When Mark awoke he found himself sat down in a steel chair bound tightly to the limbs by what he guessed to be thick steel wiring. His helmet and weapons were gone and the rest of his armor was powered down so that it did little more than provide him a measure of insulation in the chilly room. He sat alone in an empty grey walled chamber sitting beneath the blinding white glare of a spotlight mounted into the ceiling above. The walls of the room were unmarked apart from a black door tucked into the wall directly adjacent to him which opened with a smooth hiss as he glanced towards it. A pair of armed guards walked in escorting a tall man in an officer's uniform and a trio of figures cloaked in black.
"Wait outside. We'll call you back in if you are needed." the officer said waving the two guards off. They nodded and stepped out of the door which closed behind them with a soft hiss. The officer turned back to face Mark, while the three black figures seemed to have disappeared or moved out of Mark's field of vision.
"Well then...Operative, that is the title they give to soldiers like you, yes?" The tall man paused, waiting for a response but he did not receive one. "Whatever the case, you are well aware that you have no right to be here in this facility, not to mention the fact that you killed several of our guards in this facility. I was also informed that you appeared to have been in the middle of an attempt to plant some explosives on to our reactor powering this building which would have destroyed this entire complex and killed everyone in it had you succeeded, including me. Now I just can't have that; killing my guards is one thing, but killing me, that is just entirely unacceptable."
Mark said nothing all the while, studying his surroundings looking for a way to escape. He did take note of what the officer was saying however, and he glanced up at the officers uniform as he heard the words "my guards". The silver oak leaf of a Lieutenant Colonel winked back at him from the officers uniform; so this was the rumored Lieutenant Colonel acting as head of the enemy espionage corps. He'd been informed that his target was indeed an enemy intelligence center, but nothing in his mission briefing had suggested that there would be such high ranking enemy assets here or that the facility itself was of any great significance. His briefing had stated that other intelligence assets had recently received news of a new enemy productions facility being constructed within three kilometers of the front lines and had instructed him to "Avoid detection at all costs and destroy the facility by placing explosive charges on the power plant." The briefing had also mentioned that resistance was expected to be minimal; Mark had been expecting an easy one hour Op; sneak in, plant the charges, sneak out and get to the extraction zone and head for home and some quick R&R. Clearly there had either been a miscommunication, or there was a leak in the intelligence agency. Though Mark fervently hoped it was the prior, the ambush in the reactor chamber made the latter far more likely. If he survived to escape his current situation he would have to be very careful who he chose to tell about the high probability that there was a mole in the intelligence network.
The Lieutenant Colonel had continued to talk about boring and unimportant things and so Mark had tuned him out, but a smack to the face quickly brought his attention back to the tall man. "...now you Operatives have been causing us quite some trouble for awhile now. There was the munitions plant down south by the river Dern, the airfield you destroyed on the eastern plateau, the assassinations of Commander Anz and Lieutenant General Brigton. But the game is up, Operative." the Lieutenant Colonel had lowered his face to Mark's now to look him right in the eye. "Do you know why Operative?" the man looked coldly into his face.
"A mole." Mark guessed. "High up in command or the Frontline Combat Intelligence (FCI)."
"No Operative, that's too obvious. Your intelligence agency is sufficiently diligent to root out spies without too much difficulty, so we've had to find other ways to sneak in. Try again." The officer's tone of condescension was unmistakable.
Mark blinked then tried again for the next most obvious choice. "You caught one of our moles then. I'm sure you already know we have spies all over your bases, it's just a matter of you figuring out who they are."Admitting that there actually were Operatives working as spies in the enemy network was against regulations and a breach of security, but it appeared that they had somehow broken into the command network to an extend where they'd been able to set up an Operative like himself, so the liability towards other Operatives in the field was negligible at this point.
The Lieutenant Colonel snorted. "Again, no. You're thinking about this in too obvious of a manner . Really, I thought you Operatives were a little more intelligent than this with all the breaking and entering you've accomplished thus far. Are you really nothing more than wind up super soldiers? You disappoint me really, I expected better."
'Those three who came in with you, who are they." Mark asked steering the conversation towards a different topic.
"Not going to continue guessing Operative? You're no fun at all. Well if you really must know those three are mirrors, some of the best and brightest of our intelligence corps operatives."
"Mirrors? What the hell are those, freaks of some sort?" Mark growled.
"Not quite Operative. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to give you a demonstration, since you were going to find out about them soon enough anyways. Alan, show off a little, would you please?"
"Yes sir." a voice answered from Mark's right, seeming to come out of nowhere. The air shimmered and one of the black cloaked figures re-appeared at Mark's side.
"Invisibility, is that is. We've been duped by invisible soldiers?" Mark snorted at the incredulity of it.
"Not quite Operative, that's not all they can do. Go on Alan, show him what else you can do. It's not as though we're going to release him." the Lieutenant Colonel smiled confidently.
Alan tapped something along the side of his head and a blue-green beam proceeded to trace its way down his body until if finished at his feet and emitted a satisfied *beep*. He then smacked something else on his wrist and his outline began to shimmer and warp until he had completely disappeared. There was a brief pause of five seconds and then a mote of light appeared about five feet above the ground, then there was a bright flash that forced Mark to blink.
When he opened his eyes, he was looking at a mirror image of himself standing right in front of him.