"Sir, emergency transmission from Okolnir." Said Ellie, bursting into Frank's room in a bit of a panic, "The civilians need an evac, now."
"Jesus, sergeant." Said Frank, rubbing his eyes, still groggy from the night before, and quite possibly a little hungover, "Give me a little bit of a warning next time, please."
"No time," Said Ellie, "the workers need our intervention and we don't have much time to respond."
"Alright, alright." said Frank, slowly pulling himself out of his bed, "Wake the Scotts, they can probably handle the alcohol and should be in good shape for the mission."
"Understood sir," Said Ellie, turning towards the door, but stopping after hearing the lieutenant's protest, "No time to meet in the briefing room, I'll brief you on the way. I'll leave you to get dressed." Ellie turned and headed out the door as it shut quickly behind her. Frank sat up fully in his bed, legs hanging off the edge and stared at the floor, waiting for the room to stop spinning. He gave his head a quick shake and stumbled across the room, hurriedly pulling on his uniform and grabbing his body armour as he walked towards the door. As he walked towards the shuttle bay of his ship, he reached around the door into the armoury and grabbed his rifle, headed quickly to the elevator down to the hold. As he waited in the elevator, he began strapping his armour on over his tunic, and finally noticed that he had, in fact, not grabbed HIS rifle, but a chain rifle that was normally filed next to his rifle in the rack. Frank let out a loud sight as he stood in the elevator, staring at the rifle that was leaning up against the wall, and continued fastening his armour. The elevator doors opened, Frank was greeted with a reassuring scene. The Scotts guard already loading into the back of the herron, one of them was carrying a massive longsword. Frank walked up to the back of the loading ramp for the dropship and fastened his rifle into the rack at the back of the hold.
"Gents." Said Frank, "Thanks for being available on such short notice. Especially after the party last night."
"Well, we Scotts can handle our drinks a little better than you boys, aye?" said one, as he casually strapped his claymore to the side of his seat. "You're the one that's gonna be commandin' us lads?"
"Yeah, that's me." Said Frank, "What's with the sword, if you don't mind me asking?"
"Well, I mean," began the Scott, looking a little puzzled by the question, "I'm kinda known for it after the whole 'fighting my way through dawn's hellscape to a settlement' thing."
"Wait-" said Frank, trying to piece things together.
"William," said the Scott, reaching his hand out towards Frank, "William Wallace. Pleased to make your acquaintance." Frank grabbed the man's hand, bewildered by, basically, the urban legend that stood in front of him. "Well, let's get this mission underway then. Shall we, lad's?"
"Alright, the launch room is just over there." Said Frank, "The civilians are banking on us to get them out of here. Let's move"
"Alright lads," said William, "you heard the man. Move out."
Frank and his team began moving towards the control room, taking tactical bounds in case anything came running at them from the approaching QAZ anomalies. The sound of a machine gun burst rang out through the air, catching one of the varangians off guard. "Shit, contact." Shouted Frank, "Does anyone see who or where it came from?"
"There," shouted Wallace, "it's a Zond on the roof of the building." The injured Varangian fell from the catwalk he had been running on, to the ground beside them.
"Don't worry about me, I'll be fine." He said, holding his shoulder, "Just knocked the wind out of me."
"Alright, stay here." Said Frank, turning to move towards the control room again, "Get the medics to take a look at it just in case."
"Aye, will do Cap'n."
Frank and his team began moving again, this time taking special care not to expose themselves to the fire that just came from the other side of the control building. "If we get in there, we can lock down that room and get the locks on the shuttles removed." Said Frank, running across the street to the control room, "Evacuating those civies is our top priority." As Frank said this, smoke grenades began flying in every direction, blotting out the sun with their smothering white phosphorous screens. "Try to save some for the control room," Said Frank, coughing from the smoke all around him, "We'll need them more to keep them from seeing us once we're inside."
"Sir, I've got like forty of these things at LEAST." Said one of the Varangians, "I can do this all day."
Frank burst through the smoke into the control office, and saw a bearpode, pinned down by enemy sniper fire, taking cover in the corner of the room. "Ellie, any intel on friendlies in the area?" He said, moving to take cover behind the console in the middle of the room, "We have a bearpode in here with us."
"Nothing I'm reading sir," Said Ellie as she pondered over mission files.
"Good to see you here sir," said a female voice over Frank's radio, "We were one of the first teams to respond when the distress call went out. Sir Fuzzy and I came in as fast as we could, but they have us pinned down pretty good. I'm stuck on the second floor, so I'm no use, but the bear is at your command. There's a couple Frontoviks running around here as well, they could come in handy in a pinch. The power was knocked out a little bit before the attack, we have a team trying to re-route power back to the facility as we speak."
"Good to know." Said Frank, "We need to open those locks on the shuttles, can you buy us some time?"
"I'll see what I can do Commander." responded the Polaris team leader. Loud metallic footsteps began echoing through the smoke, headed towards the control office, when one of the Frontoviks came through the side door, coughing lightly."
"Sir, I came as fast as I could when I saw you approach." she said, "There's a taskmaster chasing me though. I have no idea how far behind it -" Her sentence was cut off but the very angry taskmaster chasing behind her, swinging it's cleaver with reckless abandon.
"Wallace-" shouted Frank.
"Already on it Sir," Said William as he ran, shouting a battle cry, towards the heavily armoured enemy assailing the Frontovik. The Frontovik ducked underneath the arcing swing of the Taskmaster's cleaver, and dodged to cover beside Frank. With one massive swing, William cleaved his claymore through the taskmaster, lodging it deep inside the body of the foe, getting stuck on some armour plates halfway through. He raised his leg, kicked the Taskmaster off the end of his now bloodied blade, and spat at the ground at his opponent's feet. "Always ready for a good fight Sir."
"Alright Polaris," Said Frank through the radio, "Now's our chance to break you out of their overwatch."
"What's the plan sir?" Said the controller, "How we doin this?"
"Sir Fuzzy is an absolute unit." said Frank, "He can withstand the fire from those guns. Send him out there and blast them all with that chain rifle he has, we'll be home free in no time."
"On it." She responded, "Alright buddy, you heard the man." The hulking bearpode in the corner let out a bellowing roar, looked at Frank, and charged through the door. The gunfire erupted, louder than ever as the Nomad team tried in a panic to at least wound the beast in front of them. Two shots of molten slag blasted out from the chain rifle it was holding, and the dying throws of the nomad team were heard amongst the chaos. The gunfire had gone silent, and Frank took this chance to re-situate himself with his surroundings. Papers, pens, and all sorts of clutter littered the room they were in, but the console they were after seemed to still be intact.
"Fan out, see what you can find." Said Frank, meticulously peering over the documents strewn across the desk, "I'll release the locks from those shuttles. And someone see if they can get the power back online. There has to be a backup generator somewhere around here." Frank turned his gaze to the console, the glow of the screen faintly illuminating the room around him in a bluey-green hue. He began fastening his rifle to his chest so that he could work, but one of his buckles caught on the trigger and blasted a shot into the console, completely obliterating the thing that they had worked so hard to get to. "Fuck, no." Said Frank panic rapidly setting in, "No no no no no ." As he tried desperately to get the console to turn back on, the lights overhead began to flicker, and the whole building hummed to life. "Shit, Ellie." Said Frank, cueing up his mic, "Console is a bust, what do we do now?" Frank rapidly looked all around the room, his eyes landing on an overhead screen. Displayed on the screen was a message that said 'Emergency override triggered, shuttle locks disengaged'. The radio attached to the desk began to crackle as transmissions from the shuttles began flooding in.
"Whoever you are, you saved a lot of lives today." said one of the shuttle pilots, "We all owe you a drink when we get out of here."
"This is lieutenant Frank Sutherland, Ariadna Military." Said Frank, trying not to let the panic come through from his "attempt" at hacking into the console, "We'll meet you somewhere safe, get those workers out of here."
"Sir." Shouted one of the Frontoviks from outside the building, "We found a couple of stragglers. Must have been left behind after the Nomads fled the scene."
Frank rushed out the door to see William holding the two captives on the ground, sword pointed down at them in case they tried to escape. The Frontovik was sat down against a cement bollard on the side of the street, clutching her reddened face. "What happened?" Asked Frank, concerned if one of the troops had been seriously injured, "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine." she responded, "This asshole just threw his coffee all over me when we captured him." She used her one free hand to try and wipe the black coffee from her white gear. "This is never going to come out." As Frank approached the two POWs, he could hear they were bickering back and forth between the two of them.
"I'm sorry Petra," said the pudgy man on the ground, "I didn't know they would recognize me."
"Don't say my name in custody you idiot." Said the female interventor next to him, "Now they'll be able to ID us easily." Frank stepped up to the duo on the ground, looking over them for any intel they may have readily available. He spots a lanyard around the guy's neck, fallen out onto the ground in the scuffle. As he squats down, he grabs the ID lanyard off of the ground, and works it around the neck of the man. "Why do you have your ID card on you right now?" said the interventor, "Why would you ever have that on you during a mission?" The interventor squirmed against the restraints binder her hands behind her back. Frank flipped the card around in his hand, and read the info on the front of it.
"So your name is Larry, huh?"