Nayemnik Diplomacy- Part 1
“Alpha Niner this is Regal-Marine One, ETA one minute.”
“Roger Marine One. Area is secured.” The Viperian TEAL operator did a brass check on his suppressed Carbine and watched as the Tiltrotor craft started its descent to their landing pad.
“Here they come. One step closer to getting off this fucking rock.” crackled a voice from his comm set. His Specialist, Mirdin, did not the local populace. But from the way they treated him he couldn't blame the MSgt.
In the dark dawn he could take a clearer look at the craft, adorned with elaborate symbols and designs almost antiquated if some parts of his home land did not still cling to their ideals of the knights of old. Still, the modifications done to this Craft were a blend of Modern and Historic.
Dust kicked as the landing gear met with the aged tarmac, the rotor lights actually looking like they were powered by oil lamps. Sun would be rising soon, if this mission was to go without a hitch they had to move fast.
The rear door opened and a lone figure stepped out. They were donning an all black outfit, complete with mask. Approaching the Teal operator they called out when in earshot
“How is the coast of periopolis?” the black-clad figure spoke in a higher pitched voice. A woman.
He thought about the response, making sure It was clear and concise as he spoke, “Seen better days,” came the reply.
He noticed her take her hand off her right hip and move it to her ear and speak something quietly. The engine of the VTOL craft killed as the rotor blades started slowing down. More Black-clad figures stepped out and begun landing-site securing maneuvers, connecting with the TEAL operators.
As the dust settled and the blades stopped spinning the whole reason why the operation was there finally stepped out.
Flanked by two hulking figures a woman dressed in elegant regal attire. The two men flanking her wearing similarly elaborate outfits while giving an imposing atmosphere, carrying muskets. Not only the modified osprey but among the TEAL operators and the Agents it was a stark contrast.
“Lieutenant Sokolov, It's a pleasure.” the first agent finally spoke up, reaching out a hand for him to shake.
He returned the gesture with a firm shake. IGS [Imperial Guard Service] spooks…he asserted inwardly.
“The pleasure is mine. Anything for the Queen.” He spoke in a neutral tone. He knew he couldn't even bow to her because that would be the ultimate sniper check. This was a high intensity mission, and he could not recommend it at all.
But it was not his job to question, right now it was to protect.
“Area is secure, we are ready to go en route. We've acquired transport, 5 Humvees and an Executive Transport. When you're ready…” he paused when he realised he didn't get a name…
“Fox. You can call me Fox.” the IGS officer said pointedly.
He gave a nod. “Fox it is then.” he got a better look at the officer. Usual fare, black Fatigues and blouse, Tactical vest, sidearm in some special snowflake caliber, but he noticed that she carried 2 SMG's. Absurd images of her using one in each hand like some crappy action movie flooded his mind Still, he couldn't think of any other reason other than the possibility of one of them breaking, but from his experience FaulkNer Firearms were quite reliable, and most of the P90's he'd used had given him no problems. The one on her back did seem to lack a magazine, though.
“Fox. We should begin.”
A voice from behind, the Special Forces Lieutenant knew who it was. He turned to his queen, not bowing as he was under arms, but giving words of reverence. “It is an honor, your majesty.”
She gave a loving smile. “Thank you, Lieutenant Sokolov, for taking this assignment.”
Breaking his hard “Special forces operator” exterior he returned a small stilted smile from his beard. Truth was he was worried about the future. “Of course, your majesty, anything for the empire.”
She could tell something was bothering him, but they were short on time.
“When you're ready Lieutenant.”
He nodded, before Fox cut off his next order,
“Sokolov, you're riding shotgun.”
that gave him frustrated pause. “Excuse me?” things seemed to be turning out like he thought… “I thought I was running this Op?”
he felt a sense of smugness coming from the special agent. “Of course you are. But every change has to go through me first.” she gave a chuckle to herself, “Besides, I was being literal,” pointing to the passenger side door of the black SUV they had rented. “You're riding shotgun in the Suburban.”
He scowled before glancing over to Mirdin, who just shrugged. It didn't make things much better. Of course a government agency was going to try to overrule the military.
“Don't look at me like that.” she paused, giving an unseen look of concern behind the black mask. ”You do have a better lay of the land and high intensity hotzone experience, but a regal representative needs to sign off first. It's how we do things in the IGS.”
Bitch. The operator internalized. “alright, fine. Have it your way.” He turned to the rest of the squad.
“Bravo-Nine, you will guard the L-Z. Bastards said we have it rented for the next 24 hours but I still don't trust 'em. Alpha-Nine and the IGS will take the convoy to the meeting point. If all goes to schedule we'll be back before 1500. Any questions? No?” He ran through the formalities. “good. We move out.”
As he headed towards the SUV queen sahdee and her Guards came up on him. “remarkable, isn't it?” he looked around, the horizon lighting up. He could see other aircraft and personnel making their morning rounds. He looked at the workers, not even caring that there was a mysterious flight that had just come in. He could see one engineer look in their direction and shake his head.
Fox entered the drivers side as he entered the front passenger side. One guard entered and the other one helped the queen into the center seat, before entering himself. Their muskets Just managing to fit in the large but now cramped SUV, not being helped by the guards large stature.
The black vehicle started its engine and sat in between the four other Humvees. 5 or 6 decades and those bastard things are still popular… the TEAL laughed to himself. His father was a mechanic and hated working on them when the Peri's annexed his homeland. He never spoke negatively about the periwinkle empire, to which he was a proud supporter, but questioned some of their military choices.
He did like that although it seemed like you had to pay for everything around here they were big on customer service bonuses, like armored doors and windows on the SUV and gun turrets on two of the Humvees for next to nothing. It was nice, if strangely reminiscent of a used car dealership.
The queen noted his concern.
“Lieutenant, if you would like You can speak your mind about the current operation.” She gave genuine concern. “Or just speak your mind. You could talk about anything… your family… your home…”
He cleared his throat as he watched the LZ in the rear view mirrors. The Osprey had taken off as planned and headed back to the Nanshanker for refueling. They were leaving the airstrip, but the whole area was full of them. They would be out of the airport district in a little while.
“your Majesty, I personally think we should call this whole thing off.” He didn't turn to her as he was trying to take note of the surroundings. “The people here… I don't know. I'd like to think I know them but something seems off about them. The whole society is bizzare… Don't even get me started on the things I've heard directed at my Specialist. But the land seems…” The sun seemed to answer for him. As the sun started peering through the horizon a thick cloud of grey could be seen in the distance, as well as large hulking cities and desolate oceans. Small pockets of preserved forest could be seen in the distance but they looked almost unnatural. “…well the land seems ugly. Worthless. Too tamed even.” He could see the neutral expression being returned. “I think we're better off radioing Marine-Regal to return. Scrub the mission, and maybe wait before we send-” just as he was about to continue a Loud roar could be heard through the vehicle. Scanning for hostiles he made the source.
Two F-22 Raptors escorted a Large C-5 Galaxy transport plane, all three having just taken off. From the underside he could make out the words “LOCKMART INDUSTRIES SUPPLY CO.”, one of the largest weapons manufacturers. The Aircraft were heading east, on a supply run.
Losing momentum, the queen cut him off. “I think that would answer your question lieutenant.” She noted the factories coming up as they were leaving the Airport district. “All this… This is probably the largest center in the known world. What's not to love about it?”
Humvees lined the streets in a number that one would expect stationwagons in a normal city. Billboards advertising guns, bodyarmor, GPS and comm systems.
That was what bothered him the entire time he was there. But at least he had his answer.
“Yes, My Queen.” he just said in reply.
“We're coming up to the CBD. Anything new, Lieutenant?”, Fox broke her quiet demeanor and spoke up to the man on her right.
“Nope. Checking in with the others.”
“All callsigns this is Alpha-Nine Six. What's your status, Over?” he waited for the replies.
“Alpha-nine Striker, all clear.”
“Alpha-Nine Western, Nothing to report.”
“Alpha-Nine 'Cadabra, All accounted for.”
there was a pause.
“Alpha-Nine Throwback, I don't like the look of these guys.”
Sokolov looked at the leading humvee. There were a few men wearing paramilitary gear spilling out of a building, leading to a sidewalk. Some of them started stepping out on to the road, in the way of the convoy blocking their path. He could hear the horns going off, but it wasn't doing much.
“Alpha-Nine Six, Throwback, just let them through.” The Fox to his left was getting twitchy. He had heard of some fox that worked for the IGS that had a nose for danger. He looked towards the group, some of them had rifles on their backs, but anyone armed was on the sidewalk, out of the way. They also seemed to be the only ones of the group who actually were walking straight.
It occurred to him that they were outside a bar. He could see the armed ones yelling at someone.
“Alpha-Nine six throwback, I'm getting strange looks and shouts from these guys. We've got possible armed insurgents.”
oh no… he thought to himself. “Alpha-Nine Six, Throwback, hold your fire until we can get a confirmation.” He was starting to feel anxious himself. One wrong move and things could go to hell.
Suddenly he could hear gunfire. .50cal rounds were being fired off as well as small arms fire. Oh shit. “Throwback, what's your status, over?”
“taking fire! Get Quartz-Sierra out of the hot zone!”
“Shit” The TEAL operator verbalized his thoughts. “Can we get out of here?” He posed to the Driver.
Fox looked around, Sirens were blaring and the streets seemed to be getting busier, more figures started heading towards the convoy. A few security vehicles cut off the front Humvee and more were approaching from the rear. They were getting boxed in…