A Little Fiction III

2015 November 27
tags:
by drdog09

Previous entries —

A Little Fiction I
A Little Fiction II

Ambush

“Your turn Sgt.” Lt. bumping my shoulder.
“Ok. Any traffic of interest?” We had been trading naps by the hour.
“No. Couple of cars, North and South, one semi the same. Nothing else.”
“Maybe they gave us up for dead. Eh Lt.?”
“If they are I will take care of Bellows myself.”

Noon came and went. Temps had climbed to the low 90’s. Eleven vehicles in 7 hours, not one seemed interested in looking at the scenery. Just the Verizon bucket truck. Rolled along at about 20mph stopping occasionally. I guess checking poles. Kept right on going. Then nothing. Sunset was approaching, shadows getting longer on the westward hills.

“Suggestions Lt.? This might be a futile effort or we are not in the right spot.” Truth is I needed to take care of some biology.
“Lets wait till dark. Then we will recon from the backside of this dune and come up with a plan. Coach did say tactical was our call. Hold it….”

A white van was decelerating pretty quickly in the north bound lane. Came to a stop. Shape came our of the passenger side took three steps… “Robinson and Mahoney I presume?” Whoever it was was looking three feet to the right of our location but not exactly at us.
“We’re pickup. Bellows sent you. You got 30. After that you can walk to Thousand Oaks.” Robinson rose quickly out of the sand the HK in his hand pointed at the shape.
“Call sign?”
“Rabbit hole” The voice was female. “You Robinson? Wheres’ Mahoney or did he buy it?”
“Not likely” rising from my pit.
“Grab your gear and get in the van. We can’t stay here singing kumbaya.”

We piled in closed the sliding door. Just a stripped panel van. Boxes were strapped against the rear windows and side panel window.

“You walked up and almost stepped on us. Our concealment could not have been that bad.” My pride was hurt or I was getting sloppy.
“You can’t hide when you are tagged.”
“What do you mean tagged?”
“Bellows or his team. They gave you Cali ids and the like?”
“Yeah drivers licenses with our pictures, maps, Federal money.”
The woman produced a device about the size of an iPad just thicker and pressed the button. With the screen facing us we could see `Bellows – M`, `Bellows – R` displayed. “RFID. We embedded them in the IDs before we sent them. This device is good for thirty meters. Remember seeing a Verizon truck?”
“Yeah.” Robinson’s curiosity piqued.
“That truck has a more powerful version of this. Good for nearly a klick with the yagis that were on the roof of the truck. The driver knew he had found you just not how far off the road. Then he just started counting poles.”
“Poles?”
“Boy you guys are sheltered. Telephone-power poles. Out here there are 40 to a mile. Its standard telephony practice in the rural US. All our man had to do is count the number of poles till he reached a cross street. He passes that to us and we do the rest. We count the number down. From pole one to pole zero, pole to pole is about 24 meters. I sweep the area with this and find you. Well actually the tags. The fact that you buried the packs not on you was the only thing that threw off my little introduction. To be honest I did not see you.”

“Call me Alice. The driver Frank. We don’t use real names with insertions for obvious reasons. The same with the rest of the people you will meet.”
“Well you know our names. I am Mahoney.” pointing to Lt. “This is Robinson. Have to excuse us we are not into the cloak and dagger stuff.”
“Well do so quickly. It can be life and death out here. The President has invoked the NDAA in Cali. People tend to disappear if they are not careful.”
“Damn.”
“Placing you in a safe-house tonight. We will go over how we get you to your delivery point tomorrow morning.” We continued North. “How much longer Frank?”
“Twenty minutes.”
“This place is nothing but a shack but it does have power to it. Charge up any of your gear but no lights. If you see anything but this white van show up tomorrow, you have guns, use them. Oh and don’t stray too far from the shack. Minor sandstorm expected tonight.”

“White van approaching Lt.”
“Our contacts?”
“Yes but it appears only Alice.” Or at least Frank was not in the passenger seat. Car door slammed shut.
“Come on lets go. Sooner we are on the move the better.” Alice appearing a bit distracted. “Get in the back. Change of clothes is in there.”
“Where to now? And where is Frank?” Lt. taking the lead.
“Frank had to work. We are headed for Acton. You will meet regional lead. He will be providing the team that will get you to Thousand Oaks.”

+++

“So what do you think? Another drone strike?”
“Maybe” His back to the first. “But the location. Most of the other strikes have been South of here. What were they trying to hit? The site doesn’t look right either.”
“What do you mean?” First now standing beside the speaker.
“Well the last four strikes, they have all had twin rudders in the remains. Bone yard F-15 types. This one is not. Either they ran out of what they were throwing at us or they changed configuration for this particular strike. Plus. Look at the blast area. Its wider than all the others. And no instrumentation debris.”
“Then?”
“Call in a helo and have them sweep the area visually, say out to ten klicks. There is more here than meets the eye.”

+++

“We are about 10 minutes from our meeting. Expect to hand over your weapons for this meeting. Protocol.” Alice looking for reaction “Refuse and I might as well stop right here.”
“Lt?”
“Ok, but just for the duration of the meeting. As soon as it is over we get them back.”
“No problem.” Smile across her face. “By the way, if we get in any action better be conservative with those HK’s. Ammo is now registered and rationed.”

+++

“As you can see commissioner, the cabin has been vacated.”
“Yes. Any evidence of injury, blood?”
“None Sir. If it was occupied I would assume they left uninjured.”
“Tracks?” Commissioners assistant returning to the scene.
“Nix that. NWS indicates that there was a minor wind/sand storm through the area last night. Any tracks will have been scrubbed.” Turning to the tech. “Can Technical provide any other information? Fingerprints perhaps?”
“We did recover this CF card. We suspect that is what was used to direct the drone. We will know more with lab analysis.”
“Time to results?”
“Half hour if it is unencrypted like the rest of them.”
“Rush it. Best guess as to when the cabin landed?”
“Right now sometime from 1 to 4 last night. Once we have the flight data analyzed we can have it down to 10 minutes more of less.”

The two men observe the tech’s work for a few more minutes then retire back to the helo.
“Lets walk through this Chin. Sometime yesterday the Coalition launches a drone. It makes it through our defense net. I received an action report this morning that two M-1097 AA systems launched missiles but no confirmed kill. If the drone then headed North it would be consistent with the tech’s time frame of impact. Only one aircraft matches this cabin type — 111. Based on what I saw of the crash yesterday the drone was subsonic. Fact probably at almost stall when it crashed. Point to where the drone crashed.”
“Northwest of here. Twelve klicks away.” Chin pointing that direction.
“Towards Edwards.”
“You think that was their target?”
“I don’t know.” Commissioner drawing symbols in the sand with a stick. “If this was just a drone strike I would chalk it up to that. But it was going too slow. If Edwards was the target one would have the drone supersonic for element of surprise and kinetic impact.” Staring at the symbols. “No Chin. Edwards was not the target. I suspect a delivery. Either men, material or both. The fact the two points intersect towards Edwards is a ruse.”
“But Commissioner how can you be sure?” Stepping into the helo.

“I can’t of course.” Silence again. “Tell me, other than Edwards what other high value targets are there in the Los Angeles basin?”
“The Roosevelt is in dry dock. LA AFB. San Clements Naval Station. …”
Chin is cut off. “No, NO. Soft targets. Two men are not going to be sortied against a hard target like defense installations. What they would be capable of inflicting is too little.”
“Northrop, Boeing, Hughes, Rayethon, General Dynamics. About fifty subs.”
“Put together a list. Include research facilities as well. Just to be complete send a BOLO to base commanders.” Commissioner tapping the pilot. “Lets go.”

+++

“Our best approach is from the East side of the building. There are access grates that is hidden behind a cooling pond and transformers. They are locked but thermite will make short work of that” Terry, the name used by the regional director looking right at Lt. Terry is quite a sight. Would look more comfortable spinning clay pots than planning a break-in. Thin, wiry, grey hair in a ponytail and a speech pattern right out of a doper on a high. No response he continues, “Our inside contact indicates that what you are looking for is in a basement storage facility. No guards in that area but several security cameras that will need to be blanked out. You brought det cord and that is what we will use on the door. Its nothing fancy, just a commercial lock. Figure there will be more cameras inside. Questions.”

“Yeah how much time? and when?” Lt looking for trip wires I guess.

“We will have no more than twenty minutes probably half that really. Two days hence. We need to get set up across the street first.”

“What?” Now I was curious.

“There is a Quiznos truck parked there. Don’t sweat it fella we have a plan.” Terry answered dryly. “Its no problem man.”

“Terry, sweating details is what has kept Lt and I alive. I think …”

Alice jumped in, “Terry says don’t sweat it, I believe him. Not knowing is what keeps us alive out here. Compartments. A compromise does not bring down the whole organization. He’s a chess grand-master and has yet to not complete a mission.” Deep breath, “Anything more Terry?”

“Nope. Usual assembly point, 48hrs.”

“Lets go guys.” Alice half way to the door.

+++

“Come.” Commissioner glancing up. “Anything of interest Adams?”

“Maybe Sir. Our BOLO triggered a reply from the City of Westlake planning commission. They received a request for building plans for two facilities. One for the old GTE Place building. The other for the WestLake HS.”

“When?”

“Both placed in the last twenty days. They don’t have exact dates. And the request were made by two different individuals according to the clerk.”

“And?”

“Well both buildings are within a mile of each other for one. The other is, the GTE facility is the advanced research arm for Applied Robotics now. They are a supplier/designer of many of the drones we use.”

“Is there more?”

“Well I don’t know if they are connected but a shipment of Applied Robotics components was targeted a while back if I recall. I have feelers out to gather details, but I do remember it as part of a signals dispatch.”

“Very good. Follow up on the previous assault. If there is a connection follow it. In the mean time get me the head of the security detail at Applied Robotics.”

+++

“Let me understand this, you have building security for the grounds and building proper but don’t do rounds?”

“Yes Commissioner that is correct. We have no need during non-business hours. Fact the facility is sealed and the only personnel are at the front entrance. I am not at liberty to explain why other than it is tactical, but suffice it to say this facility is as secure as Fort Knox on a Sunday afternoon.”

“Its your op and head if something goes wrong. But to let you know, we have received chatter that there is interest in your facility in Westlake.” The Commissioner’s tone now in low dungeon mode.

“Have a good day Commissioner.” With that the security manager hung up.

+++

“Is the Quiznos truck out of position?” Terry’s head was cocked to the back bench seat of the van looking for confirmation. Satisfied he turned to other matters. “Now you two guys. When we hit the grounds at AR you trail us and follow our lead. And for God sakes keep those HK’s on safety. We don’t want to attract attention if we can avoid it.”

By this point the driver was in the parking lot of the shopping center. Pulled forward and parked next to a white van. “How far is the target?” Lt was getting a little twitchy when he is facing too many variables.

“Across the street — there”. Terry pointing to a low three story building embanked into the earth.

“And the entry point?”

“Just follow us will ya?” Terry appreciably irritated at this point. A rolled thud issued out of the other parked van. Alice.

Alice motioned to a storm drain cover. In a flash a member, nothing older than a kid, had popped the cover over and was down in the drain catching gear bags. Alice followed. Within moments all were assembled in the cross ways ten feet below street level. Terry motioning forward thru the dark.

“Wait, right above us” Alice, at the rear of the little convoy. Flashing a light upward illuminated what appeared to be a drain plate held up by cross hatch rebar. “Torch”, Alice twitching her hand toward the kid, “the rest of you back up.” There was a light snapping sound then the whole shaft and the tunnel lit up like the sun.

“TEC Torch. Handy little gadget. Looks like a flashlight. One half is a thermite charge the other the handle/igniter. 5000c four minute burn time.” Terry intoned. “Lifted them from a stash at a NG unit a year or so back. Never had a use till now.” The grate was gently lifted down. “Only hand signals from here on out. According to the copies of the plans we have, there is no IR sensors, CCTV or audio. But lets not take any chances.”

Alice went first. Accepted the packs then stepped to the wall. LT popped his head out HK at the ready. Scanning the area it appeared to be a loading zone. Roll doors to his front, walls to his right, assemblage of boxes and crates everywhere else. Followed Alice to the wall. Mahoney, Terry and the kid followed hugging the wall. Terry hand signaled to a entry door to the rear.

Mahoney looked at his watch 22:12zulu. Mahoney had wondered since the briefing how the locals knew the location of the devices. Or even their existence.

Terry motioned the kid forward to the door. Typical steel affair with a swipe lock on the jamb. Swiftly the kid pulled a cable and box from his bag. Inserted the cable in the lock receptacle and proceeded to engineer the lock. Pop. They were in. 22:15 as Mahoney scanned his watch again. Mahoney’s turned back to how they intended to find their prey in a building three acres in size when it occurred to him that they had an inside man.

+++

“Pete, looks like the west door to the dock is opened.” the security guard chiming in the mic.
“Check. It will take me a while I am over in the North wing 2nd floor.”
Guard logs the incident in the computer and ticks ‘search’ on the options menu.

+++

Alice again motions for a TEC torch. No time now for subtlety, just crash the party. The torch burns thru the door and bolt assembly within seconds. The team now inside, the torch lighting the entire room in a deep white light. Hundreds of crates in storage. Lt. motions to the teams right, cases just like those at Ft. Knox, a hundred at least.

+++

Lights ignite. Doors clicking to the locked position. Security gates closing. The building is coming to life. In the security office the computer logs the unlocked state of storage room B-2C. Following its algorithms computer prepares its action plan.

+++

“Mahoney, look familiar?” LT’s hands sweeping over and around the case.
“Yep, but the last time we touched one of these babies it was hell on earth so be careful.” Mahoney’s forefinger swiping across his throat.
“Ok grand-master how do we get in?” LT looking at Terry, hand on the case.
Mahoney scanning his watch, 22:24zulu.

“We don’t. We steal it” Terry looking right at LT. “Its a change in plans. Sorry. Your mission was a photo op. However our information dictates we gather a copy of what is in here. You’re being here makes the job easier and if we had informed you of our intentions before hand you might have bailed.”

“You’re right on that score. This thing weighs 200# easy.” Mahoney chips in, scowl well planted. “You don’t even know if it fits down the shaft!”

“Oh it will alright. Our sources confirmed it” Alice stepping forward.
Mahoney taking note, they do have an inside man.

+++

“John, Pete. I am approaching the loading area.”
“Ok. Turn on your IFF. Computer is running a pattern.”
“Roger. Entering now.” Flipping on the IFF transducer attached to his shoulder patch and belt.

Opening the door, turning to his left, he pauses but for a split second when a ripping sound cuts thru his upper thighs. The lights brighten as he crumples to the floor his eyes catching a glimpse of his assailant as he falls backwards the ripping sound echoing in the corridor again. The body is silent with but the blinking of the IFF low batt indicator as the lights dim again in the corridor.

OFRO sweeps the corridor with the sensor array, determines the blockage as passable and tracks right over the body. Its 400# of frame and armaments neatly clearing without incident. OFRO notates to computer that a foe has been detected and neutralized and continues its sweep.

Computer activates counter measures response protocol, alerts personnel electronically and sends alarm status to a remote security fusion center.

+++

“Commissioner, we have a intrusion alert at Applied Robotics. Its one of the sites in our soft targets list.” Chin with a slight excitement in his voice. “Location went in lock-down 15min ago.”
“Time to location by air?” Wish there was a quicker way the commissioner thought but alas only a resignation to loss.
“35 minutes Sir”
“As I thought. Well lets mount up. Only the A squad. Most likely they will already be out of area by the time we get there.”

+++

“What the hell?!” Mahoney pivoted to the direction of the sound. “Geez….” Not two feet and eight high hovered a drone resembling a Parrot BeBop only a third bigger. Its lens squinting directly at him. Yet laser dots danced on the entire team tagging each in turn. “Cover!” was all he could spit out as he dived for a crate. The balance of the team follow suit in quick succession.

“No wonder they don’t have cameras in the facility…. they fly!” quipped Lt. Hugging a crate for cover, Lt trying to make himself even smaller. “What now?”

“Pulse grenade!” Terry’s voice raising in volume as he uttered it. Seconds passed then a object arced end over end. It resembled a German style ‘potato masher’ from three wars ago. It hit the floor, bounced twice, made a sound like a shot gun shell, and a whirr. The drone wobbles, pitches left then drops to the floor.

Alice slammed the butt of her rifle on the optics. Turning. “We have been made. Expect more drones. Pick a crate and lets get out of here!” Heading for the door.

Lt and Terry grab the first case at hand letting out a huff as they did so. “Hold it!” Alice facing back to the team. “Sentry drone coming up the corridor.”
“How about another pulse grenade?” Mahoney quips.
“Not a chance. This unit has a internal Faraday cage. Pulse won’t be effective. Forget the HK too. The case is made of composite armor. You need a .50 cal to penetrate it.” She looking at Mahoney with a worried expression.
“Options?” The team now at the door way as well.
“Let it come. The armaments bay has limited sweep. When it turns the corner we move.”
“Move where?” Mahoney following Alice as she frantically looks for something.
“Quick, find anything to use as a lever.” Alice still looking.
“Here.” The kid running up with a length of electrical pipe.

“Everyone up to the wall. Terry give me a hand.”

The OFRO advances on the door opening. No need for senors yet the Parrot has telegraphed all the contact data to the robot. Safety’s are off on the twin .45 submachines mounted as it approaches the opening. Its right track just clearing the opening.

“Now?”
“Not yet Terry. Wait till it pivots and enters the room.” Alice whispers.

The robot does exactly that. Its sensor array sweeping left away from the team. “Now!” Alice slides the pipe thru the track. “Lift! Don’t stop till the sensor stalk snaps and its on its back!” Alice and Terry, then shortly Mahoney tip the robot over. The pipe slips out of their hands as the track catches it against the track follower but by then the momentum carries the bot right on over. The tracks continue to spin but only catch air. The bot is down.

“explosive?” Lt inquires.
“What for? The computer already has our visuals in its database. Or do you intend to blaze your way into the security system?” Alice hands up, shrug on he shoulders. “We best get while we can. We can be sure that another bot is on its way.”
“How do you know all this stuff?” Mahoney’s sensors on overdrive.
“Ask me later. Right now we head back to the shaft. Terry take lead and by God have the smart phone turned on!” Mahoney staring at Alice with a big ‘?’ on his face.

+++

“12 minutes to touchdown.” the pilot pipes over the intercoms.
“No hurry, they have to be gone by now.” replies the commissioner.
“If not?” queries Chin. The commissioner just shaking his head.

+++

“Careful with that case! You won’t live to see what is inside if it opens.” Mahoney droned to Terry.
“Yeah sure” Terry at the bottom of the shaft. “God this is heavy.”
“Ok, just don’t drop it. Kid give him a hand.”
“Mahoney, get moving. The smart phone has gone orange.” Alice
“Sure. I can take a bullet in the butt or get sliced in half by what might be in that case.”
“What are you talking about?” Alice looking over her shoulder.
“We have seen these cases in action sweet cakes. Its not pretty for a 100feet around.” Mahoney loosened his grip on the case as it descended the shaft to those below.
“Yeah sure. Get down that shaft. The bots track is turning the corner up the hall!”

+++

“Pilot sweep the immediate area before we land.” Chin.
“Roger that.”
The chopper pivots thru the area, the highway, the shopping center then completed the circle and landed on the pad in front of Applied Robotics.

“Officer Smythe. Fusion center said you were coming. We have opened up the security center and cued the vids.”
“Good. We will need copies as well.” Chin.
“Already done. Fusion center has it. Release already approved. Your copy and the download key.”
“Pretty thorough.” quips the commissioner.
“We train for these. First time we executed one that was not a drill.” Smythe smiling.

They enter the security center.
“John, cue the first visual we have” John complies.
“How many?” Commissioner queries.
“Best we can make from the Parrot is 5 people.”
“Parrot?” Chin.
“Sorry, manufacturer of the aerial drones we use here.” John pivoting back from his chair.
“Roll it John.” Smythe pointing at the vid.

The screen flashes like an old kinotype machine. Light. Dark. Shadows.

“Can’t make any of this out” Chin bleats.
“Sorry, John, 1/10th speed if you would. Little less contrast too. You see gentlemen the drone takes shots as individual frames with an IR flash in the event that the room is dark.” Smythe pimping his techno-babble.
“Ahh better. Yeah this looks like 5 in the team.” Commissioner leaning forward to the display. Frame after frame flashes on the display. “Hold on that one.” The Commissioner leans even closer. “Can you expand just the face?”
“Sure. Just a sec.” John selects the corner points with the trackball then selects ‘fill frame’. The facial features fill the display.
“Fuck…..” The commissioner slowly sucks air.
“Chin. Contact DoD for the 214 on one A. Mahoney. Make it a rush. Smythe, print out copies we’ll wait.” The commissioner rivets back to a second display. “That van. Where is that?”
John looks at the camera source trailer on the display. “Back side, faces toward the shopping center across the street.”
“Real time?”
“Yes.” John looking up at the commissioner.
“Damn! There were two vans when we approached here. They left while we were jacking with these films!” Clutching the FM radio, “Captain spool up. A team prep for action. We are on a hunt!” The commissioner was on stride as he finished the sentence.

+++

“Pull off here. Alice when you get to intersection turn into the post office there” Terry was pointing to the exit. “Lt, Mahoney, grab your gear and that case. We are switching cars.”
“Now?” Lt somewhat perplexed.
“Yes.”
“Alice you know what to do right?”
“Sure. But I need 5 minutes.”

“You got it.” Terry turns his attention to a red Buick crossover. Opens the door and pops the rear hatch. “Load the case and cover yourselves up with that blanket. Street cameras can count the number of people in a car.” Alice jumps in the passenger front. “Set?”
“Yep.” Alice pulling a wig out of her bag.
“Looks good on you.” Mahoney all smiles making a poor excuse of a pass.
“Cover up lover boy. This is no time for foreplay Sgt.” Alice turns back with a smirk.

The crossover pulls onto Ontario Ave and proceeds cross town.
The van proceeds onto the freeway.

+++

“10 minutes they can’t be far captain” The A team lead barks into the intercom.
“Yeah but the question is are we headed the right direction.” The pilot turning to the lead sitting in the doorway.
“There!” The commissioner pointing to a white van traveling in the inside lane. “Lower and on their six captain!”

The chopper shifts and descends to 300 feet and 400 behind trailing the van.

“Open up on the bastards!”
“No way Sir! The field is not clear!”
“Fire or the lead here will. That and I will put a bullet to the back of your head.”
“As you wish, but this is on your head.” The captain brings the helmet tracker on line and places the optical rectile on the back doors of the van. A one second squeeze sends 200 rounds into the van virtually eviscerating it and the three cars in front of it.

“Well?” The commissioner querying the lead.
“Nothing.”
“What do you mean nothing. There should be at least the driver in the van” The commissioner becoming slightly unnerved.
“Just that Sir. No body or bodies or even a trace of blood. The vehicle had no one inside. Its like the van drove itself.” Lead’s voice trailing off as the body bags of the collateral damage passes his field of vision.
“Of course. Damn Google.” The commissioner ponders his next move. “Spool up Captain.”
“No Sir.”
“What?” The commissioner drilling the captain with his eyes.
“Under USMJ a crime by an officer of the US Army has been committed on the civilian population. I intend to turn myself over to the nearest MP that arrives. I am detached to you as a courtesy to the DIA, but I am under military chain of command. Should I even fire that bird up it would be considered an attempt at flight by the JAG office. Fly the damn thing yourself.” With that the captain disappeared into the crowd.

+++

“Now what?” The kid scanning everyone. The case they secreted away sitting on the table. “If we open it we might get sliced in half right?” Mahoney and Lt bobbing their head in the affirmative.

“The lab of course.” Terry adds between sips of his tea.
“Oh God not him….” Alice rolls her eyes.
“What’s the deal with a lab?” Sgt somewhat perplexed.
“Everything! The guy is a senile horny retired dentist. He stinks. He’s a dirty old man overdosed on Cialas. I won’t go.”
“You don’t have to Alice.” Terry putting down his cup.

+++

“Fire it up Doc.” Terry pointing to the x ray machine. The case was laying against the wall.
“No Alice?” Harry was well into his late 80’s and truly was a retired dentist.
“Sorry Harry not this time. But she sends her love.” Terry casting a smile the Sgt’s way.

Brrrr, Zap and it was done. The equipment was antiquated. Harry is diagnosed with first stage dementia. His memory span at best was 48hrs.

“Lets hustle.” Mahoney reaching for the case. Terry pulls the plates.

+++

“Dossier on one A. Mahoney. This is one bad dude.” Chin placing the documents on the desk.
“Not the half of it I am afraid.” Commissioner opening the file. “If it is who I think it is he has done jobs they will never be put in a file.” Leafing at the end. “This is all of it?”
“Yes. A problem?”
“Depends. This ends with Mahoney’s discharge from service when the Separation started. The fools. It was just baby out with the bath water and flush the talents down the drain.”
“Sir?” Chin by now not following the train of thought.
“See this fella?” Commissioner holding up Lt’s pic. “If I am right this is a Lt. Robinson. West Point class of 2008. He an Mahoney were a sniper team. Robinson is no piker. Squad level tactics he is the master. He has studied Apache and Navajo tactics. Has authored two books on the Indian Plains Wars.”
“That fits with the AR incursion how?” Chin tapping the dossier on the desk.
“Don’t know yet. But mark this. If these two are linked up again whatever their target its as good as dead or gone. They have never failed to complete a mission that has ever been committed to paper.”

Silence.

“If these two are working for the Coalition now whatever they are after must be high profile. Do we have an inventory report if anything was taken in the room they were spotted in at Applied Robotics?”
“Not yet Sir. Expected in the hour.”
“Very well. Query DoD on the status of Lt. Robinson. We’re done for now.”

+++

“See these two lines here? Two more here? Good bet they are electrical.” Alice holding up the two x ray negatives.
“So we just cut the wires right?” Lt turning looking for a pair of snips.
“Not so fast. Notice the edge of the case. It too appears to be metallic. Good chance its part of the circuit.” Lt quickly hiding the snips behind his back as Alice turns to him.
“What about the combination lock?” Lt pointing to the assembly in the negative.
“That does not look to be part of the circuit. I can read the combo too — 4..6..3. The puzzling piece is this hole right below the lock. This case appears to be of Pelican design. This also appears to be an air vent but really too big for that. Not their style either.”
“So how do we get in? If the lock is not active what could be the active ingredient?”
“Don’t know right off hand. A member is bringing an endoscope from work this evening. Right now I am headed to get some Z’s.”

Lt still clutching the snips as Alice leaves the room.

+++

“Might want to help Lt Mahoney. He’s still clutching some cutters.” Alice clearing thru the room.
“He’s always doing that….” Mahoney throwing it at her.

“So what is with Alice? I have seen her pull off stunts I have never seen before.”
“Doctorate applied robotics, UCLA. Dual major in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. She started Synertetics Corp at 26.”
“Never heard of them.” Sgt looking for more.
“You visited them yesterday.”
“What?”
“Don’t be surprised Mahoney.” Terry tipping the bottle toward him.
“No thanks. So Synertetics became Applied Robotics?”
“Yes. There was a board room battle and when the air cleared Alice was out. They had a problem however. The patents were in her name and she was still a major stock holder. They could not kick her out. They made her Chief Scientist and shoved her in a office. Major round of funding, changed their name, add a few govt contracts and here we are.”
“Well that explains how we knew our way around the building.” Mahoney tapping the glass.
“I know what you are thinking, revenge. There maybe some of that, but you are thinking too shallow.”
“How?”
“Alice still had access to certain corridors of information within the company. AR has a black ops wing apparently. Few pieces we have indicates the development of a high density fuel cell but we don’t know for sure.”
“Dense enough to slice the top off a SUV?” Mahoney opening his arms wide.
“Probably.”

+++

“Thanks Heather.” Alice inspecting the scope. “Any tricks?”
“No. Power switch here. Eyepiece here. Depth dial here. A full turn is 10mils. Need an assist?”
“I could use it. But I have to tell you this could be a life ender.”
“I did Patriot Rock remember?”
“Your call. See that case. We need to get inside. I suspect that that the hole below the lock is the means of disarming the mechanism.”

“Al right I have the scope set up. Have the case taped down?” Heather looking towards Alice.
“Done. Don’t start anything yet ok?”

Alice enters the other room. “Alright you hunks get up off your ass and make yourself gone.”
“Easy on the eyes, cool hands and talks dirty. Mahoney you getting this?” Lt giving Alice the gaze.
“Easy Lt, don’t forget you have an anchor back home.”
“Anchor?” Terry interjects.
“Wife. Lets go.” Mahoney half way to the front door.

+++

“Look at this. Is that a twist lock molex connector?” Heather.
Alice looks in the eyepiece. “Sure does. Question is which direction?”
“Look at the top entry thread. It spins down counter clockwise.” Alice still viewing the eyepiece.
“Sure does. I have a molex extractor over there in that bag.” Heather pointing to her left.

“Easy Heather. Little to the right. Let me take it.” Smock. The extractor mates up with the connector. “Alright take it. Both hands straight and steady.”

Heather begins to twist ….

10 Responses leave one →
  1. 2015 November 27 9:12 am
    [1]
    drdog09 permalink

    If you have an argument with a family member about politics over the holidays then you need to read this — http://captaincapitalism.blogspot.com/2015/11/viewing-liberal-arts-from-another.html — They may not be capable of assimilating the logic you are providing them.

  2. 2015 November 27 9:46 am
    [2]

    NEED MORE!

    TEC Torch – nice touch I was just reading about those yesterday, though I thought they only have like a four second burn time, or was that just future – literary license?

  3. 2015 November 27 10:44 am
    [4]
    drdog09 permalink

    “… or was that just future – literary license?”

    The new improved version of the future. But yeah a little license with the facts.

  4. 2015 November 28 3:28 am
    [5]
    drdog09 permalink

    Lose a tooth, grow a new one — http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/stem-cell-dental-implants-grow-new-teeth-in-your-mouth/ — G. Washington would have probably sold off the back 40 for this.

  5. 2015 November 28 4:47 am
    [7]

    6 – Yup, just like DNA databases once the door has been opened beyond a sliver, it’s only a matter of time till the door itself is removed entirely, it’s why I was trying to bitch about this stuff before it took hold. The public are sheep and apparently don’t much care, at least until it’s too late, Snowden proved that. WBF’d

    100 black pastors to endorse… DJT.
    http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/11/25/black-pastors-expected-to-endorse-donald-trump/

    Yet another GOPe panic story:
    http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/261252-gop-in-panic-over-trump

  6. 2015 November 28 8:11 am
    [8]
    justrand permalink

    The parallels of today’s world to the mid-1930s are staggering…except that the Internet and atomic bomb didn’t exist then. Which means that the PACE and LEVEL of destruction now will be much greater than it was then, when the SHTF this time.

    People in England, France and America cheered when Neville Chamberlain announced “Peace in our time”.
    7 years later they vowed to “Never forget!” what their ignorance and apathy…and even cowardice…had cost the world, on every front. But now the world HAS forgotten…and those who are counting on that fact are preparing to unleash a Hell on Earth that will make WWII seem like a Sunday picnic.

    Some want to unleash this Hell in the name of Allen, some in the name of Marx, and some in the name of Obama & Gore…or some other aspect of Statism. But in the end, Freedom will be extinguished along with millions of lives.

    Gloomy? Yeah…but, I fear, pretty close to what’s slinking towards us.

  7. 2015 November 28 11:02 am
    [9]

    furry

  8. 2015 November 28 1:59 pm
    [10]

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