|Ops 9 - Inersia
Author: TheSilentWitness PM
An operative serves the government, asking no questions and following orders to the letter. They carry no emotion, they do not flinch or hesitate, and they do not disobey. Ops 9 follows these rules without deviation in the rainy city of Inersia, but one operative begins to realize how it feels to be truly human once more in a story of cold rain and bitter reminiscence.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Mystery - Chapters: 11 - Words: 20,366 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 05-20-13 - Published: 12-08-12 - id: 3081178
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The girl operative was dead, and we still had one more to pick up before it would be my turn to go through the meat grinder. I carefully picked her up and put her into one of the seats, strapping her in carefully so as to prevent her from falling out if the Thopter went through evasive maneuvers. She looked so petite in the seat, almost like a child sleeping soundly, the gaping wound in her back facing into the seat hidden from sight.
[Five minutes till insertion captain, it is advised that you examine the prepared ops package.]
I turned to object, but the package had already been placed at my feet behind me. It figured that the Thopter would try to keep me on task even in the face of such terrible death. I frowned, carefully pressing my palm onto the top of the suitcase. A blue pulse spread from my palm in five evenly spaced ripples and as I tugged my palm from the surface, the lid popped smoothly open to reveal the contents of the container it was sealing.
The suitcase was lined by soft black velvet, which was soft beneath my hands but as I moved over just two inches my fingertips brushed against cool steel and hard edges, contrasting the velvet of before. The handgun fit nicely in my hands, a small compact thing in plain matte black. It had a simple elegance to it which belied its deadly purpose and its weight felt natural in my hand. Experimentally, I twirled and tossed it a couple of times, catching it as it fell balancing it in my palm, going through a couple of shooting positions. Two additional magazines lay beside the weapon but otherwise the package was completely empty; command it seems, didn't have any secondary objectives for me.
"Ready to go captain? You've not much time left before they throw you out and send you in." Fenister said from somewhere behind me, sounding suitably subdued by the presence of our deceased colleague, but otherwise unaffected.
I stood calmly, collecting the contents of the package, holstering the gun at my side and slipping the two magazines into the inside pockets of my jacket. "I'll get the job done Commander." I patted down my coat, making sure that there was nothing else on me. The op would require precision and stealth, and though a full set of combat armor like the set the Commander and the girl had worn would have been reassuring, it could potentially compromise my ability to complete the Op. Besides, unlike most of my comrades here I was used to working without armor, I was after all a deep insertion agent; after other operatives cleared out the op zone, only then was I sent in to covertly take on my targets.
I stopped as I approached the access way through which I had initially entered. Where was the last operative who had been tasked with clearing the area for insertion? Fenister gave me a look as if to tell me he understood what I was going through, frowning ever so slightly at my hesitation. "The last operative is dead. Ops 9 says the mission has not been compromised by his death and you still have the green light for go time."
"Two operatives dead in one Op? What the hell are they thinking sending me into this?"
"You know what Ops 9 does, it sends our best into the maw of hell in the hopes that they can do what others cannot. Take their faith in you as a complement and get it done boy, or I'm going to be real lonely at the bar tonight."
I nodded, turning away to look outside at the ops zone, a ravaged building which was split apart and ripped open by burnt scars and holes that had been blown into its flanks by the operatives before me. Subtlety it seems, hadn't been on the agenda of priorities.
"They did a real number on the combat zone, where am I being set down?"
"33rd floor if I remember correctly from the mission brief."
[Your insertion point is the former main lobby of the 34th floor Captain,] the Thopter corrected coolly, [This unit will maneuver itself so that the access way is in the same position as the former elevator circuit which ran the length of the building's spine, so please the gap sir.]
"Got it. Anything else for me?" I asked.
[That will be all, details on extraction will be as they were in the mission file Captain, good luck.]
I strode towards the access way, feeling the Thopter jostle beneath me as it plunged downwards through the air column towards the insertion point; I knew standard procedure, the Thopter wasn't going to stop for much longer than a couple seconds; to stay still for longer would risk taking fire. I'd have only a matter of seconds to exit the vehicle. I positioned myself at the door, ready to go and when the Thopter suddenly jerked to a halt and the black barrier before me opened up to the sound of howling wind and rain I threw myself forwards and jumped.
It felt as though I was suspended in mid air for an eternity before I finally touched solid ground again, rolling to soften the impact. Behind me the Combat Thopter was already vanishing into the darkness, its black armor invisible against the midnight sky. I was standing in the lobby of what must have been some sort of office building; what must have once been pristine marble tiling lay shattered about the floor in jagged shards and numerous three or four civilians in standard office garb lay prone on the floor nearby, the closest of which was slumped behind the desk of what must have been the reception area.
The file had said that the operatives sent in before me were to have confined my target to the 38th floor so I had a bit of floor scaling to do but I already knew that the elevators wouldn't be an option. I had a bit of climb to do apparently. I glanced around the rest of the massive lobby floor and all of its open space, marble columns, and empty floor. A lot of money must have gone into this place to make it look so nice, it really was such a waste that it was all meaningless now. Smashed in windows looked out into the drizzling rain but besides that there really was nothing here for me, not even a way up. I walked back to the elevator shaft from which I had entered; the elevator car was nowhere in sight and the thick cables had been severed, but after my eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness of the shaft I was able to make out the faint outlines of the upper half of the elevator cable three meters above my head. Now all I had to do was find a way to get up there. Certainly my Ops package hadn't given me anything for this sort of task, so I was on my own here; I glanced around yet another time and quickly determined that there was little for me to work with here beyond the bodies and the reception desk, which basically only left the reception desk.
I walked over and began dragging it towards the gaping opening in the side of the building, ignoring the terrible scraping and scratching sounds of the wood moving over shards of marble. In its current position it wouldn't give me enough height, I'd have to flip it onto its side. I examined the flimsy sidewalls of the desk and shuddered slightly, I was clearly taking risk here trusting my life with the thin screws which held these side panels in place but really, what choice did I have? I was an operative, I had no choice but to complete my mission, or die trying. Failure would be a blessing at this point anyways; I brushed my hesitation out of my mind and hugged the side of the desk surface slowly pulling myself up towards the upper side panel until I found myself atop the desk, a mere meter below the dangling remnants of the cable. I reached up for the cable and at that moment the side panel failed and cracked beneath me.
I was filled with the terrible sensation of falling for a split second before I instinctively reached out and wrapped my hands around the cable; below me I heard the desk screech and topple off the edge of the destroyed floor tumbling into the remnants of the elevator shaft, the booming echo of the desk striking the floor returned back to me only after several ominous seconds. If I fell now, I was toast. I took a deep breath and then I began to pull myself upwards, hand over hand wrapping my legs around the cable.
I don't know how long it took me to scale the cable but eventually after what seemed like hundreds of casual glances towards the wall as I strained to make out the numbers printed above each slit of light which represented an elevator door opening, I finally found myself squinting at the doorway through which I could access the 38th floor. Now came the second problem; transferring myself from the elevator cable to the quite distant entryway to the 38th floor. The cable was far too thick for me to attempt to influence it to swing towards the doorway, and even if I tried it was weighed down by four floors worth of steel cable which was now beneath me, it was up to me to innovate and invent to get myself across the gap again.
I glanced around, and confirmed that I could see nothing around me which could somehow help me, before sighing slightly to myself and tightening my grip on the cable. It was time to sit and think this through.
You are here to serve the government, because of your sacrifices thousands of lives will be saved.
You will be our fist, our eyes, an extension of our will and you will serve to enforce the freedom and peace of our people and this glorious city.
You will be sacrifices, so that you suffer in the place of others, who they threatened to make suffer; by agreeing to come to this service willingly you will protect those dear to you and prevent their suffering.
What are you saying Summers?!
The truth Tel, the truth. That's why you're really here, and you know it.
That's not true Summers, I'm here because everyone must do their service for the city eventually.
Yeah, keep telling yourself that if it helps you sleep at night but you and I both know which of us is right here, and which of us is pretending.
I'm not pretending about anything! You're insane!
Of course I'm insane, everyone here, conscripted into this place has to go insane, how else would we be able to bring ourselves to do the things we do?
It's the will of the government, everything we do here is right?
Is it right? Do you even remember what they made you do? Do you realize who you killed?
What are you talking about?
Did you really manage to bury the memory of what you did on your first Op?