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Stealth and Deception
by Alastair Cooper (Myralyst)

Part Three


“Its 23:45, all is quiet – let’s move out team!” said Leonard, and listened as his team responded with their status. After Michelle had closed with “Ready before you even thought it, sir!” he took one last look at the analysis offered him by his suit computer, and said “Sneider, clear our insertion point”

Sneider, the unit’s primary sniper lifted his highly modified plasma rifle. Whereas all the squad were outfitted with augmented firearms, Sneider’s was special amongst rifles. Higher precision equipment focused the plasma into a tighter, thinner configuration and more powerful projectors hurled the resulting lethal package nearly four times as fast and ten times as far as their own top-spec rifles. The result was an extraordinary weapon, capable of killing at huge range silently. In the hands of a master like Sneider the weapon’s targeting assistance made precision a deterministic question of where exactly you wanted the plasma to hit. Three muffled thuds later, and three kilometers away three guards burned out of existence: Silence.

The unit raced forward at a loping, efficient run trained into them in countless operations. They had mechanical assistance in the suit to control the pressure exerted by their feet down to a complete minimum, thus preventing any tracks. The suits blended them into surroundings perfectly, and those remaining patrols they passed on their outward journey did not even acknowledge a hint of their fleeting presence. As a precaution Leonard ordered absorption shields raised anyway. No mistakes to be made tonight. The infiltration team reached their first waypoint, and quickly adjusted their run to take them to their objective, beneath the observation tower where three piles of ash cooled quickly at the top.

As they reached the base of the tower, Michelle’s suit detected the presence of a patrol droid. “Incoming!” She whispered into the tactical comms “Its mine!” She loped off toward the droid and dropped to a crouch. Activating her specialist datapad she analysed the droid, and jammed its reports to control, and started broadcasting her own, status-normal reports. She lifted her handheld and fired A brief ion-pulse cannon burst to the droid, which, unprepared for the attack caught the blast full on the head. Wasting no time she loped to the droid, still in stealth mode and started issuing new commands from her handheld. “Sorted, this one won’t bother us anymore, returning to squad” she reported as her modifications completed.

“What did you do?” Leonard replied, “Well, this unit will return to its patrol, issue only statements reaffirming all clear, and return to its storage unit as per, usual” Michelle replied, “Only, three hours after returning, just when our mission reaches critical phase, it will assist us in a most efficient manner!”

“How so?” “Well, it is going to report a weapons stability leak, and given the amount of depleted Neutronium in that thing, they are gonna have to follow a massive standard evacuation of the military segment of this base, and summon the containment squad”

Leonard was impressed: “Very nice of it! Jones: How long do you estimate that should give us?” “Jones here sir! Well even if the squad were on site, minimum assessment and action time is five hours. Bonus!”

“Quiet down the unnecessary!” Leonard smirked beneath his mask, he enjoyed the banter as much as any of his team did, but he needed a clear head. “Proceed with the mission”.

Silently the elite squad got down to business. Sneider scaled the observation tower and placed holographic projections of three Federation soldiers in standard uniform, complete with a comms traffic unit that simulated usual conversations between them through their radios. The unit also broadcast the routine status checks that the team had monitored during their observation of the facility”. Michelle helped Jones with the device they would use to infiltrate the vast wall of the facility. Usually they would have brought a high-powered anti-gravity unit and floated the team over, but analysis had shown that detectors for this type of activity had been liberally scattered over the whole area.

However these detectors were standard models and Leonard had come up with something inventive to get them inside. The trouble with standard models is that they only monitored the presence of negative gravity fields, and not minor gravitational increases. With the increased apathy to actually developing new technology that was decaying the whole Federation, now their key researchers had defected meant it was highly unlikely that there were any modifications at all to these primitive sensors. Leonard’s idea required a man sized hole cut through the wall using nano-technology cutting devices. They would then use miniature tractor beams to move the segment out of the way, enter the hole, and replace the core of the hole – virtually undetectable. The team could hardly stop giggling through their comms as the hilarity of how easy this part of their mission was to execute sunk in, and the bad jokes about the Federation flowed freely as the team moved through their new door and replaced it behind them. Leonard set the tractor beam device to remote activation and left in the grass on the far side of the wall, should fate require a quick escape this ghost team could count on it opening them a discreet exit. But, that was highly unlikely with these new body suits and they still had not deployed their full arsenal of tricks. Tonight was going to be more fun than any other mission he had been on – he, like his team appreciated the cheekiness of their objectives, and it eased the tension about being under cover in the core worlds of the evil Federation.


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