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Message no. 1
From: "Paul J. Adam" <Shadowtk@********.DEMON.CO.UK>
Subject: Rescue Mission #2
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 22:13:37 +0100
>>>>>[TO: All SIGA Staff

This is the second part of our insertion.

+++++begin video
Blade, on point, carefully approaches the ridgetop: going from a walk to
a crouch, then to a crawl, to avoid skylining himself to any observers
on the other side.

His caution may not be necessary... this time. The ridge drops away to a
shallow, lightly wooded valley, a medium-to-large village nestling at
the junction of road and river and an old Spanish castle dominating it
all from the hills on the other side (the mediaeval appearance spoiled
by the much more modern buildings nestled in and around it, and the
clusters of aerials and satellite dishes).

The Casa Santiago.

Signs of the military presence are obvious, though, from the checkpoints
on the roads to the armoured vehicles visible at several intersections
to the 'spider' barrack blocks with their vehicle parks full of ochre-
camouflaged trucks. At least a battalion of troops are based here,
probably more.

The rest of the group are joining him, somewhat less cautious now he's
checked it's clear, though everyone freezes as a helicopter gunship
clatters into the valley: passing about a mile south of them, descending
to land within the Casa's walls.

"Impressive. How do we get in?" Blade asks.

Rossellini smiles smugly. "We walk right in."

"You're kidding."

"Not even slightly." Christiansen replies. "There are over nine hundred
Jaguar Guard in that village. Why do you think we're dressed in their
uniforms, with their papers and a set of their orders? We don't go head
to head with the troops, we slip in among them. Easy in, easy out."

"I hate it when people say that." Blade mutters. "I _really_ hate it
when people say 'easy in, easy out'. It never works."

"Exercise gear." Rosselini reminds them, and almost in unison the group
fix small, safety-orange attachments to the muzzles of their weapons:
blank firing adaptors, to constrain the flow of gas from a blank round
and allow the weapon to cycle normally. Next on is the lensed harness of
their BESSIES receivers, and finally BESSIES transmitters clamped onto
their rifles. Now, they look as though they were out on a training
exercise, expecting to fire and be fired on by nothing more lethal than
blank ammo and laser engagement simulators.

The group descend the ridge and head directly for the village, joining
the road and following it: falling into two ranks and marching in step
as they get closer to the checkpoint. Christiansen brings them to a halt
and advances to the barrier.

"Patrol exercise coming back in." He hands the guard an encoded card:
one of the guards swipes it through a reader, the other watches with
interest: fifty yards back, two men manning a sandbagged machine gun
position cover the proceedings. Rosselini, meanwhile, is having the
group make safe their weapons, clearing the blank ammunition and smoke
grenades they'd loaded.

"You're early, Sergeant." the guard comments.

"Don't I know it. These idiots couldn't navigate their way into a
whorehouse, let alone do anything useful inside. They were wasting
everyone's time stumbling around in circles, navigating themselves up a
crease in the map, so I'm bringing them back in. The CSM will have a
motivational talk with them, then we'll go back out and do it again. And
again. And _again_. Until these stumble artists get it right, learn to
navigate without a GPS system holding their hand, and they start to
_deserve_ those Jaguar flashes."

"Should be fun to watch." The guard nods, raises the barrier. "Have

"Oh, _I_ will." Rosselini grins. "_They_ won't..."

Inside the village, and the signs of its military occupation are clear:
only one general store, but five bars, and few civilians visible. The
ones that are tend to be female, underdressed, and touting for business.
Christiansen leads off into the third bar on the street, "El Tarasco",
from which pounding salsa music and lively chatter comes. Like the other
watering holes, it's crowded, by troops in a mix of camouflage field
gear and barracks working dress: few occupants are armed, those that are
- like the group - carrying rifles or LMGs with exercise gear fitted.

Christiansen finds a table with few enough, and low enough ranking,
occupants that he can chase them off and get the group packed around it:
a waitress (thin halter top, very short shorts, not bad looking, though
so obviously "For Hire" she should have a price list attached) brings
pitchers of beer without being asked: Rosselini slotting a credstick
into her portable reader. The custom seems to be that senior soldier
present buys for the group, and who owes what to whom is sorted out

"I don't believe it. It worked." Blade says.

"Of course it would." Askew replies. "Most of these guys have no idea
there's a captured UCAS general in the Casa. They were told to be alert
for intruders, but most think that's just cue for a training exercise,
and those in the know are expecting a pack of black-fatigue-cowboys from
Delta, not a discreet crew like us. We look right, our papers check
okay, and we're trogging in with BFAs on our "
weapons. They're used to that, it's normal."

"So, how do we get into the castle?"

"Easily." Christiansen replies. "We socialise here for a while, then
join the details heading back. Our duty stations are inside the Casa, we
just came out for the evening to get some beer and some company. We need
to kill three hours: rendezvous in here, 2245 hours. Anyone wants to go
get laid, do so, it'll add to the cover. Don't attract too much
attention, though, try to stay out of fights. Use the antidote patches
while you're drinking, stay clear-headed."

"I hope the getting laid part's not compulsory." Rosselini snorts.

"Entirely optional." Brady replies. "But that waitress surely has a cute

"If you want a piece of it, go negotiate. Just remember she'll be in a
hurry." Christiansen grins. "The things you gotta do for your

"Oh, yeah." Brady grins, and catches the girl's eye as she passes next:
a whispered exchange, a financial transaction, and she and Brady leave
the bar to head upstairs.

"I noticed a rather tasteful young lady outside. Mind if I go get
acquianted?" Askew suggests.

"Sure. Just practice safe sex."

"Don't need to practice it, I got it down perfect." The Dwarf finishes
his beer, heads for the door.

Time passes. Brady returns, looking satisfied: Thomas and Christiansen
leave together, returning a while later. Blade concentrates on his beer
and his tactical aide-memoire, writing up notes from their imaginary
patrol. After about ninety minutes, though, there is a commotion as
armed men (and no blank-firing adapters) pile through the doors, their
fatigues a different cut and pattern to most of the soldiers present.
Internal Security troops. Bad news.

"Nobody move! There has been an infiltration! Enemy agents are inside
the village. Everyone, prepare to present their identification!" A
blonde Captain with Internal Security flashes on her shoulders snarls,
gesturing around the room with her MP-9.

"I don't believe it." Blade says softly. Sitting with his rifle
unloaded, caught in a bar by the Aztlan military, the situation is not
particularly good.

"More leaks." Rosselini, beside him, replies. "Can't make a fight of it
here. I guess we surrender. We're not troops, we're spooks scouting for
the main rescue mission. Okay?"

Blade pauses, thinks carefully, sighs. "I don't see many alternatives.
Except playing Butch and Sundance."

"They died. We try my way." Rosselini raises her hands, then stands.
"Captain? I believe you're looking for us. Major Kataryna Rosselini,
UCAS Air Force."

A ripple of surprise goes around the room. The captain - her nametag
reads SANCHEZ - smiles smugly. "Yes, I know who you are, Rosselini. And
the man beside you is Major Hunter, formerly of Ares Macrotechnology and
now a SIGA hired hand. Where are the others? Need I call the roll of
your mission?" Christiansen reluctantly stands, as does Thomas and
Brady. Askew still hasn't returned from his assignation, it seems.

"Where are the others? Askew and Tallis?"

"Died on the jump in." Christiansen replies hopefully. "We had to
continue without them."

"Such a pointless waste of life. If I believed you. Take the officers to
the Castle, the troops to the gatehouse! Continue the search for the
Dwarf and the woman!"

Blade is herded out, and quickly stripped of most of his equipment: the
Jaguar Guard maintaining a respectful air, though, and being extremely
careful to keep him covered. The search is thorough, even finding the
deceptively small snubnose revolver hidden at his ankle. The search
complete, he's cuffed and then herded into the back of a Mule (the
Aztlan version of the Land-Rover or the MPUV), sitting next to Rosselini
with a guard facing them, weapon aimed, and the driver and another guard
up front: Christiansen, Thomas and Brady have already been packed into
another Mule and hauled away. The vehicle's engine growls as it picks
its way through the village, pausing at the checkpoint before
accelerating away.

As the Mule begins to climb the slope towards the castle and the road
eases into forest, Blade flexes his shoulders: catching a glance
backwards, seeing the road is clear, he raises his arms ever so
slightly. The blast of the cybergun is deafening in the confines of the
vehicle, and the guard catches the bullet in the face.

Rosselini kicks out and strikes the MP-9 from his hands, as Blade fires
twice more to kill the guard sitting up front: by then Rosselini has the
submachinegun's muzzle jammed against the driver's head. "Stop the
vehicle!" she snaps, and he does.

"Thank you." the Air Force officer smiles, and shoots him through the

"Jesus!" Even Blade is surprised by the casual ruthlessness of the

"Can we take prisoners? Leave these guys to raise the alarm?" Rosselini
asks, rapidly beginning to search the body of the guard. "Nope. Find the
keys. Put the cuffs on the guards. We make it look like the vehicle ran
off the road in the struggle. Good, these guys had grenades. We torch
the wreck, the grenades would cook off in the fire anyway, not too
suspicious, and the explosions'll hide the gunshot wounds for a while.
Two prisoners cuffed in the back, dead. We died and a guard or two got
out but haven't showed yet."

"Won't fool them." Blade says, dubious.

"Of course not. But it'll slow them down for longer than it takes to set

Blade gets to work. "So what do we do now?"

"Continue the mission, what else?" Rosselini pockets a few items, snaps
the handcuffs on one dead guard.

"It's compromised from end to end. They knew exactly who we were, when
we'd arrive..."

"And they're overconfident as a result. This wasn't in their game plan.
They didn't expect us to escape." Rosselini hands Blade one of the MP-9
SMGs and a set of web gear. "Now we've got a chance."
+++++end video]<<<<<
-- 2Lt S E Rodriguez <22:08:42/08-03-59>
Strategic Intelligence Gathering Agency

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading about Rescue Mission #2, you may also be interested in:


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