Exodus Mini-Op, First half revision 1

Post new topic   Reply to topic    PHPab4d Forum Index -> Writing Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 19 Jun 2004
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2004 3:40 pm    Post subject: Exodus Mini-Op, First half revision 1 Reply with quote

Note, this isn't all that original. Also, I couldn't figure out the formatting transition. I should have used html.

(EDITOR'S NOTE by Mal-3: Phrak, all you need to do is add blank lines between the paragraphs to make it readable on the board, like so. --Mal)

M.A.U.L. Temporary Field Command: Bulldog, 1343 Hours GMT, December 17th, 2002

"Godammit! I ask you to figure out a way for me to leave this outfit quietly, and THIS is what you two meatballs come up WITH!?!" Most Holy was in rare form as he gazed down at the briefing paper he’d pulled out of the manila envelope I’d deposited on his desk moments earlier. Sand stirred and mixed with the tactical plots, maps and other briefing papers beneath the offending pages as another MHI transport helicopter took off from the temporary LZ not a hundred yards away. I hadn’t gotten back to "Bulldog" for a whole five minutes before General Jeracho had jammed a copy of the Exodus scenario into my hands and dragged me by my earlobe into the TOC.

I had drafted the original plan to covertly arrange for MoHo’s retirement, but it had been a good two weeks since I had sent the briefing paper up the chain of command to the War College. I had no idea if anything had been changed since then, but this didn’t strike me as the most opportune time to protest. His Generalship had that certain "Interrupt, and I’ll kill you" look on his face.

Instead I focused my attention on the olive-drab wall of the Tactical Operations Center tent and did my best to stand stock still at attention, something I have not had to do for a very long time. Slowly, the killer animal malice in CINC’s bloodshot eyes mutated into a sparkle of pure, delighted, mayhem.

"I love it! TRES is going to want blood! Heads will roll! I’m sure I don’t want to know how you talked Admiral Felton into this. What do you need?" I relaxed as General Jeracho stepped up to the plate.

"Between R.R.T. and Chi Squadron we have the majority of the personnel, sir." Jeracho is one of those "cool-under-fire" types who are such a counterpoint to my own style. "I’d like your permission to bring Colonel Marquardt in on this, we’ll be using his assets. Other than that, we’ll need another two weeks to rehearse the scenario at the Plantation. It will be tight, but we should make our schedule." Most Holy nodded tightly to Jeracho, before turning his gun-turret like gaze back to me.

"Well, shit, Corporal, looks like you and your goon squad get to play body-guard. This half-assed plan of yours might even work! Do it! Make it happen. Now get the hell back to work, both of you!"

It might have been my imagination, but I could have sworn I’d caught the merest hint of a smile on MoHo’s face as I saluted and double-timed it back to the helicopter to catch my flight out.

TRES Corp HQ, 0945 Hours GMT, January 8th, 2003

The MHI helicopter gunships escorting us abruptly peeled off as the Chinook helicopter I was riding flared above the LZ. "Go.. Go.. Go, Red and Blue" I shouted over my headset as the big transport came in. Four men (how un-PC of me, that’s person) teams of my troops riding the Black Hawk "slicks" on our left and right were already on the ground.

Red team, consisting of Wednesday, Hustler, Moose and Miranda was staking out a defensive perimeter while Blue, a Chi squadron element masquerading as part of my unit, formed up for bodyguard duty. Not that it mattered, since we were operating under MHI cover for this mission. The TRES personnel obviously weren’t expecting a combat landing, but they at least seemed alert.

Finally, CINC Most Holy, chomping on his customary cigar and wearing full dress uniform emerged from the rear loading hatch of the transport. He didn’t look any happier to be here than I did. The two TRES troopers carrying loaded x-rifles and sporting Alpha squadron badges seemed to be putting their best foot forward as they approached.

Moho of course, wasn’t going to be babysitted any more than absolutely necessary. He’d already sighted the nearest target and bore down on it, carrying me and Blue element along in his wake. "Sir", the TRES personnel saluted crisply. Moho replied with a sloppy salute, and apparently decided this was a "teachable" moment.

"Never salute an action officer, Commander!" Moho growled in the same tone of voice that he used to give orders from a tank turret. "In combat, saluting a superior targets them for sniper fire! Now who are you and where do I get coffee!?" The addressed Commander quickly decided discretion was the better part of valor.

"Your pardon General-sir." The OIQ or Officer in Question was a nicely shaped blond with enough muscle to fill out her body armor. I had to give her credit for shifting gears as fast as she had. "The Triumvirs are awaiting your arrival, your coffee is awaiting you at the same location." I was officially impressed. If you know the General the way I do, coffee is the way to his heart and mind.

"Allow me to introduce myself, I am Commander Ventris." The blond gave me the kind of look you give a dog you’re not quite sure about. "Alpha Squadron, HQ Security detachment. Lieutenant Ravin and myself will be escorting you at all times." I took a look at her fellow Lieutenant and wasn’t impressed. Big, muscle-bound and standing with his x-rifle at the ready. I decided to help break the ice.

"Ooh, nifty, does that make you guys archangels?" Ventris looked blank before she managed a polite grin, her Lieutenant gripped his weapon while visions of mayhem danced in his head. Moho gave me a look that would have melted granite. "This is Lieutenant Phrackwulf, temporarily on additional duty with MHI from our War College. He’s head of my security detail." I smiled and offered a hand to the Commander.

"Ce’st, moi" I said knowing TRES had originated with a French officer. I’d done my homework. Moho gave me one of his ‘Play nice" smiles as we shook. Ventris had a firm grip. I almost started to feel bad about what we were going to do to her nice HQ, but my obligation was to CINC.

"Well, lets get this over with." The boss was in his usual hurry. "Right this way General", was the reply as the two TRES soldiers led us to the massive set of blast doors sealing off the mountain from the landing field. Blue element fell in behind as I rattled off a few last minute things to my people over secure comms.

"Moose, I want two clear fields of fire for that big, nasty, gun." Mucell was packing an HK 21 infantry support weapon. "Miranda, you keep a stinger ready to fly at all times, just because we have MHI air on station is no reason to get comfortable. Everybody else, stay frosty." I checked my own MP-5K submachine gun for the eighth time that day and then settled in a step behind the General. I was playing my "bestest little War College spook" role to the hilt.

"Your combat landing was impressive, Lieutenant." The Commander was punching in the code to open the doors as she spoke. "We’ve been on alert for the past few days, ma’am", I noticed her buddy Ravin was smirking in a non-smirking zone. "War College intelligence indicated the spongies might take a shot at CINC here. He’s been on their priority target list since the Phoenix operation."

"You take your job seriously, even though our perimeter hasn’t been threatened since then." I had to swallow my reply; Moho wanted me to play nice. "Anyone who fought during Phoenix knows there is never a safe perimeter, Commander." Most Holy had decided to put in his two cents. Again, I had to hand it to Ventris. She had tact. "I take your point, General." We were in.

TRES Headquarters is one of those places in the Jihad you hear a lot about but rarely see. A hollowed out mountain with more labs, workshops and computing power than the rest of the Jihad put together. A reinforced platoon from Alpha Squadron brought up the rear; TRES definitely knows how to put on a show. A heavy-duty cargo lift was our ticket to the upper levels of the base.

Most Holy was definitely not in the mood for pleasantries so Ventris and I made small talk while the rest of her troops stood around looking tense. It isn’t every day you escort a living legend in the Jihad. "I understand congratulations are in order for your superior officer, Lieutenant." It was becoming hard not to like this lady. "General Jeracho is a credit to your JAO, his service with Chi squadron has been equally impressive."

I was enjoying the whole "Lieutenant" thing quite a bit, actually. On the official M.A.U.L personnel rating list, I sport the impressive title of "Corporal." According to MHI records, I currently oversee the activities of a small and inconsequential unit going by the name of the "Research and Reliability Task" buried deep in the logistical supply division. Just the kind of pencil pushing, bean-counting job you give to a REMF enlisted man that is waiting to retire. If you call over to the War College, they’ll tell you they’ve never heard of me and hang up on your ass.

Naturally, like most things in the Jihad, the truth is a little more complicated. The nasty, dirty, unkind to animals reality is I command a covert ops task force drawn from the best trained and most lethal Jihaddi I could beg, coerce and Shanghai. We’re known semi-officially as R.R.T., the Ready Reaction Team and we have no official codename. I report directly to Most Holy and the buck stops there. Not bad for a Corporal, huh?

"He’s been a great mentor." That was a lie, but since Jeracho ran the War College, there wasn’t any other good answer. Thankfully, the cargo lift came to an abrupt halt before Ventris got more in depth. Moho obviously knew the way, but it was a definite wake-up for me. The place was huge. We double-timed it to the heavily guarded entrance of the Triumvir Council chamber.

Even for little, old, wiseass moi, this place was something. History everywhere. Some of the greatest Jihaddhi ever had walked these halls and run the war against the purple pestilence from this very chamber. Admiral Matt Korth, Cyberpyro, J. Foxglove, plaques and service records lined the walls. Tokens of brotherhood from the Maenads of the Holy Albino competed for space with joint Ops records from the once glorious Doberman Empire. I had to mentally remind myself we were here for business.

Finally, we reached the inner entry portal to the sanctum sanctorum. Moho brought us to a halt, then turned to me. "I’m going in alone, if I don’t come out, don’t bother shooting your way in." I wasn’t sure if the boss was joking or not. "Ferals don’t play around when it comes to that sort of thing, just stay ready." Ventris looked a little puzzled at the exchange, but that wasn’t her fault. The message was in code. I spoke into my headset mike as the General was ushered inside.

"Red element, report." I heard four chimes indicating my team on the perimeter was hunky-dory. Then Miranda came on. "Pack-lead, we’re experiencing some interference on designated frequency, advise?" I smiled when I said, "All elements, switch to comm channel 2 for full unit push, individual remain channel 3." Ventris also couldn’t know that I’d just given the "go" order.

Right now, while CINC made his entrance, an operation we’d been planning for the past two weeks was kicking off. Low level protocols in the TRES HQ perimeter security program had just received some very basic changes to their source code. At the same time, the auditing software that compared event logs from the security program suffered a minute glitch that sent it into an infinite loop.

The Commander looked concerned as I finished my transmission. "You are experiencing interference on your devices?" I waved her off. "It’s nothing serious, probably just the amount of metal and rock we’re transmitting through, plus maybe some leakage from electronics." This seemed to mollify her. I tried to look preoccupied to discourage conversation, but this woman had a certain way about her.

"Is it true, what they say about your General? He has come to announce he is leaving the Jihad?" There, it was out in the open. This would probably explain the attitude of her buddy, Ravin. To these two, their personal worth lay in the fact that they were soldiers in TRES, and to a lesser or greater extent, Jihaddhi. That someone might choose voluntarily to leave the Jihad bordered on cowardice at best and treason at worst.

"That would be above my pay grade, Commander." I could be tactful too. "The General has reasons for what he does." And I had asked a lot of the same questions he had. The sad truth was that the Jihad had reached a low point. JAO cooperation was non-existent and recruiting hadn’t been this bad since before Serp the malevolent had stolen the show.

A lot of money, effort and time had been expended on big-ticket weapon systems. The problem now was keeping that equipment running and recruiting fresh bodies. The Triumvirs also had a very specific idea about whose turf was where and if you trespassed, tough for you. This made developing hot Intel difficult and sharing it next to impossible. Fleet-footed, equipment light strike units like mine were déclassé. Up and coming Captains and Commanders at TRES knew the path to quick promotion lay in Squadron level assignments, not out with the grunts in the mud.

It’s never a good sign when bean counting is popular. That isn’t to ridicule the TRES way of doing business. They have a reputation and they deserve it. But the MAUL philosophy puts the premium on leadership, not rank. My troops are smart enough and motivated enough that rank doesn’t count for a lot. But I digress; it didn’t take much over forty-five minutes for Moho to finish his business.

The big boss emerged looking almost depressed, as the guard detachment straightened to attention. For a hell-raiser like him, this is unusual, but he squared his shoulders and settled his uniform cover back on his head. "We’re all done here", Moho rumbled. "The Triumvirs agreed to the formal change of command, time to go." We set off back the way we’d come as I thumbed the interrupt key for my headset twice. Here we went indeed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Not the Bald Guy

Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 47
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2004 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Y'know, I actually like this. It brought to mind a couple things I hadn't considered happening in detail before.

I'm just heading out the door now, but I'll probably have some more comments later. Just wanted to generally deem this piece cromulent.
Patrick Stewart
{Historian|Writer|Memeticist|Blogger} {in}errant
Proud holder of the Jihaddi Revolving Door Award
Homo sum: humani nil alienum a me puto
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PHPab4d Forum Index -> Writing Forum All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Bluetab template design by FF8Jake of FFD
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group