me into your sinful ways even further.”

“Whatever old man,” he sneered. Going back to counting the stacks of cash he added,” You’ve been locked up in that temple for so long you wouldn’t know what to do with all of this if it was handed to you on a latimum platter.”

After a few hours of work Michelle finally found somebody in the temple who would talk with Rev. Giving him the station she exited the Command Room to give him some privacy. In the hallway leading to the field team quarters she found Dan, Ace and Boomer waiting patiently for some news. “He just started.”

“We’re just here in case we got to go at a moment notice,” Ace told her.

“And if you believe that there’s this lovely bridge in Brooklyn we’d like to sell you,” Boomer joked.

Ace looked over at Dan. “Just this one time”, he answered her silent question. A moment later her fist flew out and smashed into Boomer’s arm.

“Ow,” he whimpered a bit as he rubbed his arm. Realizing he wasn’t going to get any sympathy from this crowd he joined them in watching Rev. “I don’t think I’ve heard Rev speak in his language before. I’ve heard him chant in prayer a few times, but never in a conversation before.”

“He spoke it for me once when I asked him to,” Ace said. “I was a little embarrassed because I was expecting it to sound more bug like.”

“You weren’t the only one,” Dan said. After a few minutes Rev right antenna drooped a little. He ended the transmission and walked over to them.

Michelle asked, “What did he say?”

Rev’s tone was a tad somber when he answered. “He delivered some rather unsettling news. Several weeks ago one of the elders disappeared with a sizable section of the plant under our care.”

“Did they report either one?”, Ace asked.

“I am afraid not,” he replied. “The other Elders wanted to investigate this themselves.”

“Was there any signs of a break in?”, Dan asked him. Despite what he suspected he was looking for anything to help support Rev’s belief in his people.

That antenna drooped a little lower, “He did not say.”

“I hate to say it Rev…,” Ace started to say.

Quickly he cut her off, “There has to be an explanation.”

“Let’s take what we have to the Major,” Dan told him. “The faster we get on this the faster we can find out one way or the other.”

“I am almost afraid to bring this to him.” Rev explained, “Given how close I am to this I think he would call it a fool’s errand.”

Dan smirked a bit remembering hearing those words himself. “Your fool’s errand is my fool’s errand Rev. You helped me out with that thing with Jase. I’ll help you out with this.”

“We all will,” Ace told him. Boomer nodded in agreement.

“Thank you,” Rev said gratefully.

“Come on Rev,” Dan said. “Seeing how they came to us I’m sure the Major will want us to jump right in. If not I’ll beat him over the head with it until he gives in.”

“The quality is getting worse old man!” the young threw the latest batch at him. The vial landed at his feet and broke apart. Looking undisturbed by the sudden tantrum the older man said noting while he waited for the storm to pass. “My sellers are telling me the buyers aren’t staying buzzed as long as they were. They’re complaining, they’re actually complaining it’s not as strong as it first was. What are you doing to me old man?!”

“I am doing nothing to you young one,” he said calmly.

“Don’t call me ‘young one’ old man if you know what’s good for you,” he threatened.

“You always were impatient,” he sighed. “Even as a youngling at the temple. You refused to learn patience as part of the Shalimon life.”

“That’s because I decided to focus on more important things like money,” the youth shot back. “Why is it getting weaker?!”

“If you paid attention to your lessons when you were younger then you would know that this plant can only be grown on our planet. Nowhere else can it be sustained.” The young one gave a signal that the Elder had seen before. Taking the moment he had he braced himself. The Batsuroid behind him slapped him in the head and knocked him to the ground. “Have your machine beat me all you want,” he said. “It will not change the fact these plants are dying.”

Antenna stiffing in rage the young one said, “You better find a way to save them if you know what’s good for you. Because if they die I have no use for you.”

“I am not afraid to die.”

“Well that’s nice,” the youth sneered, “seeing how you were afraid when I brought you with me. Too bad for you this Batsuroid will keep you on this side of death. You’ll be begging for me to kill you and I’m just going to laugh and laugh. Now get back to work!”

A few days into the investigation they started to get some unusual reports. They checked the usual hot spots where alien drugs were being sold and they kept getting the same thing.”It’s getting less potent?”, the Major said reading the report. Dan and Target stood on the other side of his desk and still in their civvies. “Maybe we’ll get lucky and the problem will take care of itself,” he said dryly.

“I don’t think we’ll get that lucky,” Target commented. “Even if the supply did run out we still wouldn’t know who the supplier was.” She added, “I might not have known Rev as long as the rest of you but I don’t think he’s slept for the past couple of days.”

“We all noticed,” Pierce grunted. “I actually ordered him to take a nap a couple of times so far. Personally I’ll be glad when this is over. So does anybody have any idea why it’s getting weaker?”

Dan answered him, “I talked it over with Rev, he thinks the plant is dying. Which leaves the supplier with two options. Either get a fresh supply or try to save what he has.”

“I don’t think getting a fresh supply is an option,” Target commented. “Depending on how fast this plant is dying his clientele could be drying out before he gets back.”

“I agree,” Dan said.

The Major nodded, “I’m still going to see if Command can keep an eye on the temple just in case the guy in charge does come back for the plant.”

“Rev’s not going to like that,” Dan said.

“I know but I want to cover all the bases on this one. If the guy in charge has a secret way into the temple it would be best if we found out about it.” Dan found he couldn’t disagree with that logic. Hopefully Rev would agree with it as well. “Until then we better find this guy. Have Rev think of ways to keep this plant alive then give the list to Michelle. He’ll be trying to get a hold of them one way or another. In the mean time the rest you hit the streets again. It’s time to start putting some pressure on the sellers. Dan try not to smile while you’re doing it.”

“Can I help it if I’m good at it?”

“I know, I didn’t teach you to enjoy it. Get on it and dismissed.”

“Rodger,” both of them saluted.

It took a combination of things to locate where the plants were over the next couple of days. Dan and the others were able to get a vague idea were the sellers were picking up the extract. The supplier had a couple different pick up locations. But they were all centered round the factory district. With the list Rev gave her Michelle was able to narrow down the search even more. A factory that hadn’t been in use in years just received a shipment of a few of the things on the list. They had their target.

From a map of the area they knew the size was a couple of square miles. Dan and Ace did a drive by to assess the area. “I can probably land the Shepard in there,” she said. “But the only place that looks big enough is that field over there. I can cloak the ship and dampen the sound on the engines, but the dirt is still going to be flying when I set her down. He would have to be blind not to see that.”

“Then we do it the hard way,” Dan said.

Around nightfall the jeep was back at the factory and all five of them looked at their target. There were several buildings and all of them were dark. None of them expected him to be that stupid to begin with. “That’s a big place,” Boomer commented to nobody in particular.

“And a lot of places to stash the stuff,” Dan told him.

Rev lowered the hood on his hoodie and looked the place over. “The plant needs room to grow. The roots can travel several feet under the ground. Attempts to keep them in containers have failed in the past when we tried to secure the plant even further.”

“So we look at the floors closer to the ground,” Dan said. “There’s a lot of ground to cover and we need to do it fast before they realize we’re here. So I want each of you to take a building and do a search of the ground floor and basement if it has one.”

“Wait Cap,” Ace spoke up. “You want us to take a building by ourselves?”

“I know I don’t usually order that but speed is of the essence here. I want everyone t be extra careful and to call the moment you spot any trouble. Use the scanner in your License to search the area. Transmit the building your in and the ones you already searched to the others. I don’t want anybody to retrace anybody else’s steps unless absolutely necessary. Is that understood?” They said they did. Giving the word they all jumped the fence surrounding the place.

Going their separate ways each explored a building. A couple of hours into the search Rev came out of his second building. Punching a couple of commands into his License gave the building on the map a green outline, showing he had already searched it. Studying the map he looked for a building that didn’t have a colored outline. There was one a few yards to his left so he headed there. Like the other two the locks on the door had been busted too. Doing a quick life sign search he found the signature of several small animals. But there was something else he couldn’t readily identify. The reading was below him so he quickly located a stairway leading to the basement. Locating where he was getting the signal he found an empty space with nobody around. He checked the License and it was working fine. So where was this reading coming from?

Playing a hunch as his friends would say lowered his License to the floor. The reading got stronger but he still wasn’t getting enough to identify the source. Rev went over the plans of the factory in his head. None of them indicated that any of the building had a sub-basement. Rev was so deep in thought he almost missed it, a muffled voice, with his ears it sounded like somebody was yelling from a great distance. He paid more attention this time and was rewarded by hearing it again. It was coming from in front of him. There was noting there but a wall and some paneling on the floor, but experienced told him that wasn’t always the case. A quick search located a handle on the panel and he slid it away. Underneath it was a homemade staircase leading further underground. “Ops3 to Ops1”

“Go ahead Rev,” Dan answered.

“I believe I have located a secret passage way. I am going to investigate further.”

“Rev wait for us,” Dan told him. “There’s no telling what’s down there.”

Rev heard the yelling again then somebody cry out. “I am afraid I can not do that Captain.”

Hearing it as well over the link Dan said, “Be careful, we’ll be there as soon as we can. Stevens to all units, locate Rev’s marker and make your way to his location immediately.”

Rev started to put the License in it’s holster but hesitated. He might need it down there depending on what he saw. Going slowly to make sure he didn’t make any noise on the way down. He quickly saw floating glowing globes he recognized from his home planet, his heart sank a little. These were the same globes that lit the halls in the temple. The stairs went further down and the air started to get that stale recycled taste to it. The steps went further past an opening and he backed against the wall. Peeking around as best he could and still not be seen he found out who was making the noise, someone was standing and someone on the ground, and he recognized them both.

“I warned you old man!” the youth said. “I told you to keep the plants alive!”

“And I told you the results would not be instantaneous. It would take days before we would know if it had any affect.”

“Days!” the youth exploded. “I didn’t steal these plants to hear days. Slag it, if you didn’t walk in on me I wouldn’t have had to drag your sorry carcass halfway across the galaxy to make sure you didn’t tell anybody.” He started kicking him as his anger exploded.

“That is enough!” Rev commanded as he stepped into view. The youth turned around frightened as the Batsuroid stepped between them.

“Ranzack,” the Elder coughed.

“Ranzack?”, the youth said. “Ranzack the Outcast? So this is where you ended up.”

“You will leave the Elder alone,” Rev told him.

“Or what the Outcast will arrest me?” He motioned to the Batsuroid, “Get him.”

As it came foreword Rev switched modes on his License. “Emergency! DekaOps!” A green digital field surrounded him as his Dekasuit formed around him. “Face on!”, the helmet covered his head and the field disappeared. Rev waited for the Batsuroid to come at him blocking the initial attack. The bot caught him off guard by pointing his weapon right in his face. Ducking right before it could fire Rev didn’t have time to react as a knee hit him flush in the face. Reeling from the impact Rev covered up as the Batsuroid pounded at him. When it raised it hand for another strike Rev struck out with the palm of his left hand hitting it in the chest. With his right he reached into his pack and took out his D-Rod extending it to it’s full length. Rev used it to block another strike at his head. Pressing the button on the handle the Rod glowed green and he ran it down the length of Batsuroid arm and through it’s chest in one motion. It fell to the ground sparking.

“Rargh!” the youth jumped up intending to plant both of his feet into Rev’s chest. With the Dekasuit enhancing his abilities Rev was able to catch him and throw him back. The youth flipped in the air and landed on his feet. Coming at Rev again he struck wildly Rev was able to dodge and knock away each one. Side stepping him completely the youth fell to the ground. “You wouldn’t be so tough without that blasted Dekasuit!”

Calmly Rev said, “I seem to recall that they called you Zelar the Impatient. Always wanting to rush through your lessons. Never taking the time to reflect on what you have learned in order to understand it better. Never once appreciating in the way of things and your place in it, always looking for something more.”

“My place in the way of things sucked!”, the youth tried to charge at him again.

Rev grabbed him and flipped him to the ground, “And that attitude is why you have lost.” The youth kicked him away and got up. This time Rev went on the attack catching him by surprise. A side kick to the chest knocked the youth back. Slowly Rev reached for behind him and drew his OpsLicense.

“You’re going to judge me you slagging bastard!?”

“Although the device is in my hand I will not be the one deciding your fate. Target orders.” The area around them went dark as a red X and a blue circle started flashing between them. After the youth was scanned the red X shined brightly. Softly Rev said, “Eliminate target.” Feeling the Elders eyes on him Rev lowered his head. He was hoping the apprehend order was going to be given. “As a Shalimon I cannot take the life of another Zalmanian.”

The youth broke out in a grin, “Sucks to be you,” and started to leave. He stopped in his tracks when he saw four others in Dekasuits standing by the stairs.

“I don’t have that problem,” Dan said. To the others he said, “Ready!” The locked their OpsLicense into their D-Shots. Taking aim he shouted, “Strikeout!” Four streams hit him and he was deleted in seconds. Both Rev and the Elder lowered their heads and prayed for him.

Rev slowly took off his helmet as Dan walked foreword doing the same. After a moment he said, “I’m a man of my word Rev. I’m sorry…”

“You were correct Captain,” he said. “The culprit was part of the temple.”

“I wasn’t totally right,” he told him. “All the signs were pointing to somebody high up.”

“Thank you for trying Captain,” he said, “but Zelar was still part of the temple. I will take whatever punishment you think is appropriate for not fulfilling my duties.”

“You did what you thought you had to do Rev,” Dan said. “The report going to say the target was judged and deleted, nothing else.” Rev nodded then walked over top the plants with his head lowered.

“We’re ready to blow this thing,” Boomer told them by the basement entrance. “Just give the word Cap.”

“Not until Rev is out of there,” he told him even though they all knew that any way.

“I wonder what they’re saying down there,” Target wondered out loud.

“I don’t care if this guy is the High Elder of the entire planet,” Ace said, “if he gives Rev any lip I’m giving him a piece of my mind.”

Dan glanced at her, “I appreciate the sentiment Ace but we don’t need an intergalactic incident out of this too.”

In the underground cavern Rev and the Elder finished pulling up the plants and dripping a concoction into the ground to take care of the roots. They piled them into a small mound on the ground. His antenna flat against his head the Elder said, “There will be an investigation over this.”

“I am sure they will clear you,” Rev said. “You were forced to do this against your will. I am confident they will not punish you for this.”

“They will say I should have put up more of a fight.” Looking ashamed of himself he admitted, “I was afraid I might die if I did not comply.”

Rev watched him for a moment, thinking deep. “My Captain has told me several times that fear is a part of who we are, no matter the species.”

“I do believe they used to teach that when I was a youngling,” the Elder said. “A surprisingly wise statement from a human.”

“I have found that they do have the occasional moment of insight from time to time,” Rev told him. After a few more moments of silence Rev spoke again, “I know my words does not mean much anymore in the temple but I will testify on your behalf. I heard Zelar say he kidnapped you.”

“You have my appreciation Ranzack,” the Elder told him. “I am not sure what fate will bring but I will face it with more dignity than I have. To be honest I was one of the many who were disappointed in you when you decided to leave and join SPD. Now I think the Great Spirit had a different path for you to take. If he ever decides that you should rejoin us, as long as I am Elder you will be welcome back Ranzack.”

“Thank you Elder.” A moment later the Elder lit the pile on fire and both of them performed the traditional prayer until the fire died out.

ED – Evanescence- Whisper
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Old June 28th, 2019, 08:13 PM #32
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 382

Special Police DekaOps

OP – Alter Bridge – Metalingus

Pierce sat behind his desk rubbing the side of his temples. Since taking this position he has talked to his superior, Commander Scorp and others in SPD Command more times than he could count. But not once had one of those conversations caused him to feel a headache like he is now. “I don’t like this,” he said to the image of Scorp in front of him. “Treating them like that, it doesn’t feel right.”

He replied with a series of clicks, a few moments later his translator responded, “I know this will be difficult but it is necessary. I am certain they will understand.”

You’re not the one who’s going to have to face them afterwards he thought. “I hope they will but I know Dan doesn’t like surprises. You remember how he reacted when we brought him into that first meeting don’t you?”

“He was a little more… resistant… than I was expecting,” Scorp admitted. “But he did conform to the situation.”

“Conform wouldn’t be the word I’d use but I know what you mean.”

Scorp nodded, “While it isn’t necessary I feel I should remind you that you are not to tell any of them this.”

“I know sir,” Pierce said. “OpsBase Earth out.” After the image faded away he opened a drawer and pulled out a bottle of aspirin. Popping a couple of them into his mouth he leaned back and waited for them to kick in. Never mind Dan, none of them were going to like this.”

The alarm rang though out the base, Dan and Ace ran to the Command Room from the hanger. Ace had asked him to come down there a few minutes before. Dan didn’t know why the Major was wondering if the Shepard could make it to low orbit either. One of them would have to remember to ask him about it after they got back. When they got there Dan noticed he wasn’t looking at them like he usually did. He almost looked distracted by something. When he finally looked at Dan he found something else to look at real quick. Something was wrong all right.

Michelle pulled up a picture of the planet Earth on the big screen. It was covered by various lines indicating all the satellites and stations orbiting the planet. One in particular was highlighted red. “We got a bit of a surprise an hour ago,” she said. “Sensors picked up a new object in low Earth orbit.” Ace and Dan exchanged looks. “And when I mean surprise I mean it was literally not there one second and there the next. I can’t find anybody who can figure out how it got there.”

“It doesn’t matter how it got there,” The Major said a little too sharply. All of them looked at him. A little more subdues he continued, “All that matters is that it’s there now. Command wants us to check it out and find out how it got there.”

“That seems a little out of our jurisdiction,” Dan commented.

“Yeah,” Boomer agreed, “isn’t this something the SpaceBase should be checking out?”

“Normally yes,” Pierce told them. “But with the sudden appearance of the object it was felt that we should check things out first. Ace I’m going to give you a little extra time to work on a flight plan. But since we don’t know their intent you might want to hurry it up. Dismissed.”

The other left the Command Room while Dan walked over to the Major. With some concern he asked, “What’s going on?”

“If this is how I talked to Michelle I apologize,” he said without looking at him.

“I’ve known you for a few years now Major,” Dan said. “And you always act like this when something isn’t right. Now what is it? Is everything between you and Helen…”

“I do believe there is an assignment you have to prepare for,” he told him. His tone said that was all he was hearing on the matter.

Dan studied him for a moment before saying, “You and me are going to talk when we get back.” With that he finally left the room.

Pierce sighed and leaned heavily on his cane, “I’m sure you’ll have more than a few words when you do.”

“Major…,” Michelle cautiously started.

“I am very sorry about how I spoke with you Michelle,” he told her. Walking away he continued, “I have a shuttle pod being prepped in the hanger. I’ll be leaving after they do.”

Michelle looked startled, “Wait, you’re leaving? You never leave while they’re on a mission.”

“A special meeting between Earth Commanders,” he quickly said. “I can’t miss it.”

“Those meetings have happen before,” she reminded him. “You always told them you’d be there after you found out how the mission went.”

“I really wish I could explain Michelle, I really do, but I can’t,” he said not turning around. “I’m going to have to ask you to keep quiet about this. I don’t want them to know I’ve gone.” Michelle started to say something but he cut her off. “I’ll make that an order if I have to Michelle.”

“Yes sir,” Michelle said and returned to her station. Pierce turned his head to look at her, feeling nothing but regret. Hopefully they will all understand once this was over.

It took longer than usual to prepare the Machine Shepard for launch. Ace ran her crew triple time to make sure the hull didn’t ice up, especially the engines. As a precaution she made sure everybody had an oxygen tank for the trip. She‘d gone over this jet more time than she could count and knew her like the back of her own hand, she knew the internal pressure would hold. Ace would have bet money on it, but it never hurt to hedge your bets every so often. After that was done she went to Michelle for help with the flight plan. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but she never plotted a course for anything that high up before.

The cockpit was unusually quiet as they launched, all of them were thinking about how the Major was acting. The only sound was the occasional vibration from the ship followed by Ace patting a console by her left leg and mumbling, “It’s ok baby, it’s just a little turbulence.” After a few more minutes of silence she looked over to Dan, “Cap, did Michelle look a little off to you before we left?”

“I noticed,” he answered.

“Do you think she knows what’s going on with the Major?”

“No she was as surprised as the rest of us at how he was acting.” Sitting there for a moment he added, “But she knows something and the Major doesn’t want her to say.”

“She told you that?”

“Not exactly,” he admitted. “She really didn’t confirm or deny it when I brought it up. I’m only thinking that’s the reason is because she looked unsure of herself. And in the short time I’ve known her she’s never been unsure about anything.”

“I’ve never known her to be unsure of anything either. What’s going on?”

“I don’t know,” Dan told her, “But I intend to find out.”

“We’re approach the target,” Target announced behind them.

“Status?”, Dan asked immediately changing mental gears to get into the moment.

“I am not reading any life signs from this distance,” Rev announced

“Nothing over the airwaves,” Boomer said.

“I’m not reading any type of scan or target lock in our direction,” Target added.

“Ace get us closer and do a flyby,” Dan said.

“I already plotted a course,” she told him. They got closer and saw it in more detail. It looked like a space station built into an asteroid. And it was just hanging there above the planet’s surface. More than one of them wondered how that snuck past the sensor grid. “I’m seeing what looks like two hangers,” Ace announced. “One of them looks open.”

“Let’s do that flyby and work from there,” Dan said. Ace circled it a few times. Dan called out for a status report again and got the same answers as before. It was there and nobody was home from the look of things. “I’m not seeing another option here, take us in Ace.”

“Rodger.” She swung the Shepard around and headed for the hanger. Target told them there was an energy field surrounding the opening, but it was only strong enough to keep the atmosphere in. So Ace wasn’t surprised when a static looking effect started to outline the ship as they passed through it. Once inside Ace activated the landing thrusters before cutting the main engines. Landing with a slight bump Dan turned toward Rev and Target.

“We still weren’t scanned,” she said.

“The air is breathable,” Rev said after checking his sensors. “There are some strange elements in it but nothing harmful.”

“Right.” Dan got up and headed for the ramp, “Target, you and me are going out first. Ace keep the engines warmed up in case we have to get out of here in a hurry.”

“Rodger,” they both replied. When Target joined him in the cargo bay Dan hit the ramp control. As it open both of them were hit with the alien air. Like Rev said it was breathable but there was a taint to it. Making their way down the ramp they were surprised when the hanger door started to close.

“It’s closing too fast for us to get out in time,” Ace said going over the sensor readings. “I can turn us around and fire the main laser but the Shepard isn’t maneuverable enough to make a hole big enough for us to get out.”

“Rev said there weren’t any life signs,” Target said as the door sealed shut. “An automated response?”

“Let’s find out.” Dan looked around the hanger. He didn’t see anything that looked like a control room, just a door at the far end of the hanger. “Lock up the ship and stay together. I don’t want us splitting up unless we have to. This place is one big hole and I don’t like it. Boomer can you get through to OpsBase and let them know the situation?”

“We lost signal as soon as those door closed,” he called back.

“Blind and deaf,” Dan mumbled. “Everybody keep your eyes open. Rev you tell me the moment you hear anything off.”

“Understood Captain,” he replied. With Weapons drawn they headed for the door.

Ghost ship entered their minds more than once the more they explored the interior. If it wasn’t for the lighting in the upper part of the walls they couldn’t have known there was any power at this point. The Station even felt empty, although Target and Boomer couldn’t shake the feeling that they were being watched. A bit of searching found a wall terminal that Boomer quickly went to work on. In no time he found a map to the floor that he quickly downloaded into his OpsLicense. Running a quick check he announced, “There’s no extra programs or traps in the map, it’s clean. I still can’t believe the language was in galactic basic.”

“Be grateful for small favors,” Ace told him. “What do you think Cap, a room by room search?”

“Perhaps we should discover how big of a search area we have to deal with,” Rev offered.

“That’s probably a good idea,” Dan said after thinking it over. “Does anything on that map look like an elevator?”

“Give me a second,” Boomer said. “I’m not seeing an elevator but I’m seeing what looks like a ladder bay around the corner a ways.”

“Better than nothing,” Dan said. “Boomer take the lead.”

“Right,” he said as he walked off. Every so often Dan and Ace would check a door they passed. Most appeared to be locked but every so often they found an open one and an empty room. Dan kept looking back at the locked doors behind them before going on. Finally they arrived at the ladder as Boomer looked up it. “I’m only seeing one other opening and that’s a long ways up.”

“Let me see,” Dan got a good look. “Looks like we only have two floors unless there’s some more ladder somewhere else.” Checking his map Boomer said there were. Testing the ladder a bit he said, “Boomer, follow me up.” After what turned out to be a three story trip Dan cautiously peeked over the opening before climbing the rest of the way. He checked one direction as Boomer stepped onto the floor and checked the other. “Clear,” he said knowing Rev would hear it. “I see another terminal.”

“I’m on it,” Boomer said. While he accessed the terminal Ace and the other booked it up the ladder. “I got it,” he said after a few moments. “I think I found that elevator too. It’s at the end of a really long hallway for some reason. Wait a sec,” he studied the map a little closer as the other joined them. “I found the command center.”

“Is it anywhere near the elevator?”, Target asked.

“They’re on opposite ends of the complex.”

“Why am I not surprised,” Ace said out loud.

“Alright, the first order of business is to secure that command center,” Dan told them. “We get that under control we can find out why this station is here and unlock the hanger the Shepard is in.”

A noise caught their attention as they turned toward the ladder. A panel slid over the opening on the floor sealing it shut. “Shit,” Ace rushed over. Finding a wall panel she hit it several times with no result, “It doesn’t work. Boomer…”

“I’m locked out,” he said before she could finish.

“It’s Mexico all over again,” Dan muttered.

“What happened in Mexico?”, Target asked.

“I believe the correct term is we were duped,” Rev explained.

“We can catch her up later,” Dan said. “I want that center under our control now.” Luckily Boomer was able to download this floor map before he was locked out. So he took the lead again and headed for the station CC. Before long Rev stopped and looked behind them. “What is it?”, Dan asked.

“I thought I heard something unlock.”

Ace grabbed Target’s attention and they went back down the hall. When they returned she reported, “All the doors still look locked and the ladder still sealed tight. I don’t know what Rev heard.”

“Let’s not hang around and find out,” Dan said as they kept going. Ten minutes later they found the door leading to the CC and another dead panel. Dan looked at it for a moment before saying, “Boomer, do you think you can redo that door trick that you did in Hawaii?”

“I’ll give it a go.” Slipping off his backpack he quickly removed a plate underneath the panel. While he connected his comm. gear to the wires inside Dan and the other waited impatiently while they kept guard. Everything about this mission was feeling wrong. After what felt like an eternity Boomer said, “I got it.”

The door slid open revealing an Igadroid on the other side. Ace and Target reacted first shooting it in the chest. More came behind it. The walls on either end of the corridor opened revealing more Igadroids as well as some Batsuroids and Anaroids. “Find some room!” Dan ordered as they ran back the way they came. They got around the corner and found another army of bots coming at them. Dan looked both ways, “Damn it. Change standby. Emergency! DekaOps!”

Each one was surrounded by a digital field. Dekametal formed around them creating a black bodysuit. A colored strip traveled down their body forming a number on the left side of their chest. A backpack appeared on their back as the D-Shots flashed into existence. “Face on!”, they shouted and the Dekametal formed a helmet around their heads.

“Special Police!” The lights on their helmets started to flash, “DekaOps!”

“We got to get to that elevator,” Dan said as he unlatched his D-Shot. “Make a hole and keep going.” Before the others could comply something started to feel wrong. Dan suddenly started to feel weightless as did the others, “What the fuck?”

“I did not think we were so far out that we would stop start feeling of Earth gravity,” Rev said.

“It’s got to be a trick,” Boomer said as he reached into his pack and pulled out a small disc. Pressing the center he tossed it like a Frisbee at the group behind them. The moment it came into contact with a Anaroid it was assaulted by a massive electoral jolt that fried it’s system. Arcs went out and affect the bots around it the same way. “I was hoping that would take out more.”

“We’ll worry about it later,” Ace said as she tried to run but the lack of gravity messed her up.

Boomer caught her. “Ace like this,” he pushed off the floor once and went over the oncoming bots who tried to grab at him. Dropping more of the disc he called out, “You just have to get started and not worry about the rest.”

“You heard him,” Dan said as he planted his foot against the wall and fired at the Bots till coming at them from behind as they got in range. Ace and Target went after Boomer with Rev trailing behind. He was having a hard time controlling his movements.

Target stopped herself long enough to grab him, “I got you Rev.”

“You have my appreciation Angela,” he told her. She helped him get going. Dan waited as long as he could before kicking off the wall and following. As he sailed above them it looked like the bots where still attached to the floor. Whatever was going on they caught a small break. “Looks like somebody didn’t think of everything.”

“Just move enough to keep your momentum going,” Boomer called out to them. Listening to his instructions Ace and Target, who was still holding on to Rev, quickly caught up with him when he found a clear area to rest up and regroup for a moment. Boomer dropped all the discs he had and took out most of them Dan came around the corner, kicked off another wall to turn and grabbed a door to stop. “Smooth moves Cap,” Boomer told him.

“Compliment me later,” Dan said. “Where’s that elevator? And how do you know this stuff?”

“Lisa had a cousin in the space program before he had to leave because of a medical problem and I read a lot of science fiction growing up. And it should be down that corridor over there.” Before he finished speaking the walls opened up again revealing more boys. “You have got to be kidding me.”

“Move!”, Dan ordered. He hated calling a retreat but they were so out of their element it wasn’t funny. They had to find whatever was controlling the gravity and get it back on. Again Rev had a hard time getting going. Dan had to grab him and literally threw him toward the others. Spinning around and pushing off the wall Dan fired his D-Shot. An Anaroid took a direct hit to the chest and fell backwards into the one behind it.

“I see the elevator!”, Boomer said as he reached the corridor. Ace grabbed Rev and helped him there as Target put her back to the wall and fired her D-Shooter at another group of bots coming out of another wall a few yards behind Boomer.

“Get to the elevator!”, Dan yelled before he even got there. Ace continued to hold on to Rev as they followed his order. By the time he got there they were already over halfway to the elevator. He looked at both approaching groups then back at his team. Turning into the corridor he went a few yards before stopping himself and waited. He didn’t wait long as several Igadroids and Batsuroids started to fill up the opening. Pushing off the floor with all he had he fired his D-Shot, it gave him a little more momentum but not much.

“Cap come on!”, Ace shouted. They were already at the elevator.

Looking back he saw how much more he had to go, something told him he wasn’t going to make it. Stopping himself he told Ace, “Get them home.” He had to hold them off for as long as possible so they could get to the next floor. Letting go of the D-Shot he grabbed his D-Rod and D-Knife he watched as they got closer

“Simulation ended,” a computer voice said out of nowhere.

“What the…?”, Ace said as the gravity came back on and they roughly landed on they’re feet. Dan fell to a knee as the bots faded away. Ace and the other ran up to him as a door appeared directly in front of them and opened. The Major and Commander Scorp walked out as the inside started to change around them. The corridor became shorter as more doors took it’s place along with a SPD symbol on the wall.

Dan ripped off his helmet as he stormed toward them, “What in the hell is going on?”

Scorp’s mouth and claws clicked a bit before the translator on his uniform kicked in, “A test. We had to see how you and your unit would react in this situation.”

“All of this for a test?”, Ace asked in disbelief.

“You could have told me this was going to happen,” Dan told the Major.

“I was under orders not to,” he explained. “I didn’t want to treat you like this Dan but Commander Scorp thought this was the best way to get an honest result.”

“And what interesting results they were,” Scorp said. “Sgt. Parker responded the best to the situation with Captain Steven close behind. Surprisingly Sgt. Ranzack preformed the worst.”

“If these test are over then we’re going home,” Dan said sharply.

“Not so fast Dan,” Pierce said, “There was a reason for all of this. We got word the Iczians are coming back.”

“Again with the bringing ‘civilization’ B.S.,” Boomer groaned.

“Unfortunately yes,” Pierce said. “But this time they’re bringing a ship that can freeze a planet from orbit. The plan is to send in a boarding party to disable it. The only drawback is the Iczians favorite defensive maneuver is to cut the gravity in the sector the invading party is in.”

“So all of this was to get ready for that?”, Dan demanded. Looking around at the new interior he added, “And what in the hell is this place?”

“This is an orbital OpsBase that the other Ops units use,” Scorp explained.

“We were going to get one of these before SPD made that deal with the Government,” the Major added. “It was modified a bit for the test to see if you’re ready for this.” Pierce reached into his command jacket and pulled out a data pad he handed to Dan.

Reading a bit he noticed a particular spelling and uttered, “EXternal Operations?”

“It is a special program for the Ops units,” Scorp answered. “Because of the nature of the situation your unit was picked to undergo the training first. That elevator will take you to the second hanger holding a craft, the Machine Tiger, will take you to the facility.”

“Machine Tiger?”, Dan asked arching an eyebrow

“It was christened after one of your fallen comrades after he helped design the vessel,” Scorp told him.

“Dan we have a week at best,” Pierce said. “You need to complete the training and get back here as soon as possible.”

“Yes sir,” Dan said.

“We’ll talk when you get back.”

“You better believe it.” Without another word he got the others in the elevator.

“He’s pissed alright,” the Major said to nobody in particular.

“I understand that he’s upset at being fooled,” Scorp began to say.

“That’s not why he’s pissed,” the Major told him. “I’ve always believed a good commander knows how each person in his unit is going to react in any situation. I knew he was going to be mad. Do you remember when I told why I wanted him leading this unit?”

“Yes, you said Captain Stevens has two main priorities, to get the mission done and to get his team home safely.”

“Well in his mind the latter was made almost impossible and we put him through all of that for nothing. He’ll calm down but it’s going to take awhile. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to coordinate a defensive plan with the other Commanders in case they don’t get back in time.”

When the elevator doors reopened they walked out into the second hanger. They were greeted by a futuristic looking black jet with white markings that resembled tiger stripes. Dan studied it for a few moments before putting a hand on the hull, “Tony.”

Ace was eyeing it like a kid in a candy store. Pointing at the engines she said, “Those are Mark V star drives.”

“Ace, you’re starting to drool,” Boomer said.

“Get on board,” Dan told them. “We don’t have time to waste.” Ace nodded and they boarded the ship. Each of them took a seat in the cockpit, which was similar to the layout of the Shepard. Ace naturally took the pilot’s chair. Once the hatch closed the Tiger lifted into the air as the hanger doors opened. Within moments they were in space and headed toward the nearest stargate.

“That’s one hell of an auto pilot,” Ace commented. “I don’t like it.”

“I’m sure it’s just for the initial trip,” Dan assured her. “Let’s see if we can figure out what our destination is.”

“Right,” Ace said. Her finger worked on the computer between them. Without any trouble she found the coordinates and a star map of the system they were headed for. Dan stared at the map, something about it bugged him.

“I think I know where we’re going.”

On another ship entirely humanoid looking ice creatures known as Crystalines where standing guards. At the center station an Iczian, who looked a little like an abdominal snowman, stared at an image of the planet Earth. He stared at it for a long time, it was the one that got away. Behind him a female Iczian walked up and leaned on the back of his chair. “It still stings, does it not dear?”, she asked.

“Yes it does darling,” he said. “To think these savages believe they had the upper hand, it gives me a case of indigestion.”

“Relax dear, we’ll finally give this poor planet the gift of cold it has been longing for will to cure that. Captain, how soon do we arrive to this planet in sore need of civilization?”

“A few cycles ma’am,” he answered. “We have to make a few jumps before we can get in range of the system. Otherwise we’ll burn out the engines.”

“And we don’t want that,” the male said. “Imagine just stopping out here while others think we are helpless. The planet waited this long,” he took his wife’s hand and kissed it, “it can wait a little longer.”

ED –Evanescence – Whisper
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Old July 4th, 2019, 07:27 PM #33
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 382

Special Police DekaOps

OP – Alter Bridge – Metalingus

“EXternal Operations?”, Michelle said out loud as she did a check on the computer systems. She only decided to do so after she noticed some space on their hard drive was mysteriously taken up. A thorough search, and some “special” software she created, gave her the name of this particular file. She couldn’t go any further because a password she couldn’t crack was preventing her from getting into it. “What the hell is this?”

“I told them you’d notice,” Major Pierce said as he entered the Control Room. “But then again they don’t know you as well as I do.”

“So what is it?”

“Something Dan and the others are going to need once they complete their training. Which is hopefully soon.”

“Training?”, Michelle asked. She was hating the fact the information officer was apparently out of the loop. The Major took a deep breath before explaining the situation to her. “Why didn’t you tell us about this?”, she said in a state of shock.

“I was under orders not to,” he explained. “Direct from Commander Scorp. I hated keeping all of you in the dark but I didn’t have much of a choice.”

“So where are they going?”

“Some place Dan knows pretty well,” he said. He walked over to her station and pulled up the file. Then he imputed the password, “Since the proverbial cat is out of the bag I might as well let you in on what I know. It’s not going to totally make up for how I was acting, but hopefully it’s a start.”

Michelle eyes were transfixed on her screen as information and schematics flashed by, “Holy shit.”

“So do you think they’re going to enjoy their new toys?”

Over the horizon a second sun started it’s accent in the morning sky. The Machine Tiger flew over the canopy of the jungle heading for a complex in the distance. The autopilot landed the craft on a landing pad not far from the main building. The rear hatch opened and a ramp lowered as they walked out onto the alien planet. In their black field uniforms they looked around. “Nagasus 7”, Dan never thought he’d be back here again. Movement in the jungle caught his attention while Rev looked in the same direction. “Did you hear something?”

“Yes Captain,” Rev replied.

With his fingers Dan told Target and Rev to head to the right and for Ace and Boomer to go left. Drawing his SP-Shooter Dan headed for the middle. He didn’t go far before he realized where he was in the jungle. That open area was too far away but there was a small patch that would work just as well. The being stalking them targeted him first knowing exactly what he was capable of. He lost track of the human momentarily and kneeled to listen to the environment around him. A rustling to his left caught his attention. The human’s hat disappeared behind a large brush. He was disappointed, that was sloppy of him. He went to the far side of the brush to ambush him. Waiting for the footsteps to get closer he jumped out of hiding. A hairy bipedal beast stared lazily at him while it chewed on some leaves. Alright that was clever. He wasn’t surprised he felt something poke him in the back. “Perhaps the Commander wasn’t aware that was the second oldest trick in the book,” Dan said.

“Perhaps not,” Mynx said with that guttural chuckle of his. He spun around quickly to catch him off guard. He took the weapon from Dan’s hand and was surprised to see a stick instead of a gun.

Dan raised his SP-Shooter, “And that would be the third.” He smiled a bit before lowering the weapon as Mynx laughed again. Holstering his Shooter he took out his OpsLicense and switched it to phone, “Stevens to all units, target is a friendly. Return to the Tiger.” Ace and Target both replied in the affirmative. “It’s good to see you back on your feet Commander,” Dan said as they headed back compound. “You were in pretty bad shape when I saw that video.”

“It took me a while to heal from Waven and his group’s attack. But I’m tougher than Duranium hull plating. It’s a shame we had to lose Tony and his unit as a result.” Both of them lowered their head, Dan nickname for the tiger stuck fast with the others. “I heard they targeted you after that.”

“They did,” Dan said. “It took longer than I would have liked but we got them.” Dan looked around remembering all the crap he went through on this planet. “To be honest I’m surprised anybody is still here. After the Alienizers found out about it I was positive it’d be abandoned.”

“I thought we would have to relocate too,” Mynx agreed. “But every intelligence report says the Alienizers stopped having any interest in this sector soon afterwards. But Command is playing it safe in this case. We have sensor satellites throughout the system. As well as various droid ships flying around tracking any Alienizer satellites and feeding them false information.”

“Sounds like something Scorp cooked up,” Dan commented.

Mynx grunted, “You know him all too well it seems. I get the occasional report about you and your unit. Trytan was very impressed about the way you handled that particular situation.”

“I couldn’t have done anything without my team.”

“Spoken like the leader I’d knew you be.” Mynx stopped and held out his hand. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to surrender your License.”

“Can I ask why?”

“Scorp’s orders,” he answered. “Your unit will have to surrender theirs as well. They well be returned to you after you complete the program. And none of you will leave until all of you have passed. I hate to tell you this Dan, and again this comes from Scorp, but you cannot assist your team in any way during the training. Nor can any of your team mates help each other.”

“That makes no sense,” Dan said. “We function as a team and we survive as a team.”

“I know but Scorp wants everybody to pass this on their own.”

“Scorp was behind a desk during basic too wasn’t he?”, Dan asked not even bothering to hide his annoyance. Looking at his License Dan handed over to Mynx. “Never let it be said I don’t know how to follow orders.”

“Good. Come Captain let’s go to your team so I can explain the program.”

“It can’t be any worse than my original training here.”

“Blasted plasma storm,” the Captain of the Iczian battle cruiser said to himself. This was going to set the timetable back a bit. “You,” he pointed to a Crystaline, “make sure there’s no leak in the starboard power coupling. The freeze cannon won’t function at peak efficiency if it is.”

“Is there a problem Captain,” A male voice behind him said. The only other Iczian crew was a husband and wife team who previously failed in an attempt to bring civilization to the planet known as Earth. This mission was their shot at redemption.

“Nothing we can’t fix sir,” the Captain replied. “These plasma storms have a tendency to play a little havoc with the inner workings of the ice cannon.” The cannon was actually a dish on the underside of the nose of the ship, but it worked in much the same way. “I’m getting a spike that’s well within safety range but I thought it was better to check it know before we got there.”

“Oh I agree my good Captain,” he said. “It would be downright disgraceful if we get there and the savages get a chance to put up a defense before we can even fire a shot. Take whatever precautions you think are necessary. My wife and I will fine tune our attack strategy in the meantime.”

“Very good sir,” the Captain said.

Mynx examined them as they stood at attention. He told them as of now this was as back to basic as they could get. Each of them wore nothing but their black pant, boots and a plain grey T-shirt. “I heard the stories about the Ops unit from Earth,” he said in full drill sergeant mode. “And let me tell you low lives right now it doesn’t mean a damn thing. You might have thought you were hot stuff back home. But you maggots are in my world now. You want anything you are going to have to earn it. Is that understood?!”

“Sir yes sir!”, they replied.

“Now I’m sure Captain Stevens told you about his previous experience here. But what I have in store for you is totally different than what he went through. You will learn to fight an enemy in any condition where you find yourself weightless. You will learn the tactics necessary to perform at maximum efficiency in those situations or you will not leave. Is that understood?!”

“Sir yes sir!”

“I can’t hear you.”

“Sir yes sir!”, they shouted.

“Excellent.” He stood in front of Rev, “And I will not stand for anybody holding the others back. Is that understood?”

“Sir yes sir!”

“Good!” He started walking in front of them staring at each one of them. “This experience will change the way you think in battle. Now this program is designed to teach you how to move and fight in a Zero G environment. Now this might be the only time you have to use this particular set of skills. But they claim humans are very creative so it is possible you may discover a different way to use these skills I am about to pound into you.” Looking at Dan a moment longer than the others he added, “Because I am in a generous mood and I know a good soldier hates surprises I will tell you that you will be walking away with more than this training.

“I pray you maggots are smart enough to realize that external means outside. And outside a ship’s protective hull is all sorts of cosmic radiation and your standard Dekasuits won’t be able to protect you fully. A protective shell will cover you to protect your worthless hides.” Standing in front of them he looked at each one like he was trying to gauge the depth of their souls. “Your training begins now. Double time it to the complex!”

“Sir yes sir!”, they turned and ran for the building. Mynx held back and studied them one more time. They were Stevens’ unit aright. Now here’s hoping they’ll be able to live up to expectations.

“This is unacceptable,” Chatrox nearly exploded. The blob like holo image he was talking to didn’t immediately respond. This was somebody high up in the organization, the image gave it away. They were paranoid about any transmission being intercepted they spent million of credits for their image filters to hide their identities. Occasionally you thought you could pick out a familiar voice in the distortion but it was rare. “How long have we worked to get a foothold on this miserable planet?!”

“You hate Earth Chatrox,” the image said, “or so I have been told.”

“It’s the principle of the matter,” he argued. “How many billions of credits have been poured into this operation? Are the bosses just going to let that go down the drain? The Iczians can go ‘civilize’ some other worthless planet.”

“Unfortunately the Iczian don’t sit down and have a reasonable conversation with anybody they consider beneath the. Which apparently is everybody else in the galaxy.”

“They probably won’t consider a bribe in this situation I suppose.”

“We tried in the past,” The image said. “No once they target a planet they consider it theirs. The fact it really isn’t is only a matter of formality.”

“So we’re suppose to just drop everything and leave?”, Chatrox demanded.

“I figured you would be happy about that.” He could almost see the smirk on the other side of the transmission.

“Like I said it’s the principle of the matter. I may have clients, well paying clients, I may not get back if I am forced to relocate.” Besides he still needed to be the one to end Steven’s miserable existence.

“According to our leads SPD has a plan,” the image said. “Right now we’re telling our Agents to get off planet until we see how this plays out. But,” it continued slowly, “if an Agent with a particular set of skills should just happen to sneak aboard the Iczian ship and inadvertently help whatever plan SPD has…”

“It would be a suicide mission,” Chatrox snorted.

“Perhaps, but the bosses would be very grateful. Not enough to assign that agent to another planet, seeing how precious their cliental is. But I am sure they would be rewarded with a very large monetary sum if they survived. It is something to think about.” The image faded away and left Chatrox fuming. Help SPD, how humiliating. He shouldn’t have complained, after the Iczians took this miserable planet he’d finally be free to go elsewhere. But then he would have to lose his dream of plunging the blade of his knife into Steven’s still beating heart.

Mynx had told then there were basically two stages to the training. And none of them would were going to see stage two until all of them had completed stage one. After three days most of them were practically dancing around the Zero G chamber. And after three days they were still stuck at stage one because Rev was still having problems without any gravity. It was frustrating because all of them had an idea or two in how to help him. But because of Scorp’s inane rule they couldn’t go over there and discuss it with him. He even ordered they be bunked in separate parts of the compound so they couldn’t say anything after hours.

During a break period Rev sat rejected on a bench away from the others, his antennas drooping. All of their hearts went out to him, if they could only head over there and give him something other than words of encouragements. Dan went over that rule in his head again and again. He thought he might have found a way around it. Rules were rules, but once they started to mess with his team’s effectiveness then all bets were off. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Ace scratch her arm. He stopped himself from smiling when she gave him a quick hand signal. He wasn’t the only one who thought of a way around that rule. Giving a quick signal back as he stretched she walked over to him. “You worried about Rev?”, she asked.

“He’ll get it,” he answered. “I know he will. I’ve been watching him though, his antennas are flying wild when he’s in Zero G.”

Ace nodded, “I noticed. He told me once they help with his balance. That might be what’s throwing him off. If he concentrated on keeping them flat against his head or something it might help.”

“It’s a pity we can’t tell him.” Rev started to look their way before Ace scratched the back of her head and gave him a quick sign. He twitched his right antenna, he understood. Dan cracked his neck as he got up. That order said he couldn’t discuss things with the rest of the team about a particular member. If that teammate just happened to overhear that conversation… oh well.

He came in seeing his wife hard at work at her assigned task. Walking up behind her he started messaging her shoulders, feeling how tight the tension was making them. She moaned slightly as his fingers took some of it away. Studying what she was going over he asked, “How is it going darling?”

“Tediously dear,” she answered. “We needed the intelligence we have now the first time. We might have tried to accelerate the schedule.”

“I heard this planet was over flowing with ruffians hiding behind those badges.”

“I wouldn’t say overflowing,” she chuckled. Leaning forward she manipulated the globe hovering before her until it grew in size. “But they do have more than their fair share I’m afraid. From what I can tell there were at least nine other units planned for this planet. Most of those planned either stalled or disappeared altogether. There were a couple of minor ones like a DekaRail I believe it was called that were stationed here,” On the globe the image of the United States flashed briefly. “Then there was the orbital station here,” it flashed it’s current position. “It serves as an immigration post if I heard right.”

“How disgusting,” he shivered, “all those savages in one place. Where are the main units darling?”

“The main DekaRanger unit is located here,” Singapore’s position flashed. “The ones I think were called DekaRescue are here,” The United Kingdom flashed next. “DekaSquad has a mobile base according to all reports but are generally in this area,” half of Europe and Russia was next.

“And the ruffians who attacked us?”

“That we do not know,” she admitted. “They appear anyplace that doesn’t have a unit. But we do have some conflicting reports that they appear in this part of the world rather frequently. “The United States flashed one more time.

“A pity I was hoping to start with them first.” Smoothing out some of his fur he said, “I know it appears unbecoming of a gentleman darling, but those savages ran us out of our house.”

“I know dear,” she patted his hand. “I did work out a battle plan I think you will approve of. I locked in the coordinates for the two main units. So we target those two first. The third we can lock onto once we reach firing range.”

“Excellent Darling, just excellent,” he kissed her on the top of the head. “Although I think we should target the orbital station as well. Just in case they gave it a bite as well. You can never tell with these so called officers of the law.”

“Wise as always dear.”

What a difference a day made. It took Rev a little while to learn to concentrate enough on keeping his antennas steady but he did. He was amazed the answer was so simple that he didn’t even consider it. At the moment he was following Dan in a Zero G version of follow the leader, flying through blue holographic rings. Dan curled up and somersaulted forward so his feet would hit the wall. He only stopped long enough to get a fix on the next ring and push off. Rev repeated the maneuver. His trajectory was off a bit as he went through the ring itself. Dan grimaced as he saw it change from blue to red. He didn’t have time to dwell on it as he headed for the next ring. Before long he grabbed a rail on top of a platform near the ceiling and hit the button on the wall. Rev joined him a moment later doing the same. Dan looked down, out of twenty rings three of them were red. “I think you passed Rev.”

“I believe I did,” he said as gravity returned. They slapped hands as the platform started to descend.

“Who taught you to do a high five? Well high three in your case.”

“Michelle showed me after I originally arrived at OpsBase,” he said looking at his hand. “The gesture never seemed appropriate until now.”

Before the platform hit the ground floor the other were already there to greet them. Ace jumped on and hugged Rev around the neck, “I knew you could do it Rev.”

“Way to go buddy,” Boomer told him.

“Great job Rev,” Target added.

The celebration ended as soon as the doors opened and the Commander walked in flanked by a couple of his men. They immediately got in line and stood at attention. “At ease,” he said as he walked over. “It looks like the weak link of the team got a little stronger.” Walking over toward Dan he said a little softer, “And might I add a fine way to get around that bureaucratic rule.”

“I’m sure I don’t know what the Commander is talking about,” Dan said not betraying a thing. Mynx walked away chuckling.

“It’s my pleasure to announce that all of you have passed stage one. Stage two will take you into some more advanced tactic.” Snapping his fingers his men walked forward carrying what looked like a mockup of their backpack, but modified to be a little bigger and had orange dots of various sizes in different places. “Stage one taught you how to operate in Zero G conditions. Stage two will teach how to do that with a little extra propulsion. As well as some strategies in how to use that knowledge in combat. Is that clear?”

“Sir yes sir!”

“Just what I wanted to hear. Grab your gear because stage two begins now.”

It had been a week, their deadline and they didn’t hear anything. Pierce tried not to let his anxiety show as he hovered around the Control Room. He nearly jumped out of his skin as Michelle’s console beeped, “SpaceBase sensors are picking up an unscheduled vessel jumping into the system in between Earth and Mars.” All of them have been jumpy all day whenever they alert went off. “Downloading sensor reading from that sector now.” The distance made the download take longer than usual and she was getting irritated. “Come on, come on, come on.” Finally she got the reading. “Profile is too large to be them.” The “them” in question being their absent teammates. “Profile fits an Iczian battle cruiser.”

“Get me Meng Yeow and Gyoc Row,” Pierce told her. After a moment their images appeared on the screen. “Just a heads up we have a possible positive sensor hit. ETA is,” he looked at Michelle’s screen, “roughly twenty five to thirty minutes.”

“We’ll do what can” Row said. “I’m still not sure if we can get the robos into space in time with these thrusters but we’ll do what we can.”

An alarm went off, Michelle quickly went back to the readings. “We have a new sensor profile,” she announced. “Smaller vessels have broken away from the larger one. I’m picking up a hundred and counting.””

“Fighters,” Pierce said. “Apparently they learned a new trick.”

“That’s a new wrinkle,” Meng Yeow said, “we weren’t expecting. We were going to have a hard enough time with the battle cruiser.”

“If we’re going to go down them let’s go down fighting,” Row told them. “I already contacted the SpaceBase and the Jets. They should be able to stop some of that fleet.”

“Fighters are approaching fast,” Michelle announced. “They’ll be here in under ten minutes.” She was quiet for a second. “What the hell? Sensors are registering explosions going through the fighter’s formation.”

“Get those ships back in formation!” the Captain shouted through the controls. “What is causing those ships to explode?”

“I told them they should have more test on those contraption,” the male said to his wife. “They should have never left those ships leave the yard. Whoever approved of this should be flogged!”

“Now now dear,” she said while rubbing his arm, “there’s no need to heat yourself so. So what if a few ships malfunctioned. We have more than enough to weaken and tie up their defenses while we get into position.”

“As always darling you are right,” he squeezed her hand. “That was nothing more than a bump in the road.”

What nobody was seeing was what was causing those ships to explode. A cloaked vessel was flying through the metal icicle like ships firing it’s blaster at anything in it’s path. That craft quickly broke through the field and headed for the Iczian ship. Ignoring the disc the craft headed for one of the still open hangers, landing in it before it sealed itself off. A shimmer effect was the only thing that betrayed it’s presence as the pilot exited.

The Major silently watched the fleet of dots quickly came closer. He should have brought Helen here. At least that way he would have known she would have been momentarily safe. “New ship incoming,” Michelle said. “It’s coming up behind the Iczian ship. We’re getting an incoming transmission, it’s on an SPD frequency.”

“Put it on,” he ordered immediately.

Dan voice came through the speakers, “Hope you didn’t start the party without us?”

Neither of them was so glad to hear anybody in their life. “Can you not cut it so close?”, the Major told him.

“Now where’s the fun is that?”, Dan asked. “We’ll get back in contact after it’s over.” Signaling for Boomer to cut the transmission he looked at the data they were receiving. “Slight change of plans,” he told them. “We’re going to thin out that herd a bit first.”

“Works for me,” Ace said as she pushed a lever foreword and the Machine Tiger jumped foreword.

“What the blazes?”, the Iczian Captain said as the new vessel shot past them.

The black and white ship quickly caught up to the rear of the fighter who did nothing to acknowledge their presence. “There’s no transmission coming from the ships,” Boomer said.

“Sensor indicates crystalline based pilots,” Rev announced.

“Then I won’t feel bad about this,” Dan stated. “Lock on.”

“Locks acquired,” Target said as multiple green lights highlighted her screen.

“Fire!”, four panels, two above the wings and two below, opened up. A split second later four missiles shot out. A few seconds later the missiles split apart firing off eight missiles each that took a sizable chunk of the fleet.

“That got their attention,” Boomer chimed as he started to pick several transmissions from the remaining fighters. Ace punched the engines to go faster as Target changed weapons as a pair of blaster emerged from the wings. They made a path through the fighters as Ace avoided the return fire and debris floating around. A couple of Iczian fighters made their way behind the Tiger. Target hit a switched and a turret lowered from the hull. It quickly turned around locking onto the fighters destroying them.

“You’re friend loaded this thing for bear,” Target told Dan.

He smiled, “I like to think he gave it claws.”

“Clearing the field,” Ace announced as they past the fighters. Running ahead of them she banked the ship tightly to the left and headed back in. Target quickly got another lock and fired off another round of missiles as they made their way back through. Ace saw the reading in front of her and quickly corkscrewed the ship out of the way as two Iczian ships crashed into each other. “Is it bad I think I’m cheating on the Shepard?”, she asked nobody in particular.

“Fifty-five to sixty percent of the Iczian fleet has been neutralized,” Target said. “Are we going to take out some more with another run?”

Dan really wanted to, but their primary adjective was getting closer to firing range. “It’s going to have to do,” he said. “The units planet side have a better shot now. We’ll leave it to them while we take on the main ship.” Still firing the blasters the Tiger punched through the field again and headed for the Iczian ship. A few lasers were fired at them but Ace easily dodged them. She flew past he ship before turning around and matching their flight path. Flying close to the hull Ace turned the ship on it’s side and matched their speed. Carefully she placed the bottom of the Tiger hull to the other ship and magnet clamps reached out and attached to the Iczian hull bringing both crafts tight together.

“Machine Tiger is secured,” she announced. “We’re ready to begin boarding procedures.”

“Right,” Dan said as he unlatched himself from his chair and floated toward the boarding hatch and the only spot of gravity on the ship. The others did the same and reached for their OpsLicense. “Change standby.”

On the Iczian ship Crystaline started to come out of the elevators and headed for the sector the enemy craft landed. They stood by as the white wall suddenly had two red dots that quickly burned a rectangular shape into it. A small explosion blew the section into the hallway, smashing some of the Crystalines in the process but they started reforming soon after. “Emergency! DekaOps!” A quick digital flash and five individuals in Dekasuits rushed in.

“Man I hate these things,” Boomer said as he pointed his D-Shooter at a Crystalines.

“Mow them down,” Dan ordered. They headed in direction of the engine room Rev and Ace smashed them with their D-Rods as fast as they could. Boomer and Target fired away with their D-Shooters.

“Just like shooting fish in a barrel,” Target quipped.

“Except these fish come back,” Boomer told her.

Dan found himself surrounded as he kicked one Crystaline into another and unlatched his D-Shot. Priming a shot he quickly turned around and blasted through another one. Kicking the head off another one something whizzed past his head. Looking back he saw a familiar looking knife sticking out of a Crystaline’s face. He shot it and quickly looked back. For a brief moment he thought he saw something shimmer as it turned around a corner. “What’s he doing here?”

“Savages!” he was so upset his wife couldn’t even calm him down. “Captain activate defense protocol.”

“At once sir,” he quickly isolated the sector they were in and activated the command sequence.

The lights in the hallway turned red. At the same time the Crystalines feet started to change and cling to the grating on the floor. “Looks like that’s our cue,” Dan said. They drew their License and raised them above their heads. Pressing the button in-between the lights the faceplate popped open revealing the black badge inside, “EXO mode!”

In the red digital field Dan lowered the OpsLicense and held it right in front of him. A grid came from the badge that quickly covered him. The grid started to change, expanding into a new shape. Dekametal came from the digital field and starting filling in the grid with black armor plating round his hand, feet arms, legs and torso. Two rocket like devises appeared on his backpack while smaller ones appeared in his shoulder armor and on his waist. On the lower half of his helmet a breathing device appeared going up to the lights on the sides. A red one burned into the left side of his chest. He slotted the License into the right side of his chest, “Ops1 locked in!”

In the blue digital field Target lowered the OpsLicense and held it right in front of her. A grid came from the badge that quickly covered her. The grid started to change, expanding into a new shape. Dekametal came from the digital field and starting filling in the grid with black armor plating round her hand, feet arms, legs and torso. Two rocket like devises appeared on her backpack while smaller ones appeared in her shoulder armor and on her waist. On the lower half of her helmet a breathing device appeared going up to the lights on the sides. A blue two burned into the left side of her chest. She slotted the License into the right side of her chest, “Ops2 locked in!”

In the Green digital field Rev lowered the OpsLicense and held it right in front of him. A grid came from the badge that quickly covered him. The grid started to change, expanding into a new shape. Dekametal came from the digital field and starting filling in the grid with black armor plating round his hand, feet arms, legs and torso. Two rocket like devises appeared on his backpack while smaller ones appeared in his shoulder armor and on his waist. On the lower half of his helmet a breathing device appeared going up to the lights on the sides. A green three burned into the left side of his chest. He slotted the License into the right side of his chest, “Ops3 locked in!”

In the yellow digital field Boomer lowered the OpsLicense and held it right in front of him. A grid came from the badge that quickly covered him. The grid started to change, expanding into a new shape. Dekametal came from the digital field and starting filling in the grid with black armor plating round his hand, feet arms, legs and torso. Two rocket like devises appeared on his backpack while smaller ones appeared in his shoulder armor and on his waist. On the lower half of his helmet a breathing device appeared going up to the lights on the sides. A yellow four burned into the left side of his chest. He slotted the License into the right side of his chest, “Ops4 locked in!”

In the pink digital field Ace lowered the OpsLicense and held it right in front of her. A grid came from the badge that quickly covered her. The grid started to change, expanding into a new shape. Dekametal came from the digital field and starting filling in the grid with black armor plating round her hand, feet arms, legs and torso. Two rocket like devises appeared on her backpack while smaller ones appeared in her shoulder armor and on her waist. On the lower half of her helmet a breathing device appeared going up to the lights on the sides. A pink five burned into the left side of her chest. She slotted the License into the right side of her chest, “Ops5 locked in!”

“Special Police DekaOps!” Dan floated there slightly with Ace and Rev on his left and Target and Boomer on his right. Pointing a finger at the Crystalines Dan gave one command, “Do it!” The jets on his backpack came to life and shot him foreword. He crossed his arms in front of him and smashed through the Crystalines. A quick mental command caused the smaller jets to turn him around and brought him to a stop as he aimed his D-Shot. Magnets in his boots stuck him to him floor as he fired at the reforming creatures. “Now if they only gave us something that would keep them down.”

Ace and Target used those magnet boots to run up the wall and down the hallway blasting Crystalines with their D-Shooters. Ace was grimacing behind her helmet as she said with each shot, “I! Really! Hate! These! Fucking! Bastards!” Both of them jumped and headed for the other wall as they continued to fire. At Ace command they slotted their OpsLicense into the D-Shots and took aim. “Strikeout!” Twin blue beams shattered the Crystallines in it’s path. A crackling sound signaled they were reforming.

“How did you keep these things down last time?” Target asked.

“Blind luck,” Ace admitted.

Boomer and Rev were doing things the old fashion way as they smashed the Crystalines directly. Getting fed up with this Boomer reached into his back and pulled out a small disc with a small metal spike on one side. With an angry grunt he slammed it into the nearest Crystaline’s chest. It beeped before for a moment before steam started coming from the contact point. In moments the creature was a puddle floating in the air. Boomer watched as absolutely nothing happened. ”Yes! It’s staying down!”

“Do you have enough of those devises to take care of the rest of them Robert?”, Rev asked.

“Thank you for killing my buzz.”

“Get to the engine room,” Dan ordered. “These things are just wasting our time. A display in their helmets showed them the location of the largest power source and they headed for it at full speed, Smashing through any Crystalines that tried to stop them. They hit gravity and none of them lost a step as they continued on. Crystalines still tried to stop them but they barely paused long enough to confront them. They found a sealed door blocking their way, “Boomer.”

“On it,” he quickly placed some charges around the door and blew it open. Dan and Target secured the opening first before waving the others in.

“Again with the destruction of private property,” They looked around and saw the Iczian came in from a separate direction. “Oh your outer layer is different may be different but you are the ruffians from before, of that I have no doubt. Captain if you will.”

He hit a panel and more Crystalines started to come out of the Ice panel surrounding the room. Target took quick aim and fired several shots at the panel. The Crystalines stopped moving, with some getting stuck halfway in the ice. “You never should have showed me that,” she told them.

“Ruffian!” he roared. “Leave before I contact your so called superiors. They told you to leave us be.”

“They did give you a free pass last time,” Dan said removing the License from the slot. “It was a one time deal. Target orders!” The area went dark as a red X and a blue circle flashed between them. After a minute the red X shined. “Eliminate target!”

“You savages wouldn’t dare!”

“Watch us. D-Cannons!” Reaching back with their left hand on of the jets split open revealing a bazooka like devise the raised up. Lowering the barrels they aimed them at the Iczian. “Sight up.” a targeting reticule appeared on their visor turning green when it landed on the Iczians. “Strikeout!” Energy traveled from the OpsLicense through the chest armor and into the D-Cannon. Five massive blue energy beams shot out and deleted the Iczians immediately. “Got you.”

Boomer wasted no time in setting charges around the engine room. “We got ten minutes to get the hell out of here. I set the charges to explode in case anything tries to tamper with them.”

“Right let’s get going,” Dan said. The trip back to the Tiger was more or less uneventful outside of the occasional Cyrstaline they came across. Listening to that voice in the back of his head Dan pulled his D-Colt and aimed it down a connecting corridor. Chatrox materialized into view. “I knew it was you.”

“Is this any way to greet somebody who helped you human?”, he sneered.

“Why are you here?”

“Don’t get the wrong idea human,” he walked into the hallway they were in. The barrel of the D-Colt tracked him the entire time. “I am simply following orders. It would be bad for business for me and several of my associates if we had to relocate to another planet. Credits would be lost and more credits would be spent in restarting operations. I did it for my profit margin and nothing more.” Dan never took the Colt off of him. “I did save you human, or did you forget that with your shiny new suit.”

Slowly he took the D-Colt away from him, “I’m not deleting you, we’re even.” Chatrox nodded and turned away fading from view again. Dan stood there kicking himself.

“Cap you’re going to let him go?”, Target asked. “Just like that?”

“We’re on the clock,” he said more to convince himself than the others. Deep down he really didn’t want that lizard holding something over him. “But I’m not trusting him. Target, watch our backs. Ace…”

“I’m already checking the readout for the Tiger,” she said looking over a pad she took from her pack. “Reading are all green.” When they got the entry point she stopped and nearly dropped the pad. “That son of a bitch.” The boarding hatch was closed and wielded shut.

“Sorry Ace,” Dan began, “but Boomer crack it open.”

“Won’t that damage the integrity of the ship?”, Rev asked.

“I rather take our chances out there than in here,” Dan told him.

Several minutes went by and the Iczian ship started to fluctuate as the Machine Tiger finally freed itself from the hull. Then the engines and the rest of the ship exploded. The fighters stopped and drifted in space. Planet side the few Crystalines that were able to get to the ground suddenly stopped, crumbled and quickly melted. In places like Singapore DekaYellow cautiously tapped a puddle she was just fighting with her foot. She looked over to DekaRed who just shrugged, “That special strike Sir was talking about must have worked.”

“We’re getting reports from all over the planet,” Michelle said. “Iczian forces are stopping and making a very wet mess.” The Major could hear the concern in her voice. He was feeling it too. They still haven’t heard from them.

“Looks like we won,” he said but he wasn’t feeling it, he didn’t want to think about the possible cost for this one. “Come on guys,” he whispered, “I didn’t think you were going to let us down before don’t disappoint me now.”

Almost like he was heard they got an incoming signal, “Machine Tiger to OpsBase.”

“Yes!”, Michelle jumped up and hugged him around the neck.

”You going to give this old man a heart attack and your girlfriend is going to kill all five of you.”

“The explosion messed with our communication for a few moments,” he explained. “And we had to blow our way into the ship and that caused more damage. Long story short we got a heavily wounded bird and Command is going to be pissed.”

“I’ll gladly take the heat Command throws this way,” Pierce told him. “Are you going to need any assistance?”

“Ace thinks she can limp her back to the orbital station but it’s going to be close.”

“Understood, Command has a small support staff waiting just in case. I’ll see you when you get back. OpsBase out.”

“Major I have incoming transmissions from both Meng Yeow and Gyoc Row,” Michelle said.

“Give me a minute to compose myself,” he told her. “I’m ashamed to say I was starting to think I wouldn’t get the chance to make up for how I misled them.” She nodded and made up a quick excuse. He leaned against the railing. He knew his people were good, now he’d get the chance to tell them.

ED –Evanescence – Whisper

ED – Evanescence – Whisper

Last edited by scikaiju; July 8th, 2019 at 08:04 PM.
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Old July 8th, 2019, 08:06 PM #34
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Okay I'm not sure what happened but the episode 30 that was posted wasn't suppose to bethe one that was supposed to follow the previous one. I just edited it so the proper chapter is in place now. Sorry for the confusion, I just wished I noticed it sooner. Again my apologizes.
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Old July 12th, 2019, 05:48 PM #35
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Special Police DekaOps

OP – Alter Bridge – Metalingus

Michelle stared out the window on the command deck. Around her OpsStation personnel were busy making sure all systems were operating properly. She barely paid them any attention, she was transfixed on the Earth slowly spinning below them. Michelle had seen images of this before, in news report, in magazines, online and the like. But seeing it in person took her breath away. Noticing Dan’s reflection in the window she took his hand. He gave her a quick squeeze while they looked at the planet below. “It reminds me when I came back from my original training,” he said. “It’s still an amazing sight.”

“It’s beautiful,” she commented. They continued looking out before turning away.

“I still can’t believe we get to keep this place,” Dan said looking around the command deck. Although part of him still couldn’t shake that feeling of being watched he had when they were first tested.

“Command wants to make sure we’re properly prepared in case we’re attacked again,” Michelle reminded him. “How did the Major put it? They got the training they might as well have all the toys that go along with it. Did you take the tour yet?”

“Just got done with it,” he said. “It’s way more impressive than my first trip up here. It has all the things OpsBase has plus a Zero G training room.”

“We don’t want those new skills getting rusty now do we?”, she grinned. Leaving the command deck they walked the hall until they found an elevator to take them to the barrack deck. “So how is the duty rotation going to work with this?”

“The Major wants at least one of us up here a couple of times a week,” he answered as the doors opened. They took a left and headed for the field team barracks. “Two if we can manage it. We’re getting a couple of specialty shuttle pods that’s suppose to travel between here and OpsBase in under twenty minutes.” Saluting a couple of crew members as they passed he continued. “Although we might be seeing a little less of Ace for the immediate future. She’s been studying everything she can get her hands on concerning the Machine Tiger systems. She’s planning to supervise the repairs herself.”

“Poor bastards,” she said thinking of the repair crew aboard. “At least you don’t have to worry about getting a request form for part upgrades.”

“The Major is really thankful for that,” Dan said with a grin. “According to him she’s planning on coming up two or three times a week to supervise the Tiger’s regular maintenance.”

“Ace better bring along a couple of her regular crew otherwise these guys are not going to know what hit them.”

“She is.” They stopped in the middle of the barracks. Like at OpsBase six doors, three on either side of the hallway, waited to be occupied. “Despite the fact our time here is going to be limited the Major wants us to pick out our own quarters in case some of us pull a night shift. Since we’re senior staff we get first pick.”

“How are you two doing anyway?”, she asked. “After that surprise test he said you were pissed.”

“We talked, worked things out,” was all he said. “We’re fine now. Having to wait a week before having that conversation helped things a lot. I was a lot calmer than what I would have been.”

“Good,” she said. “I’d hate to think I’d be visiting you in the brig.” Dan rolled his eyes but said nothing. Looking at the doors she said, “Since we get first pick maybe we can get a room next to each other.”

Slowly he said, “Or maybe we can pick the same quarters.” Turning around Michelle looked at him. “I mean officially we’d have to have separate quarters, make it look like everything is being used and such.”

“That’s sort of a big step,” she told him.

“I know,” he agreed, “but I’m either sleeping in your quarters or you’re sleeping in mine. I thought why not make it official.” Suddenly feeling unsure of himself Dan went, “Unless you don’t want to.”

“Actually I love the idea,” she said wrapping her arms around his waist. “It could be like our own private get away. As long as we juggle the schedules around. So how do we pick?”

“How did you pick back at OpsBase?”

“I just went with the first empty room I went into.”

“Like this?”, reaching back Dan hit the button that opened the door behind him. Michelle squealed as he grabbed and pulled her into the room.

Several sonic showers a day and Chatrox still felt dirty. He still couldn’t believe he assisted Stevens, much less SPD. He doubted he’d feel totally clean again. Although the sizable fee the Bosses awarded him for the task almost made up for it. He had enough to live off of for a long, long time. Not that he took a vacation afterwards, no there were clients to take care of. New avenues of business to exploit. Not to mention something in his gut told him Stevens and his accursed black badge unit survived the little “present” he left them on the Iczian ship. No he wouldn’t believe it until he saw a body. Even then he’d demand DNA verification. Chatrox was not going to leave until that particular human was no more.

Putting his cloak back on his personal Igadroid stepped forward, “You are getting an incoming transmission.”

“Who is it?”

“The transmission indicates that it is Xyon Agent Chatrox.”

Chatrox snorted in disgust. It was one of his newer clients, and he was almost as bad as the humans, almost. He toyed with the idea of having the call mysteriously dropped. But there were so many times he could blame a sudden burst of cosmic interference. Walking, slowly, to his receiver he accepted the transmission. This was going to be extremely painful. “Greetings Xyon,” he said with false pleasantries, “I see the cosmos is clear today.”

An image of a stout, reddish skinned being appeared before him. In fact Chatrox would privately say he was as wide as he was tall. “Apparently,” the image said. His body language said he was annoyed with waiting so long. The Agent knew he had to tread carefully. An unhappy client was not a good thing, no matter how annoying he was.

“What do you need today?”, he asked. “I have several specialties items in stock as you know.”

“You have nothing I need today,” Xyon informed him. Keeping his expression neutral Chatrox wondered why this fool was wasting his time. “On the other hand I have something you might be interested in.”

Unless it was Steven’s current location he sincerely doubted it. Although his curiosity was piqued, “And what might that be?”

“A complete set of Centurion Class battle armor.” Chatrox jaw nearly dropped as he double checked to make sure the line was secure. Only one planet manufactured that class of Armor, Dextal. On that planet the armor was only used by the guards of the Royal Family. Not that mattered, but the material it was made from was a different story. A pound of it was worth a small fortune on the black market. A whole suit, well a smart person could purchase his own system. “So are you interested?”

“Are you sure this is legitimate?”, Chatrox asked trying hard to keep his voice even. More than once somebody had tried to pass off a fake. Because of the nature and rarity of the material in most cases that person was never seen from again.

“Of course I’m sure,” Xyon looked insulted. “You can test it out for yourself if you don’t think I’m right.”

“I plan to, I’ll meet you in a few hours at the usual location.” Chatrox ended the transmission before Xyon could say anything else. “Igadroid, get the Myon scanner and prepare my ship for launch.” It did as ordered without another word. Chatrox wouldn’t have heard it if it did say anything. He was going over his client list in his head. More specifically those looking to buy items such as this, if it was real that is and how many of them who could actually afford it.

Cloaked from view the Machine Shepard headed for Texas. A little earlier SPD Earth Command was contacted by a representative of the Dextal high court. This person was trailing a stolen suit of armor for a couple of systems now. She was able to trace it this far but requested some assistance seeing how she wasn’t familiar with Earth customs and protocols. Naturally they called them in because the representative wanted to keep this as quiet as possible. After a short flight Ace set the Shepard down in an abandon quarry. Exiting the ship Dan looked around not seeing anything. “Stevens to OpsBase.”

“OpsBase here,” Michelle answered.

“We’re at the coordinates but I’m not seeing the envoy,” Dan said. “Rev couldn’t even pick out her life signs.”

“Give her time Dan,” The Major told him. “She might be a little gun shy. From what I understand this is her first time on Earth, so play nice.”

“I won’t start anything if she doesn’t, Stevens out.”

“So how long to we wait?”, Ace asked as he put his License away.

“Until Base calls us back,” he answered.

“Which hopefully will not be any time soon.” All of them whipped around, hands on their SP-Shooter at the new voice. Wearing a plain brown jumpsuit a female stood there with her hand s open and sleeves rolled up. Emerald eyes stared at them while long white hair framed her pale blue face. Both sides sized each other up before making a move. Lowering her arms she continued, “It was not my intention to startle you. My name is Drilian, I am a Fourth Level Knight of the Dextal Royal Family.”

“Fourth level?”, Rev said with some amazement.

“You heard of them?”, Target asked.

“Not much,” he said, “but I do know that to reach the rank of Fourth Level Knight is a rare accomplishment for someone so young.”

“You honor me,” she said with a slight bow. “If I may be so bold, but you are a black badge unit, are you not?”

“You heard of us?”, Boomer asked.

“Some of your compatriots assisted us several of your months ago,” she informed them. “Although from the rumors of their existence I doubted I would ever see one in the flesh.”

Dan nodded, “I’m guessing if they sent you it must be pretty important.”

Drilian told him, “It is although it may not seem that way to you at first.” Opening one of the pockets of the jumpsuit she reviled a holo disc. Placing it on a rock an image of a suit of armor hovered above it. “This is a suit of Centurion Class battle armor. More importantly it is the armor of our King. I am ashamed to say it was stolen under my very nose by a very resourceful thief. He was resourceful until I caught up with him that is.”

“And he got rid of it before you caught up him?” Dan asked, getting a feeling he knew where this was going. Drilian nodded in shame. “This is a hell of a long way to drag a trophy.”

“It’s more than that Cap,” Target spoke up. “I didn’t recognize the name of the planet until she mentioned the armor class. The alloy of the suit is super rare. The black market price alone is astronomical in some place.”

“You’re comrade is correct,” Drilian said. “The fact it was stolen was already a slap to the face. The very idea it could be dissected and sold off to the highest bidder, we would not be able to overcome that kind of embarrassment.”

“Do you know where the suit is now?”, Dan asked her.

“Unfortunately the armor has traded hands several times,” she answered. “I should consider myself fortunate it was not dissected and sold off by now. From what I have been able to gather the armor was given to a Troblin named Xyon.” She touched the controls of the holo disc and a wide, squat reddish creature appeared. “To my knowledge the armor was given to him in exchange in payment for a shipment of Koradone.”

“A priceless alloy as payment for some drugs?”, Target asked in disbelief.

“The previous ‘owner’ of the suit was not aware of it’s worth,” Drilian explained. “His mind was so far gone when I found him I was lucky to get this out of him.”

“Do you have a way to track Xyon before he bolts,” Dan asked.

“Xyon no,” she said. “But I can locate the suit if I can get close enough to it. We have a scanner that can detect the alloy before we dig. I was able to adapt a smaller unit for my search.”

“Target, you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“I think I am Cap,” she answered. “I can hook the scanner into the Shepard’s sensors. I should be able to widen the search radius.”

“You have my eternal thanks.”

“Thank us after we get the armor back,” Dan told her.

It didn’t take long for Target and Ace to hook Drilian’s scanner into the Shepard’s system. But there was a computer language barrier that delayed them a bit until Boomer and Michelle were able to solve it. Still cloaked and flying low they quickly settled on a search grid. Drilian hovered over Target’s shoulder as her eyes remained glued on the sensor screen. “So,” Target said feeling a bit uncomfortable, “how did you avoid popping up on our sensor scans?”

“As a Fourth Level Knight I am trained to lower my life readings until they appear to be nonexistent,” she explained. “It was a skill that was difficult to master at first, it is still difficult to perform at times. Even those older and wiser than myself have said so.”

“And you only attain that skill after you prove yourself worthy of attaining the forth level,” Rev said to Dan. “I believe her story is truthful Captain.”

Glancing at them she asked, “You doubted I was who I said I was?”

“We’re retrieving a suit or armor that’s damn near priceless,” Dan said. “I’d be suspecting my own mother at this point. After we couldn’t detect any electronic gear or electrical field around you, outside of the holo disc, we just needed that bit of info to know for sure.”

“I would have gone the same,” she said with a nod. “It is good to know I am not dealing with fools.”

“Well four out of five isn’t bad,” Ace said.

“Oh ha-ha,” Boomer said realizing that was directed at him.

“I’m getting a hit,” Target announced.

Drilian attention returned to the screen, “That is the alloy signature. I can’t see an exact location from this altitude. We need to get lower.”

“We get any lower and we might as well be right on top of them,” Ace argued.

“Target,” Dan said to get out of this argument before it began, “download the sensor data to a couple of hand scanners. We’ll take the Hounds and get a lock on the position from the ground. Boomer you’re with me.”

“Right,” Boomer said getting out of his seat.

“Here they are,” Target held them out as they passed. In the cargo area each jumped into a hole in either side of the hold. Settling in both announced they were ready.

“Approaching hot drop height and speed,” Ace announced. “Hot dropping in three… two… one,” they braced for it, “now!” The floor beneath them dropped away the Machine Hounds dropped to the ground. As soon as they made contact Dan and Boomer headed off in different directions. The scanner in Dan’s hand started to beep faster the closer he got to the armor. When it started to get slower he stopped and held the scanner behind him.

“We got the armor pinpointed,” Target told him.

“Send us the coordinates,” Dan ordered. He had them in a matter of moments and turned the Hound around. He rode until he could see a compound of tents in the distance. Pulling out a set of binoculars he tried to get a look of the layout. “I see Xyon,” he announced. “One tent in particular looks heavily guarded. Chances are if he still has the armor it’s in there.”

“I see it,” Ace said.

“Captain Stevens,” Drilian cut in, “it is paramount we secure that location as soon as possible.”

“We’ll secure it Drilian,” Dan assured her. “We just need to plan this out.”

“Cap,” Boomer said over the line, “check out three o’clock.”

Dan scanned the area until he saw what Boomer was talking about. A figure wearing a cloak was walking toward the tent. Xyon went to greet him. Although the newcomer’s features were obscured he could see reptilian skin underneath the hood. “Why am I not surprised.”

“This way Agent Chatrox,” Xyon waddled toward the Batsuroid covered tent. “It’s in here.”

“I never would have guessed,” he sneered.

“The accommodations ain’t much but it gets the job done.” A couple of Batsuroids stepped as they entered the tent. Chatrox inhaled sharply as he saw the armor. Laying in a crate the dull grey metal was accented by a gold inlay and several jewels. His hand hovered over the armor almost itching in anticipation, one of the jewels alone looked like it would be worth a king’s ransom. “So do you believe it’s the real deal now?”

“I’ll find out soon enough.” Taking out the scanner he had with him he ran it over the suit. The results came back positive. His heart stated beating faster. “Now I believe.”

“So what are you going to pay me?”

“I’m not the one who’s going to do the paying,” Chatrox told him. Xyon sputtered for a response. After tiring of hearing it he informed him, “But I will assist you in selling it to the highest bidder. I already have a couple of buyers in mind. It’s just a matter of how much they are willing to pay for it. Or exactly how much of it they are willing to purchase.” He started walking round the crate taking holopictures. “You are going to be an extremely rich man.”

“Really now?”, Xyon asked. The tone in his voice put Chatrox on alert. “So why do I need you then?” Chatrox spun around and put the tip of his dagger at the Troblin’s throat before he could draw the blaster on his hip. He pressed it against his skin just hard enough for him to feel it, “Urk.”

“Because you buffoon I have the contacts who can afford such an item.” Putting a little more pressure against his skin he made the rotund little annoyance back up. “Now because you tried that little stunt I’m going to raise my seller’s fee to forty percent of your take.”

“F… Forty?”, he sputtered as he backed up against a table.

“I could go as high as fifty,” he threatened, “if not higher.”

“Forty’s good,” he squeaked.

“Fine,” the Agent said removing the dagger. “I’ll finish taking pictures then I’ll return to my ship and send them to the buyers. Then we’ll let the bidding commence.”

He stopped counting the credits rolling in his head when he heard something that sounded like a gunshot outside. Xyon went to the tent opening and saw one of his Batsuroid on the ground with a hole through it’s blue head. On a hill not far away Target lined up another shot with her sniper rifle and quickly dropped another one. “We are under attack,” proclaimed a third right before it’s head sparked as well.

“What the slag?”, Xyon said before the roar of the Hounds engines cut him off. Dan and Boomer fired the Hound’s laser at the bots in their way as they raced around the compound. Their Dekasuits provided the protection from any return fire. “You’re not taking my suit!”, Xyon shouted firing away.

“I challenge that claim,” Drilian said as she snuck up behind him. Before he could turn around she grabbed his wrist and flipped him to the ground with a bit of effort. Ace and Rev took care of a couple of Batsuroids that were trying to sneak up behind her. “My thanks for watching my back.”

“Our pleasure,” Ace said. More Batsuroids surrounded them. “I think I spoke too soon.” She and Rev had their Dekasuits, but Fourth Level Knight or not Drilian was pretty much unprotected. Thinking quick Ace handed her the D-Rod. “You used one of these before right?”

A sly smile graced her lips, “I believe I’ve handled something similar to this before.” She charged the Batsuroids before Ace and Rev said anything. They got off a couple of shots but Drilian was attacking the bots something fierce. Her finger had found the button that activated the energy field around the rod. A pink glow followed her arm as she slashed, hacked and jabbed at the Batsuroids. Ace and Rev stared in amazement as the last one fell to the ground defeated.

“Impressive,” Rev managed to get out.

“I’m afraid I must apologize,” she said handing the D-Rod back to Ace. “I rarely get an opportunity to utilize my training to its fullest. Facing the mechanicals I saw an opportunity to, I believe the phrase on your planet is to cut loose.”

“Not a problem,” Ace told her. “You ever thought about joining SPD?”

“Yes,” Rev agreed, “your skills would be most valuable.”

“You flatter me,” Drilian said with a blush. “Unfortunately my duty and loyalty is to my King and my planet.”

“Our loss then,” Ace said. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Xyon try to crawl away. “Oh no you don’t.” She and Rev quickly got in his way. He sputtered as he tried to speak. “Tell it to the License. Target orders.” The area went dark as the red X and blue circle flashed between them. After the scan was over the circle shined. “Apprehend target. Rev if you would?”

“Of course Trish,” he removed the D-Whoppers from his belt and slapped them around Xyon’s wrist.

“Drilian, somehow I get the feeling he’s going home with you,” Ace commented.

She gave him a dangerous grin that made him cower, “I certainly hope so.”

Dan and Boomer pulled up a moment later. “Camp’s clear,” Dan said. “Let’s secure the armor.” Drilian didn’t need to hear another word as she headed for the tent. Dan was in right behind her and immediately drew his D-Colt. The others came in doing the same with their D-Shooters. Chatrox stood by the armor holding a cylinder over it in his right hand. “Step away from the armor Chatrox,” Dan ordered.

“This,” he calmly said, “is a disintegration grenade. This is the pin for said grenade,” it dangled from a finger on his left hand. “If I drop the grenade in a matter of seconds this suit will be vaporized into atoms.”

“Do not dare villain,” Drilian demanded, but she hardly allowed herself to breath.

“I won’t as long as I’m allowed to leave unharmed.” Dan glanced over to Boomer for confirmation about the grenade. He nodded slowly, cursing under his breath he ordered for them to lower their weapons. Chatrox backed away until he was out of the tent. Dan bolted after him as soon as he did and looked around. The Agent was nowhere to be seen.

“Shit,” he cursed and grabbed his License, “Target did you see where the Agent went?”

“He faded from view the moment he exited,” she answered. “I’m sorry Cap but I have no idea where he went.”

He wanted to swear again but he already knew her answer before she even said anything. “It’s not your fault Target, he’s a tricky son of a bitch. Keep an eye out for anything vaporizing suddenly. He should be somewhere in that area.” Returning to the tent Drilian was eyeing the armor carefully. “Is it still in one piece?”

“It is,” she answered, “thanks the heavens above. You have my eternal thanks and appreciation for getting it back Captain Stevens.”

“Now we’ll take it, and we’re just doing our job.”

Drilain guarded the armor at OpsBase until they received word from her home planet that they were ready to transport the suit back. The Machine Tiger made the final leg of the journey from OpsStation to the Dextal royal ship. It softly landed in the hanger with several rows of soldiers and workers waiting for them. Drilian exited the Tiger accompanied by the Major, Dan and Ace as a couple of techs carefully guided the armor down the ramp. A Dextal stepped forward in regal robes and a silver crown on top of his head Drilian immediately went to a knee and bowed her head. Dan motion for him and Ace to do the same. “My Lord,” Drilian said with reverence, “my task is complete. My only fault is I did not return it to you sooner.”

“Arise Fourth Knight Drilian,” he said, “and knights of Earth as well.” Getting back up to their feet he continued, “Time has no meaning to the cosmos Drilian. I am grateful the armor was returned and that you have come back to us.” Drilian nodded and took her place beside him. “Major Pierce, your knights have my gratitude and eternal appreciation. I am aware the armor has monetary value elsewhere in the galaxy. But it has been in my family for generations. It value to me is greatly more.”

“It’s our pleasure to return the suit to you your majesty,” the Major said with a slight bow of his head.

“Hey let me go!”, Xyon demanded as he was dragged out of the Tiger. “I got my rights!”, he continued screaming as the soldiers took him from the techs and out of the hanger.

“Ah him,” the King said. “His punishment will not be as severe as if he took the armor himself. But it will be appropriate.” Looking over to Dan he mentioned, “Captain Stevens I am a mild acquaintance of a Commander in your organization named Trytan. Although he did not go into details he did mention he was highly impressed with a group of humans from Earth. It appears the praise was well earned.”

“We were just doing what was asked of us,” He told him.

“You do you and your organization proud Captain. Now I do not want to appear rude but I am anxious to return the armor home. Major, I wish you and your knights good travels.”

“Good Travels to you as well your majesty.” Dan and Drilian exchanged nods before both sides parted ways.

Aboard the Tiger Ace was warming up the engines with a smirk. Finally she said, “He called us knights.” She waved her hand in the air, “Lady Patricia Fieldman, I like the sound of that. Are female knights referred to as ‘lady’?”

“I’m not sure,” the Major told her taking Dan seat, “but if you guys are the knights I guess that makes me the king.” He leaned back looking smug.

Propping an elbow on the back of the chair Dan said, “Well you Lordship, before you let that go to your head I’ve been keeping a couple of stories under my belt. And they might accidently come out if the trip home becomes unbearable.”

Losing his smugness Pierce asked, “So what’s the ETA back home?”

ED – Evanescence – Whisper
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