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Training Day

  ...Carlo may have accidently shot the kidnapper 15 times. The guy had kidnapped, raped, and killed at least 10 victims in and around Frankfurt. His last mistake had been grabbing one Madison Khaine, the 13-year-old daughter of Colonel Frank Khaine, 1st Army, United States Army, NATO Command. The Federal Police had been tracking Hartz Devson after the third victim. Hartz would take young women at a club, hold them hostage with a demand for ransom, rape them and then kill them after getting the money. In the end, between GSG9, specifically one of the counter-terrorism units of the German Federal Police, the FBI and Army CID, they found him. They got Madison back alive, but she had been treated, well, poorly would seem to gentle a word. Worse, three other girls were found in his basement, mutilated.

 

Carlo lost it. He really was almost as laid back as his surfer dude looks implied. Seeing three mutilated young women stuffed into a freezer in a basement after what the medics had said happened to Madison cracked through that veneer. Mr. Devson was being detained in his house, GSG9 was waiting for the Federal Investigators to show up and take him into custody. The FBI agent saw him coming and shouted as he pushed past her. For some reason, Hartz was not actually cuffed, but with six officers and agents around what was he going to do? Well, grab for the side arm of one of the officers...

Into The Woods

State Highway 28

Alexandria, MN U.S.A.

APR (CPS+2yr 3mths)

 

Lieutenant Timothy Hillman’s, Corporate Protective Services, head slammed into the roof of the Panther Light Material Vehicle as they hit another pothole. A slight smile creased his normally stern face remembering another time his head bounced off the roof of an armored vehicle. At least this time he was wearing a helmet. The smile lasted until the rebounding suspension jarred enough that his FN 2000 assault rifle’s stock bounced up and smacked him in the chin. His left hand flashed up and grabbed the oh-shit bar on the inner door frame while his right hand tried to balance the big Mobile Demand xTablet and get his rifle under control.

“Damn it Khi, try and not hit every pothole! OK?” Hillman didn’t really need to shout. Between the noise reduction properties of their Mk1 combat helmets and the fact that the interior of the Panther light material vehicle was relatively quiet, but shit, his chin hurt.

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“Sorry, Lt., but you did say get into town as quickly as possible.” Officer Justin Khi did not even turn his head to respond. Thankfully, he seemed to be concentrating on driving. It was a good thing too. The Panther LMV might look like a beefed-up SUV, but it also weighed something like 6.5 tons, as opposed to the 3-ton Chevy Suburbans that CPS was rotating to be used exclusively by agents being that the standard Panther was almost a foot shorter.

“He’s right, boss. You said, ‘get into Alexandria as fast as possible,’ so we can respond as soon as we got a confirmation from local PD.” Officer Lynne Smith turned slightly in her seat to look back at him. That was fine, she wasn’t driving. Hillman could see a smile play across her lips underneath the ballistic visor attached to her helmet. Hillman smiled back.

“Just drive Khi. Try to get us into town in one piece, we already have an agent in the hospital. I don’t want to add a few officers to the count!” That was the reason that they had raced out of the CPS training facility, better known as the Farm, in haste. Agent Regina Holt had triggered her panic button telling Central Communications that she and her protectees were under attack. By the time the Alexandria Police Department had responded to the house, Agent Holt was down, along with three of her attackers, and the Allen family was gone. APD had done a quick canvas and found a neighbor who had seen a gray, maybe white, van pull out from the house in a hurry, but had nothing more to offer. Since the attack had happened just after 0600, they were lucky to get that much.

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Passage To Chaos

A peek inside

A Passage to Chaos

The man only known as Leader stood very still in the circle of light. It was the only light that illuminated the pitch-black room. And he was pissed. Leader took a deep breath and waited his new employers’ pleasure. It was not the first time he had been in this very room, located in the heart of his personal compound. And it would undoubtedly not be his last. Unless, of course, his bosses decided that his latest efforts had made him a liability, not an asset.

Leader took another breath and let it out slowly. He wondered, occasionally, what his parents would say about him if his name was ever associated with his actions. Growing up in Plainsville, Michigan, was… well plain. Growing up in Plainsville while being a tall, skinny kid where football ruled had just made him one of the targets, a kid that stayed on the outside. Then he found boxing. He had just wandered into a boxing gym one day and was allowed to hit a few bags and had kind of been adopted by the manager of the gym. 

Then he found boxing. He had just wandered into a boxing gym one day and was allowed to hit a few bags and had kind of been adopted by the manager of the gym. With apathetic parents more interested in their social standing in the community, mother an accountant and father one of the town’s attorneys, they made sure that everything had to look just perfect.

Diagnosed a borderline violent sociopath with narcissistic tendencies during his junior year in high school, his parents had…

 

Thunder seemed to roll through the darkened room. The first few times, Leader had wondered how in the hell that was possible, being over two hundred feet underground and all. A dull thumping shook the floor, and he watched panels light up at his feet extending out in eight directions. Again, he had no clue how this worked, nor could the very highly paid tech experts that were on his payroll. The lines ended in points, smoke wavering above the floor.

“Leader, thank you for coming.” One of the figures spoke as his, or her, outline appeared through the cloud.

“Yes, of course.”

“Are preparations ready?” A second ghostly figure asked.

“Ready as they can be.”

“And you will not take action that has not been approved. This time.” It was not a question.

“I understand.” Leader shook his head. “I don’t understand though, why are we not directly targeting Corporate Protective Services. They have caused rather substantial loses since their creation.”

“No.” The words came out without extra volume, but the room shook again. An acrid smell seemed to fill the room. “CPS has caused you loses, not us.” A third figure spoke.

“The Director, Janus Verndari, he needs to be taken out. This operation is in his back yard.”

“Janus of Verndi is relevant.” The first voice spoke again. Leader couldn’t place the smell other than it smelled like winter in Michigan.

 

“If he just died, another would take his place. We would not know who is relevant next.”

“What does that mean?” Frustrating as most of the reasons he got from his new employees.

“You could not begin to understand.” The room now smelled like a freshly plowed field. “Janus of Verndi needs to be destroyed. Not killed. Ruination is the key.”

“I will try to do as directed.” Leader frowned. More information would be great, but at least the Shadow Council allowed him a hell of a lot of leeway. “As I said, preparations have been made.” His frown deepened. “Maybe, once this is done, you can try and explain it to me.”

His last words filled a now dark room. All that remained was a touch of something that smelled like a wet jungle. 

Bifrost Initiative

Lieutenant Junior Grade Rota Helgadóttir leaned over the shoulder of her senior gunnery petty officer and rubbed her chin. “I don’t like this PO Haugen. I don’t like this at all.”

The Petty Officer 1st Class leaned back slightly in his chair, causing Rota to move back a bit herself. “Can’t say I blame you, ma’am.” 

They were both staring at the high-resolution screen for gun mount one, a brand new 40mm Bofors L/70 autocannon located just aft of the bridge. Just like the other three RWSs mounted around the hull, the screen itself was brand spanking new and the resolution was so good it was almost 3D. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the gun mount moved as they shifted views. The camera and weapon’s sight were mounted to the right of the actual gun system. 

PO1 Anders Haugen watched the young lieutenant turn towards one of the radar stations with a bit of proprietary air.  He had first met the junior lieutenant when she had come aboard the Gnist, one of the Royal Norwegian Navy’s Skjold-class fast missile boats. The then Ensign Helgadóttir was so recent a graduate from the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy that she seemed to both squeak and shine as she walked. Helgadóttir had been assigned as third officer, part of the fourteen-member crew of the 275-ton catamaran.

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Three weeks and one serious storm later, Ensign Rota Helgadóttir had been offered the King’s Thanks for her efforts in saving the crew of a workboat that had foundered in sea state 4 conditions, which she had turned down until the entire crew received the reward.

PO1 Anders Haugen smiled inwardly, not bad for a girl from Iceland.

Now that same woman, Lieutenant (junior grade) Helgadóttir was reading whatever was on the assistant radar operator’s screen. Haugen devoutly hoped that she was wrong about her concerns, not that he didn’t share them. He was just devoutly thankful that Lt. Christoffer Ringen was confined to sickbay. The LT might have five years’ experience on Ms. Helgadóttir, but he was sure that every member of the CIC was more comfortable with her calling the shots.

If shots were what was going to be needed. Haugen expected that they were. He was happy that Lieutenant Helgadóttir was the one who would be responding. All Haugen could do now was sit back in his watch chair and, well, watch.

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