Operation: Black Pearl
Copyright © 2015 by Eric Aune, Ken Barber, Roland and The Revolutions Universe Partnership
All rights Reserved
09:30 EST 14 November 2012
USS Ronald Reagan
International Task Force Neptune
Castle Harbor Bermuda.
Admiral Norris set the file down and looked up at the clock before rising from his desk. He winced and grabbed his side with his good arm. His ribs felt like they were going to break again. He took one last sip of his coffee and headed to the Tactical Briefing Room. As he approached he saw Myers duck inside and smiled to himself. The little mechanics of military proficiency always astounded him. He entered the room and Myers shouted.
"ATTENTION ON DECK" Everyone in the room shot to their feet.
Norris ignored them and walked, with as little limp as was possible, to the podium. He turned and faced the group. "Take your seats." He waited for everyone to be seated. "Thank you everyone for being here, I know you all have a lot to do, but we are about to embark on a daring mission, the largest robbery and kidnapping ever planned. And if any group can accomplish it, this gang of bandits can." Everyone chuckled a little. "Before I begin I would like to introduce to you Colonel Brian Shelton, Southeast Area of Operations Commander. Colonel Shelton?" Norris stepped aside as Colonel Shelton came forward.
"Thank you Admiral. Ladies and gentlemen I am honored to work with such a distinguished group of Officers, Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen. I can only hope to be a small mention in your legacy." Colonel Shelton returned to his seat and Norris stepped up to the podium again.
"Let's begin." The lights went down and a map of Disney World appeared on the screen behind Norris. "Ok, everyone get your 'we are going to Disney World jokes' out now, because we are going to Disney World. The enemy forces are firmly entrenched in and around the amusement park. They have established a detention center at the Disney's Art of Animation Resort. This, while the softest target, is our primary objective. Our intention is to deploy rapidly, hit the detention center, steal the C-130's on the FLS or flight landing stip for you civilians in the room, load the detainees up and get them back here before forces outside of Disney World can even react. Before we break everything down are there any questions?"
Colonel Shelton raised his hand and Norris nodded at him. "Admiral, pardon my bluntness, but why exactly are we pussy footing this?"
Norris cocked his head a little. "Would you care to explain Colonel?"
"Sir, please forgive me, but I have looked at the intel, force composition and capabilities analysis and why don't we just take Disney World and create a foothold on the mainland."
"Colonel, just so I understand clearly, you are saying, invade and occupy Disney World?"
Colonel Shelton smiled a little. "Well, when you say it like that Admiral it sounds really silly. But yes, we have 2500 Marines in the 32nd Expeditionary Unit, 1400 British Royal Marines, 1800 French Marines with 40 AMX-56 Leclerc Tanks, 1 Squadron of Cavalry, 2 Airborne Infantry Battalions, 1 Armored Battalion, a Navy Seal Team, the U.N.I.T., a Mercenary SF Group, 2 Rapid Deployable Artillery Batteries, 3 Aircraft Carriers with 144 Fighter Jets, 2 Arleigh Burke Class Guided-Missile Destroyers, 2 Ticonderoga Class Guided-Missile Cruisers, 2 Daring Class Destroyers, 3 Duke Class Frigates, 2 Los Angeles Class Fast Attacks, 1 Ohio Class Boomer, 2 Astute Class Fast Attacks, 1 Freedom Class Littoral Ship, 2 Georges Leygues Class Frigates, 1 Rubis Class Submarine, 2 Cassard Class Destroyers, 1 LaFayette Class Frigate, 2 Yasen Class Submarines, 2456 cruise missiles, 2 Battleships and a partridge in a pear tree."
Norris laughed with the rest the officers, looked at his notes then at the map. "Lieutenant Payne how reliable are these enemy force numbers?"
"Very sir, we have been running recon drones and using what little satellite intel we can gather, we are very confident we are within a 85% accuracy."
Norris studied the numbers. "Captain Marshall what is the max range on the big guns?"
"Sir, the Jersey can hit the far side of Disney World with a few miles to spare with the Rocket Assisted Projectiles."
Norris pointed at the map. "This is my biggest concern, Magic Kingdom. It is the central location for all the insurgent forces in central Florida. Right here," he zoomed the map in, "is the helicopter flight line and vehicle motor pool. We need to eliminate that."
Captain Marshall looked over his notes. "Three rounds HC, variable time fused to 100 foot airburst with a 50 meter linear spread should decimate that."
One of the UNIT kids stood up. "Sorry to interrupt Admiral but I am Jory, the UNIT demolitions expert. I am curious as to how three rounds of high explosive can take out that whole area."
Norris chuckled. "Captain Marshall would you care to explain the capabilities of the big sticks."
Captain Marshall stood. "Always happy to brag sir. Jory, thank you for asking the question. The High Capacity rounds from the 16-inch guns on an Iowa Class Battleship are packed with 153.6 pounds of explosives, each shell can create a crater fifty feet wide and twenty feet deep. That's big enough to park four city buses in side by side. A single HC round fired into the jungle can create a helicopter landing zone 200 yards in diameter and defoliate trees for 300 yards beyond that. The Armor Piercing round holds forty-one pounds of explosive and can penetrate up to thirty feet of concrete, so we can knock those hotels down with one shot and if that fails, we can toss another round at them thirty seconds later."
Jory stood there with his mouth gaping open, he looked over to Adam who just smiled knowing what was coming next. "Adam I want one, now."
Everyone in the room laughed including Norris. "Sorry Jory, they are not available for personal use. But trust me when I say each and everyone one of us that have seen an Iowa fire or seen the devastation they rain down has thought the same thing. It's the ultimate big boy toy. Okay, we have six locations of importance in this operation: Command center here; Air defense center here; Primary detention center here with the FLS nearby; The secondary detention center; The main barracks area here and the motor pool/ammo dump here." Norris pointed at each location as he said their name.
"We're going to split our initial strike forces between four locations. On the command center will be a team of the UNIT and two SEAL boat crews. For the Air Defense center, we think a SEAL boat crew and your security team, Doctor MacLeod, can shut it down."
Adam raised his hand and Norris turned to face him. "Yes Adam."
"Sir, instead of shutting it down, why don't we take over control of it? We have some people who can probably configure it for our use. Since we're talking about keeping Disney World, why not use their equipment against them?"
Norris nodded. "Is that a possibility?"
Lieutenant Payne stood up. "Actually, very easily sir. Someone with a basic knowledge of our systems could take the main processors offline keeping the secondaries running, making it look like the system is fully functional, extract all the current IFF codes and download our IFF codes. If you're talking about using the UNIT people or my people we could get it done pretty quickly."
Norris nodded. "I will take your word for it Payne. Adam, how many of your people will you need to send?"
Adam thought for a moment. "Three sir."
Norris nodded. "The boat crew and the security team will run security for your three men. The key factor here is you're going to have to infiltrate overland and that air defense net either needs to be down or in our control, before the airborne troops start coming in or it's going to be a blood bath."
Adam looked over at Dr. MacLeod. "They can handle it sir."
Norris pointed at the map again. "The detention center and FLS is an important location. We will send in one UNIT team and Blood's Honor's forces into there with two SEAL boat crews. Also some of your Marine snipers will be needed Major Sinclair. I'm also sending in enough pilots to fly the C-130s that are parked near the FLS. They will be needed to fly the detainees out of there." Norris looked around as those in the briefings made notes. "The secondary detention center I will leave to the remainder of your unit, General Casey. The follow-on forces will be the bulk of the Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Airborne infantry. They will commence airborne deployment as soon as the primary targets are secure. The French Marines and British Royal Marines, with naval gunfire support from the USS North Carolina and the escort ships will seize Patrick Air Force Base and Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.
"Heart Island will be the staging area, before moving into final attack positions. All units and ships will begin moving into position and wait for the signal to commence the attack."
"What's the signal?" Someone from the back of the room shouted out.
Norris chuckled. "You'll know it. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am going to be very clear on this, some of you may be experiencing doubt because we are invading the United States. But make no mistake, the men and women you are fighting against are traitors to your country, to your flag and most importantly they have betrayed the trust you put in them as fellow American warriors. They have decided that the People of the United States can no longer govern themselves, that democracy should be set aside and a dictator installed. I do not doubt what we are about to do, I know we have been forced to fight a Civil War. Our enemies have left us no choice." He paused and looked out at the faces looking back at him.
"TASK FORCE...ATTENTION. See to your charges. DISMISSED!"
"Adam and Bucky meet me in the Ops Center." Norris left and went straight to the CIC. "Rosewood. Get me a connection with Bryce now. I don't care if you have to bounce a signal off Mars. Make it happen."
"Yes sir, it will take a minute."
"Very well I am going outside for a moment, Petty Officer Jackson can I see you for a minute." Norris walked out on to the outdoor platform and leaned against the bulkhead. Sergeant Bailey stopped at the opening and allowed Petty Officer Jackson past him."Admiral Norris, sir, you asked to see me?"
Norris looked around to see if anyone was watching other than Bailey. "Yes, Jackson, I was wondering if I can borrow one of those cigarettes you're hiding?"
Jackson's eyes got wide and then he chuckled and reached down to his ankle and extracted a pack of cigarettes. He handed one to the admiral with a lighter. "Thank you Jackson, it's been years but this week is enough for me to cave." Norris took a deep drag and exhaled, just as Rosewood stuck his head out.
"Admiral, sorry to interrupt but we are making the link up now."
Norris just about spit the cigarette out. "Damn it Rosewood you scared the shit out of me. I am coming in now." He handed the cigarette back to Jackson. "You may as well finish it."
The vidscreen showed The Presidential Seal and as Norris sat down in front of it the picture changed to Bryce and Admiral Cathcart.
President Bryce looked puzzled. "Aggy what's so urgent? We have the report of the IED attack, are you doing ok?"
"Mr. President, sorry to disturb you like this. Yes I am fine, a little banged up but I have dealt with worse. We have a major change of plans down here."
"Ok, let's hear what's going on."
"Mr. President, International Task Force Neptune has determined we can take and hold Disney World and the East coast of Florida at Patrick AFB and Kennedy Space Center. Leaving only Orlando between us. We feel that by the end of November we can control Orlando and by Christmas all of Central Florida."
"Holy shit Aggy, are you sure you have the manpower."
"Yes sir, we are facing a reinforced brigade and we have a light division, supported by massive naval assets."
Bryce paused and thought for a minute. "Aggy I am not sure I can risk losing Maine to gain Florida."
"Sir, the plan still has me landing troops in Maine Saturday night. I will leave behind the 32nd Marines until Colonel Shelton can get his heavy troops from Germany in to relieve them. That will give us two points on the East Coast to start pumping the German based troops back into the US."
Bryce leaned over and had a whispered conversation with Cathcart. Norris waited patiently. Finally Bryce looked back to Norris. "Aggy, how risky is this?"
"It's a war sir and it's risky, but some of the best military strategists in country just poured over this plan and all came up with the same conclusion. It's doable."
Bryce leaned back in his chair and stared at Norris for a second. "Admiral Norris, make it happen!"
"Yes sir. USS Ronald Reagan out."
Norris led his little entourage down to the Ops Center. If the bridge and CIC were the heart of a Carrier group, then this was the brain. All intel and communication was routed through the Ops Center. Intelligence data was gathered and analyzed and sent to the appropriate officers for action. Norris stopped next to the Marine on guard duty at the entrance. "Lance Corporal Blevins, how are you doing son?"
"I am well, thank you for asking, Admiral."
"You should be off duty soon right?"
"Yes sir, just another hour."
Norris leaned and whispered to him. "Tell Jackson I said thanks for the smoke." He leaned back and smiled at the lance corporal before entering the room.
The Ops Center was always dimly light, the glow of computer screens and tactical boards accounting for the majority of light. Norris stood in the door waiting for his eyes to adjust slightly. The center was a very small space crammed with people and terminals. Norris spotted Adam, Bucky and Payne standing behind some techs at a terminal. Norris nodded to the tech to his right, glad this was the one of the few places on the ship that didn't get called to attention everytime he came in. He walked over and stood right behind the trio.
"Having fun yet?"
All three jumped and turned around, allowing Norris to see the three techs they were talking to were kids. He stared for a minute and shook his head. "I assume these are your specialists Adam."
Adam smiled. "Yes sir, the chipmunks are the best we have. This is …"
Norris cut him off. "Let me guess, Alvin, Simon and Theodore."
Adam laughed. "Yes sir."
Norris just shook his head again."Ok, any new intel on Cadet Peters, Payne."
"Not yet sir,but we are tracking a lot of medical equipment being moved into Disney World. We have to assume that with that much equipment they are setting up a full hospital. It's only logical they have Peters there. If we can nail down exactly where that equipment is, then we have him."
"How exactly are you tracking this?"
"Well sir, even though there isn't any power or comms, every so often the military in Florida and other states have been given access to whatever comms they can get their hands on. When they do that, they bring MILNET on line and do massive data dumps in the background. Most of it is automated so a majority don't even realize it's happening. When we have access to satellites or comm drones or just radio signals, we have been pulling those data dumps and pouring through them, matching up supply requests and transport logs from previous dumps. Of course, if we were doing this in the open they would know we were there, so we created some back doors into MILNET."
"Payne, there are some things you should not tell your superior officers, hacking into MILNET is one of them."
Payne blushed a little."Yes sir."
"Find him and find him fast. Adam I want your best people on this when they do find him. Bucky I want you to send someone with Adam's people. He is probably in shock and terrified. Rescuing him with a bunch of armored and over armed kids isn't going to help that. No offense Adam."
"None taken sir."
"Last thing Adam, you're taking Dr. McCray with you to see to his safe transport and assess his condition. Once you have him, you will bring him directly to the Ronald Reagan."
Adam thought for a minute. "Admiral, I am sorry but I don't think having a civilian with us is a good idea."
Norris just stared at him for a second. "Captain Leonard McCray is a United States Navy Senior Officer and he is trained for this type of operation. Dr. McCray has seen more combat than I have and will be going along with you."
Adam bristled at the command a little and noticed Bucky nodding at him. "Very well,sir."
Bucky looked at the admiral. "Sir, I will be sending Germs."
"Is he ready?"
"He will be and he needs this."
"Very well, Payne find him. Both of you take care of yourselves out there."
Everyone echoed "Yes, sir," as Norris turned and limped back out of the room.
Admiral Norris slowly walked to the bridge watching the pace of the crew of the carrier pick up intensity as the mission orders were being disseminated. As he walked onto the bridge, Commander Rosewood spotted him. "Admiral on the Bridge."
"As you were. Captain Hollway, status report."
"Sir, Air Wing is shuffling all the helicopters to the Amphibious Landing Docks. The Marines are being redeployed to Bermuda to join the airborne group. All the initial strike teams, as well as the French Marines and British Marines will launch from the landing docks. That will keep the carriers running flight ops. Sir, everything is procedural and we should be in position and ready to commence the operation Thursday evening."
"Good, I will be in my office if I am needed."
20:20 November 15, 2012
USS Ronald Reagan
Off The East Coast of Florida
Admiral Norris walked into the CIC and looked around. "Status, Captain Miller?"
"Sir, all ships report on station, mission ready. Airborne Assault Units in the air. All teams on Heart Island report mission ready. French Commandos and British Commandos both report ready to take out the communications centers at Patrick Air Force Base and Kennedy Space Center."
Norris looked at the giant status board and took a deep breath. "Operation Black Pearl is a go. Tell the Commandos to take out the communications centers now. Get the targeting drones ready to paint the targets in the Magic Kingdom. Send the green light to Shelton on Heart Island."
"Yes sir." Miller turned around and picked up a radio Mic."Taskforce set condition 1 Alpha. General Quarters, all hands to your Battlestations. Set Condition 1 Alpha."
"Admiral, incoming priority message from the Vice President."
"That's strange. Petty Officer Hart put it on the Vid-link."
The screen changed to the Seal of The Vice President of the United States for a moment before showing the Vice President Mike Reynolds.
Norris straightened his shoulders a little. "Mister Vice President, to what do we owe this honor?"
"Admiral Norris, I know you're right in the middle of a major operation and I am sorry to interrupt you, but I have just received some very valuable intelligence."
"Admiral Norris, sorry to interrupt sir, but the C-130's have reached their holding position. Black Knights Squadron has linked up and has set up HICAP."
"Thank you Jackson." Norris turned back to the screen. "I am listening sir."
"We have just received a disk that contains hundreds of thousands of names that the Ashwood administration has deemed undesirable. Many of them have been listed as first priority and where they were to be taken. Most to the detention center in Disney World, some to another detention center aboard prison ships in Newark, New Jersey."
"Sir, are you telling me you have a list of the detainee's?"
"We are not sure how accurate it is, as it's a couple weeks old, but the initial detainees, yes. But it gets worse, the entries detail why they are undesirable, plus it identifies people that have genetic markers for genetic manipulation and are of interest to a group called AOG. We are not sure what that means yet, but if they are experimenting with genetic manipulation we need to hunt it down and shut it down."
"I understand sir. Please send the file and I will get the info to the ground commanders."
"It's on its way, be safe Admiral."
"You as well sir. Ronald Reagan out."
Norris spun to face Hart. "Get that info to Payne, I want a detailed report by the time I get down there. Captain Miller you have command."
21:00 November 15, 2012
Mission Staging Area
Heart Island was abuzz with activity as the various teams went over their objective briefings. The three smaller figures in black armor were in the middle of the group of adults. Sean and Daileass had been tasked with taking over the Air Defense computer network, while Chase would do what Chase did best, be a ninja. Many on the team weren't sure that having these kids on this mission was a good idea. They were used to relying on their team members. Anyone who was not part of their team was an outsider to them and their ability to integrate with the team was suspect. The group of former Green Beanies with their token SEAL was a lot more acceptable. At least they were adults and they had training in Spec Ops and were operators themselves. But these kids, how could they have the experience to pull off such an operation. They had been briefed on the capabilities of these kids by the commander, before they flew here to the staging area, but they hadn't seen them in action. When they voiced their concerns to Bucky, he told them that he had seen some of these UNIT kids in action and he assured the team members that they would not be a problem. There was some grumbling still but they knew Bucky, so they merely said 'Aye Aye, Sir'.
Between the members of the infiltration team was a map of the area around Disney World. Snoops was running the operation briefing.
"Our team's code name is Oberon. Our target is here at the Disney MGM Studios. We're going to be dropped by one of the helicopters to this point here along Reedy Creek where it bisects this smaller one. We'll parallel this service road, staying in the trees until we get to this power line corridor. We will follow the corridor giving this clearing here a wide berth because of the buildings. Once beyond that, we will head south along this service road. At this point we will again have to be careful, since the road comes near this cloverleaf. By staying in the trees there should be no possibility that we will be seen. Once we are beyond the cloverleaf we will head to this small body of water. From this point we will infiltrate the rest of the way by water, following this route."
"We're going to swim all that way. I'm a good swimmer, but how far is that?" Snoops looked at Sean. "A little bit more than two miles. But we're not swimming, like you're thinking of, we're going to be underwater with one of these." He picked up a Draeger rebreather. "This is a LAR V Draeger Rebreather. The best way for a water infil, when you don't want anyone to know that you're there. Unlike SCUBA, it doesn't give your position away from the bubbles, because it produces none. I know you guys are supposed to be trained on many aspects of military training, but have you ever gone SCUBA diving?" Daileass and Chase both nodded. Sean shook his head. "Well we were going to go, but we ended up…I mean we never got the chance. I've been snorkeling, but never diving."
Snoops gazed at the teen for a few moments. "Well I guess you get the crash course." He motioned for Ghost to come over and handed the Draeger to him. "Put it on, Ghost." As Ghost donned the rebreather, Snoops conducted the crash course. "You wear it in the front, not the back like with regular SCUBA tanks. This is the mouthpiece, you keep this in your mouth and breathe in and out. There, that's the crash course. I'll make sure someone is near you during the water infil, in case you have a problem. Unless you want to sit this out?" Sean smiled and shook his head. "No, I need to be there to help Daileass. Besides, I think this will be cool." Snoops gave a small shake to his head. He turned his attention back to the map. "This is our goal. The Fantasmic Stadium. On the back side of the stage area is this boat. We believe the Air Defense for the entire complex is controlled from here. All outside guards are to be neutralized, and then we will move onto the boat, take out the computer techs inside and take over the system. While these two work on the system, the rest of us will be security for them."
"How are we to neutralize the guards?" Snoops looked at the furred face of the shortest figure there. "Whatever is deemed necessary, but don't worry about that, my men will take care of the guards." He looked away and was stopped by the squeaky voice. "I am not worried." Snoops glanced back down at Chase, but all he saw was a faint smile on the ferret boy's face. He looked into the black eyes for a moment or two before looking at the rest of the team. "Any questions?" No one said anything so he began folding up the map. "Good." He checked his watch. "We are wheels up at 2130. I've been told that the flight will be about five minutes. So until then, check your gear and be on the CH-53 by 2120."
The team broke up to check their equipment. Snoops and Ghost went to the three boys, with three Draeger's in their hands. They handed one to each of them. "Okay here's how you attach…" Snoops stopped as Daileass and Chase quickly attached the equipment to the front of their armor. The two SEALs could only watch silently as the two boys had them attached and ready in no time. Daileass smiled at them. "We'll help Sean. See you on Dragon." Ghost handed the Draeger left in his hand to Sean and the two men walked off. Daileass turned to Sean.
"C'mon, we've got time to show you how this works."
Daileass watched as Sean looked at the Draegar, then at Daileass and Chase. He was trying to see how they had put theirs on. Daileass smiled.
"Let's make this a little easier. Put your helmet on first."
Sean put it on while Daileass removed the mouthpiece of the rebreather. He attached the Draeger to the front of Sean's armor so it fit comfortably and he then attached the hose directly to the helmet. He made sure everything was connected correctly and looked at Sean. "Okay, go ahead, breathe." Sean did as he was told and he was able to breathe with no problem. Daileass watched him for a minute. "Okay. See, easy enough for what we'll be doing."
Sean nodded yeah. "I can't wait. I bet it's cool to be underwater like that and be breathing." Daileass laughed. "Yeah it is. We've done some diving in Hawaii and Florida, back where we're from. We oughta take you guys diving when we get back to Bermuda during one of our downtimes. It should have some good spots around the island." Sean was smiling. "That'd be awesome. I know the others will want to do it as well. Of course getting some downtime would be nice. I don't think we've had much of that lately"
"No, not much, but we'll find the time. It's been a busy week and a half. Maybe after this mission we can take some time." Daileass looked over Sean's shoulder. "But for now, I think someone wants some of your attention." Sean turned around and smiled as he saw Dakota walking up to them. "We'll see you on Dragon, Sean."
"Hi Dakota." Dakota waved to them as they walked away and he joined Sean. They hugged. "I hear you're the first to head off." Sean nodded. "Yep, we're going to sneak in underwater with this rebreather. It doesn't make bubbles, so they won't know we're there. Oh and Daileass said that we're going to go SCUBA diving when we get a chance back at the base." Dakota smiled back. "That sounds good." The two stood like that quietly for several minutes just enjoying being close. Neither liked that they weren't going to be together on the mission, but there was no help for it. Sean was needed where he was going and it was likewise for Dakota.
At a little before 2120, Snoops was at the bottom of the ramp of Dragon as his team came onboard. He of course knew his team well. As the Green Beanie Colonel and his team came aboard he nodded to them. He could see that although they were older than the members of his crew, they were fit and they moved like soldiers. It was the last three that concerned him the most, the three kids. He wished there was a way to do this without their unknown quantity, but orders were orders. If they were the ones that could take over the Air Defense System, then Snoops would make sure they'd get where they needed to be. He hoped he wouldn't have to do too much babysitting.
When Chase came up to the ramp he smiled at Snoops. "Hi Snoops. You know, you have a strong Shiney." Snoops watched the ferret boy practically skipping up the ramp and shook his head. He saw two sword hilts sticking out of the back of the ferret's armor and there was some chain contraption wrapped around his waist. The rebreather looked big on the small figure, but he didn't seem to be encumbered at all by it. What the hell had he gotten himself into and what the hell was a strong shiny? He looked down at himself. There was nothing shiny on his uniform or equipment. He shook his head once more as he walked up the ramp. Standing by the ramp was another one of the UNIT kids who raised the ramp as he entered.
"You get used to it or you start taking Valium. I'm sure Doctor Hayes or one of the other doctors can get you a prescription." Snoops looked at the black haired boy that was standing at the ramp controls. "What?" The boy glanced over at Chase, who was climbing into one of the seats. "Chase. You get used to him or you take Valium. I'd take the Valium. It's easier." The boy giggled as he made his way into the cabin. Snoops looked after the boy who had gone over to sit next to Chase and shook his head once again. He seemed to be doing that a lot this evening. "I'm fucking nuts." He muttered as he made his way to a seat next to Ghost.
The engine picked up speed and they were airborne. The flight was smooth and didn't take very long before he felt them descending. He saw the three that were going with him put on the full face helmets for their armor. Only the three boys were wearing helmets, the rest of the team had soft hats on. Everyone's face was covered in dark camo paint and they carried nothing that was shiny on them. The same boy who had operated the ramp got up from his seat and made his way to the ramp controls. As soon as they were on the ground, the boy switched off the internal lights and lowered the ramp. Everyone was on their feet now and Snoops led them outside. Alpha Team; Ghost, Squeaks, Ice and Pretty Boy moved out to establish a perimeter as the rest disembarked. Snoops was the last off Dragon. He glanced at the black haired boy as he left. The boy saluted him. "See ya on the other side."
As soon as Snoops stepped off the ramp it started rising and the rotors increased speed, but a moment later it was silent. He looked behind him and there was nothing to see or hear but the man-made wind created by the rotors. The wind picked up and he felt the large, but now invisible, helicopter take off and return to the staging point to pick up the teams that would be taking it to their destination. He found himself shaking his head again as he tried to see the helicopter. He turned away, crouched down and surveyed the area. To his left was Reedy Creek. A service road ran along the side of the creek. He waved his hand and they moved into the trees and out of sight. They crouched down and listened. There was nothing to hear. Even the animals were silent. He motioned forward and they began to move. He got another surprise when he saw Chase scamper up a tree and disappear into the foliage in the direction that they were heading. He looked up trying to see him but gave up. He could neither see nor hear him. He shook his head. The others began moving forward through the trees, quickly and quietly.
When they reached the power line corridor, Snoops stopped them. There was a bridge across the creek. He was about to send Train Wreck and his team across the bridge when he saw movement in the trees near the bridge. They froze as a short figure dropped to the ground. It was Chase. Daileass looked at Snoops. "Chase says it's clear. There's no one nearby." Snoops looked across and Chase was waving them forward. Daileass shrugged his shoulders. "Someone once said, Chase is a force of nature." He then tapped Sean on the shoulder and the two of them started running across the bridge to join Chase. Snoops looked over at Gabe. "Like he said, he's a force of nature. You may find it hard to keep up with them sometimes. I've seen all of them in action." Snoops looked at Train Wreck and waved his arm. Train Wreck and his team hurried across the bridge and into the trees. He signaled them the all clear. Snoops then sent Gabe and his team across. Once they were in the trees, he led the rest across.
When they were together, Snoops looked at Chase and the ferret gave him a quick salute and then once again he was up in the trees and out of sight. He waved for the rest of them to move out. A few minutes later they came to the clearing where the buildings were. He directed them around the south side of the clearing. There was no apparent movement from the buildings, but they kept well back in the trees. Once beyond the clearing, they picked up the pace again and quickly reached the south-running service road. They followed the road and just ahead of them Chase dropped out of the tree and came up to Snoops.
"Snoops sir. Wait for a moment. We are near the road. I saw a Humvee coming from the east."
"Show me." Chase nodded and moved forward, this time on the ground. He took Snoops to the edge of the trees and crouched down, pointing through the trees. Snoops saw a Humvee just crossing a bridge to the curved road that circled around and merged with the road going south. They watched it make the curve and then head south. Snoops waved for them to go back.
He looked at his crew. "It's an on and off ramp. A patrol Humvee just went by. Stay a bit deeper in the trees as you pass the road. We're almost at the pond. Move out." Chase was up a tree as Ghost and his team moved forward on point. Beyond the main road they were able to pick up their speed and a few minutes later they reached the pond. They skirted the north side of it until they came to a sluice gate that separated the pond from the canal that led into the resort area. They had to be careful as the main road was a little over a hundred yards away. They secured their weapons and made sure the Draegers were ready. He sent Ghost and his team to the canal first. They quickly eased into the water. Snoops sent Gabe and his men next, followed by the three boys, finally he and Train Wreck's team. Ghost and his team kept an eye toward the road as the others entered the water. Once everyone was in the water, they slipped their fins on.
Snoops looked at the three of them. "You three stay near me." They nodded and he waved for Ghost to lead the way. Nineteen dark heads slipped below the water. It was dark with only a faint amount of light coming down from the surface above. Snoops looked at the three of them and waved for them to follow him. He wanted them to stay near, because he thought it would be easy for them to get disoriented underwater. What he didn't know was that their helmets with their built in capabilities, allowed them to easily see the others, so they had no problem following Snoops.
It was darker as they crossed under canal bridges. It wasn't very deep, especially as they neared one of the resorts. They stayed close to the bank, because there were some fountains in the middle. They soon found themselves in a dark underwater tunnel. Since it was dark, Snoops made the three boys go in front of him so he could keep an eye on them. He was glad to see that they didn't seem to be having any problems. A short time later they could see a faint light ahead signaling the end of the tunnel. They continued on, passing under some more bridges and then into another shorter tunnel. The canal then turned to the south. Snoops knew they were now moving along the edge of Epcot. The point at which they had to get out of the water, cross a pathway and then get back into the water was coming up.
The canal narrowed to just a few feet. Here was the most dangerous part of the infiltration. The plan was for them to exit the canal here, cross an open walkway and then get back into the water without being seen. They assumed that there would be a patrol or two in the area. But as they continued forward, they saw that although the canal looked like it narrowed down, it looked like it might feed into the canal beyond. Ghost had stopped and waited for the rest of the team. Snoops moved up to Ghost. "See if we can continue through to the canal beyond." Ghost nodded and slipped under the water. The others waited silently. He returned moments later and shook his head. "It goes but there's a heavy grate over the opening. We're going to have to go over the top." Snoops frowned and nodded. He led them back the way they had come for a little bit and headed to the edge of the canal. Looking up he saw no one and waved for the rest of the team to get out. Train Wreck was the first out and they quickly established a perimeter. They were on a service road that ran alongside the canal.
Once Bravo Team was in position, the rest of them made their way out of the water and into the nearby trees where they crouched down. Once everyone was out, they moved forward slowly within the narrow line of trees. At the end of the trees they came to a broad walkway partially lined by trees. Ghost was on point and he looked around the area to see if there were any patrols. There were a few lights, which was a little bit of a problem as it would make it easy for someone to see them if there were any nearby guards. Ghost sent word back to the team that it was clear. Snoops moved up and they began sending a few across at a time. They were told to get into the water as soon as they crossed the walkway because there wasn't much cover.
Alpha crossed first and they took up positions to cover both directions of the walkway. Once in position, Ghost waved his hand and Bravo crossed and slipped into the water, so that they could be there to help any of the others into the water. Once Bravo was in the water, Snoops sent the boys across and followed them. Gabe and his team came next; once they were in the water, Alpha left their positions and slipped into the water. Once everyone was set, Snoops pointed to Train Wreck and he led the way. They headed away from Epcot and swam into the large body of water that made up the lake of the Yacht Club and Boardwalk resorts. Just as they entered the lake, they heard a boat engine. Snoops stopped everyone and motioned for them to go a little deeper.
He pointed at himself and then pointed up. He pointed at the group and pushed his hand down. He held up the okay sign to everyone and they answered him back with the same sign. He slowly went to the surface and popped his head just high enough to see. Coming across the lake was a small motor boat. It looked like there were two men in the boat, one at the controls and another standing beside him. He slipped back underneath the surface. He grabbed a small tablet from one of his pouches and a grease pencil, and wrote 'patrol boat, 2 men'. Everyone nodded their understanding. He motioned for them to veer a bit to the south. Once the boat was past them, they headed straight across the lake to a bridge that separated the larger lake from the smaller one. Once in the smaller lake they headed to the canal that went south.
They followed the canal to the south until it emptied into a lake near the Disney MGM Studios Park. Their objective was just north of the lake. Snoops pointed in the direction they needed to go. They had to wait for another patrol boat to pass before getting out of the water. The trees on that side came right down to the edge of the water, which allowed them to quickly get under cover. Once everyone was there, they moved through the trees. They stopped at the edge of the trees and looked across at their objective. They were looking at the backdrop of the Fantasmic Amphitheater. To their left they saw the seats where the audience would sit. Behind the stage backdrop which was built to look like a mountain, they saw a small sternwheeler parked with two gangplanks, one leading to the stage and another to land. At the end of the ramp on the land side were two armed men. Another man was walking along the upper deck of the boat.
He gathered everyone close. "Okay, I'm thinking that boat is not where the Air Defense center is located. It's too small. There's no room for the computers necessary to control the Air Defense."
"I will go and look for you Snoops, sir." Snoops glanced at Chase and started to shake his head, but Daileass put his hand on Snoops' arm. "Let him do it. If Chase doesn't want someone to see him, they won't see him." Snoops looked at Daileass for a few moments. "Dally is right, no one sees me if I do not want them to. I will find out where the dull lovers are located. You can trust me." Snoops hesitated for a moment more, but remembering how Chase disappeared in the woods he nodded. He looked at Ghost and Giggles. "You two set up so that you can have those men in your sights. If something goes south take the guards on the gangplank out and then the one on the boat. They nodded and moved off a little ways to have a good position for their shots if they needed them. "Okay Chase. It's on you now." Chase nodded and removed the Draeger. He turned and disappeared into the trees.
21:40 November 15, 2012
Command Center Strike Team
Heart Island Florida
Operation Black Pearl Staging Area
Bucky left the impromptu Tactical Operations Center, set up in one of the cabins, and gathered the Strike Team together for one last review of the plan. They grouped together at the back of the stolen Humvees and five ton trucks Captain Davidson's people was loaning them. The Unit markers were changed to the 2nd Battalion 121st Infantry of the Georgia National Guard. Lieutenant Payne had verified that that Battalion was deployed to the Western Front.
Bucky carried official looking orders for 1st Platoon Hotel Company to reinforce security at the Operation Funtime Command Center, the orders were signed by Defense Area Commander General Quintana, the Platoon was the advance for the entire Hotel Company which according to the orders would be arriving on Saturday.
The kids with him were the best and brightest computer geniuses in the JROTC. In the forged orders, they were to install new communication equipment. Crates marked as sensitive military equipment for Operation Funtime Command Center, had already been loaded in some of the vehicles. The boxes actually contained the kid's armor and the SEAL's gear. They all would be armed with M-4's and a basic combat infantry loadout.
"Okay everyone, one last time. We move out at 2215. We may encounter patrols along the way but our orders should get us through. Once we get to Disney, we move directly to the Command Center and take control. We must have control before the naval fire impacts. This will disrupt their ability to respond to the the assault and request assistance. The Air Defense net should be under our control by the time we reach the Command Center. I want all of you to keep in mind, this will be a ruthless mission, surprise and deception are our only assets. We are seriously outnumbered and outgunned until we take control. If you come face to face with an adversary take 'em out, no hesitations.
"We don't know the layout of the inside of the Command Center and we can only go off speculation from the original blueprints. This will not be a cakewalk, this is one of the most challenging missions I have ever faced. We have a long road ahead of us and tough battle at the end. God willing we will all see our friends and families when we are done. Everyone stays on mission, no loose cannons. Follow the orders of your team leaders. Does anyone have any concerns or question at this time." Bucky looked around the group and no one spoke up. "Fifteen mikes until we depart. Double-check your gear and your buddies' gear."
The group dispersed and began checking their gear as Germs walked up to Bucky. "Sir, I am not sure I am ready for this mission."
Bucky stopped and stared at him for a second. "Follow me." He led Germs to the Humvee and pulled out his laptop. "Germs, I know losing Tigger is tearing you up inside and I know how much he meant to you, even if he never really did. You are one of the finest SEALs I have ever commanded, you need to know that Tigger did what a SEAL, a soldier, is suppose to do. We all take that risk and we are all willing to make that sacrifice. There are soldiers out there right now fighting, bleeding, and dying to try to save this country from a madman and we have a job to do. I chose you for this mission because there is one soldier, more than any that needs you." He cued up the Veterans Day Parade video and hit play. "Tell me if you're not ready after you finish watching this." He pulled out his map and began reviewing the route to Disney World, watching Germs out of the corner of his eye the whole time.
Germs remained stoic the entire time and when the video finished he gently closed the laptop and slowly turned to Bucky tears streaming down his face. "I don't understand why."
Bucky reached over to him and pulled him into an embrace. "None of us ever will know why and we don't question it because it's not our job to know why. We are soldiers and that boy is a soldier and we need to bring him home, we owe him that much at least."
Germs slowly pushed back from Bucky. "Sorry Boss, I lost it there for a minute. I will find him and bring him home."
"It's fine buddy, we all need to grieve and this damn war is not giving us the time. After it's all over we are all going to get piss drunk and cry for days."
Germs smiled. "It's a date."
Bucky laughed. "Oh no it's not, Flex would not like that term at all."
Germs turned beat red. "That's not what I meant, I meant I was a..I mean..Oh hell."
Bucky laughed. "Get to work SEAL."
Germs jogged off to catch up with the rest of the UNIT, just as Colonel Rodriguez came around the corner from the front of a vehicle. "Did you have to give that kid such a hard time?"
Bucky turned and smiled. "Yes I did, it will keep him distracted from his emotions just a little longer, that's the best I can do for him right now. When did you get here?"
"Couple of hours ago. Norris has one of my troops here as security and reserve. Bull Troop, Captain Podplesky's, they are dismounted and digging in."
Bucky smiled. "Well I am glad you're here and having Captain P covering our escape route makes me feel better."
"He is one of my best commanders and Bull Troop is by far my best troop. Only the best to cover your ass, as fine as it is."
Bucky leaned in and kissed him real quick. "You know all the right things to say."
"I have to get back to the Reagan, Norris wants me in CIC, since all the ground commanders are on the ground."
They hugged tightly and kissed again "Be safe out there Albert Buchinski and come home to me."
"I love you Felix Rodriguez, now get out of here so I can do my job and have dinner on the table when I get home."
Flex laughed as he turned away. "Right, that will be the day."
Bucky looked around and watched the team climbing into the vehicles. He looked at his file on the kids again. "Dylan, Ethan can I speak to you for a minute."
The two boys handed some gear to a couple other boys and jogged over to Bucky.
"Yes sir," they chimed in unison making Bucky smile."I am not going to pretend to understand everything you boys can do, so if I ask anything that sounds silly try to be patient with me."
Dylan nodded feeling the nervousness rolling off Bucky in a huge wave. This man was way out of his element in dealing with them, but he was trying his hardest to understand.
"If we get ourselves into a situation where someone is questioning our orders, can you boys… kind of, um, make it easier… like smooth it over...oh damn it I don't know how to say this, the only thing I can think of is the damn Star Wars movie, when Obi Wan uses his Jedi powers to get past the Storm Troopers. "These are not the Droids you are looking for."
Ethan and Dylan both laughed but Ethan spoke first. "That's pretty hard to do, but not impossible, I haven't had much practice at it but I can try."
Dylan nodded. "I can help him boost his ability and I can also convey a sense of trust, making the subject more likely to believe our orders."
Bucky smiled. "I have the utmost trust in you and I am sure you will be able to help us get there without any issues… hey, did you just…"
Dylan blushed and giggled. "See it works."
Bucky laughed. "Why you little shit, I think you have the makings of a Navy SEAL in you. Ok, point proven, I want you two to ride with me to help us through any sticky points."
"Yes sir!" They both quickly ran back to the vehicles to grab their gear.
Bucky looked at his watch, 2208 and bellowed out. "Mount up we are rolling"
He watched as everyone jumped into the vehicles; just as he was closing the door Captain Podplesky walked up to the window.
"Take care out there Bucky, give em hell, but come back in one piece or my boss will be hell to deal with."
Bucky laughed. "Thanks P see you in a couple of days."
The vehicles rolled out the main gate of the camp with some of those left behind waving or saluting as they passed. They traveled south along the dirt road, little more than a trail, until it ended on Country Road 500A. They turned west and followed CR 500A west and north between Lake Conlin and Cat Lake. There was no traffic on the road, something Bucky had counted on. They continued north and followed CR 500A as it turned west.
About three quarters of mile from their turn onto Highway 192 Ethan leaned forward.
"Sir, I am sorry to disturb you but a couple of guys need to take a pee break."
The teen voice from the back nearly startled Bucky, the boys had been as quiet as church mice until that point.
Bucky made a mental note to remind the boys that pissing before a mission was part of preparation. He checked his map and looked at the driver. "Albatross, there is a left turn to a gravel road coming up it leads to a power substation and maintenance building. Pull behind the maintenance building and let's stop there and let everyone stretch and shake the dew off the lily."
The boys in the back giggled as Bucky picked up the radio mic. "This is Juliette to all the Montagues, we are taking a five minute pit stop."
The vehicles turned the corner and Albatross drove all the way around behind the building, leaving room for all three vehicles to pull in behind them.
As soon as the vehicles pulled to a stop four SEALs jumped out and took up covering positions. Two facing the woods and one on each corner of the building.
Bucky got out, pulled off his night vision goggles and let his eyes adjust to the darkness. With the cloud cover blocking the moon it was almost pitch black. He whispered to the two boys with him "Pass it on, no more than five feet from the edge of the road."
Ethan laughed. "You want us to hold hands too."
Bucky shook his head "Listen smart ass I don't care if you hold each others dicks just stay within five feet of the road and you only have five minutes."
They both giggled and walked off to their meet up with their group as Godfather walked up to Bucky.
"Thirty minutes on the road and we are already stopping."
Bucky just stared at him in the dark for a second. "I have two teenage smart asses riding with me, I don't need your shit, too."
Godfather laughed. "Just think, after this you will be prepared to settle down and adopt kids with Flex."
"Fuck you Carmichael."
The two of them walked to the edge of the road and relieved themselves and returned to Bucky's vehicle and started looking at the map again just as the two boys came up.
Ethan walked right up to Godfather. "Sir, why do they call you Godfather?"
He looked at the boy and laughed. "Well it's because I am the oldest on the team and have been a SEAL the longest."
"Well not to be rude sir, but why aren't you in command then?"
Bucky laughed. "Good luck explaining that one."
Godfather giggled. "Well son it's kind of a long story and involves an admiral's daughter and a baby."
"You have a baby?" Dylan jumped into the conversation.
"Yes and a wife, even though the admiral still hates me."
Logan was excited. "Where are they?"
"I am lucky, they are in Vicenza, Italy. That's our home base."
Bucky stepped between them. "Sorry to break up the bonding time but we need to roll, it's a long trip."
The team climbed back aboard the vehicles and headed out. Just as they were pulling onto Highway 192 Ethan spoke up again.
"Sir, Logan says something is really wrong up ahead just as soon as we get on the highway"
"How the hell does he know tha… never mind I don't want to know." Bucky pulled out the mic, "Juliette to the Montagues, hold back I am pulling ahead to see what's going on. Montague one pull forward to the lead."
Bucky's vehicle continued around the corner and onto the highway. Sure enough there were two Humvees surrounding a minivan on the shoulder. Bucky grabbed the mic "Okay eight Delta Mikes, no heavies mounted, two civilians out of the center vehicle and two in." Bucky leaned forward "Oh fuck they are raping one."
He grabbed the mic again. "Montagues move up and prepare to engage. Let's use our disguise to our advantage."
Albatross pulled the vehicle over beside the minivan, just as the second Humvee pulled past them and in front of the lead enemy vehicle. The five ton trucks pulled behind the rear vehicle effectively blocking them in.Bucky got out and used his best southern accent. "Boy am I glad to see you'all. These God forsaken Florida roads are a mess." He paused and looked back at the five tons. "Everyone stay in the vehicles, we will be out of here in a second."
Inside his head he heard. "He is lying, he wants us to get out and create a diversion." It took every ounce of Bucky's resolve to not react.
He looked at what appeared to be a South American NCO walking towards him. He hid his silenced pistol under his map.
The foreign soldier stopped in front of him. "Capitán, you should not be here."
"Well no shit Sergeant, we are lost as shit. What the hell are you and your men doing out here?" Bucky walked past him and stopped and looked at the kids climbing out of the five ton. "I told you all to stay in the damn vehicles."
"But we have to pee Captain."
Bucky looked back at the NCO. "I get stuck babysitting some JROTC geniuses. What the hell did I do to deserve this?"
"Capitán, you must get your people back in your vehicles and leave here immediately."
Bucky ignored him and continued to walk toward the minivan. All ten enemy eyes were on him. "Settle down there Sergeant, as soon as these fucking brats take a leak we will be out of your hair… well, well... what do we have here?"
The NCO started to draw his pistol as Bucky walked up to the young African-American lady being pinned against the hood of the minivan. "You all are having a mighty fine time here with this sweet little thing." He turned and saw one of the enemy soldiers holding what appeared to be her husband with a knife at his throat. Bucky laughed at him and turned back to see two teen boys in the rear of the minivan, one black and one white, they were crying and holding onto each other. Out of the corner of his eye he spotted the last of Boat Crew, Wyvern, entering the woodline.
"Sergeant, what's up with these two pretty boys?"
"Bucky, Dylan says he thinks the boys are lovers." Damn Ethan's voice in his head again
"Capitán this is none of your concern."
"Sergeant! I am a senior officer and you will answer my question. If these two boys are what I think they are and these two adults are harboring faggots, then there is going to be hell to pay. Based on all the luggage in the van they are trying to run away." He spun on his heel and marched over the the African-American male. "Where do you think you can go that God Almighty can not find you? This war will be over soon and faggots like those will be dealt with." He pointed back to the two boys and noticed all the enemies had relaxed a little. He spun around and smiled at the enemy soldier holding the father.
The soldier looked him the eyes and smiled back, not seeing the silenced pistol come up under his chin. The 9mm bullet entered right above his adam's apple and tore the back of his head off.
Bucky grabbed the father and threw him to the ground, just as he heard a blood curdling scream come from the woman. He rolled off the man and took aim at the NCO but stopped short when he realized the man's head was missing and the body was falling to the ground. He looked at the woman and she was screaming as she tried to get away from the man still holding her.
He had stopped what he was doing to the woman and was staring wide-eyed at the NCO's body until his own head rocked sideways and he began to crumple.
The woman started to run but the father jumped up and grabbed her and pulled her to the ground pinning her down beside him and the van, just as another soldier came running from the front of the lead Humvee and started to aim at Bucky. Bucky was turned wrong and tried to roll away but knew he was in trouble. The soldier screamed and dropped his AK-47 to the ground staring at it, as it was glowing cherry red. Bucky quickly covered his head as the magazine exploded, spraying shrapnel and bullet fragments into the man's legs and torso. He fell to the ground screaming.
Bucky rose to one knee, he was in the center and very exposed. He spotted another soldier edging around the corner and began to take aim but was not able to pull the trigger before the knife, dropped by the man he had put a bullet into, flew through the air embedding itself into the throat of the soldier he was aiming at.He heard a series of rifle reports coming from the woodline and his teams began to rush onto the shoulder of the road.
He rose carefully and looked around. All of the enemy were down. "All Clear."
He turned to the family. "Oh dear God, I am so sorry for saying those things."
The father stood and walked over to him. Bucky flinched back expecting to be decked but instead was pulled into an embrace. He looked past the man and saw that the two boys had climbed out of the van and were hugging the mother.
The SEAL medics, Frazier and Soaker knelt down beside them. By this time the father had released Bucky and started walking back. Bucky grabbed his arm.
"Sir, let them do their job. They are the best medics in the world but you need to give them room."
He looked at Bucky with tears streaming down his eyes. "I couldn't stop them, Dear God I tried but I couldn't, there were just too many of them."
"I know sir, call the boys over and let's have a chat."
"Kenny and Ken, can you come here please."
Bucky looked at them. "Your names are Kenny and Ken?"
"Yes sir, and if you don't mind we would prefer to skip the jokes right now."
"I understand boys, didn't mean any offense. I am sorry about saying all that stuff earlier."
One of the boys, the white one. "We know now what you were doing, sir."
The father turned away from his wife, as Ian and Dylan knelt beside her with the medics. He wiped his tears. "Who the hell are you people?"
"US Navy SEALs sir."
"You're with Bryce, right?"
"I guess you could say that. We are with the people of the United States and defend the Constitution of the United States. Literally actually."
"What the hell does that mean?"
"Long story, but right now as soon as the medics have your wife ready to move, you need to get the hell out of here."
He sighed. "We will never make it all the way to the Mississippi and cross it. We heard Bryce controls the western side of the river."
"That's true but you have friends closer. You take one of these Humvees, the soldiers are less likely to stop a speeding Humvee than that minivan, and you take CR 500A right there and you follow it all the way down until it becomes a dirt road. You follow it for about a mile and a half and there will be another dirt road to your left with a sign that says Lake Conlin Boy Scout Camp. As soon as you get past the first bend in the road you get out of the vehicle and put your hands in the air. All of you. When the soldiers there surround you say exactly this. 'Juliette sent me and I need to speak with Captain P'. Once they take you to the captain tell him this exactly. Bucky says we are friends of the Montagues not the Capulets. Got it?"
"Good, repeat it back to me."
"Follow CR 500A until it turns to a dirt road, another mile and a half turn off to the left at the sign for Lake Conlin Boy Scout Camp. Stop after the first bend, get out with our hands up and tell the soldiers Juliette sent us and we need to speak to Captain P. Tell the captain we are friends of the Montagues not the Capulets."
"Good, they will probably keep you there for a day or two as things are going to get pretty hot for the next couple of days. After that they will transfer you to Bermuda, where you will link up with the refugee center. Don't worry we spared no expense on the refugee center and it will be like you're on a cruise. When I left they were building a soccer field and baseball field."
The man nodded. "Thank you Captain."
Bucky laughed "Actually I am a Commander but that's not important. What's your name sir?"
"Jerry Tompkins sir, and that is my wife Desiree and my boy Ken and his boyfriend Kenny."
Bucky looked at the boys. "Kenny, where are your parents?"
"I don't know sir. My dad ran for Congress and lost. He was really pissed at all the stuff going on and was very vocal about it. He told me to go to Ken's and stay with them. The day after the election I went back to my house and it was wrecked and there….there was a lot of blood." He began crying. "I think...someone...killed...my mom...and my dad." He began sobbing.
"Enough poking and prodding." Everyone turned to see Desiree Thompkins push the medics back and rise to wobbly feet. She stumbled over and dropped to her knees beside Kenny and pulled him into and embrace. "You don't worry son, you will never be alone. They can try to stop me all they want but I will fight them with every bone in my body." She reached over and grabbed Ken as well and pulled him into the hug. Jerry knelt down beside them and hugged the whole group.
Bucky looked around. "Godfather, get these bodies weighed down and into that lagoon over there. Better yet, weigh them down and stuff them into one the Humvees and push the whole thing into the lagoon."
The team worked quickly to clear the area and load the bodies into one of the Humvees. They removed all the antennas and drove the Humvee to the edge of the giant lagoon. The SEALs were getting ready to push the vehicle in, when Jamie walked over and motioned with his hands as if he was pushing the vehicle. The SEALs jumped back as it rolled forward, slid into the lagoon and slowly sank to the bottom.
Bucky looked around. "The Lagoon is too small to fit the van too, Albatross follow Mugshot in the van to the maintenance building we stopped at. Park the van there and then throw some sand around in the area putting some dust on it. Make it look like it has been there for awhile and then hustle back here. The longer we stay, the better chance we have of running into another patrol."
He walked over to the Thompkins. "You folks ready to go?"
Ken looked back at him. "Yes sir."
"How old are you boys?"
"I am seventeen sir and Kenny is sixteen."
"You ever done any hunting?"
Ken looked at him with a smirk. "We live in Central Florida, of course we hunt. It's the national pastime here."
Just as Bucky was turning around to get someone's attention, Ethan was standing there holding three AK-47's.
"Two Magazines each, sir"
Bucky shook his head. "You know you freak me out right?"
Ethan smiled and puffed out his chest. "To freak out a Navy SEAL is a huge accomplishment."
Bucky laughed and took the rifles. After giving the two boys and the father a thirty second safety briefing and handed them the rifles, he looked at them. "Don't go looking for trouble, use these to defend yourselves. Get to the camp and take it from there."
Jerry nodded at him. "Yes sir, come on boys we are going to drive like a bat out of hell."
Bucky watched the Humvee, carrying a family that had just endured their worst nightmare, until it turned the corner off the highway. He turned to see the UNIT kids all talking in a group whispering to each other.
Bucky approached the group and waiting until Dylan noticed him and got the other five's attention.
"Are you guys ok with what happened here?"
Jamie stepped out. "A little grossed out by the sniper shots to the two guys but we understand these guys needed to be stopped. We needed to save that family and if this is any indication to what is going on in Disney World you can count on us to be ruthless."
"You guys were amazing here. Josh heating up that rifle like that was genius."
Even though it was pretty dark, Josh turned so red Bucky could see it. "I didn't account for the magazine exploding."
"That happens sometimes in a situation like this. We act and then there is a reaction. You did great son. And Jamie that was incredible with the knife. The two of you saved my life. Ethan and Dylan without your abilities we would not have been able to pull this off. The kind of on the spot intel you guys provide is priceless. Ian, my two medics want to adopt you. Hell, if I could keep all of you on my team I would make you SEALs right now."
The boys all blushed as Jamie spoke for them. "Thank you sir, that means a lot coming from you."
Bucky smiled at them. "Stop calling me sir, teammates call me Bucky. Here comes Albatross and Mugshot now, let's get mounted up and get out of here."
They quickly got back on the road and headed out. They stayed on State Highway 192 for about four miles and turned north on Highway 15. The plan was to stay on Highway 15 until it intersected with 417 about eleven miles north, but as they approached the intersection Ethan once again spoke up.
"Bucky, Logan thinks there is a checkpoint or something on 417 a little ways past the interchange."
Bucky looked at his map. "Well, that kid I trust. Let's continue on 15 to 436 and then take 436 all the way to Interstate 4. Once we get to 436, we would turn south, making our fake orders deploying us from Georgia easier to explain. Bucky relayed the change over the radio and they blew past the exit to 417.
Right after they turned onto 436 a patrol passed them going in the other direction but never even slowed. The drive on 436 was a little nerve racking as they were now in the suburbs of Orlando.
The houses near the highway were all dark but occasionally you could see a soft glow from a lantern or candle when a curtain was moved aside for someone to look out. The streets were empty and it had that eerie feeling you would expect from a western ghost town not a major eastern US metropolis.
They approached the entrance to Interstate 4 slowly making sure there were no checkpoints or patrols. The four vehicles eased onto the highway and headed back south. The signs for Disney World dominated the highway and Bucky chuckled. "It's like they are asking us to come visit."
As they got closer, the ominous feeling increased as the massive hotels and attractions on each side of the highway sat dark and foreboding, like silent disapproving witnesses. The area once bright and alive at any time of day or night now was shrouded in shadow, making those passing think, would it ever return to the way it was.
They approached the exit for Epcot Center Drive and the highway was blocked. Bucky sat up straighter and looked back. "You guys pretend to be asleep. Remain as chill as possible everyone."
The vehicles rolled to a gentle stop and a man walked forward. Bucky pushed the heavy bullet proof glass down.
The man looked into the vehicle. "Sorry to have to stop you sir but just need to make sure you authorized to be in this area."
Bucky smiled. "Understood Sergeant, here are our orders. We are the advance team for a company of infantry coming down as reinforcement. General Quintana is pretty pissed about what happened in Daytona and wants to make sure this area is secure."
The sergeant looked over the orders. "We are all pretty pissed but these look to be in order. The next exit will take you to Osceola Parkway. There will be a checkpoint there but I will radio them and tell them to let you through."
"Much obliged Sergeant."
"Take the exit to World Dr. and then Buena Vista Dr. The only other checkpoint you will encounter is the one set up by the troop at the Command Center. They should know you're coming by the time you get there."
"What's with the kids, sir?"
"Some type of JROTC geniuses, I have to babysit them so they can install some new computer software at the Command Center. Something about Milnet being hacked."
"Well damn! OK, you better get moving then. Welcome to the happiest place on earth."
Bucky laughed. "Thanks Sergeant, you all have a good night now, you hear."
Bucky nodded to Albatross and the convoy continued to the exit onto Osceola Parkway. The checkpoint waved them through without stopping. They turned onto Buena Vista Dr. As they passed a small service road with a sign that said, "Fantasmic Control Center. Authorized Personnel Only". Bucky looked at his watch. Snoops should have the Air Defense net under control at this point.
They made the turn to the Command Center and were stopped by a road block flanked by two Bradley's. A young officer approached the vehicle.
"Sir, this area is for authorized personnel only."
"Lieutenant, here is my authorization." Bucky handed him the forged orders.
The lieutenant read the orders and got a concerned look on his face, read them again and smiled. "Captain, sorry for the delay, everything seems to be in order here. You can pull up to the main entrance and unload your gear. The billeting officer is in the Magic Kingdom, so once you get your equipment unloaded you will have to drive up there to see him."
"Thank you Lieutenant," Bucky paused to read his name tag. "Cline."
"Your welcome sir." As he waved the convoy through, Bucky looked back at Dylan and Ethan and they both winked at him.
Bucky shook his head and waited until all the vehicles came to a complete stop before jumping out.
"Everyone start getting the new com equipment unloaded and I will find out where we are taking them." Just as he turned around another officer came out the door, this time a captain.
"Captain, where do you want my men to take this equipment?"
The officer walked up to him and put out his hand to shake Bucky's. "Captain...Carter. I am Captain Grausse, Commander Echo Troop 2nd ACR. We were not informed of your coming."
"Captain Grausse, James Carter, A Company Commander 1st Battalion 121st Infantry out of Spartansburg, Georgia. Not surprised you haven't been told about us we just received the orders yesterday and with the way communication has been around here, it's a wonder that we even knew where we were going. But that is one of the reasons we are here. We brought down some new com equipment and encryption keys. There is some concern from higher up that the defection of your 1st Squadron may have compromised your encryptions. And no offense to you Captain, but I am here to make sure everyone here is STILL on our side, understand. General Quintana personally asked me to keep an eye on things here in regards to Operation Funtime."
Captain Grausse looked pissed. "Very well Captain Carter, gather your men and equipment and I will take you to the OIC, Major Lauxmont."
"Very well, give me a second please."
He walked back to the group and nodded to Godfather to come over to him. "Carmichael, we have a problem. Major Lauxmont is the OIC of the Command Center."
"Fuck, isn't that the guy that opened the investigation on Flex for being gay."
"Yes, and he never gave up, knows me very well."
"Okay so plan 'B'...What is Plan B?"
After they dropped the SEAL boat crew, Gabe's team and the three boys, Dragon headed for their next set of insertion locations for the Marine sniper teams. As they were cloaked, they only needed to stay high enough so that the rotor wash did not stir any tree tops below them. They zigzagged around the various resorts and attractions keeping well above the trees, as they made their way to the first insertion location in the wooded area just west of the resort. There was a small open area that they descended into, until the bottom of Dragon was below the level of the treetops and the first two teams fast roped to the ground. Since they had kept to that level no one saw the four figures dropping out of thin air to the ground. As soon as the ropes were hauled back up, they ascended and moved to the next position. The entire action had taken one minute to insert them.
As Dragon flew away to deliver the other sniper teams, the two teams that had just inserted made their way to the nearby guard tower located on the edge of the FLS. It didn't take long to reach their target. The base of the guard tower appeared to have been built like the base of a transmission tower, with metal stairs and landings leading up to the wooden guard shack at the top of the steel support structure. It was about twenty feet tall giving it a good field of view. Just beyond it was the landing strip that had been built for use over what used to be one of the roads that traversed Disney World and a line of trees and portions of a parking lot for the Art of Animation Resort. The stairs led up into an opening in the floor of the shack at the top. Intelligence had told them that there would be one man on duty.
The tower was near the trees, so they were able to make their approach completely covered. Now the hard part was to make their way carefully up to the guard shack and take out the guard. It was decided that the spotters of the two teams would be the ones who would make the assault on the guard. Corporal Kent led the way with Corporal Polanco following close behind. They had been issued silenced pistols for the assault. Kent stepped on the first step and slowly made his way up, with Polanco just behind him. They kept one hand on the railing as they ascended mostly by feel, since they were looking up with their pistols pointed at the opening that they could see above them. Polanco kept glancing below them, just in case someone came over to the tower from the resort.
Each step was taken slowly to minimize the chance of any sound or vibration alerting the guard at the top of the tower. When they reached the last landing, they could hear the sound of the guard moving around above them. They froze for a moment and then once again resumed their slow climb up to the opening. As he neared the floor level, Kent put his hand out to Polanco to stop him as he slowly straightened up from the crouch he had been in as they climbed the stairs. As he did, he brought the pistol up into a two hand grip and scanned for the guard. He saw the guard turn from where he had been looking toward the runway and the guard's eyes opened wide as he saw the figure rise out of the opening in the floor. He fumbled for the rifle slung on his shoulder when he saw two quick sparklike flashes and felt two hard punches to his chest, causing him to fall back against the wall and slide down. The figure that he had seen in the opening moved quickly to his side and kicked the rifle away from his hand. His eyes closed into darkness.
Kent leaned down and checked for a pulse. He turned to Polanco and nodded. Polanco turned and disappeared from sight. Moments later Kent could hear and feel the others coming up the stairs. Once inside shack, the two sniper teams took up their positions. Now they just had to wait for the signal.
Christina took Dragon high enough to get a good look at their main objective. Inside the Command Center, Marine Captain Michael Kreegar was standing near Eve and Brett as they looked at the images that were being transmitted by Drake to their computer screens. The sniper teams had already seen what the area looked like from the information that was being sent by the surveillance drones, but seeing it up close was much better. He was silent as he looked at the screen. "I'm told that unless we want to be seen, they cannot see or hear this helicopter, is that correct?" Eve nodded. "Yes sir, that is correct. The only problem is the rotor wash, that's outside of our control."
He nodded as he thought about it for a moment before leaning forward and pointing to the screen. "We'll insert five teams here. But we need to land to do that. It will be faster if we don't have to fast rope down. The five teams can be out of the helicopter within thirty seconds and you can take off and move to the next site to drop the rest of the teams off. We'll need to make sure there are no vehicles traveling on this road before we come down and the trees will screen us from sight by the guard towers. Since they didn't remove this tree line, we'll use it to screen my teams." Eve nodded, "Drake, prepare for next insertion location."
"Acknowledged, awaiting location point."
"Drake, next location is this position, please relay to Chris that we will need to be on the ground for no more than thirty… three zero seconds to land the teams."
"Location relayed. Awaiting next location point."
"Wait one." Eve looked at Captain Kreegar. The captain noted the location of the guard towers around the buildings at the lower end of the Animation resort and knew that he wouldn't get all of them on the first pass. He looked across Hourglass Lake and saw that the resort on that side was dark and appeared empty. "Let's see what we have over here." Eve changed the view on her computer so that it showed the empty resort. He pointed at the screen, "The rest of the teams will land here in this parking lot."
"Drake, final insertion position is the parking lot of the Pop Century Resort." A moment later Drake came back. "Acknowledged, location relayed. Chris says they will be wheels down at the first location in one minute. Have the teams prepared to deploy." Captain Kreegar nodded. "My men are ready." He turned and left the control center. "Acknowledged Drake."
The men looked up as Captain Kreegar entered the main cabin. The teams were in the seats near the rear of the cabin so that they were nearest to the back ramp. He took the surveillance photos that they had used for the initial briefing and gathered the men around. "Baker, Canzonari, Golden, Schutt, Li. Your teams will be dropped off here, get your equipment and be ready to deploy. We will be on the ground in…" He glanced at his watch. "… Thirty seconds. The rest of you will deploy at the second location. Get your gear ready."
"Oorah!" The men got their Barrett M82s and M4s ready and the first five moved to the back of the cabin. Rio made his way over to the ramp controls as they felt Dragon making a fast descent. Before they neared the ground, Rio hit the ramp control and it started lowering. When it was near enough to the ground, the five teams exited quickly and took up positions around the ramp. When all five teams were on the ground Dragon lifted off. The captain checked his watch, 'twenty-five seconds'. He was satisfied.
In one of the guard towers at the edge of the parking lot of the Art of Animation resort, the Florida National Guard soldier on duty turned around to look toward the trees that were just across the road. He thought he saw something and picked up the binoculars that were hanging from a hook and trained them on the trees. He slowly moved them back and forth before returning them to their hook. He picked up his radio to call the towers to either side of him, but stopped himself. He didn't want to look like an idiot for seeing things. He thought he had seen something about the trees that looked out of place, but looking at it now, the view was as boring as it always was. He put the radio down and continued with this boring duty.
Dragon had taken off and turned so quickly that Captain Kreegar and the remaining men had to grab onto something to stay upright. In moments, Dragon was once again coming into land, but this was not as fast as the last one. As soon as they touched down, Rio pushed the button and ramp lowered. Several of the men were at the ramp and Jamil was standing by the mini gun just in case they had a welcoming committee. Once it was on the ground Kreegar led the last of the teams down the ramp. "Semper Fi. Good hunting, sir." He glanced at the two boys who were saluting him as he went by. He threw them a quick salute and a nod as he made his way down the ramp.
Once he had moved several feet from the ramp, he noticed the sound of the helicopter stopped. He quickly turned around and watched as the last few men of the sniper teams seemed to step out of thin air. He took a few steps back and he could hear and see the helicopter. The two boys were at the top of the ramp and had big grins on their faces. The ramp began to rise and he stepped back. Once again everything went silent and the helicopter was once again invisible. "How can they do that?" He muttered as he turned around to look at the men. They had the same expression of surprise on their faces as he was sure he did.
He waved for them to follow him and they ran to one of the nearby buildings. They checked the door and it was unlocked. They slipped inside and found themselves in a hallway with doors on each side. They broke into one of the nearby rooms and gathered the men inside and pulled the surveillance photos of the area. He flipped through them until he found the ones that showed the area around the lake. "Martin and Osuna, take your teams to these two buildings that look across this bridge here. Your targets are the two guard towers at the other end of the bridge. Myers and Scoggins, this building, your teams have these two towers. I'll take the last one. Once you are in position wait for the signal before you fire."
"What's the signal sir?" Kreegar grinned. "Not sure exactly, but they told me that the Navy is involved and we can't miss it. Move out and good hunting."
"Ooorah!" The men left the room and headed to their assigned positions. The teams moved through the resort property, keeping an eye out for any guards that may have been stationed there. They had been told that there were Florida National Guard onsite, along with a troop of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, for them to contend with. They suspected that the National Guardsmen were being used as the detention center guards, so they were their targets.
The property was dark and empty. The soldiers at the detention center must have felt secure enough that they saw no need to station guards here. When Martin and Osuna got to the buildings that were nearest to their target, they began looking for a good position to set up their firing position. They exchanged grins and nodded when Osuna pointed at the structures that were attached to the end of each building. Right at the end of the buildings, facing toward their targets, were the outside stairwells of the buildings. The stairway was hidden by giant yo-yos. The outside of the yo-yos were pierced by holes and the center of each yo-yo was open. The two teams each headed for a yo-yo at the end of the paired buildings and climbed the stairs. When they got high enough to see over the trees nearby, they found that the split in the middle of each yo-yo looked directly across the bridge to the guard towers on the other side. They settled into position and were able to see through their night scopes the guard that was in each tower. They contacted the captain.
"Martin, in position."
"Osuna, in position."
They received acknowledgment and settled down to await the signal.
In the other parts of the resort, the rest of the teams looked for their firing positions. Myers and Scoggins didn't find anything like the yo-yos that the Martin and Osuna found. They did notice that along the roof edge of every building were decorations in the form of words or sayings, from the last five decades of the twentieth century. They decided to head to the roof and use the letters to hide their position since it would get them into a high position to easily see their targets. Once in position they set up and found their targets. They notified the captain that they were in position and received the acknowledgment.
Kreegar and his spotter made their way to the south end of the complex to find his firing position. His shot would be the longest. At the southernmost building he saw that that the building's stairways were decorated to look like a Rubik's Cube. The cube was pierced with holes and openings around each panel that represented each square of the cube. Kreegar led the way and they went into the stairwell and made their way to the highest landing of the stairs. Kreegar looked through one of the openings in the panels and nodded with satisfaction. This would do. He had a straight shot across Hourglass Lake to the guard tower. Once they had settled into position, he looked through his scope and he could see the guard leaning against the side of the tower smoking a cigarette. He had received acknowledgment from all teams. They were in position and awaiting the signal to take out their targets. Now they just had to wait. Kreegar checked his watch 2230. They had about an hour and a half to go.
Christina dropped Dragon's stealth as they neared Heart Island. She radioed for permission to land and they were soon on the ground. It was time to go coordinate the next phase of their part of the plan. The commander of Blood's Honor, plus the Cobra pilots joined Christina, Eve, Apollo and Brett in Dragon's command center. Eve and Brett were sitting in front of the main viewing monitor where Sean normally sat so they could display images that would be used for the briefing. Christina looked at everyone who was gathered for the briefing.
"I'm Commander Christina Casey. I lead the Red Dragons Assault Team for the UNIT. I was put in charge of this part of the operation because I've commanded my team in many operations such as this."
"Are you serious?" Christina looked at the man who had spoken, it was Moose, one of the SEAL boat crew leaders.
"Yes, I am serious. Is there a problem?" Christina folded her arms and looked at the larger man.
"How much experience can a slip of girl have in leading an assault like this?"
Christina looked up as if thinking about it. Then she began to tick off several points. "Well let's see. There was the time we had to go into the building owned by the Russian Mafia. They were holding kids, boys and girls, forcing them to be prostitutes. We rescued all those kids and executed the Russians, with no casualties to my team." She touched another finger, "Then there was the time we had to take down those FCC bastards who were torturing kids to make them straight while at the same time using them for their own fantasies. We executed them too. Again no casualties." She touched another finger. "Then of course there was the time we rescued Doctor MacLeod and his friends and family from a hundred soldiers and convicts who were sent to kill him and his family. I think there were about ten of them left when we finished. We turned the survivors over to the prison that they had been illegally taken from earlier that day on Asswood's orders." She touched another finger, "And of course those kids who were being held captive by a bunch of Asswood's soldiers at an Air Base in California." She looked at the man. "And how could I forget about breaking out of a Top Secret military facility where the military and government doctors… tortured us… raped us… and experimented on us… to make us what we are!"
She gazed at the man for a few moments before continuing. "So yes, I do have experience in somewhere around a hundred or so similar operations. However, I know that all of you are highly skilled in this as well, so I wasn't going to say, you do this, you do that. There was a General Patton in what you called your World War Two that said: "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." So that is what I'm going to do. I respect your knowledge and experience. However, I have been given command and I intend to command." She looked at the men in the room for a few moments.
"Okay then. It is almost thirty miles from here to our target. The Art of Animation Resort. It has been turned into an induction and detention center for those that the Asswood administration has deemed to be undesirables. Think political prisoners, gays, basically anyone who would be against what Asswood is doing." She glanced at Eve. "Bring up the image of the resort."
Eve worked the computer and brought up the image. Christina began pointing out locations. "This large building that was formerly the lobby, dining room, conference rooms, etc, near the parking lot is the Induction Center. These three hotel buildings have been made into the Detention Center. Their perimeter has been fenced in to keep the people in this area. At these points are guard towers. Right now there are twelve Marine sniper teams in position to take out as many of these guard towers as they can when the Navy gives us the signal to begin the attack. As you can see they have bulldozed this road and the nearby trees and parts of the parking lot, and turned it into a landing strip. Part of our mission is to fly seventeen flight crews to man the C-130s that are parked here. They will be used to fly the detainees out of there to safety, once we take the resort."
She pointed to the middle of the resort near the pool. "This building is being used as barracks for the guards of the Detention Center and the flight crews for the planes. The guards we believe are members of a Florida National Guard unit. They are estimated to be at around seventy-five guardsmen."
She pointed at the buildings at the north end of the resort. "I expect that this is where we will have the biggest opposition. There is a troop of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment barracked here. They have thirty-four Strykers here in the parking lot and a couple of 120mm mortars located somewhere in the area. The Strykers are the main target of the Cobras and Dragon." She looked at Apollo and the Cobra pilots. "You need to take out as many of them as you can."
"One problem that I see is we're about thirty miles from the resort right now. I think we need to get closer and I think I know where we can go to wait for the signal. Eve pull up the baseball training center." Eve entered a command and a picture appeared. "I propose that as soon as we know that one of our teams has taken the Air Defense center, we fly nap of the earth along this route, avoiding the built up areas and we stage to this baseball complex. From here we are only a mile from the resort. When we get the signal, we can quickly move in from that position to start our attack."
She looked at the map again. "The Strykers are my biggest worry. There are a lot of them. If we could get rid of some of them somehow, that would be better." Superman, the Alpha Team leader of one of the boat crews spoke up. "Commander, if the Navy can spare a couple of cruise missiles with submunition dispensers, we should be able to take a bunch of them out." Christina nodded. "That would work. I'll have to ask if they'll send a couple our way. Yeah, I think we can do that. I'll check with the Navy to see about the cruise missiles."
She looked at the team leader with a smile. "Superman, great idea about the cruise missiles. Any thoughts from any of you about staging nearer to the complex. In the baseball complex, we can land in the baseball fields and there are plenty of buildings that will block line of sight between us and the resort. Does that sound workable?" She looked at them and no one said anything against it. "Okay, we will stage there as soon as we hear the all clear from our Air Defense team. Superman, I have a mission for your crew. Somewhere near where the 2nd ACR is quartered, we believe there are a pair of 120mm mortars that could be a bit of a problem for us. I want you to take them out." Superman nodded. "Can do. Any info about where they are?" Christina shook her head. "I suspect somewhere near their building. I will take your team to the north side of the resort in Dragon… " She looked at the image on the screen, "… to right here and drop you off. I'm going to send the recon member of my team, Rio, with you. That way I can easily stay in silent contact with your crew." She saw that Superman was about to say something, but she held up her hand. "I think Bucky has told you a little about us. Just trust me, Rio can handle himself and I need him as a link with you, so that we can stay in contact. Wait until the missiles hit and then make your way around the buildings and find those 120mm mortars. When you find them, take them out."
She looked at Moose from the Wyvern boat crew. "I would like your men to get into the Detention Center. Blow a hole in the fence that is around the complex and go in that way. I want you to secure the detainees. My team is going to take the Induction Center building. I expect it will be lightly held this late at night, so I don't expect many problems.
She looked at Tony. "Sir, I would like to split your Blood's Honor unit. Half of them will take up position in front of the Induction Center to be in position to give the 2nd ACR a hard time when they move in. The other half takes out the guard building. Also, you'll need to prepare for a thrust from the 2nd ACR from that part of the complex, since their quarters are nearby. They will probably make a push toward you with at least part of their force. Hopefully the missile attack will cause them some confusion and give you enough time to get the guard building under control before they hit you. Once we finish with the Induction Center my team will support you." Tony nodded. "We can do that."
She looked at Apollo and the Cobra pilots. "Once we go in and the missiles hit, the Cobras need to head for the Strykers. Apollo, once you drop us off, you go HICAP but be ready to assist the Cobras if necessary. I need Oliver with me so you'll have to rely on Drake to fire the weapons."
"No, I'll do that." Christina looked at Eve. "I'll be his gunner. I've acted as a gunner before. I know my legs don't work right now and I can't control the pedals, but Drake can help with that if I need to fly it. I'm going to be up there to shoot stuff." Christina smiled knowing that if she was anything like the other Genesis kids, she knew that Eve was really missing being in on the action since she had been wounded.
"Drake can do the shooting and we need someone here in the Command Center." Eve shook her head. "Doctor MacLeod can do that. He's had plenty of practice over the last couple of weeks of working with the command computers. I'd rather be a gunner." Chris glanced at Brett. "Does that work for you?" Brett nodded. "Shouldn't be a problem. I believe Eve will be of better use as the gunner. I can handle the communication parts. I've been working with Eve and Sean for the last week doing this stuff and I know what to do." Chris nodded.
"Okay then, if there is nothing else?" She looked around. "Then I'm going to go ask the Navy for a missile or two. Everyone be onboard and ready to go by 2300. I want us ready to stage forward as soon as we get the word that the Air Defense is down. Christina walked off and the team members went off to brief their troops.
At 2300, the pilots for the Cobras were in their helicopters ready to go. The ground forces were boarding Dragon. It was packed to the gills with just barely enough room to seat everyone. Luckily for them, it was one of the helicopters that had been redone in the universe that the UNIT came from and was bigger than the other CH-53's from this version of Earth, so that it could accommodate all of the troops that were slated for this part of the operation.
Inside the onboard Command Center, Chris gathered the individual unit leaders. "The Navy said that they could give us one missile with the submunition dispenser. They don't have many and they believe that one should be enough to cover the area that we need covered. They are also a little worried about the possibility that if they send two missiles it could endanger our ground forces and maybe the detainees."
As she looked at the men around her she saw that they understood the risk. Many of them had seen submunitions in action and they knew how large an area that they could cover when they were released on the target. "So, all we have to do now is wait for the word and we'll be moving as fast as possible to the staging position and then move on the target when the final attack signal is given. I am told that the signal to attack should be given by 2400. You all know your assignments. I know that we can do this. Remember the detainees are our priority." Everyone nodded in agreement. She dismissed them to go back to join their men in the main cabin.
Adam looked around at the UNIT members that were going with him, as well as the pilots flying the helicopters, and then finally to where Dr. McCray, and Germs were standing, and spoke. "Okay, let's go over this one more time. I know you all know the plan, but this will be the first time we are all seeing the different parts laid out together."
Seeing nods, he continued. "As you know, the Chipmunks are still on the Reagan helping to find Cadet Peters. Depending on what they find and when, we may have to split the mission up in the middle. If that happens, Chang, I want you to take whoever you think you need, as well as Dr. McCray and Germs, to get the cadet. He IS top priority... we will NOT leave our brother behind."
Again, he got nods in response, so he went on. "Next, Logan is staying here, on Heart Island working with Colonel Shelton. He's acting as Command for us. However, this is the United States' mission, we are assisting as best we can. Which means that any legal order that comes from anyone on the Command Staff will be followed as if it came from me. Is that understood?"
"Yes sir." Many of the troops said softly, but crisply.
"Finally, Dr. Hayes is also staying here to help set up the field hospital. When she lands at Disney, I want no less than two people with her at all times. We don't know everyone here, and I'm not gonna risk Mom. Got it?"
Seeing everyone nod, he continued. "Good, now down to the plans." Adam said as he stepped up to the map. "Okay, first, the helicopters. Billy, you'll be flying us to this point here, where we'll get wet and swim to this point." Adam pointed to the different points on the map, making sure that everyone knew where he meant. "We'll wait offshore for the signal. When it's go time, we hit hard and fast. All we know at this point is that they have a medical facility here. That's why we think Cadet Peters is here. However, all the brainiacs have come to the same conclusion... There are way too many guards for a simple hospital. That's why we're hitting it."
"They only want the best." Juan said with a grin, but Adam shook his head.
"Maybe... personally though, I think Norris wants to see just how good we are. Remember people, we will be the northernmost group. The biggest problem is that just to the north of us is a shit load of bad guys that are going to want to stop the attack when it starts. If any of them survive the initial volley, which they will, they will have to go right past us to get to the rest of our troops. So we not only have to worry about the target, but also be ready to respond if anyone breaks through." Adam paused and looked at Billy. "That's gonna be your job. I want you to station yourself over the roadway, and if something gets through, I want you to chew it to hell."
Billy grinned. "We can do that." He glanced over at his new crew and smiled. When Col. Shelton found out that they didn't have a full crew for the Chinook, he made some calls, and had a co-pilot and gunners flown in. They had spent the last day getting used to the Chinook's systems, and each one of them was more than happy with the new toys they had to play with.
"Good." Adam said, then looked at Runt and Veny. "For you guys, Runt, I want you and the Ghost as the primary anti-armor for our target. We know they have some. As soon as the signal comes in, I want you to come out of stealth and unleash hell on the armor. That'll have everyone looking elsewhere as we infiltrate through the back of the building. Veny, I want you to back him up, but also keep an eye on Billy. If they have to deal with any armor, you need to take care of it." Both pilots nodded and smiled. Veny really was getting caught up in the UNIT's peculiar sense of fun.
"Will, did you get signed off on the Black Shark?" He asked a grinning Will.
"Yup! It'll be better after I tweak it, but it's great now!"
"Good." Adam replied with a grin. "You're gonna get to do what you do best. Once we have confirmed the Air Defense network is under our control, you'll come in with your new toy, and do what you do best. The main Detention Center should be fine with the four BH Super Cobras, as well as the other helicopters, but they also have a lot of armor to play with. They may need your help. If not, find targets and take them out." Adam just shook his head at the grinning Will who was bobbing his head up and down.
"Now for the rest of us, since we don't know exactly who or what is in our target building, we need to be careful, but quick. If they raise a weapon, take 'em down. If they don't, we'll secure them. The core will be the front line, we'll bypass anyone that is not hostile. We're gonna hit 'em hard, fast and just keep moving. You've all been given a supply of military grade zip ties. Don't fuck around with people, if they give you a hard time, hog tie 'em." Adam paused and looked around at all the very serious faces looking back at him.
"Make no mistake people, we've got a tough job on this one. We are going up against a pretty big unknown, but we're the best for a reason. Remember the lessons we learned on Sunday. These people are harder than we're used to, don't underestimate them. Also, be ready for things to change on the fly, just like always." He paused one more time to look at everyone. "Any questions?"
He waited for almost a full minute, when it was clear that there were no questions, he nodded to everyone. "Okay, get your shit together, double-check your teammates, and make sure you have enough ammo."
"I don't think THAT will be a problem." Juan giggled out, before rushing off with everyone else.
Logan looked over at the colonel's command team and smiled. He knew he was going to have some issues working with adults that aren't used to working with kids, but these people were really trying hard not to allow there to be any problems. Of course, Logan knew that Colonel Shelton had made it very clear to his team that the UNIT were to be respected for their ranks, not their ages, until such time as it was proven that the ranks were not accurate. That wouldn't be a problem, as the UNIT was every bit as skilled as their older, and sometimes, much older counterparts.
"Hayes!" He heard his name called, and looked over his shoulder to see Colonel Shelton waving him over. Logan jogged over to the colonel who was leaning against his command vehicle.
"Yes Colonel?" Logan said after a short salute. "What may I do for you?"
"I wanted to bring you up to speed with what's gonna happen. I'm sure you are aware at how quickly things are changing here, so..." Shelton started off.
"Yes Sir." Logan said with a chuckle. "Things never stop changing, especially once the battle starts."
"That's true. I'm sure that you're aware that a lot of my folks are a bit... uncomfortable with you guys." Shelton started off.
"Just your folks, or you as well?" Logan asked, causing the colonel to chuckle.
"You got me there." Shelton said softly after a moment. "Look, I know it's our issue to deal with, but I gotta admit, seeing kids the same age as my son going off into combat is a bit unnerving."
"I'm sure it is." Logan said just as seriously. "It also doesn't help that a good number of us are physically stronger, faster and a hell of a lot tougher than your guys. Trust, me I get it. But let me let you in a little secret." When Shelton nodded, Logan continued. "It's bothering us just as much that you guys are going along."
"Explain." Shelton demanded.
"It's simple, most of us were designed with the mission to make us be the ones that did the dangerous combat. We've been conditioned from birth that normal humans, you guys," he pointed his finger directly at Shelton, "are so much more important than we are, since we were 'engineered'. More than once I've seen our guys do things that they shouldn't, simply because they know a normal human is gonna get hurt if they didn't do something. That's one of the reasons Adam was upset about having Dr. McCray and Germs tagging along with his group. Not because he doubts their abilities, but he knows that most of our people are hardwired to where, if it looks like one of them is going to get hurt, they'll put themselves in the line of fire."
Shelton just stared at him for several seconds before he shook his head. "That can be dangerous."
"Yes it can." Logan admitted, "But as our CO, it's something that you need to know."
Shelton nodded to himself for a few moments, then spoke. "Part of me wants to ground you guys. Something like that is really dangerous to the whole."
"That's your right of course." Logan said diplomatically. "However, I'll warn you now. You do that, and you'll find us not here. We were bred for war, and we WILL fight. The best thing you can do is harness our abilities, direct us, guide us. You don't have a choice in 'if' we're going to fight... that much is a given, but use us, show us what it means to be a part of this great military machine. We built one where we are from, but we didn't know what we were doing. We're small team fighters, not large group commanders like you are. Teach us."
Shelton was quiet for several seconds before he nodded. "Why do I have a feeling I am going to learn just as much from you, as you are from me?"
"You just might." Logan said with a grin. Shelton nodded and then launched into the last minute changes that had come up.
It only took the group about ten minutes to swim from one side of the lake to the other. Now they bobbed up and down in the water waiting. The black armor, the lightless night, and the water made it impossible for anyone to see them. There were a total of 26 of them, and still to this point, they didn't know what they were truly going to be facing. That was something that was sitting in the bottom of Adam's stomach like a bunch of bricks. After the battle they had a few days ago, Adam was more cautious about things than he normally would be.
"So what's this signal we're waiting for?" Juan asked softly as he glided next to Adam. "Jory won't tell me."
"Stop pouting Juan." Adam said with a grin. "Just trust us, you'll know when it happens."
Juan was about to reply when a tone sounded in all of the Core Unit's helmets. Adam's face paled a little when he heard it, since it was the emergency tone that only Logan or the Chipmunks could activate. He held up his hand, fist closed, making sure everyone knew that they were now holding, no matter what happened. Less than a second after the tone started, it stopped and Alvin's voice came over the radio. "Adam?"
"Go." Adam replied simply.
"We've found Cadet Peters." Alvin started, but Adam knew right off, something was wrong. "He's at your target."
Adam looked up as he started to hear a distant roar coming from the east. "Copy that, Peters at the Secondary Detention Center." The roar was getting louder.
"Adam..." Alvin said, then gulped in fear. "We tracked down the medical equipment that's been going in there...."
"What's wrong?" Adam was thankful for his increased hearing or else the roar might have drowned out what Alvin said next.
"Adam, you're walking into a Genesis Base."