Intelligence Breach [Closed]
Tap... Tap... Tap... The final keystrokes initiating a master plan conceived by genius and woven into the fabric of time with unparalled skill and knowledge. With the final button pressed, the send signal flashed times and then it was whisked away at the speed of light into the great cerebrum known as the Internet. They would call it insanity, facing impossible odds. They would be caught in utter chaos. They would witness Perfection.
Finding Open Networks...
Delivering Unencrypted Message...
To The Salivating Masses of the World,
I have recently infiltrated Dominion Intelligence and accessed priority information, classified at the highest degree. This top-secret information will now be available on the open market for the highest bid. Do not ask why or how I came upon this classified data, for you should only be asking "how much?" The data consists of the following:
The Dominion NOC-List
The Dominion DOC-List
Remote nuclear launch codes and security access
Needless to say this data comes at a high price. By the end of this week I will have chosen the appropriate bidder and sold the information. The auction ends at midnight on Saturday. Do not attempt to trace this message, divine my identity, or intercept either me or this information... all will meet in failure. To respond contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That is all.
"Shit!" The word resounded through the otherwise silent DIO - Dominion Intelligence Operations - headquarters located at an underground facility. "Did you confirm this?"
"Yes, sir. I waited to bring it to you until after Cent-Com confirmed it," the suited agent replied hesitantly.
There was no response from the normally stoic face of DIO Director Nicholas Maestor. Instead, he pressed a red glowing button on the left side of his desk and began speaking in a deep voice. Alarms blared throughout the agency as the screens flashed "Code Red" - everyone stopped what they were doing (that work would be picked up by a lower intelligence agency) and prepared to work on the priority situation. "Battle stations everyone! This is not a drill," the Director's voice boomed through the speakers. "I have authorized a Code Red after confirming a high priority report with Central Command. Three days ago an unknown operator accessed the most secure databases in the Dominion. He remotely downloaded invaluable information and as of today announced to the world through open back-channels that he will be selling it to the highest bidder. I do not need to remind you what the implications of that would be. In two hours I will be personally delivering a report to the Cabinet... so get fucking on it!"
Agents scattered to their stations and began working on one of the greatest threats in Dominion history. So far nothing about the stolen data or the spy was known and leads were scarce. They all knew the price of failure was the fall of the Dominion...
Two hours later the "who's who" of the political and military worlds had gathered in Tribunal Hall for a briefing on the new threat. The three Cabinet members - Secretary of State Count Vincent Alexander X, High Councilor Marius Templarica, and Supreme Allied Commander Malcolm Granger III - were seated at the front, looking down upon the conclave from their benches. The rows of leather seats were filled by the highest ranking members of nearly every pertinent department and agency of the Ministry and their aides. Facing the Cabinet's bench at the floor of the room was the lone figure of Director Nicholas Maestor, giving his initial report on the dire situation.
"...Preliminary reports in the process of being confirmed have given us what little we know of the situation since it came across my desk. Hours ago an unknown person posted a back-channel message to the open nets of the world, accessible by any group or nation. The appearance of this message so soon after the security breach can not be a coincidence and it has been determined that the message came from our spy. The contents of the message indicate that the stolen information include: limited military schematics of some of our operational products; both the Non-Official Cover List and the Dominion-Official Cover List of all spies both foreign and domestic; security protocols for terrorist response teams, evacuation situations, high-profile security needs, and more; access codes to various intelligence and governmental networks; our entire Intelligence community's encryption and decryption keys; the military order of battle, response times, future combat research, and provisional military plans; classified documents on nearly every subject... and the list goes on," the Director said in a long-winded sentence before nearly gasping for air. His voice was calm, firm, and filled with authority as he spoke to the nation's highest and most powerful men. "There is one more thing, which I will get to later," he quickly added in a light voice before moving on. "Needless to say the result of failure would be the crippling of our military capabilities, intelligence community, and national defense as a whole. To paraphrase... we would be sitting dead in the water."
Aides began handing out thick packets of information to all members present at the enclave. They contained all of the recently acquired information about the situation that the Director was now summarizing. "What we have learned about the incident itself is limited. Three days ago an unknown operator hacked into our secure databases through a remote connection and downloaded the above stated data... most likely onto a flash disk. We know nothing of the operator himself, but we have managed to trace the breach to a temporary connection in the colonial holding of Eborall. Unfortunately, we could not trace the message, meaning this 'Robin Hood,' as he calls himself, could be anywhere in the world. Seeing as our only lead is in Eborall, we will operate under the assumption that he is still there." The Director paused for another break from speaking as he sipped a glass of water, leaving a silent room in wonder; so silent a pin was quite literally heard dropping. Not a soul was even murmuring in rumor about the incident - this was far too severe for anything but total obedience and attention. "One more thing. In his espionage, our unknown spy managed to access the launch codes and remote access codes to the high-megaton warhead located in the peak of Fleche Noire. He has stated he will sell the information to this, however, we have gut reason to believe otherwise. Access to the warhead and its facility will not remain very useful for long as we must and will immediately begin dismantling the missile's nuclear core and launch system; due to the nature of this missile, however, it will take approximately thirty-six hours to complete and fully stabilize the situation..."
The Supreme Allied Commander Malcolm Granger III nodded to his chief aide as the Director temporarily hesitated. No doubt he had given consent to begin demobilization and de-nuclearization of the missile.
"...Obviously our spy is no fool and will have anticipated this move. Thus we believe that his reason for accessing this information is to put himself in a place to counter our move of mass mobilizing the military and locking down the island. Such a strong move, if we chose to do so, would antagonize him into warning us to pull back and at last resort, detonating the bomb. I should warn all members here that if we chose to take this dangerous course, the nuclear weapon is one of the largest we have ever produced. It has the capability of destroying the entire island as well as a two hundred mile radius. It would kill the approximately twenty-five million inhabitants of the island, any military we have moved in, severely alter the natural environment, affect surrounding foreign colonies, and have a total affect range of some five thousand miles with oceanic winds."
"I see we have come to an impasse then," the respected High Councilor Marius Templarica stated, speaking for the first time during the enclave. "Do we risk one of the worst nuclear disasters in human history or the worst intelligence breach in Dominion history, leaving our nation unable to defend itself."
The Director continued, answering the High Councilor's comment, "Precisely. Thus I propose the full mobilization of our military - bring us to defense condition one - but do not act. To move forces from our main bases to Eborall would take a minimum of sixty hours, and 'Robin Hood' as stated he will sell the secrets within..." He glanced at his silver watch and quickly calculated the remaining time from then - Thursday at twenty-one thirty-seven - to zero hour, as all relevant countdown timers would now be set, - Saturday at midnight. "Fifty hours, twenty-two minutes, and seventeen seconds. Instead we mobilize the military to prepare the defense of our nation should any nation take advantage of this offer and our precarious situation. Instead we will need to utilize the entirety of the intelligence community as well as the limited military based at Eborall..."
"Sir!" A military aide interrupted the proceedings. "I have Brigadier General Jayson Argus on video uplink." Again, without a word, the Supreme Allied Commander Malcolm Granger III gave a nod, which the aide, a sergeant, took as confirmation. Quickly, he hooked up the transmission to the giant video screens located in Tribunal Hall and the picture of General Argus appeared.
"Sir," he said, directing it at his superior, the Supreme Allied Commander, despite having over two hundred eyes looking back at him. "Status report. I have authorized the mobilization of all military assets located on Eborall. Orders to the navy, consisting solely of Temple Fleet, are to begin a naval blockade of the port at Tia'dar Dieux as well as the entire island; patrols are surrounding the entire island with orders to use all means necessary to prevent escape. The Air Force, consisting of fifty  AH-12s, two hundred  F-90s, twenty  F-44s, two  E-5s, and five  SR-72s, has begun patrols over the island as well as the sea - I have also ordered the temporary grounding of all aviation, with orders to use any means necessary to prevent aircraft from entering or exiting our airspace. The Army has been deployed across the entire island, shutting down the port, the airfields, and setting up checkpoints on the roads. They will be ready to lock down the island in a moment's notice." He paused for a moment with only one more thing to say. "I have also taken the liberty of considering jamming all signals to and from the island with an E-5."
"See it is done," Granger replied as the General saluted and the picture went dark. Turning back to the Director and leaning forward so that he was leaning over his microphone, Granger asked the question that was on everyone's lips. "Director, how do we stop him from sending the information? What's to stop him from sending the data to the entire world as soon as he feels we are getting too close...?"
Silence. Anticipation. "Nothing..." Nothing. The word hung in the air, and the most deafening silence grew from the lowest whisper. "That is why, despite the potentials of failure, I urge us to limit action to only a few covert agents... I know... I do not like it either, but I see no other choice..."
A member of the "gallery" stood up and was heard throughout the large hall despite not having a microphone. "What have we learned of how this was able to happen?"
"Damn why it happened!" The Director boomed, slamming his fist to the table and causing his water to spill out onto the wood. "Leave why to a damn inquiry committee. What we need now is action!" The Colonel sat down immediately with an embarrassed look upon his face.
"Gentlemen," the Supreme Allied Commander said, attempting to diffuse emotions. "We are between a rock and a nuclear missile. We will proceed as the Director has outlined and I will be granting him emergency powers to oversee the operation. The public must not know of the true nature of the threat, but nor are they ignorant enough to believe everything that is about to happen is a mere training exercise. No... we will inform them that a terrorist body is threatening to launch a low-yield weapon at the colony unless we release a political prisoner. Call this message from the spy a fraud with no basis in reality. We need the best on this. Failure is not an option..."
"Robin Hood... Robin Hood... where does this punk bastard get off calling himself Robin fucking Hood." The Director's angry mutterings were deafened to the world by the sound proof encasing of his chauffeured car. A blue light beeped in front of him, alerting him to an incoming call on the secure line. "Speak to me..." he answered the phone.
"Sir, we have been monitoring the e-mail account the spy gave out to be contacted..." came the excitedly dull voice on the other line of the phone; a desk clerk and a relatively low level one at that - but for him, this meaningless task with an already obvious answer was thrilling.
"Go on... and don't piss your pants for heaven's sake..."
"Sorry, sir..." the voice responded, quite embarrassed by the unfamiliar ill-nature of the Director's response. "Sir, though the tag has a dominion.mil address, it is obviously not one of ours. We have identified it as an encrypted free e-mail account hosted by an obscure foreign company and somehow this bugger managed to make it respond to e-mail sent to the account he listed. Not sure why he picked "angel" or "dominion.mil..." but he seems to be mocking us. Naturally we attempted to contact them to shut it down, but they refused our offers. We can tell that there are messages building up in the account, but we have no way of finding out who they are from or their contents. Not even the company that owns the website does. The tech-crew attempted and succeeded in hacking the account's password, but somehow, someway it shows no messages... they are completely baffled... no idea with what's going on. So far the account is all dead-ends..."
The Director hung up without another word. There was no more information to be had from the bodiless voice, even if he was going to keep talking. Instead, the Director picked up the phone and dialed a trio of numbers he had been sent via his PDA.
"... Yes, sir, we've been fully briefed... I understand, sir... Yes, sir... will do, sir." Sitting on a park bench outside a pretzel kiosk by the beach, was Agent Adams, one of the DIO's three operators on Eborall. Calls like these were more symbolic than anything: the Director calling after an operator had already been given his briefing and orders, just to confirm everything and sound like he was in charge of everything. They were boring and unimportant, so instead Sam spent his time finishing down a mustard-topped pretzel and his attention on a well endowed blonde (http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b360/DMG2005/Alexia2.jpg) who was licking off some mustard with finger that she had spilled on her bosom as she walked past. Finally the call ended and Agent Adams began his work...
He began reviewing the information in his mind. A spy infiltrated the Dominion's most secure database and has eluded identification for nearly three days... in Eborall no less. He has no affiliations. No reason other than money to attempt this. And we have no way of stopping him...
The hunt was on for the most dangerous spy in Dominion history...
[ooc: Though the thread says closed, it is actually semi-open... You just have to sign up (and allow me to confirm you before posting) in the "OOC Thread" (http://forums.jolt.co.uk/showthread.php?t=527593).
Please keep all OOC posts out of this thread - I will not take kindly to seeing them here (that is what the OOC thread is for).]
CHIA internal meeting, later that day
New Roanoke Island, Hurtful Thoughts
A group of old men in business suits shuffled into a partially lit room, made cramped merely because of an obscenenly large boardroom table lined with latops...
They sat down in unison, they had these sorts of meetings before, they were never fun...
A man at the head of the table spoke first, "Are there any new developments on the open offer?"
Another man 2 rows down, on the right, responded, "No sir, we aren't even sure if the offer is genuine, plus, we don't want to spark a war between ourselves and DMG if this is just some elaborate way to trap potential enemies."
A person across from him responded with a tinge of frustration, "So we'll have to cover ourselves if that is the case, we can't let this go without trying, DMG has a technological lead on weapons development that we could take advantage of."
"Both your concerns have been noted, so, Rudolf, how do you propose we make this a win-win even if we fail?"
Another person, four rows down and to the left, almost unoticd, and apparently not paying much attention to the discussion mechanically replied:
"Simple, the Dominion, if this is genuine, would no doubt be pulling hairs and teeth trying to stop this security leak, so we shall offer our services as a 'sting operation', get the info first, copy it, and return them the original, if that isn't possable, we botch it enough to appear as if the data was destroyed and give them a wreck."
The chairperson was pleased, "Alright, so now we know we can do an operation, how should we insert our teams?"
A woman, 3 rows down, to the right, gave a hopeful response, "The Dominion's Air defense systems aren't that terrific, we could launch another EHOLA..."
The pesimeist on the right looked over and shouted at her, "We've only done a single EHALO insertion under near-labratory conditions with our best jumpers and we still managed to send one into the hospital, and now you want to send them into a potentially hostile area where such a mistake could kill us all in a nuclear exchange?"
"Well, what about the SS Yahoo, that ship was cleared for inserting up to 40 troops and a pair of APCs without supission..."
"And you, sir, are then well aware of what happened last time we pulled that mess..."
"Ma'm, that was years ago, since then, we have vastly improved the technique, plus, we aren't sending a whole mechanized platoon in this time..."
The chairman, chose to intervene before the arguement went ugly "Scratch both ideas, besides, we don't have anyone on hand for such elaborate missions on short notice, maybe in a week, but not now, we'll have to do another GIN-NOC"
The whole board nodded in agreement, of all the fancy insertion methods dreamt up by FBIA/CHIA, nothing had beaten the simple GIN-NOC method, as an agent inserted in such a way was acredited with the assasination of Cladius Griffencrest during his inaguration speech, even though officials now claim medical sceince saved the old geezer...
"Do we have any new candidates"
"Just one..." a person, just to the chairman's right, flopped\down a single folder. "Just passed through training with high marks, and we have finished cleaing him for a GIN training mission, so we might as wel give him this one"
"Excellent, and if the Dominion agrees to our offer, what shall we send with their knowledge?
"We still have Agent Donnovan, he's been cleared for top-top secret info on... hmmm... I can't find the file.."
"That is because you don't have his clearance, Ma'm..."
"I guess he'll have to do, is this his first field mission?"
"As far as we know, yes. So we'll send a fewof our fresh field agents along to make sure nothing goes wrong, but we'll only inform Donnovan of our true plan. And of Victor. Any guess as to hy this 'benifactor' has chosen the alias "Robin Hood"?"
Nobody had any intellegent answer.
"Good, now lets send the Dominion a friendly telegram..."
Lightly encrypted Inernational security message
CHIA/Dominion Security Agency
We have heard of your, er, troubles with a potential security leak, and would like to be of assistance.
If you spring a trap for him, the agent, whom we presume now knows your system inside and out, would be predicting it and thus, become uncatchable by your own forces.
However, that data does not tell him what the Central Hurtian Intellegence Agency would do to trap him, or they training, or much of anything for that matter regarding the People's Republic Of Hurtful Thoughts altogether.
The goal is rather simple, we send 4 spies, set up a place and time for a one-on-one transaction, and jump him with the other three agfter the transaction, and we give you the data back or destroy it, depending on your prefferance
Metzuda, Capital of Havenic Kahanistan
Lieutenant Colonel Mara Fulton sat at her desk in the Presidential Palace, receiving hourly updates on the activities of the Midlonian soldiers who surrounded it. She had barely escaped the Negev Desert with her life, along with hundreds of government officials, soldiers and generals, when the Doomani arrived in force.
The commander of the Presidential Security Detachment had not forgotten the DMG refusal of her offer (http://www.forums.jolt.co.uk/showpost.php?p=12133296&postcount=4030) to purchase a limited number of F-90 Guardian Angels to protect the President. Well, they had refused her, and the Air Force had sustained heavy casualties evacuating the government. To add insult to injury, many of those who had fled had been handed back to the Doomani to be tortured to death in blood sports. This weighed heavily on Mara's emotions; she had been quite close with the last President.
"Colonel, the Midlonians don't seem to be moving," said Staff Sergeant James Dawkins. "But, I found something in the Palace e-mail you might be interested in." He showed her something on a laptop.
"Do you have any idea what we could get with this?" asked the soldier. "We could chase out the Midlonians, crank out Behemoth III's by the division, get revenge on the Whyaticans and Transylvanians, make the Doomies shit their pants..." His eyes lit up as they met Mara's.
She stood up as the magnitude of the revelation sunk into her. Mara's dark brown hair fell around her shoulders as she gave a rare, soft smile. She detested the Doomani and Freeks above all others; they had taken many of the people she was closest to and killed them horribly. Her face suddenly changed to a hard, serious expression. She sat down and opened her own computer, composing a message to the DMG spy, using her personal e-mail to avoid being traced in case something turned ugly.
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am an officer in the Kahanistanian military. My identity doesn't matter; I am willing to offer forty million UN Standard Dollars from the black budget for the plans to the F-90 Guardian Angel fighter.
Since you will likely be sought out by your nation's government, I can also arrange asylum in Kahanistan for you and your family, as we have no extradition treaty with DMG. Email me back for further information.
Kampfenburg, People's Republic Of Hurtful Thoughts
Public Resturant, "Ed's Eats"
After 'washing out' of CHIA earlier that week, Victor spent considerable time surfing the web or looking for a new line of work, a little company overseas didn't look too bad...
One employer in particular, answering only to the name 'Hans', was offering a simple job in impotrs/exports, plus setting up business deals, starting off with a massive cash bonus and paid vacation. Not a bad offer, and even if they did try to screw him over...
Thus, this was why he was here, for his job interview.
As he sat back, enjoying the view, a man, somewhat old and grizzled, appeared and sat down at his table, and appeared to be reading a magazine, not too uncommon an occurance, provided all other tables were occupied, but they were empty.
"Can I help you, sir?"
The man barely looked up from his book, and replied, "Do you know how hard it is to make some really good gin these days?"
"I wouldn't know, I don't take mixed drinks from strangers"
"I take it your name is Madrid."
"And therefore I can either assume you are Hans, or someone who knows more than what is healthy"
"Niether is being knocked around by the agency, they did it to me, now they are doin it to you, I'm your case worker."
"How did you know I'd take this job?"
"It wouldn't matter which you took, we screened your resume, and prevented legitimate job offers from reaching you, all of them are fronts, the job you chose told us a lot more about you than you revealed during interogattion."
"The one that got you kicked under the RADAR and into the GIN and tonic. So, will you accept this job, or will we have to ruin your life for good? Have you ever wondered how we kept our spies in line, or how none of the flunkies ever found their way into a mercenary corps without our consent?"
Victor was dumbfounded. "So the raids at Husk were not coincedental to our declaration of war".
"Vic, in the world of espianoge, nothing is a coincidence."
"All right Hans, I'll play your game, now tell me the rules."
"You'll be importing some sensitive data, here is a file, read it, memorize it, and burn it, then follow those orders to the letter, understood?"
"Sir, yes Hans sir."
"And cut out all that military etiquete crap, we wiped your file, you'll read about your new life in that folder, now take the money and scram, but don't even try runnining, if you do, we'll find you, and if we can find you, we'll kill you. Understood?"
Victor nodded, and left without saying any words.
Upon opening the folder in the privac of his home, he read his mission, a well laid out plan to capture stolen data from a 'Robin Hood', and included a pre-written leeter for him, to be sent with delay after his arrival inside The Domminion, in the meantime, he arranged his travel plans to a nation or colony within the Domminion most likely Eborall due to its lax laws and massive tourist industry, it made no mention of other agents sent to other lands, though, chances are, there were others being sent out, perhaps one to each island, but never more than 2 agents at a time, and never more than 1 agent per island. There was even a 'recovery/abort' E-mail notification he would recieve if the mission scrubbed, they were thurough little devils down at CHIA, they also essentially erased all except his mandatory military service from the record, and replaced it with a college education in business consultation...
Highly encrypted International security message
From: Al Muslimeen Intelligence
To: Dominion Security Agency
We have receive word of your intelligence bleach and wish to be of some help to your nation in the efforts of tracking down this leak within your intelligence agency. The reason we want to help your nation is in the hopes of creating working relationship between our two respected intelligence agencies. My agency is willing to send two of our agents in order to work closely with your agents in this matter and find the traitor within your organization. We await your reply on our offer to help you.
Head of Al Muslimeen Intelligence- Seyyed Zia'eddin Tabatabaee
Director Maestor sat in the leather chair of his spartan office, staring intently at the large digital readout on the gray stonewall. It was half past one in the morning, but the red numbers told a much more ominous story: 01:22:31:18; one day, twenty-two hours, thirty-one minutes, and eighteen seconds until zero hour. That was the only time that mattered now.
The glass windows that separated his elevated office from the rest of the agency floor were frosted so that only a faint impression of a person could be seen through them. Thus nobody was able to surprise the Director when they came to his office. But for now and the next couple days he would have significantly fewer visitors; everything was being maximized for time, so when someone wanted to speak with the Director they contacted via digital uplink. A light beep on his screen indicated that someone in the agency was trying to get through to him, so he accepted the transmission.
On screen he was greeted by the image of one of the communication's agents working on the floor. "Sir, it seems like the rest of the world is taking this crisis as a reality. But then we couldn't truly hope to keep it secret from the other Intel agencies forever, could we?"
"No... we couldn't..." the Director responded, tired from being up nearly twenty-hours already and dealing with this massive incident.
Obviously the agent on the line understood the words meant for him to get moving with his business, so he cleared his throat and tapped a few keys. "Sir, within the last twenty minutes we received messages from the CHIA in Hurtful Thoughts and Al Muslimeen Intelligence in Ottoman Khalif saying that they wish to help us with our problem. They should be appearing on your screen now..."
The messages appeared as indicated and the Director quickly scanned over them. "We must be careful who we trust... if anyone..." He paused a moment deciding on a course of action. "I will make contact via secure encryption, thank you." As his hand reached forward to press the disconnect button, he stopped and spoke briskly, "And get me a damn update on the situation on the ground," before continuing to disconnect the agent.
As the agent's image disappeared from the screen, the two messages that he had quickly scanned took full view. However, instead of replying via the computer that sat before him, he unlocked a metal drawer in his desk and removed a small PDA-looking device. The entire communications and intelligence network had been compromised, meaning any messages sent into or out of the main network could potentially be intercepted by the spy. Thus the Director was switching over to a network that was not registered anywhere in the Dominion. It essentially did not exist and was undetectable until by even the best technology until it was activated... as it had been two hours ago by the Cabinet. Unfortunately, the Network was not large enough for all of the Dominion's use and could only be effectively optimized with no more than twenty or so connections. He began typing...
Secure Message to CHIA
I suspect the whole world has heard of it now. Needless to say we are in dire straits and will accept your help. However, as you noted, this infiltrator has compromised our secure networks - save this one I have just activated - thus he may be privy to the message you have sent us. If so, you best pray he doesn't reject your offer outright or worse... ambush you
If you still wish to aid us after knowing that, you are welcome to. The four agents may arrive via helicopter on the west side of the island. Exact coordinates will be included with this message - it is just a grassy patch of land where you will be met, briefed, and allowed to carry on with your mission. You must fly in low over the water and respond with the calling code Alpha-Niner-Gamma-Epsilon-Eight, else your transport will be shot down without warning...
Further communications should be kept discreet or sent to this secure network.
Before sending it, the Director read it over. Once he was satisfied that he was sending the type of message he wanted to, it was sent along via the secure Network to CHIA in HT. Once more to go...
Secure Message to Al Muslimeen Intelligence
We thank you for your concern and accept your offer to help. Your agents should come via helicopter to the north end of the island. Exact coordinates will be provided - they will be landing in a field where they will be met by one of our agents.
You must fly in low over the water and respond with the calling code Alpha-Niner-Gamma-Nova-Two, else your transport will be shot down without warning...
Further communications should be kept discreet or sent to this secure network.
Again, the Director read it and re-read it before sending it out. Short and to the point... we'll leave the details for later. However, he had one more message to write, this time to someone who also possessed a connection to the secure Network...
The Supreme Allied Commander Malcolm Granger III read the secure message from the Network on his recently activated device. It was a comprehensive update from the Director, including his thoughts and worries, on the developing situation. This one, unlike the others he had received thus far, was entirely about the recent messages filtered into Dominion Intelligence Operations and the authorization of foreign agents to assist in the recovery and/or destruction of the data. It would not do to have foreign agents, friendly or otherwise, running unchecked in Eborall in this precarious time. They would have to be watched with none the wiser... not the agents, not the spy, and not even the Director.
Granger closed the update and began tapping out an encoded message from the Network to the DeltaNet... to one of the most secret military units in the Dominion. They were not registered or documented anywhere, so it was a physical impossibility for the spy to know of their existence... other than myth. In fact, the man typing away at the keys was one of two men in the world outside of the unit to know of its existence. It was the feared Delta Force. They operated and reported only to the Supreme Allied Commander. Better yet, however, was that they operated on a network even more secretive and secure than the Network, now in use by the upper echelons of the Dominion government. DeltaNet had access to all data and processing power in the Dominion as well as a satellite that was solely tasked to them.
In a matter of minutes they would be boarding a transport to Eborall. More specifically they would be dropping into the waters twenty miles out and swimming in at low depths to avoid detection by the military. Without ever surfacing they would enter their hidden base in the northeast and begin operations. Their first task would be to use profiling software to analyze the incoming foreign agents and track them via the real-time satellite. Mission directive from their on out was up to Delta Force...
Granger's personal device beeped again. The Director had forwarded the most recent update of intelligence and actions on Eborall...
Final deployments of the military had been accomplished just before midnight Dominion Time or around nineteen hundred Standard Colonial Time (STC)...
Temple Fleet had blockaded the ports at Tia'dar Dieux and dispersed the remaining ships around the island. It was quite unusual to see an aircraft carrier sitting by itself, unescorted, but desperate times called for desperate measures and it was supposedly not in any danger from direct attack. Sitting there, bobbing in the water, was one of the largest patrol ships ever imagined. As the large cruisers, destroyers, carriers, submarines, and battleships sat in a protective ring around the island, using their radar and sonar to detect enemy ships and aircraft, the small true patrol ships would actually patrol around the island, warding off incoming ships.
The Army had set up road blocks as instructed, mostly in and around the capital, ready at a moment's notice to lock down the city. Inside the city they created protective perimeters around government facilities and the port itself, so that nobody even attempted to board a ship bound for international waters. The airport was filled with troops, the runways blocked by vehicles, and the planes locked in their hangars. However, in an unprecedented move, the Army secured all privately owned aircraft that were housed elsewhere on the island such as personal helicopters owned by rich island-dwellers, especially those in the suburb of Cielo Rico. They had also deployed at various spots around the perimeter of the island, capable of reaching most points in no time at all... For time was of the essence.
The Air Force was the first to finish its deployment, shutting down the skies in a matter of minutes after being called on to do so. F-90s patrolled the skies at a low level, scanning the horizons for aircraft dumb enough to attempt to enter colonial airspace...
However, a single pair of F-90s had been tasked to a special mission. They sat awaiting instructions on the runway at Fleche Noire Air Base built at the base of the mountain. Soon, a convoy of humvees and Legionnaires drove through the base's main gate and did not stop until they reached one of the hangars. The door began opening slowly, at first allowing just the vehicles in, but eventually making enough room for the lone jet inside to exit. As the convoy came to a stop and roughly fifty suited agents stepped out of the SUVs, the plane's engines started up and the door popped open, revealing a staircase up. When all was secure and ready to go, the middle Legionnaire's door open and out stepped the young Prince Ali (http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b360/DMG2005/Ali.jpg) followed by his gorgeous sister, Princess Elisa (http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b360/DMG2005/PrincessElisa.jpg). The agents, though respectful of the Royals, quickly hurried them onto waiting Royal jet. Within moments it had taxied onto the runway, flanked on either side by the F-90s. And then in a blast of energy, the engines sent the trio of planes zooming across the runway and soaring into the air.
The transmission from the air base to the Dominion was short and quick, "CentCom, the Eagle is away."
Agent Adams was not dressed in a tuxedo or even a suit as secret agents were often portrayed in movies and television. No, instead he was lying on a lounge chair at the beach in his swim trunks and a pair of sunglasses. Perhaps it looked otherwise, but he was actively scanning information through the lens-screens. Ahead of him, over the water, the sun was slowly beginning to descend and within an hour or so it would provide a most serene and beautiful sight as its rays refracted in the water as it was doused by the horizon. However, to his left was perhaps an even more beautiful sight. The blonde that had passed him earlier turned out to be very affable and soon they had become "friends." That was one thing the movies got right, Adams noted, suave. Why was it that the Director had to keep spoiling these moments with his calls...
"You are to make contact with the radar crews aboard the DDN Lightning and the DDN Fleming. They do not know you are coming... so be patient. You are to alert them that when they track low flying helicopters tonight, they are not to alert, mention, or report it to anybody. Strictly off the books. Your PDA should be receiving a pair of calling codes, they are for the visitors tonight to respond with..."
"Yes, sir. I'll get right on that, sir," Adams said mundanely before disconnecting the secure transmission.
"What was that?" the blonde next to him asked as she flipped over onto her back, once again revealing her ample bosom and revealing bikini to the world. She had a body to die for, with all the right curves in all the right places. Her tanned skin glistened in the sunlight, as a bead of perspiration ran down her neck and onto her chest. Her hair was had a simply metal clip pulling it back into a bun. She looked up at him with those stunning eyes, waiting in anticipation.
"Nothing, baby... just my boss wanting me to meet a client on vacation here," he responded as he met her eyes behind his glasses. He glanced down at his fine gold watch, noting the time as he stood. "I'll be back in two hours max. Then I'll take you out for dinner at The Wharf. Say twe..err.. nine o'clock."
She smiled. "Alright, Sam. It's a date. And don't you dare stand me up," she said playfully before rolling back stomach, pressing her breasts against the chair and her curvaceous behind into the air.
With one more glance at that body, Agent Adams turned and crossed the sandy beach to the single lane parking area. Stopping in a cabana for a moment, he quickly changed into something a bit more presentable. Then he hopped into an expensive convertible with manual transmission and roared onto the street. Once he reached the city gates, there would be no speed limit (so long as one is driving safely) and he would be able to take off like the wind. Popping in an earpiece, he spoke some numbers and it started dialing. The first was the simplest of calls: a reservation at the upscale restaurant The Wharf, where only the rich and well-connected, like Adams' cover, prime real estate developer, could get a table. "Nine o'clock... yes... name is Adams. Yes, thank you. Oh, and a lady by the name of Alexia may arrive before me... please just show her to the table. Thank you, very much."
Though his first call was completed, he would wait until he passed under the black iron gates of the city entrance before making his next trio. In the meantime he entertained himself with the various sights of the beautiful city and the thoughts of his new lady friend. As he passed the Seaside Aquarium, he thought about her. She was drop-dead gorgeous and fun to-boot, but she was also a useful cover. Her presence gave him an alibi, a cover, and allowed him to go places like the restaurant without looking suspicious or out of place (if he were by himself). Very handy indeed.
A few minutes later he was passing under the large, wrought iron gate and onto the "country" roads. In his rearview mirror he read the gold name in reverse, Tia'dar Dieux. The roads out there were in very good condition as few people actually drove on them daily. Though near-perfectly straight with almost no turns or curves, the roads were at most two-lanes wide each direction and not the best in the world for fast driving. In some places there was only one lane each direction and high speeds could become dangerous if needing to pass people. Plus, nobody who usually drove out in the "country" had anywhere they needed to get to particularly fast, so people generally kept to the low seventies. Adams, however, had a two hundred mile trip from the south to the north, to the west, and back to the south in two hours. So the moment he was past the gates, he hit the gas and switched into second gear... and then third gear... and then fourth gear... and then fifth gear... and then sixth gear... Soon he was pushing one-fifty and the passing scenery was just a blur of green.
Now that he was moving along comfortably, he decided to make his other calls. He switched it over to a secure line and again he spoke a few memorized numbers. Three rings later the connection had been made. "Operator X here," he spoke calmly as he blazed along the road. "Confirm code Charlie-Baker-Ro-Three-Niner-Zero."
The voice on the other end, known to Agent Adams only as Operator Y for security reasons, spoke in his husky voice, "Operator Y present. Confirm code Alpha-Six-Bravo-Three-Venus-Seven." The earpieces would be running consistent voice checks on the person on the other line, but they still had daily security codes to confirm.
"I assume you've received the most recent update," Adams said after they had confirmed each other's identities. "You are to rendezvous with the CHIA foreign agents to brief them and politely ask them if they mind having tracking devices installed," he stated, chuckling at the last part. Though technically there were no ranks or chain of command between the agents stationed on the island, Adams, or X, was the senior member and thus often doled out responsibilities. "After that you let them go do whatever and then get back on your mission."
"Roger that." Without another word they disconnected. Each of the three agents was entrusted with a different aspect of the mission; Agent Y's job was to identify how the spy broke in and then work on tracking him down. And he was damn good at it - knew computers inside and out. It was only a matter of time...
The next call that Adams voice-dialed was the third member of the trio. Ring.... Ring.... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Seven rings before it ended. It was strange that an Operator would answer his phone unless he was in a precarious situation where the noise or distraction could prove deadly to the mission or his-self. Then again Agent Z was tasked with the dirty work and it was quite reasonable for him to be in one of those situations. It was pointless, but Adams redialed just to make sure. Ring.... Ring.... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Again, seven rings and then dead. No matter, he would simply call later after his first stop.
This last call on his journey required a bit more delicacy then the others had. He even switched back into fifth gear and slowed to one-twenty in order to focus more of his energy on the call. "3-1-4-4-2-7-8-7," he spoke the eight numbers louder than he had previously. It rang four times before a voice piqued on the other side...
"Yes?" One word, revealing nothing, and a whisper of voice that was very difficult for the computer to confirm.
"An owl may be sleeping on the open plains, but even a reindeer has no wings..." The single, seemingly nonsensical sentence was the code, letting Adams' contact know it was him.
"Yes?" The voice repeated. That's as good as a go-ahead he would ever get.
"The information... did you get it?" Adams asked, getting right to the point as his contact wanted.
"All of it?" There was no reason to ask. If he hadn't gotten all of it, he would have said so already.
"Tonight, nine-forty, The Wharf restaurant. Be there." Even before he finished the sentence, his contact had disconnected the line. Annoying as it was, he never said whether he was going to be there or not, he just sort of showed up. Despite "working together" smoothly for the past few years, neither truly trusted the other. However, it was the contact, not Adams, that would insist on meeting in a public place. The Wharf was actually perfect. It was public, but it was restricted entrance to the well-off. They would be seen and noticed, but not remembered. And the people there were more focused on keeping others out of their business then snooping on someone else's. Besides, he was already heading there for dinner...
With his calls done, he cruised along at nigh one hundred fifty miles per hour, potential military checkpoints blurred into oblivion, and arrived at the northwestern naval base in no time. He passed through the gate, waved along by the guards who had received orders from Dominion CentCom to allow this person to pass, and was motored out to a Sentry Class AA Destroyer, the DDN Lightning, some miles to the east. Officially, he was there to ensure that the ship was prepared for its task, giving him ample reason to spend a few minutes in the radar area. A few words here and there and he managed to get the radar operators alone. He then passed along the classified directive from the Director, instructing them to effectively ignore the low flying helicopter responding to the proper code as if it was not there. When Adams was sure that they understood him properly and follow orders without alerting their superiors, or anybody else for that matter, he left, promising the ship's captain that he was going to give a spotless rating.
His next stop, somewhere along the upper west part of the island, was probably less than thirty miles from the naval base. Once he was back out on the road, it would only be a ten or fifteen minute drive to the beach where he would be picked up and brought to the ship under the same guise as his recent stop.
On the way, he decided to phone Operator Z again. Once again he ordered the earpiece to dial the number and once again he got seven resounding Rings... and then a dead line. Hmmm... he thought, That's a little odd. For the rest of the short ride, he debated back and forth in his mind what could be up with Z. Was something actually wrong? Or was he just indisposed at the moment? What should Adams do?
However, he soon found himself slowing and pulling off the main road onto a little dirt path that led to the beach. At the end of it there were some dunes followed by a white sandy beach and then the ever-stretching ocean. Pulled up almost onto the sand so that Adams wouldn't have to get wet was a rigid hull inflatable boat with a pair of armed sailors waiting for him. After verifying his credentials, they took him out a couple thousand feet and onto another Sentry Class AA Destroyer, the DDN Fleming. Once aboard he went about the same routine as before, "checking over the operations" of the boat and performing a "status evaluation" for their air and sea defense job. And again, like before, he managed some alone time with the radar crew, slipping them the directive and making sure they understood what they were to do... or rather, what they were not to do.
He was on and off in under ten minutes, shorter than the time he had spent on the previous boat. Perhaps it was because his mind was still preoccupied by Operator Z's non-responses. Either way, once delivered ashore and back in his car, he sat, engine running but not moving, and dialed the number again... and again... and again. Six times in the past two hours without a single response. Something was wrong... or at least his gut said so.
Hitting the gas, he ramped it up into six gear and sped along the end leg of his two hundred mile trip. Again he made a call, but this time to the Director rather than Z. Thankfully, the man did not torture him by letting it ring long. Even in the midst of the wee hours of the morning in the Dominion, the Director was sitting vigilantly at his desk. "Sir," Adams began. "I know this unusual, but I think something is wrong. I have tried to contact Z six times and he hasn't responded once or made any effort to contact me. I need his most recent address..."
"And you plan on going there, do you? Even though you know you aren't supposed to know his identity..." The Director said, nearly yawning from exhaustion. "I guess this whole day has been pretty screwed up anyway... how much more damage could that do. You'll have it by the time you reach the city..."
"Thank you, sir!" Adams responded to the dead line.
His adrenaline began pumping, he was now flooring the car, pushing one-seventy, and thinking about whether Z had gotten into something too deep or just switched his ear piece off... but no... that was unthinkable to actually turn it off. Maybe switch it to silent or reject calls for some time or just let it ring, but not turn it off - that was mad talk. As he zoomed along, taking the light hills in the air, his PDA beeped and read out an address:
The Bellview Building
1124 Edgemore Avenue
Adams knew where the building was - among the small skyline by the beaches - regardless if he had been given an exact address or not; he just knew the city like the back of his hand. When he saw the gold letters of the gate welcoming him into the city, he slowed considerably to around forty miles per hour, though still over the speed limit for most of the roads he would take. At the moment, he didn't really care...
At night, the building district was considerably quieter than the day as the entertainment district heated up and drew the crowds. Traffic was thus quite light and he pulled up out front of the Bellview within seven or eight minutes...
[ooc: italicized writing in this section is the "recent past" while non-italicized writing is the "present".]
As the elevator doors opened, revealing the warmly lit hallway and well-decorated foyer, Adams' hand slipped into his jacket and grasped the handle of his gun tight. Slowly he moved down the hallway to the right, creeping without noise, until he came to the door marked #1308. Ghastly silent.
The elevator doors opened as it reached floor thirteen. A person stepped out onto the rug, red as blood, and proceeded down the hallway with a strong, confident stride. Upon finding apartment 1308, a noise caught the ears; the noise of running water.
The door was open ajar and the chain lock seemed to be unclipped - the worst possible sign. Gripping the gun tightly and pulling it from the holster, Adams got low and to the side before pushing open the door.
The door was locked... but not for long. A small device slipped into mag-reader and a pen-shaped "fusion cutter" to the chain-link lock and the door was now accessible. Pushing it open, the sound of the shower became even louder, and the person arrogantly walked into the apartment without care.
The lights were off - perhaps he wasn't here - perhaps the bad guy was. Even in the dark he could tell it was a small semi-studio apartment, with no more than a room and a half. He took the few corners that there were with caution, peeking around the side and then coming out rapidly, bearing his gun. The half room kitchen was most obviously empty - there was no room for anyone. He looked into the bathroom, using the mirror to see if anyone was laying in wait, and then cleared it.
Only a lamp next to the computer on the desk was on. Quickly routing around in the drawer under it, the pair of pistols was found. One as quickly unloaded and dismantled - no longer a threat to the intruder - while the other was taken up by the empty hand. The television was on but muted, carrying late news coverage of the unfolding developments in Eborall. The intruder took a seat one of the comfortable chairs and waited...
Adams came around the corner into the hotel-style bedroom (bed, desk, chairs, mini-table, and television). However, in the dark it was hard to see much...
Soon the water stopped and Daniel Farstine came out of the bathroom with a towel around his waist and another drying his face and hair off. Not until he was halfway across the room did he see the person sitting calmly in his chair. A double-tap to the head with his own gun and Daniel, Operator Z, hit the floor, blood oozing from his skull...
"Fuck!" Adams screamed, no longer caring about secrecy. Upon reaching the light switch and flicking it up, he saw the lifeless body of whom he had to assume was Operator Z, lying on the floor in a pool of blood. "Fuck, fuck, FUCK!" He had to get out. Quickly, he turned, leaving the scene and body behind, and entered the still waiting elevator.
Without saying a word, the killer wiped the gun down and tossed it onto the bed. The computer was the next thing of importance. Inserting a device no larger than a finger into one of the various slots, it blinked with increasing frequency until it was a solid blue light. It was then removed and the killer opened a program and began typing a message. When it was done and transmitted, the door was left open ajar and the killer disappeared...
I have no interest in fleeing the Dominion. Nor do I wish to be granted asylum and reveal my identity to your country's intelligence service.
I am not selling the data in parts. It is all or nothing. And please, forty million? The designs for the F-90 are worth considerably more than that. Hell, a single F-90 is worth considerably more than that.
Please, do not insult me.
Adams had wasted no time in leaving the scene, hopping into his car and heading off. Instinctively, he phoned the Director. It rang five times... five times too many for Adams in that state of mind. "Sir, he's dead. He's dead! It looked so damn perfect... and he's fucking dead!"
"Calm down, CALM DOWN DAMN IT!" The Director said, now fully awake as a shot of adrenaline coursed through him. "We will send a cleanup team to deal with everything. Samuel... Samuel... you were trained for this. Just focus on the job you have to do."
For a couple of moments Adams said nothing, just breathed deeply. "You're right..." he said, sounding slightly more calm. "You're right." Then the line went dead.
Adams pulled over to the side of the road, a little disoriented from driving without any real direction. However, in only a moment's time, he had figured out where he was and where he needed to get to... The Wharf. Luckily, it was only ten or so blocks from his current position. Driving within the speed limit now and hitting mostly green lights, it took him only five minutes to arrive at the restaurant. Valet parking shaved off any time it would have taken to find a spot.
"Scratch it and your dead," he said, tossing the keys to the young valet attendant. Five powerful strides and he was in the door. "Hello," he said, back to his cool and suave self, "I have a reservation for nine - name's Adams."
"Certainly, sir," the young brunette maitre'd said with a smile as she found his name on the list. "Just a little bit late, but I think there is someone already here waiting. If you'll follow me..." She led him outside into the flower-adorned, garden dining area that literally hung over the water. It was not too large, only a few tables, of which about half were occupied, and was quite spacious. Adams smiled, dismissing the girl.
At a table right by the railing sat a dressed up, Alexia. When he saw her, he literally stopped in his tracks. She was wearing a sexy, strapless red dress that clung to her body and dipped slightly around her cleavage, seeming to accentuate her bosom. A simple necklace complimented her beautiful face, red lips, and curled hair. Long legs ended at her well-manicured feet, topped off by an anklet and red stiletto sandals. "Samuel... are you just going to stand there? You've already kept me waiting for twenty-five minutes..." She said, breaking the silence with her soothing and playful tone.
"I-I'm sorry," he stumbled as he smoothed his shirt and closed the distance between them. "I was just noticing how well you clean up..."
She smirked wryly. "I'll take that as a compliment..."
Smooth Sam... she doesn't know a thing is wrong.
Fifteen minutes passed as they chatted casually and sometimes more than casually. As he glanced at his watch he noticed the big hand hit the eight, signaling it was nine-forty. However, with a glance through the window into the restaurant, he saw no sign of his contact. Slowly time ticked away... at first it was a minute, and then another, and then another, and then another.
Fifteen minutes more and still he hadn't shown up. Something had obviously spooked him. In the last three years he hadn't failed to show up even once. His PDA beeped three times, indicating a new message. Breaking eye contact with Alexia for just a moment to glance down, he quickly read the message:
You are being watched...
Same conferance, just 40 minutes after we last saw them:
The message was recieved, and every sentance was analyzed for any hidden meaning, or any intel he may have unintentionally let slip in his high stress situation.
The operative may still have complete access to the Eborall's networks.
The operative may know CHIA is acting in conjunction with Eborallan security agencies.
Erbolla is under armed quarantine
They want to pull all the strings even after they lost control
They are attempting to show concern for foriegn spies
They want the spies to arrive in the open and exposed
They didn't mention when exactly...
Two could play at this game...
They started making some calls...
But they did not return The E-mail.
Former nation of Khornate Tribes
'Refugee camp' set up by Hurtians in wake of civil war and conquest of Griffencrest Mercenaries.
Grant checked a few of his E-mails for job offers, and found a reply, oddly, it was from CHIA, so they found the Five point Mafia after all... So much for running away and hiding from them forever, he wondered how many hours he and his former CHIA agents would have before their execution.
To humur the CHIA backstabbers, he opened the E-mail, and read it.
He smiled, as he just found himself his first client.
Victor Madrid's apartment
Victor had passed out for a time on the couch, having failed to arrange a trip into Eborall. Having nothing better to do, as he tried to write up an explanation for his failure, he checked his E-mail.
Vacation canceled, report to Kampfenburg International Airport within 30 minutes or you will be fired.
20 inutes later:
Donnovan stood at the tarmac, he had already been briefed and in turn, had briefed his men on the mission, leaving out certain details, they borded the plane.
20 minutes afterwards:
The plane still sat there, due to technical delays, Donnovan decided to see what the mechanic was working on outside and ordered his men to remain seated.
Outside, was Victor Madrid, in full flight suit, being fitted to the wheel well of the plane, Donnovan shook his hand, they slapped him into place, closed the door, and wityhin 2 minutes were in the air, bound for Eborall.
A considerable time later
The plane, officially, carried 6 people, while it really had 7, they approached the coast and gave their clearance of A9GE8 in the correct phonetic code, and proceeded to land. The plane was one of PROHT's five aging V-22 helicopters, now resserved only for special long distance missions requiring VTOL but not much cargo. It was refueled in-flight by a converted B-52.
By the time they reached the grassy spot, it was quite dark, since the Hurtians assumed that the traitor would want to take the opprotunity to get a glimse of his targets, little would he know that the one person he should be worrying about was going to be nowhere near there...
To: email@example.com. AKA 'Robin Hood'
From: 5 Points Mafia, Khornate Tribes
We are quite interested in your offer, as it would help our business immensly to know exactly what DMG has on its table. Budget is a bit tight, but we can scrape together a couple of million and a gaurantee that niether the Dominion nor their CHIA cohorts will get you.
You really think you are the only former spy who decided to tap into their former employer's networks? We have taps from CHIA to the Griffencrest Corporation, and some ties with the black hand of Nod... Perhaps a trade of information would suffice for lack of funds?
Refuse, and we could leave you to fend for yourself, or worse, we could hunt you down as well, and not for the data you are peddling, just you. Besides, we could use a person like you on the team...
Agents Faraj Suhail and Coskun Kostandin were the two agents assign to the mission of helping DMG hunt down the insider within their Intel agency. Agent Suhail was of Persian-Indian background and Agent Kostandin of Turkish-Albanian background, they both wore black suits, and both had HK P9 handguns that were concealed in their coats. They were given two objectives was the primary which was to help find and capture the insider, the secondary objective was to get their hands on the information that Insider has..but Heads of AMI stressed the fact this was secondary(i.e not important) and if they were caught, the AMI heads were declared them rouges and deny any involvement in ordering to do this action.
The agents were traveling to Eborall, on a private helicopter to maintain low profile. The helicopter was flying low as per DMG request and was were quickly coming within DMG air space, and they send out the coded message to their DMG counterparts before they landed and awaited a replied
Colonel Fulton was no idiot. She had personally made an offer of nearly a billion UN Standard Dollars for five F-90's, but she wanted to see how low she could talk the agent to. She looked over the letter. Did I go too low...? Well, he wasn't going to sell her the data in pieces, and she'd have her work cut out for her persuading the Senate to authorize mass spending on what was effectively a colossal box of chocolates.
The young woman sat down at her desk, opening her laptop. She briefly glimpsed a reflection of her long dark hair, soft gray eyes and warm facial features, and was struck by how much older she looked the last few months; the face was that of a woman in her mid-thirties. In actuality she was only 28. Comes with the job, I suppose, she thought grimly. She'd lost people she'd cared about deeply in the Freekish war, the Doomani war and even a training accident in Pact of Iron territory gone horribly wrong.
Well, how much does a Demogade need to live on in luxury for the rest of his life? According to the latest almanac figures (http://www.sunsetrpg.com/economystatistics.php?nation=DMG), which had a habit of being horribly unreliable for some nations, the Dominion of DMG had a per-capita GPA of $43,537. Fulton figured that to enjoy a comfortable, Bill Gates-esque existence for the next 100 years, something on the order of $90 billion should suffice for keeping the spy's family living in obscene luxury. Of course, I could be horribly wrong... she thought as she began to compose her response.
Very well, your safety is officially of no concern to us. My offer of asylum still stands, but we will purchase the entire database for $90 billion USD.
The lone V-22 went to the pre-determined location, and picked a convienent location.
"Dropping identification flare"
A small parachute parcel fell from the plane as it made a circle around the grassy field, it was a battery operated parachute mounted strobe, it didn't light up...
"Flare failed to activate, launching another..."
Another strobe was released, this time it worked, basking the field intermitently in near blinding light, it was a measure designed to confuse any would be observers...
The plane barely touched down when a pair of men at both sides each hefted a large crate out the side openings, on the plane's port was a slender woman, and a rather muscular man, the man had a 36 inch long firearm slung over his back, with a 12 inch diameter drum sticking out the side, it appeard to be a light machine gun, the woman did not appear to carry a gun.
On the starboard was a pair of men, one was armed with the already described weapon, and the other, was apparently unarmed.
All these men wore brown and green sports jackets.
The two groups hopped out of the V-22 as it lifted off, the men carrying guns flopped themselves on the ground at opposite corners if one drew a box, using each person as a corner.
The other two then pulled what looked like a tiny machine pistol out of their right breast holsters, which had been concealed under their coats, followed by a pair of long slender rods, wich were screwed together, and then screwed onto the end of the machine pistols, and the stocks extended, these weapons were called HAP-655s by the Hurtian government, and were extremely favored weapons by CHIA.
Upon assembling the HAP-655 into Assault rifle configuration, These two went into a prone position, after whicg the two men manning the weapons resembling LMGs stood up, leaving the guns were they lay, those guns were called the SHAW-12K, a rather new design, it didn't fire rifle bullets like most machine guns, it fired 19 mm slugs, otherwise known as 12 gauge shotgun shells at a rate of 350 per minute, and was claimed to be the best CQB weapon ever developed for urban warfare.
At this time the flare had started to go under the treeline, plunging the ground in consistant darkness, rather than intermittently and intentionally blinding anyone who looked at the sky, one could still see the flare beeping under the treeline though.
One of the men at a holding position looked into the woods to see another 'flare' beeping in its own way.
"We could use a bit more light over here, we can't see what's inside our pallets."
A radio crackled back: "Moving a bit slow are we? We'll make another pass with the spotlight, but we'll have to go soon"
"Then by all means, rise to cruise altitude and drop a flare if you have to"
And as they scanned the horizon, another flare started blinking in the sky...
The woman in the other corner remarked how annoying such instruments were, though not so politely.
The other two men had already unsheated knives from their ankle holsters and pried the lids off the crates, revealing a pair of large suitcases and a backpack each, these two men slung the daypacks on and set the briefcases next to the other two, they then picked up their SHAWs, and the man and woman then dissassembled their HAP-655s and hid them again, followed by retrieving their briefcases.
It was around this time they saw a car approach on the horizon.
"I want to see tose boxes gone, move! We've got bogies!"
All four members of the team wasted no time collapsing the boxes, wich were cardboard with wooden inserts for stiffness, and then stowed the entire contents inside one of the backpacks.
As the car slowed to a stop by them, one of the men took two steps forward as the rest formed an even line behind him.
The members immediately went from parade rest to attention, and instinctively shot out a salute. The only one not saluting, was Donnovan, who was considering at that very moment what woul happen if he was wrong this time.
Victor Madrid managed to land sometime arond when the first flare was hitting the ground, followed by the fourth and final flare, to make matters more confusing, the first flare to turn off was his, followed by the 'dud' activating, then the fourth turning off, then the second, then the fourth turns on again, followed by the first and fourth shutting down at the same time...
The goal was to make tracking the flares as difficult and confusing as possable, and to also make searchers doubt ther count of how many flares were actually dropped...
To add the fun, the flares had soundmakers that gave a 30 second delayed echo of whatever it recorded in a 10 second stretch of time, plus a pre-recorded distracting sound such as leaves rustling under someone's footsteps or a sneeze, and during the flare startup, they had a tendancy to bang and make a report similar to an assault rifle, which when coupled with the strobe lighting effect, was calculated to cause great confusion to any would be sniper or illegal observer...
Throughout al this, Vic managed to deflate his chute, and sat tight, unlike his campanions, he wore a ghillie suit, but still carried both a SHAW-12, or rather, a Five Point Mafia prototype, and a HAP-655, but with a more limited supply of ammunition, the goal being to pass him off as a member of the Five Points, he had also spent most of the trip not sleeping, but reading up on the particular culture and habits of the Khornate Tribesmen.
Though the brush, he watched the plane circle overhead, making low passes in order to keep a sky-gazer's attention on it and not on what was in the sky, and made a point to fly over every flare but his with calculated frequency. He also watched as Donnovan kept the others from knowing of his existance, as ordered. CHIA was right to send him as the control in this mission. He also managed to spot a car pulling off the road and onto the grass field as the group finished making it look as if they did nothing wrong, even to the point of breaking down the crates and packing them out.
SIC of course:
I represent prospective buyers from another country. In total, they have
granted me a number of options to arrange the purchase of these items:
A life-time supply of extensive equipment
It is of greatest importance that my sponsors receive this information; hence
they have asked me to guarantee that we will receive the prize. This is a
secure line, and mine eyes are the only that see what is on this message.
Please reply if we interest you.
Michelle closed her laptop, disabling the wireless connector, and she idly smoked for some time at the café on Rue Saint Valentin, waiting for a reply. Her sponsors would be pleased, but she first had to receive notice and keep it secret. There were elements that would not like what she was doing, so she was warned to guard against those elements, domestic and foreign.
"Mlle Thugant, you have a call from inside."
Michelle stood up, carefully carrying her case inside. The café owner handed the phone to her as she heard a deep and hollow voice: "Michelle, do not go outside. Take the back door and head for Rue Charlemagne. A man will hand you a portfolio containing documents and a key. Read the instructions carefully before continuing."
She hung up and asked the owner for the back door. He pointed aimlessly to the back, by the WC. She walked casually out, carrying the laptop into the alley, where she made her way to Rue Charlemagne. It was a short street, and lined with fancy boutiques by the Moulin Rouge. She walked to Yves Sainte-Claire and waited. After a minute of browsing, a man came over and gently patted her back. "N'oublie pas les instructions. Elles sont au comptoir-là." Don't forget the instructions. They are over at that counter.
Michelle took the portfolio and entered the boutique. The manager of the store was arranging shirts and skirts as she idly made her way to the back to the counter. It wasn't rather obvious, but she didn't spend too much time looking through the desk. The instructions were simple: "Il se trouve aux Deux Moulins." It is at the Deux Moulins.
The Black Agents
10 years... Thats how long James Cameron had had working in the Dominions intelligence Department. Working his way up from internship to mail room boy, and getting his masters in Linguistics earning him a small place in the Intel world. It was slow and coming. But making it to agent status was a his greatest accomplishment. Or atleast that was which it was to be believed. His long term service only being a shadow of his true mission; Which was to keep his eye out for key individuals. Not for the Dominion but for other people, people who should never be spoken of.
" Hey James!" shouted a fellow agent who's name is not important.
" You hear about the security leak... ( gets close to james face ) someone broke the encryptions on just about everything.. bastards got the info out for the highest bidder. "
" Really? " said james with a puesdo- concerned voice
" What kind of information we talking about? codes .. plans, personnels love lives?" asked James
" Everything. Plans, codes, the works. But everyone here got their mouths shut about the whole deal I only found out cause I over heard some big wigs talking about it as they came out of their plush exe-bathrooms." said the other agent as he grabbed a cup of coffee off the counter top in the break room.
" Wow I bet that kind of information would fetch an ungodly amount of money...atleast a trillion." said James as he sipped from his cup, cooling it down a little before taking a bigger julp.
" Any Idea as to whos doing it all?" asked James as he put a pack of noodles into the microwave
" Not as far as I have heard. " said the other agent
James nodded silently as the other agent walked out flirting with one of the office assistants.
The rest of their dinner date went by in a blur. Normally, sitting down to an expensive dinner on the patio of a highly selective restaurant surrounded by roses and hanging over the water was quite pleasing to Adams, especially in present company. However, as Alexia talked and then they ate, he did neither; his head was racing to process everything that was happening. Z is dead... foreign agents are entering the colony... and now I'm being watched? What the fuck am I up against? What if this is an entire cell... It would make a lot of sense if it was an entire group that was pulling this off; more than likely a single person couldn't have bypassed the entire intelligence community's security by himself, not to mention kill an undercover federal agent and monitor another. Perhaps the writing in the message was to make them think it was a single perpetrator. All of these thoughts clouded his mind as he descended into paranoia.
When they had finished their dinner and his date had polished off a small cup of whipped cream topped chocolate ice cream, Adams paid the check in cash, not wanting to leave any trace, just in case, and they left. In the silence of the night and dim talking atmosphere of the patio, Alexia's stiletto heels clicked distinctly on the stone, calling more attention to the stunning lady from the other patrons then Sam would have liked. However, as luck would have it, at least in Adams' mind, Alexia had taken a leisurely stroll over to the restaurant, so he would be giving her a ride home. Often, on dates like these, he wouldn't mind a little moonlight walk on the boardwalk, being the romantic that he was, but tonight he had a sense of urgency and fear - fear for her life. If they had been watching him, then they obviously knew about her, and he didn't want to risk putting her in any more danger that night. Getting her home safely was key, and then in the morning he could figure out how to deal with her. So he did what he had been taught to do, he lied; he lied telling her that he had to get up with the sun to do something involved with his earlier task that night.
As the valet pulled up with his car, he didn't even bother giving it the once over for dings and scratches that he normally did. He simply opened her door and helped her in before scampering over to the driver's side and tossing the car into drive.
Her apartment building wasn't far, and with his demonic driving they arrived in no time at all. Pulling up to the front door, he hopped out and ran around to open her door. Despite his frazzled state of mind, his eyes caught her exposed thigh as she got out of the car, taking his hand for balance. She pulled him to the building's entrance and gave him a light peck on the cheek before thanking him for the evening and wishing him 'good night.' Coolly, he responded with similar compliments and then watched her walk into the lobby of her building and disappear around the corner for the elevators.
Once she was gone, Sam turned to the doorman standing only a few feet away, "Say... you didn't see any strange characters around here today, did you?"
"Sir?" the doorman responded with a quizzical look.
"I mean just anybody who didn't seem to fit or you didn't recognize?"
"No, sir. Just some kids on skateboards."
Nodding briefly, Adams returned to his car and looked up at the building's numerous windows just in time to see one near the top light - Alexia's, he'd like to think.
A green light blinked aboard the DDN Lightning - the radar showed a slow incoming aircraft of the port side. A brief glance down showed the automated callsign script under the blip showing the proper code. The signal was taken by the ship's systems and fed directly into the computer - no human ears would hear it and only the radar attendees would notice it. But the two radar attendees didn't react. They had their orders...
As the helicopter came in low over the ground, a simple beep was sent to the aircraft from a remote location - a confirmation of the prior arranged agreement. Slowly it descended, blowing the tight grass to the side and penetrating the silent night with its blades. As it touched down and the two Ottoman agents stepped out, the doors of a black suburban only ten meters away opened in the black of night and out stepped two "smartly" dressed men.
The one closer to the helicopter on the passenger side spoke, "Agent Hopkins... Agent Mendez. Get in the car."
As the two Ottoman agents complied, getting into the backseat of the suburban, Hopkins and Mendez returned to their seats and started up the vehicle. In the dead of night, with a new moon missing from the sky and only the distant stars to provide light to the rural island, they ran dark without any lights. It would seem to be a miracle that Hopkins was driving calmly, but even though they weren't on the road, the island had a hard soil with thick short grass but almost no rocks and certainly nothing that could pose dangerous to the vehicle. All he had to do was turn south and hit the engine and they were on their way.
After about five minutes of silence where the Eborallian agents sat in the front seat staring forward and the Ottoman agents did similarly in the back, Mendez began speaking, not even bothering to turn around as in the dark of night it would do no good. "Welcome to the Dominion's Royal Colony. You want any more tourist crap than that, then go take a walking tour." It was his dry humor coming through, as unfunny as it was. "Current situation hasn't gotten any better. We still don't know how the rat bastard got in or where he is now." And then there was silence. Nothing more came from either of the agents as they drove along the terrain before picking up the road a mile outside of the city.
When they passed under the iron-wrought gates of the city limits, it was only slightly brighter with dim street lamps lighting the way. It took only another minute or so to drive down the vacant streets and pull into an alley between a tall building and a much shorter three story one. The suburban stopped only thirty or so feet down the narrow alleyway. On its left side a heavy, mechanized door open rapidly so that it was just inches from the vehicle and no more than an inch behind the second set of doors.
"Out..." came the voice of one of the agents.
There was only one way. The right side of the vehicle was way too close to the wall for the door to open more than a finger's length, and when the door on the left opened, it would create a tunnel directly into the squat-building with the open door. As the Ottoman agents quickly saw what to do, they exited through the left door and proceeded into the building. Once the mechanized door closed heavily behind the agents, the suburban sped away down the alley.
Inside was a myriad of computers, screens, lights, and people scurrying about. One man, who stood only ten feet in front of them, seemed to be the only one to notice their arrival. "Welcome gentleman to CID's acting headquarters. You may call me Colonel Mayborn or 'Sir'..."
The man known only to the highest echelons of the intelligence community as "Operator Y" sat in the dim light of his special office typing away at the computer. His "special office" was actually located behind one of the walls of his apartment. Next to his bed there was a secret door that led from the small living quarters to the even smaller working quarters. It was cramped to say the least. He had all kinds of equipment and computers strewn about on the desk, under the desk, over the desk, and everywhere there was open room. It would be hard to even move around in there, but luckily his movements were generally restricted to his fingers tapping away on the keyboard.
Of the original trio of agents from the Dominion Intelligence Operations, "Operator Y" was the one tasked and with the skills to deal with the technical aspects of dealing with the spy. His training and background focused almost exclusively on all matters 'computer,' so he had the job of finding out how the spy broke in and where he was now, not necessarily in that order. It soon proved to be his most difficult job...
Before even logging onto his computer for the first time, the trail had called dead cold. Preliminary analysis of the report on the break-in showed that there was nothing at all to go on. Nothing to trace or track and no sign of how or who had bypassed everything. So he started from the scratch, keeping his parameters wide enough to hopefully include the spy, but not too wide that it would be impossible to do his job before the deadline. His powerful set of computers and internet connection was acquiring information and running background checks on all people who had entered Eborall in the last eight months plus all those that had left in the last four days. The only thing he could go on was that they were at least ninety percent certain that the attack had originated from Eborall, and had not merely been rerouted through the colony's servers.
Obviously the list that was computed was endlessly long. However, he began narrowing it down with other screens - knocking out people that couldn't have possibly come even remotely close to hacking in based on acquired intelligence data. But it wasn't a prefect science and it was also leaving out those that were untraceable because they had snuck onto the island. The computer began sorting the list by probability of having some deal of technical skills, being of foreign origin, having military background, and other groupings. When it was all said and done, the list still had a few hundred people that had remote chances of being the spy, but zero of having a high probability - that is even assuming the intelligence acquired on the people was correct and complete.
It had been hours on end staring at the computer screen in a pitch black box for Operator Y. As he was about to lie his head down in his folded arms, exhausted from searching and frustrated at the lack of results, the computer beeped. It wasn't supposed to do that. When he looked up, the program he was working on disappeared and the screen went black. As he furiously attempted to regain control and found that he was locked out, slowly a sentence was formed letter by letter.
"Hello Agent Hammonds. I see you..."
"I... see... you..." the voice repeated as the corresponding keystrokes were punched. The message was delivered instantly at each press of a button, but as no doubt the Operator would find, tracking it would be futile, especially having been locked out of his own computer as he was now.
"You've got mail!" the same voice mocked as the computer's secure e-mail program was opened with a simple click of the mouse. "Let's see what we have... one 'tough guy attitude,' one foolish one, and one 'Goldilocks'."
Processing the information was a quick task - next came the inevitable responses from that ever mocking e-mail address seemingly located within the Dominion's military forces.
"To the big bad wolf..."
To: 5 Points Mafia, Khornate Tribes
I severely hope that when you typed "million" your finger merely slipped two keys to the right. Please, this knowledge that I have acquired is easily worth ten figures, minimum. Nor do I believe that exposing myself to an organization such as yours could do any better keeping your "CHIA" and the Dominion off of me as I could already do.
Do not think I will reveal anything about myself to your woeful attempts at luring information out of me.
I need not your information. All I desire is payment.
Your threats are hollow to me. If you could have gotten what I have, you wouldn't be contacting me. Nor do I fear your people coming for me. What are a couple more dogs on the chase when you have half the known world sniffing in circles after you already.
"To dopey dwarf..."
Prospective buyers from Gallique... how interesting.
Let me tell you that it is for your own security and those you represent that your eyes are the only ones that read this, not for mine.
Furthermore, your offer is "quaint." I ask for an offer, not an incomplete shopping list. Note that it is not necessarily money I require, but I do not know the value or possible uses for this "etc" you speak of. Try again.
Oh, and the current high bid is quite a deal higher than your offer.
"And finally to goldilocks..."
You learn quickly - I like that.
I am sure you will be happy to know that you are currently in prime position to acquire the data. However, the deadline still remains...
A gloved hand slowly slid to the top of the laptop as the last of the messages was delivered and pulled it closed. The click of its latches seemed to thud heavily like the sound of a prison door slamming closed. But only for a moment... the spy was in too good of a mood for anything like a subconscious thought cause disturbance. All was going accordingly to plan...
At a staging area near the city gates, a white tent stood on the grassy parkland. Inside were a few agents and a bit of equipment, but nothing compared to what headquarters was like. It was more of a armory and dispatch point, rather than true command area for the forces it served. There was no point of keeping it secret in times like these. Whether one believed the story of the spy or the government's cover story, the sight of federal agents and military personnel in the streets would be expected by the people.
Inside, near the middle but towards one end stood a group of action dressed - more comfortable than suits for active duty - CID agents. The one with an intense faced who was clearly leading the briefing spoke to the group. "There is no official mission briefing for this. It is off the books. Your orders are to follow the lead car and maintain radio silence - nothing else."
"I guess that's why they call it a briefing," muttered one of the agents to his partner, earning a smile in response.
It was perhaps the shortest mission briefing any of the agents had ever received from their commander or anyone else for that matter. In a moment, they came flooding out of the tent to the awaiting suburbans parked outside. Five black SUVs sat facing the road, only visible in the darkness due to the dim glow of the streetlights above. Quickly, in a clattering sound of doors opening and closing, the twenty agents entered the vehicles four to a car. The intense faced agent jumped into the driver's seat of the first car and it took off onto the road in the lead...
As had occurred only minutes ago in the north sea, a green light blinked aboard the DDN Fleming - the radar showed a slow incoming aircraft of the port side. A brief glance down showed the automated callsign script under the blip showing the proper code. The signal was taken by the ship's systems and fed directly into the computer - no human ears would hear it and only the radar attendees would notice it. But the two radar attendees didn't react. They too had their orders... straight from the top.
The V-22 landed with ease in the vast expanse of the Cretian Plains. Any sign of civilization was miles off, and even then it was only a two-lane road and some small towns. For as far as the eye could see there were only rolling hills and the occasional grouping of trees. It was lucky too as the scene that unfolded was anything but unnoticeable.
On one of the small, rolling hills two miles from the appointed landing zone a long figure lay flat with no distinction between human and ground. A rifle gripped between her hands, the woman's eye was pressed against the scope watching the V-22 land for a moment to unload is passengers and their plethora of equipment. She let loose a shrill whistle, signaling the convoy that lay hidden behind a hill some fifty feet away.
Hearing the signal, the agents behind the wheels started up their engines and followed in a single file line behind their leader. Traveling over the rolling hills at too high a speed could prove both dangerous and stupid, so they kept to an average of sixty miles per hour, two minutes to the landing zone. The convoy of suburbans approached through the night running dark with not a single light among them. As they pulled up, the vehicles created a semi-circle around the Hurtian agents.
The doors opened and twenty agents stepped out to meet their "new friends."
"My name is Special Agent Brock, Colonial Intelligence Directorate." The normally vibrant yellow lettering "CID" emblazoned onto the back and breast of their street uniforms had been patched over. "I will be your liaison during your operations here. I understand I am to brief you on your mission and then let you go on your way - so here's your briefing... you're fucking with a ghost."
That earned a smirk from a couple of agents despite the gravity of the situation. These guys' briefing had been even shorter than their briefing for meeting these guys.
"Oh, and my government would like you to wear these tracking devices to coordinate our efforts," he said with the smallest bit of smile as he presented his hand with the devices. "Luckily I brought extras, so we have enough for everyone. But, I was also informed that you were to bring only four agents..."
When Agent Adams had roared off down the road, he began thinking wildly again. Perhaps unconsciously, his foot was pushing down hard against the gas petal, sending his car charging down the empty city streets as midnight approached.
Finally deciding that there was little more he could do that night, he headed home with a plan for the morning, including checking on Alexia and speaking with Director Maestor about the situation - perhaps the best course of action, despite the policy and pride of the Dominion, was to contact the spy via the given e-mail address and ask what he wanted; that would have to go pretty high up the chain of command to get authorization, and it would be a heated battle over it within the Ministry.
As he reached his house and pulled into the driveway, his headlights flooded the front with shadows. His paranoia kicking in again, and perhaps rightfully so, Adams removed his gun from the glove compartment, turned off his headlights, and slowly crept to the front door. He hadn't left any lights on, so seeing would be difficult if he didn't want to expose himself anymore than he would be. As quietly as possible he slipped the key into the lock and jiggled it open, bringing the door inward with it. Keeping on alert, he glanced around the foyer and up the stairs from outside before venturing in with gun at the ready. It was no big house, especially compared to many seen in Eborall, having only five rooms in total, so searching it would be a quick process. At first appearance there was no sign of breaking in or anything out of place as he moved from the foyer to the den and back across the foyer into the living room and kitchen behind.
With the ground floor secure, he moved to the stairway and stepped lightly. However, what was normally an early warning system for Adams when he was sleeping, was jeopardizing his safety right now; each step on the stairs caused the old wood to creak. Finally, halfway up he decided it was no different to move speedily up as it was to move up agonizingly slow and loud. In a few leaps he had reached the top and turned around the banister to face down the single hallway. Two doors: one on the right open and one dead ahead closed. Moving into his personal office on the right, Sam took a moment to check if his computer or files had been accessed. Satisfied nothing had been compromised, he went back into the hallway and inched towards the final room. Bursting the door open quickly, Sam moved his gun side-to-side as his eyes scanned his bedroom for any presence.
Finally, satisfied that his home was secure and realizing that perhaps he was just being a little paranoid, Adams sat down on his bed and fell backwards onto the mattress, content to fall asleep in his suit. Pushing his head up the bed until it reached a pillow, he slipped his hand underneath to pull it towards him, but shot upright instead. Pulling the pillow away, he stared down in shock and fear at the metallic object his hand had felt...
A Dominion made P-14 Hardballer 9mm pistol favored by assassins, and in bold black letters it quite literally had his name written on it...
Colonel Fulton smiled as she read her email first thing after arriving home. That data box would be most useful to her country if she won the bid. Of course, she still had to cough up ninety billion dollars - not an easy task for a young career officer whose annual salary was less than twenty-five thousand dollars and was not born into a wealthy family.
The Senate was still not likely to cough up the cash, although with Northford mobilizing its forces and Kahanistan still sorting out its military organization, some were likely desperate enough to see whatever hope the secret Dominion database held.
She put her computer down and sighed. Maybe a cold shower would help me think. She stepped in, throwing her uniform down the laundry chute, and turned on the water. The biting cold against her skin constricted her blood vessels, and she believed that it made her think. Something about trapping the blood up where the brain was. Whether it was merely a placebo effect or not, she came up with a brilliant idea at about the same time she started washing her hair.
The black budget. Nobody asked questions about the black budget, some two hundred billion dollars annually filed away and hidden as "government waste." The Senate just gave the black-ops department, which was sorely in need of justifying its budget, a blank check and turned a blind eye to what it spent on, including, some speculated, Doomani arms, though intelligence operatives routinely insisted that any Doomani arms in the use of the Kahanistanian military had been purchased on the black market from non-aligned suppliers. Even Colonel Fulton didn't know how that happened, nor did she care.
She stepped out of the shower, drying her hair and slipping on a comfortable, loose-fitting sundress. Her two-year-old greeted her as she came out, throwing her short, chubby arms around her mother's legs.
"What is it, Kathy?" she asked distantly, picking up her laptop. "I'm busy."
The little girl grinned. "Watchoo doin?" she asked, her English at about a six-year-old level thanks to early education.
Fulton sighed. How was she supposed to explain a rogue operation to get information for her country to a two-year-old, even a relatively intelligent one? "Trying to get new things," she said calmly.
The little girl seemed to understand; usually when her mother was "getting new things" with her laptop, she was ordering things on the Internet. Kathy's own playpen had come from an online dealer. The two-year-old walked freely around the apartment; toxic household chemicals were placed on high shelves away from anything that could be climbed to reach them, and electrical outlets were plugged.
Fulton, on the other hand, was busy emailing General Tiberius Devidius, Kahanistan's director of intelligence, asking him to spare ninety billion dollars from the black budget to bid for information on Demogade weapons systems. He would reply later that day; he usually did.
Eborall Landing zone:
"A 'ghost' like the one our pilot spotted with his IIR 2 miles out on the hill or a ghost like the one in our ammo crate? In either case, we can handle these ghosts"
Donnovan was tempted to reffer to another 3 kinds of 'ghost' such as people employed by the government but incapable of being linked -used as a set-up for would-be aggressor governments- or the kind that act as double agents behind almost everyone's back, and a triple agent behind the bascks of those who know they are a double, and finaly the kind that just wants to make eveyone's life miserable.
'Brock' then decided to issue tracking devices to his men.
"You say this ghost, he is aware of your standard operating procedures, no? So wouldn't it be logical he would start tracking these devices to keep tabs on all 'wild card' participants, thus boiling everything back down to you and him, making our deployment useless... Though I could think of several places where you could put those badges that would very much confuse or entertain your ghost friend."
He let that idea swim around for awhile...
"I'm Agent Donnovan, we were sent hee because your methods of finding your spy doesn't seem to work, and one can only make so many mistakes before you have a death-count in the triple digits, and the goal is to keep it in the singles. So, who's bump is that in the woods, and should we go out and retrieve it or just leave it?"
Khornate Tribes Refugee camp
Grant was rather perturbed by this "angel's" letter, but had a small trick to get the "necessary funding".
He called 'Snake' to do some bank hacking, transfering electronic funds from the already faltering Chitzi government to themselves, hoping they wouldn't notice $1 Trillion missing from their government accounts. He felt a little sorry, stealing from the poor like that, but it would all work out, since he could count on HOI and the Dephirians to look after their business interests.
The mafia woul, of course, have to spend all this money before the Chitzi government notices. As they essentailly stole their checkbook.
From: 5 Points Mafia, Khornate Tribes
I see you called our bluff, DMG's firewalls are tad.. more secure, than those of Griffencrest, and unlike CHIA, we have yet to plant an inside man into their networks.
So, 100 Billion sound like a good deal?
As you clearly see no benefit from rendering our servces to you, aside from making sure the transaction is done safely and isn't a trap.
What would it take to convince you of our sincerity?
I also take it you are not in Eborall?
As remaining there would make things difficult, such as getting the money in, the information out, and then getting yourself out.
Or did you intend to live in Eborall until they find you?
You are absolutely certain we cannot be of any assistance in those regards?
Grant strummed his fingers at his desk...
"What are you waiting for? Take the money and run..."
General Devidius arrived at Colonel Fulton's apartment. Apparently the situation was critical enough to merit his personal attention.
"Good evening, Mara." The general sat down on a sofa across from Mara's recliner chair. Kathy was busy playing with a huge tarantula, allowing it to walk on her face and giggling. The general looked at her bemusedly before turning his attention back to her mother.
"Well, I have persuaded the Senate to increase the black budget to three hundred billion USD, or about one hundred and seventy billion shekels. I've also convinced them and some wealthy associates from Samizdat Corporation to pay up to seventy percent of the bid... sixty-three billion USD. The black budget will cover the difference," said the Director of Intelligence.
"So what's the problem?" asked Fulton. "Seems pretty good to me, hopefully we'll be able to construct a new military, one that actually stands a chance of protecting our population."
"I'm afraid it's not that simple," said the general. "Just because we're in the front now to get the data doesn't mean we'll stay that way. For all we know, this spy is saying that to all the people trying to get the data, or someone may have outbid us already. I've tried to get the Senate to keep bankrolling the attempts to acquire the data, but I don't know how high they're willing to pay. Senator Abdullah, the President of the Senate, is willing to go very high, but it's hard to say if he'll be able to get the rest of the Senate to go along with him."
Mara nodded. "So, you want me to help persuade the Senate?"
"No," said Devidius. "I think that I can handle that situation myself. I'd advise you to talk to this spy again, try to find out the bidding situation. The spy probably already knows we're in pretty serious need of the data. They'll take us for every agora we have." The agora is the hundredth part of the shekel.
"Will we pay?"
"Damn right we'll pay," said Devidius. He had no qualms about saying the word "damn" in front of Mara's two-year-old. "We need the equipment, we need the supplies, we need the designs to drive our own arms industries, and give us a competitive edge over DDI."
Mara smiled and picked up her laptop. "I'll get on the horn to this spy. Just ask him a little about the transaction procedure."
Devidius nodded. "Thank you. I'll see you again shortly," he said. The general left the apartment.
I am most delighted to know that I am prime to receive this data. When is the deadline to wire the bid of $90 billion USD? Also, is there a preferred format for encoding my transmissions, or securely sending the money?
These details would be essential to ensuring that the transaction goes without undue complications.
Pudite Prefecture One, Administration Compound One, A Small Room
Deep within the heart of the Dominion, of Emperor Pudu, that is, Administration Compound Zero-Zero-Zero-One rested peacefully in the center of the great jungle that was the Dominion. Deep within the bleached-white walls and thick concrete barriers that made up the Compound, a small, dark room distinguished itself. It was not the room itself, for there were thousands like it, but the men inside.
Standing around a small plastic table with folding legs and a worn surface, were five of the most powerful men in the Dominion. One, the Emperor himself, stood at the head of the table, looking down at the laptop computer and series of maps before him impatiently. Next to him was his foreign affairs officer for this Compound, and thus the Dominion, Mr. White. Opposite White was his foreign counterpart, the foreign relations officer, Mr. Grey. Grey controlled the network of spies and intelligence agents that was the Frumentarii, and the resources available to him would be of the utmost utility.
Of the other two men in the room, only one looked as if he belonged there. This man, Grand Admiral and Sea Lord Sivetsev Kadova, was dressed impeccably in a stark white uniform, decorated with a chest of medals, worn only for the Imperial occasion, as well as a black sash across his chest signifying him as one of the three High Commanders of the Imperial Military. Standing next to him, although not wearing any sash or uniform, did possibly command more combined military strength than any other man in the room, including the Emperor Himself. He was General Zhuko Kabuzhik, and the commander of the famous 42nd Division, Light Infantry.
He wore tattered combat fatigues, covered in battered kevlar patches and bearing many scars of battle, the man and the outfit. His unit was notable, as it was the only unit never to submit to Imperial doctrine upon returning from the Pananabian Wars.
At that stage in Dominion history, the genetic modification of soldiers was just in its infancy, but even there, the first units were being tested. As they were being brought online, former soldiers were no longer needed, and so they were disposed of. General Kabuzhik knew what was coming, and simply refused to enter the newly established Compounds. Since it was before the days of the underground rail system, the Division was transported above ground, and after their refusal to enter, simply took their equipment and left. They have lived in the abandoned cities and forests of the now Compound-dominated Dominion ever since, and have become superb light infantry and some of the best guerillas in the world, fighting off attacks by the pre-existing rebel population that came into being even before the Compound system was introduced.
In any case, he too, looked disinterested. This was his first time inside any Compound, anywhere.
The Emperor nodded to White to begin the meeting...
"Five hours ago, we received a message from an unknown, lone terrorist. This message, signed as 'Robin Hood', outlined the instructions for purchasing quite a lot of valuable intelligence. This intelligence; government, intelligence, and military secrets pertaining to the Dominion of DMG."
The heads in the room nodded, all assembled had heard of DMG, as their state as a major power allowed. All, save Zhuko Kabuzhik, who still had no idea why he was here...
Mr. White continued, "Our Dominion is deeply interested in obtaining these secrets," he looked over to the Emperor, who nodded in agreement.
"And so, we are preparing a bid to purchase the information. Information that may help us take down quite a notable foe... We are interested in this information, solely for the purposes of conflict, and we will obtain these files, and we will fight that conflict, and win,"
Mr. White was interrupted by the foreign relations officer, Grey, "And if all else fails, we can ransom the information back to them..."
The Emperor stepped in at this point, "That seems as if it is a defunct option. All the information can be changed, revised, and generally made useless if we give them time..."
White continued, "However, sir, should we threaten to sell them, again, to someone who would carry out the attacks, than they are intimately useful. We happen to know of a number of illicit organizations capable of such things..."
All men nodded, except of course Kabuzhik, who just stared at everyone else...
Mr. White noticed the blank expression of the General, and spoke, "And that is where you come in, General Kabuzhik, your men are highly experienced stalkers and killers. We'll be requisitioning one of your soldiers for the ensuing operation,"
Mr. Grey stepped in again, "In fact, we already have. A man by the name of Mikhail Gostel was contacted and picked up a few hours ago, he's now en route, via a hypersonic jet of ours, to the rest of the unit he'll be working with,"
General Kabuzhik interrupted, for the first time, "My, men work alone or among themselves, you know the rules..." he seemed almost to growl, far more threatening than any of the veiled threats or diplomatic talk any of the others in the room could offer...
Mr. White stepped in, "Yes, and he will be. He is working as an observer, watching over a trio of my counterpart's agents for him. This will be their first operation..."
"Mikhail is not a babysitter, your men can die for all we care..."
"You'll be compensated, like always, and Mikhail is in no danger, don't worry, they'll be plenty of things for him to do, these agents won't be alone on the island."
Kabuzhik grunted in reply. The others took this as a sign of acceptance. Mr. White continued, "Kadova, these agents is where you come in, you have to get them onto this island, in one piece. Once we have the information, we won't need them back. Mikhail can get back on his own, he's intelligent."
Grand Admiral Kadova nodded, "We've got a single Imperator-class sub operating in the region, it'll take Mikhail aboard after they drop 'im, and he'll meet up with the others and make his way to the island."
He paused for a moment, to let them take the information in, "They'll, from there, either be dropped into the island, via aircraft from a high-altitude, or be inserted with rubber rafts and swimming... Either way, a possibility of detection and death."
Mr. Grey spoke, "That matters little, we've already got a man on the island, hopefully,"
Everyone looked to Mr. Grey, and the Emperor spoke first, "Hopefully?"
"Well, we lost contact with the island almost immediately after we received the message. No contact in or out. We don't know if he's still alive, and in fact, even knows what's going on. Last time I made contact with him was six months ago. He has a small bank account, and understands his standing orders for these kinds of situations, we'll just have to rely on him to act alone."
Everyone nodded, it was a blow not to have contact, but it was not insufferable, and they would go on. In the end, they would make do.
Before the meeting ended, a message was dispatched to the e-mail address given,
We understand that you have recently come into possession of a series of very important, very classified, files. In short, we want those files, and we will pay you whatever it takes to come into possession of them.
We are not of limited means, and can provide for you whatever you request. To warm up our relations, we will be offering a sum of sixty-billion Universal Standard Dollars, simply for replying to the message.
Once we make contact again, we can negotiate a price,
With the message sent, the meeting largely disbanded. All except Mr. White, and the Emperor, who both remained behind in the small room. Standing outside were two of the Emperor's personal guards, but even they could not hear what was happening inside.
Mr. White leaned into his Emperor, and spoke, "Sir, the three agents we have working on this, there's something you don't know..."
The Emperor looked slightly disturbed, but curious, "Yes?"
"Well sir, as our friend Grey's network is as of yet, untested, on a large scale, outside of minor arms deals and the like, we thought this would be a good time to test it out..."
"Who is 'we'"
"Well, myself, and my department, sir,"
"Does Grey know about this?"
"No sir, only me, you, and my direct subordinates know. That makes seven of us, all told,"
"Good, I don't need him finding out you're playing with his pieces while he's not looking, what's going on?"
"Well, sir, we've sent three very different types of people here. The first, our man on the island, a Simanka Mitov, is a well-trained and intelligent soldier, but little else. He has a tactical mind, and knows how to relate to people, and how to kill them. He, so far, has been the basic Frumentarii output,"
"But the others?"
"Yes, the other two men, other than Mikhail, are Petr Silensich and Ivan Khodorovich. Pitr is a silent and efficient killer, and an empathic and passionate socialite. He knows little of war, but much of death. He can talk his way into our information, or so goes the theory..."
"He is quite the opposite. He is an aggresive and single-minded soldier. He'd rather kill a dozen people than talk his way through one. Although he may be a risk, he is another avenue we must explore. Think of this operation as a sort of... testing ground, for intelligence doctrines."
The Emperor nodded, "Why weren't the others informed?"
"Sir, we didn't need Grey knowing like you said, and the others don't need to know. It's between us, and us alone..."
The Emperor nodded again, and White continued, "Sir, each man has been given either access to a foreign bank account or a simple case of money, and told that the other three are just distractions, to keep the foreigners and authorities busy. They've been ordered to operate alone at all times, independent of one another, and share no information. This, sir, is the perfect test."
The two men left the room.
Agents Faraj Suhail and Coskun Kostandin nodded and Agent Kostandin begun to speak
“ Yes, sir. We will do whatever within our means to help in hunting down this rat…rest assured, he’ll be found within a matter of time.” Said Agent Kostandin
“Any new led on this rouge, Sir?” asked Agent Suhail
Wıth a thud the alarm clock was knocked off the yellow coffee table ıt was on and onto the floor. It's owner slowly pıcked ıt up and reset the devıce.
Fatıh Sleyman used to work for the Groznıan ıntellıgence agency. It was he who was able to arm the resıstance wıth much of ıts blackmarket small arms ın the rebellıons preceedıng the Groznıan war of ındependence. It was he who was ınstrumental ın causıng several securıty leaks ın the former Russıan FSB whıch led to the collapse of the whole Russıan ıntellıgence gatherıng system. He was an arms dealer. A drug smuggler. A respected member of the mafıa world. He was Jordan.
In a few years he would grow sıck of the country he had been so ınstrumental ın ressurectıng, any sense of natıonal prıde gone. After beıng betrayed by hıs own government---used as a traınıng object by the ıntellıgence agency to create new, younger spıes capable of ınfılıtratıng the two most powerful mafıa rıngs ın Groznyj and almost kılled when the entıre operatıon went to hell and busted by an ınvestıgatıve commıtee for sellıng weapons on the black market---he became an expatrıate and moved to someplace far, far away. A place that had nothıng to do wıth hıs country of orıgın, a quaınt lıttle ısland called Eborall where he could play the role of an ınternatıonal mafıa mıddle man and get ınsanely rıch ın the process. So far he was doıng quıte well ın that regard.
But what was happenıng now was eıther a blessıng or a curse. Through varıous underground contacts he had dıscovered of thıs 'angel' and the potentıal ımplıcatıons of the data he carrıed. There was just one catch... he was dealıng wıth both a very undetectable and equally greedy person. To secure the transactıon he would need to outbıd any other buyers and gıven the ımportance of the ınformatıon thıs rogue agent carrıed, doubtless foreıgn governments wıth vast wallets would be ınterested. But then agaın... swındlıng sellers out of stock an runnıng cırcles around government efforts to track hım was hıs specıalıty.
Rıght now my name ıs not ımportant, you may refer to me as 'Jordan' ıf you must. It has come to my knowledge that you have acquıred some sensıtıve ınformatıon that ıs of ınterest to my affaırs. You know what ıt ıs that I want and I know what ıt ıs that you want but let us talk busıness. You'll need more luck than God cares to offer to smuggle 9 or more fıgures off an ısland or through a dırect transactıon. What form of payment are you seekıng and ın what range?
Wıth a quıck overvıew and a press of a button the messege was sent. Now ıt was tıme to get a coffee and breakfast at the nearest pub.