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Canada's Elite #29


Canada's Elite #29

Postby Lt Storm » 13 Jun 2015 08:07


Chapter 28

Canada’s Elite Headquarters, the infirmary, where Archaic has just woken from his coma. General Phoenix walks briskly down the halls to debrief him but is stopped by Hotwire who blocks entry to the room. “Out of my way.” The General snaps, annoyed that the short haired brunette is denying her entry after the works she’s done to gain the teams trust.
“Ma’am I’m sorry but you can’t go in there right now.”
“Excuse me? Why not?”
“I don’t know, Medic requested that no one else be allowed in.” Hotwire says.
“No one else, who’s in there?”
“Storm. Apparently he woke Archaic up.”
“I don’t know that either, we just have to wait until Medic gives the okay.”
Phoenix notices the emotion in Hotwire’s eyes. “You’re not as tough as you come off are you?”
“I can see it, you are worried. Something is telling you there is more going on here.”
Hotwire looks away from the General, a bit embarrassed that the red haired woman has seen through her. “I just hope he’s okay that’s all.”
“Of course.” Phoenix places her hand on Hotwire’s shoulder. “Have Medic report to me the second she comes out.”
“Yes Ma’am.” Hotwire nods.

Inside the infirmary both Medic and Storm sit in silence, unsure of what to say after Archaic’s reveal about his parents murder.
“How?” Storm asks. “They were supposed to be in protective custody.”
“What?” Medic blurts out having not known that bit of information.
“My brother, he…” Archaic chokes.
“Michael, also known as Dune, my field team had a run in with him.” Lt Col Storm explains. “He was discharged from the military then went AWOL. As a precaution, because of Dune’s psychiatric evaluation, their parents were placed into protective custody.”
Archaic looks up at Storm. “You’ve run into him?”
“Yes. He was with Anaconda attempting to blow up one of Rattlesnake’s labs.”
“He hates me.” The Joe closes his eyes as tears run down his face. “He blames me for everything, he hated our parents.”
Storm kneels down next to the bed placing his hand on Archaic’s shoulder. “Why?”
“He…we, had a brother, his twin who died. Our parents were distraught over it and when I was born they gave me my dead brother’s name.”
“Oh my god.” Medic gasps.
“They shipped Michael off to private school, I never saw him much. He was always getting into trouble. I…I used to look up to him as a kid. As I got older…we just didn’t speak much, but I never knew he hated me or our parents so much.”
“None of this is your fault.” Medic says squeezing Archaic’s hand.
“It’s worse.” He takes in a deep breath. “He showed me pictures of our parent’s murder to prove he killed them.”
“My god.” Medic gasps again lowering her head down to hide her tears.
Storm swallows hard wishing now that he took the opportunity to kill Dune. “He did this to you didn’t he, beat you?” Storm doesn’t need an answer to know. “He’ll pay for this Matthew, I promise you that.”
“About Rattlesnake…” Archaic starts to ask.
“He’s back with the Squad, we ran into him as well. Anything else can wait for now. Get some rest.” Storm exits the room running into Hotwire. “He’s…okay.”
“You hesitated, why did you hesitate?” Hotwire looks deep into Storm’s eyes. She can tell he knows something; he is distracted by his emotions which he’s trying to keep bottled up.
“He’s been through a traumatic experience; Medic will need some time with him.”
“What happened? And if you dare say I can’t tell you I will go grab my channel locks and crush your nuts.”
“You have a personal connection to him don’t you?”
Hotwire looks at Storm, surprised by his question. “How’d you know?”
“I didn’t, I could just tell by the way you are showing so much concern for him.”
“I knew him when he was younger; I was friends with his brothers before he was born. I saw how badly it tore his parents apart when they lost one of their sons. His mother was in and out of psychiatric treatment. A few years later when Matthew was born it was like all that pain went away. I think they believed it was their dead son coming back to them. I used to babysit Matthew when he was just a baby, then my dad got transferred and we had to move. I doubt he even remembers that.”
Storm looks at Hotwire with an expression of concern. “Come with me.”

At the Serpent Squad Headquarters’ Lt Graves makes his way to the trooper’s quarters. He was instructed to bring one of them into the high command, without any more of an explanation. Graves opens the door and taps lightly as he enters to find the woman naked, having dropped her towel. “Oh, I’m sorry…” The room has several bunk beds along one wall and a sitting area on the other end opposite the beds.
“Why?” The woman looks over her shoulder at him with a playful smile as she continues to dress. “What can I help you with Sir?”
“Major Fear would like to see you.”
“Oh, well I better hurry now shouldn’t I?” The woman quickly pulls on her uniform, tossing about her still damp brown hair. Within moments she walks by Lt Graves giving him a wink and a smile. “Shall we?”

Storm and Hotwire stand in the base commander’s office, his former office which Phoenix now uses.
“You sure it is safe to talk in here?” Hotwire inquires.
“Yes.” Storm walks over to the computer on the desk and brings up a file then turns the screen towards Hotwire. It shows a civilian picture of Dune.
“Oh my god…that’s Michael.”
“Also known as Dune of the Serpent Squad.”
“My team encountered him at one of Rattlesnake’s labs. He is the one who put Matthew in a coma and he killed their parents.”
Hotwire sits down in one of the chairs in front of the office desk. “What?”
“Dune is sick Hotwire; he blames his brother for his rough life.”
“No…” Hotwire is overcome with emotion, her face going pale.
“Are you okay?” Storm rushes to her side kneeling down next to her. “Hotwire, what is it?”
“I was there the day that Matthew…Michael’s twin brother, died. I know what happened. I...I never thought anything like this would happen.”

Serpent Squad Command Center, Graves walks in with the female trooper who receives a warm smile from Major Fear.
“Welcome.” The leader bolsters.
The female trooper salutes her commander. “Thank you Sir, though I am curious as to why you graciously summoned me.” She says charismatically.
“I’ve been watching you and reading your file.”
“I’m honoured, not every trooper makes her masters night table.” She coos.
Down in the command pit the woman catches the attention of Lady D, who looks up at the brunette glaring at her.
Fear ignores the troopers friendly flirting, continuing on. “You are experienced with edged weapons, the crossbow, sniper training, and psychology. I could use someone like you in my high command.”
This surprises Lady D, who is not impressed.
“It would be my duty to serve under you.”
“Very good, Lt Graves will assist you.”
The woman looks over at Graves with a smile. “I look forward to it.”
Fear waves them off as Lady D comes up out of the command pit. “Why her?”
“You heard her credentials.” Fear smiles. “Ah, is that jealousy I detect my dear? You have nothing to worry about with her. She has eyes for another.”
“She’s a trollop.”
“She is using her feminine wiles, something women have done for centuries. She knows how to talk to men of power to gain theirs. We are a simple species, men like being flirted with and admired for their strengths. It inflates our egos and makes us easier to manipulate. I assure you my dear you have nothing to worry about, he tricks will not work on me.”
“I still think she is a trollop. She reminds me of that disgusting Nightingale woman.”
“Not all can be as perfect as you.” Fear runs his hand along Lady D’s long black hair. “You are what every woman should aspire for. Strong, powerful, beautiful.” His words fill the woman with a feeling of superiority, doing exactly what the trooper had attempted to do with him.

For the first time since she has joined the Canada’s Elite team, Lt Col Storm sees Hotwire break down. She had just revealed to him that she was there the day the brother Archaic never knew died. “Hotwire…Sheila, what happened that day?”
“I swore I’d never tell.” She cries.
Storm puts his arms around her pulling her to him, hugging her. “I know but this is important, that man killed his own parents, he beat his brother into a coma, we need to know everything about him to bring him to justice.” Storm relaxes his hold on her letting Hotwire compose herself, keeping his hands on her shoulders.
“It was summer, we were…we were playing down by the creek...there used to be a large tree that hung over the water. We played there so many times.” Hotwire pauses for a moment forcing her tears back.
“It’s okay, you can tell me.” Storm says comforting her.
“Michael and Matt competed like brothers usually do; Michael never wanted to admit his brother was better than him at anything. They used to race to the top of the tree, Matt usually let Michael win just so we didn’t have to listen to him accuse Matt of cheating. But that day…” Hotwire closes her eyes remembering it like yesterday. “Matt decided he wouldn’t let his brother win…when Michael saw him climb ahead of him…I could see the anger in his eyes…he shook the limb Matt was on, he wouldn’t stop even when Matt yelled at him too. I begged Michael to stop…I begged…but he wouldn’t, he kept shaking it until the limb broke.”
Storm squeezes Hotwire’s shoulders. “I’m here, its okay keep going.”
Hotwire keeps her eyes shut, squeezing them tight trying to stop any tears from running down her face. “Matt fell into the creek, the branches from the limb kept Matt pinned, and he couldn’t get himself out. Michael just sat there watching. I tried…oh god I tried so hard to pull that heavy branch off of Matt, but I couldn’t swim…I begged Michael to help me, I screamed for help.” Hotwire sobs into her hands. “They were too late, by the time help arrived…they were too late…I couldn’t stop crying. Michael came to me…he told me not to tell what happened…I was so scared…I was afraid he’d do the same to me.”
Storm holds Hotwire in his arms letting her cry. “It’s okay. You can sit here as long as you need. You did the right thing by telling me. I know what we are dealing with now.” He sits Hotwire back in the chair and gets up heading for the door.
“What…what happened to him? How did he....how could he...his own parents...”
“His brother wasn’t the only one who died that day; a part of Michael did too, his humanity and any good that was left in him.” Storm shuts the door behind him finding General Phoenix standing out in the hall.
“That is why they respect you and follow you.”
“You haven’t lost your compassion, your sense of humanity, not like Dune, not like that monster.” She says with anger in her voice having overheard everything.
“Uh, thanks. Can you give her some time?”
“Yes, of course.” Phoenix watches as Storm heads down the hall towards the infirmary. “We’ll make him pay for what he has done.”
“I know we will it’s what we do. We take down the monsters.”

In the armoury of the Serpent Squad Headquarters Lt Graves watches as the newest recruit into the high command picks out her new attire. She grabs a gold spandex top along with a navy and red shirt, a black Kevlar vest, navy reinforced leggings, a belt, black gloves and black leather knee high boots. “You don’t mind do you?”
“Uh, no?” Graves says not sure what she means. He watches as she undresses in front of him smiling the whole time. She then slowly puts on her new gear giving him as much of a show as she can. She asks for his assistance in fastening some of the clamps and finishes off by pulling on her boots and gloves.
“How do I look?”
“Like you are ready for battle. You’ll need to pick out a code name.”
“Hmm…” She ponders as she looks over a series of knives on the wall, picking out a matching pair. She expertly spins them around and secures them into the back slots of her belt. She rests her hands on the handles with her chest out, then walks up to Graves. With barely a warning she pulls a knife out and slides it just under his groin startling her superior. Slowly she raises the blunt end up. “Strike.”

Rattlesnake moves around his lab as Anaconda finally awakens. “How are you feeling? Oh silly me, try not to talk for a few days. Fixing your tongue was much more difficult than I expected. I’m sure over time you should have been able to control it once you got used to the forked tongue. I also removed your fangs and glands that were producing the venom. Interesting mutation in a human. You should have no further changes, but as for your mouth and eyes, I’m sorry there isn’t much I can do at this time.”
Anaconda tries to move her tongue, the swelling not yet having gone down. She watches him intently like she is ready to attack.
“What?” The scientist raises his tinted glasses. New ones he developed that display a HUD for him. “Oh, my apologies.” He scrambles for paper and a pen handing them to her. He watches as she writes, his face going from an inquisitive look to a frown.
The pad has written on it, this still doesn’t make you safe from me.

Medic searches the motor pool having left Archaic to rest. She spots the person she is looking for and approaches, carrying a digital pad in her hand. “Hightower.”
The Joe looks up at her taking him away from the diagnostic he was running on the mobile base exterior systems. “Yeah doc?”
“You haven’t been logging in your physical therapy sessions.”
“Sorry, been kind of busy.” He responds going back to his work.
Medic places a foot just inside the front wheel of his chair and grabs the back of it spinning him around to face her. “That is not what I want to here. Do you not want to get out of that chair?”
Hightower avoids Medic’s eyes on him. “…Yes.”
“You hesitated before you answered.” She places her hand on the small screen on the arm of his wheelchair turning it away. “Look at me when I am talking to you. I can keep you at the base indefinitely or discharge you from duty.”
He looks up at her with fear in his eyes.
“You’re scared.” Medic stands up straight crossing her arms. “You are afraid if you try you will fail and you don’t want to take that chance. You’re right, you can’t fail if you don’t try, but what kind of soldier does that make? What kind of man does that make? What kind of father does that make? A coward, that’s what it makes.”
Hightower looks up at Medic not appreciating being called a coward. “I’m not.”
“Then you get your @$$ down to the gym and continue your physical therapy.”
“Everyone is busy; they don’t have time for me.”
“Like bull they don’t. Anyone, everyone, on this team would be more than willing to help you and you know that.” Medic walks around behind his chair grabbing the handles.
“What are you doing?”
“Taking you myself, and if I have to I will petition General Phoenix and Lt Col Storm to allow me to join the field team.” She heaves Hightower forward heading for the main base. “Wherever you go I will go.”
“I’m not done. If you don’t keep up your physical training I will report you to Storm myself, and you know he won’t be happy.”
“No, I just wanted to thank you for reminding me who I am. I am a soldier, a G.I.Joe, I am a father, and I am not a coward.”
Medic smiles at Hightower appreciating how her words got through to him.

Manitoba, site of the top secret military base that was shut down years ago by Storm, then later used by the Canada’s Elite foes, the Liberators, as a base of operations. A base that hides many secrets, some of which have already been discovered. The Canada’s Elite field team disembark from two attack choppers, joined by Downlink who is excited to be on a mission. His first since they launched the satellite months ago.
“Alright we will split into two teams, Hightower, Red Dragon, and Target will scout the upper level with Afterburner. The rest of you are with me.” Storm instructs. This leaves Downlink, Red Eye, and Navy with him.
“I can’t believe they just left this place without destroying it.” Navy comments.
“Why? If Singer was successful he’d want this base intact to use its secrets.”
“What are we looking for?” Afterburner inquires.
“Anything.” Storm says cryptically. He ushers for his team to follow him as they head for the damaged elevator and the lower command center. Downlink and Redeye take in their surroundings, having not been there before.
“What is this place?” Redeye inquires.
“Corruption, deception, wrongs that should never had even been conceived.” Storm replies.
“You going to stop being so secretive anytime soon?” Redeye asks with a smirk.
“Storm.” General Phoenix’s voice cracks over the com link. “I think it’s time you opened up that box and told us all what you know.”
The Lieutenant Colonel takes a deep breath as he walks over to a blank wall near the elevator shaft. “Fine.” He presses hard against the wall as a panel slides open revealing an electrical panel. He pulls a leaver that activates backup generators restoring limited power to the base. His team and Afterburner’s team all look around in amazement at the flickering lights. “Years ago, as many of your know already, I was stationed here at this base when I was just a Sergeant.” He steps into the elevator followed by the other three. It clangs and sparks as it descends. “And as you know General Singer was supposed to be in command until I had the base shut down.”
“Yes, that information is well known.” General Phoenix responds having read the reports herself. “What we need to know is why you shut it down.”
“I’m getting to that.” He says a bit annoyed, and steps off the elevator after it roughly settles. “This base was going to be a testing ground for…everything. I was given access to every bit of data and what research was going to be conducted here. I believe the higher ups saw me as controllable, that I’d keep what I found to myself. They were greatly mistaken.”

Afterburner and her team continue on down the halls as Storm tells his story, they follow Target who was held in the base for a period of time. He leads them to the research lab that was discovered by the Red Shadows, pausing for a moment near the room he was held in.
“They overestimated your moral code.” Redeye comments over the com.
“Yes. They were going to develop and test biological weapons here, nothing was off limits. DNA research, Captain America style super soldier testing. They also enlisted the aid of a brilliant scientist that was going to be the head of the research department. Her name was Alexandra Delonge…”
“Crimson Rayne?” General Phoenix interrupts. The woman’s identity being revealed after the capture of the Red Shadows and Liberators (see book 8).
Afterburner’s team all look surprised, not having been told that bit of information.
“Yes.” Storm replies. “Her research was a large part of why I had this base shut down.”
“My god…” Hightower exclaims as they enter the research lab. “This place looks like something out of a horror film.” He wheels over to the operation tables looking up at the ceiling seeing several devices hanging down including syringes. Across from him Afterburner looks over the vats as Target heads to the work stations. Red Dragon checks out a large chamber trying to figure out what it is.

In the partly destroyed command center Storm approaches a computer terminal that appears to have not been used. He blows the dust from the keyboard hitting the power button on it. Nothing happens so he kneels down pressing the power button on the hard drive below booting the computer up. “That’s not the worst of it.”
“It gets worse than what we see here?” Red Dragon comments over the com.
“Yes.” It doesn’t take long for the computer to boot as Storm enters in his still working access code. “Much worse.” There’s a hum followed by a grinding sound. Discouraged, Storm walks over to an area next to the computer terminals and presses hard on the floor with his foot. A loud click is heard followed by a panel opening up in the floor raising a large handle up. “Everything was thought of with this base, including attacks and power failures.” He heaves hard on the leaver pulling it back. The previous grinding echoes in the room again as the screens on the front wall move aside. The wall opens to reveal a secondary set of computers.
“Holy sh!t, what is this place, the batcave?” Downlink remarks.
“Not quite.” Storm replies. “This base was also a hub for every bit of data ever collected on every single living and dead Canadian citizen.”
“What do you mean every bit of data?” Navy asks.
“I mean everything. From birth records to first car, every email, every bank transaction, any letter that was ever registered to you, photos uploaded online, every bit of data ever entered into a computer or government facility. Even the ability to track anyone, anytime, anywhere, via bank machines, traffic cameras, credit card use, toll bridges, it’s endless. These computers housed at the time, and still, the most advanced technology in facial recognition and tracking systems.”
There is silence over the com as everyone processes the information. Storm sits down at the newly revealed computers bringing up files on each member of the team, including personal data. “Everything.”
“This, this is wrong.” Redeye says in awe.
“Very wrong.” Navy adds viewing the information on her. “My god, there’s even what kind of corsage my first boyfriend bought me for our high school prom.”
“Destroy it, destroy it all.” Phoenix says.
“I intend to.”
“What do you mean you intend to?” Downlink asks Storm.
“The programs on these hard drives can be useful for us.”
“How?” Afterburner’s angered voice scolds.
“Like I said, it houses all the information on every citizen, including the Canadian born members of the Serpent Squad. We want to be able to track them, find them, discover who they are, this is our only chance.”

Back at their base the General wrestles with the moral issues this new information raises. Feedback, Fallout, Hotwire, Snow Squall, G.I., Dust Off, and Night Spotter are also in the command center as well listening in. She looks to them all, trying to figure out what to do when she makes her own revelation. “This is where you went when you went AWOL isn’t it? That is how you were able to access the information on Major Fear to verify his claims.”
“No, it’s not. And this place is off the grid so I wouldn’t even be able to access the files here remotely.” Storm responds, not surprised she came to that conclusion.
“General.” Fallout says getting her attention. “You know what we have to do here.”
“Yes I do, and I don’t like it anymore than you or any of us will.”
“It’s your say, this time.” Storm jests.
General Phoenix takes in a deep breath and closes her eyes. Her heart pounds in her chest and her stomach churns. She knows what the right thing to do here is, and she also knows the opportunity they have that hey can’t let slip through their fingers.

The Serpent Squad Headquarters’ in BC, the entire high command all gather in the command center, including the two newest additions, Bomb Blast and Strike. The latter of which hangs close to Lt Graves. Major Fear stands next to his command console with a map of Canada displayed on a large screen that hangs from the ceiling. “Even though Cobra Commander was captured, and Cobra itself nearly dismantled it does not stop his vision.” The leader of the Squad barks. “We will continue that vision and his message. We are not the only ones; there is more who work under the cover of secrecy to aid us.”
Several Cobra emblems appear on the map with the press of a remote device in Major Fear’s hand. “Each represents our target.” He presses the button again displaying blueprints to a device that slowly begins to assemble. “With this we will control the nation. Once installed and activated we will gain access to the airwaves. We will send out the Commander’s message and anyone listening to the radio, using a cell phone or any audio transmitting device will hear his message.”
“A subliminal message.” Lady D comments.
“Yes, exactly. No one will be safe from it, even the Canadian G.I.Joe team. By the time they figure it out it will be too late.”
“You don’t think they will try to stop us from installing these devices?” Vee remarks.
“They will try and they will fail, because if any of you fail it will mean dire consequences.”
“Who’s all going on these missions?” Dune inquires.
“Everyone.” Major Fear looks over at Rattlesnake. “Everyone. You will all be placed into teams with paratroopers…”
“Paratroopers?” Rattlesnake blurts.
“Yes, they need to be place atop structures, radio towers, cell towers, anyplace that houses an antenna or tall buildings.”
“I hope no one is afraid of heights.” Black Vulture comments, smiling under his mask.
“You will all receive your orders shortly, as well as your team assignments. Now get out of my sight.” Fear snaps ushering them all away.
The high command all file out whispering amongst themselves.

Strike follows Lt Graves out spiralling around him like a love struck school girl. “I hope I get to be on your team. I think we’d work well together.” She says batting her eyelashes. She flirts hard with him, he likes the attention and she can use that.
Lady D grunts grabbing Anaconda’s arm and taking her in the opposite direction. “That woman disgusts me.”
Anaconda gives Lady D a puzzled expression, still unable to speak.
“She is throwing herself all over Graves like a child with a crush. That is not proper behaviour of a military woman.”
Anaconda stops and takes out a pad of paper and pen from her pocket. She scribbles on it then hands it to Lady D.
“Why do I care?” She reads. “I don’t care for Graves at all I just don’t approve of trollops.” Lady D watches as Anaconda writes. “Maybe Fear is hooking his buddy up?” She scowls at Anaconda. “You don’t think…”
The red head nods her head.
“Men.” She huffs hoping Major Fear wouldn’t stoop to such a level.

Black Vulture walks with Bomb Blast towards the mess hall to get something to eat. They discuss the up coming mission picking up trays and lining up behind a few troopers. The aroma of slop cafeteria food fills the air, which either makes you hungry or sick to your stomach.
“I hope we run into the Joe’s, they have some payback coming.” Black Vulture says.
“Wouldn’t you want to get payback on the Red Shadows?” Bomb Blast inquires.
“They are all imprisoned, besides there’s a tart on the Joe team that I want to get back at. She goes by the name of Hotwire.”
“An enemies list eh?” Blast jokes.
“Do you not have one? Don’t you want payback for being captured?”
“Nah, just as long as I get to blow a few of them up.” He looks over at Lt Graves and Strike as they enter the mess hall. “Someone’s getting lucky.”
“Yes, as long as they don’t make me lose my appetite.” Vulture looks down at the slop on his tray. “If the looks of this food doesn’t do it first.”
“You’d think being high command we’d get better food.”
“I think that is saved for the highest of command.” He grunts following Blast over to a table and sitting down. Vulture disconnects his helmet taking it off.
Blast looks at the scarred man a bit startle by his appearance. “I’m sorry; this is the first time I’ve seen you since you were bought in.”
“Don’t be.”
“Does it hurt?” Bomb Blast asks, as if he’s concerned for his teammate.
“Only when I breathe.” Vulture huffs.
“I’m sure the medical staff could do something to help you.”
“I don’t want them too; I want it as a constant reminder of what was done to me. Plus I don’t want to become another of Rattlesnake’s experiments.”
“You must have a huge set of brass balls.” Blast smirks.
“The biggest you’ve ever seen.” Vulture jests back.

“I would never take you as a voyeur Major Fear.” Mad Dog says stepping out of nowhere next to his leader, who watches his troops from his command console.
“You are one of the very few who can sneak up on me like that, Dog. It isn’t voyeurism, its research. I must know whom I can trust, which ones will work well in a team together. This mission is vital, if we are successful we will be able to brainwash an entire nation, a scale of which has never been attempted before. Think of it, a nation full of loyal Cobra troops.”
“What of those who resist the brainwashing?”
Major Fear turns his head towards Mad Dog. “They will perish. The trick will be assembling all the components on site.”
“I don’t understand.” The tall man says.
“The device is broken down into three pieces, each of which seems harmless on their own. As we speak two of the components are being shipped separately to their destinations. The third component is the command module that is here in the base. Each team will assemble these three components onsite, so even if we run into resistance no one will realize what we are up to.”
“What if someone loses a command module to our enemies?”
“That is the beauty of them, they have a failsafe built in. Whoever carries the command module will also carry a remote device; if they get out of range the command module will instantly incinerate leaving it useless.”
“Seems you have thought of everything.”
“Not I, Cobra Commander, this was his plan, his mission that I was instructed to complete. A test run that if successful will be used around the world.”
“Won’t we have to install hundreds of these?”
“No, they will be installed in the most populated areas, and anyone who travels between these areas will pick up the signal. It will be broadcast over radio, television, every device capable of carrying a signal, and who ever receives the signal will receive the message as well. No one will be safe from our grasp.”

Manitoba, the field team lifts off from the base in the Attack Chopper, Storm in the back cargo area. Redeye looks back at him from the cockpit, Downlink piloting the helicopter. Navy sits on a seat near Storm mentally calculating their distance.
“We should be in the safe zone!” She shouts over the roar of the wind.
“Guess it’s time to say goodbye to this part of my past eh?” Storm jokes.
“We’re doing the right thing Sir, you know that.”
“I do, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about it though.” Storm looks down at a remote detonator he holds in his right hand, he presses down on the switch and watches.
Explosions can be heard even over the wind and whirl of the helicopter. Then puffs of dust fill the air around the base as it collapses in on itself, filling the chambers below. Had they been on the ground, it would have felt as if it were an earthquake. Storm slides the cargo door shut and returns to the cockpit taking the empty seat across from Redeye, Navy following him up and sits on the floor between them.
“You sure that those explosives will be enough? That place was probably built to withstand anything.” Redeye inquires.
“The base was also designed to be destroyed if need be. Luckily I was the only one with the command codes. Singer wouldn’t have received them until he arrived. I disable the security measures and released a virus through the system.”
“Along with the extra explosives I set.” Navy adds.
Suddenly the helicopter sputters, the instrument panel flickering then returning to normal. “What the hell was that?” Downlink gasps.
“An EMP.” Storm says. “Another safety protocol planted under the base. Had the base be structurally compromised it would detonate further frying the data banks.”
“A little warning would have been good.”
“I figured we were out of range, we were, almost.” Storm smiles.

Back at the Canada’s Elite Headquarters, the team begins to disperse as they wait on the arrival of the field team. General Phoenix remains with Feedback in the command center.
“One has to wonder, with all that was planned for that base how did Storm get it shut down?” Feedback says.
“Good question, one I doubt we’ll find the answer to. Either someone’s ethics came into play or he has some very powerful connections.”
“He does, now, but back then I doubt it. There has to be more to the story.”
Phoenix places her hand on Feedback’s shoulder. “You are starting to sound like Storm. It’s done now, the base has been levelled.”
“And we go back to looking for the Serpent Squad the hard way.”
“I know you would have loved to analyze that tech but there were just too many moral questions that come with it. We’re here to protect our country not govern it. That’s what General Singer wanted to do, thank god he’s dead.”
“But what did they take from it? Athena is smart, brilliant in fact.”
“Let’s hope they didn’t uncover all the secrets then.” Phoenix pats Feedback’s shoulder realizing her hand was still there then exits the command center.

Lady D enters Major Fear’s room finding him stripped of most of his uniform and doing push ups on the floor. “Apparently Rattlesnake did as you asked concerning Anaconda.”
“I never…doubted…he wouldn’t.” Fear grunts as he finishes his rep, giving himself on last heave upwards springing him upright. Lady D hands him a towel from his bed to pat himself down with. “Rattlesnake fears me, I’ve seen to that since the day we met. But like all crazed scientists he still wants to run his own experiments.”
“Unnatural experiments.” Lady D scowls.
“Call them what you want my dear but he does have his usefulness. Take the venom his genetic altering created. We now have a new weapon against our foes.”
“But it doesn’t kill, only paralyzes.”
“Exactly, leaving the victim completely aware of what is going on around them, unable to stop it. Imagine, Lt Col Storm lying hopeless as I slit the throats of his most cherished team members.” He grips the towel in his hand forming a makeshift head, and slices his fingers along it as if cutting an imaginary throat. “Their blood spilling on the ground as the life slips from their bodies.” He slowly releases the towel letting it drop to the floor. “Then surrounding him with explosives, watching as the timer ticks closer to his end…then…gone.” Fear grins.
“Storm wears and excessive amount of body armour, especially with his new uniform.”
“That is why I brought Strike into our high command. She is skilled with a crossbow and small arm weapons. She could fire an arrow through a heavily wooded forest and still hit her target.”
Lady D sits at the foot of the Major’s bed laughing to herself at what Anaconda had said earlier. “Oh so that is why you have been admiring her?”
“Did you think it was something other than that?” Fear walks over to Lady D’s taking her chin in his strong left hand, turning her head to face him.
“No, it was something Anaconda had said.”
“She thought you were setting Graves up with her, to get your buddy some action, as they would say.”
Fear laughs. “I have known Graves for a long time, but we are not that close. Her attraction to him is hers on her own.”
“You aren’t saving her for yourself?”
“My dear, I only long for you and you alone.”
Lady D places her hands at his sides looking up into his eyes. “Good.”

Canada’s Elite Headquarters, General Phoenix enters her office securing the door behind her. She walks over to the desk hitting a few buttons on the phone to connect to a secure line before she dials and picks up the headset.
A man answers the other end making sure they have complete privacy.
“Yes Governor General Sir, I am on a secure line and the office is locked.”
“Very well the, report.”
“Archaic has woken from his coma; unfortunately he has no recollection of where he was kept after he was capture. Medic is working with him to see what memories he may have repressed.”
“Yes Sir, he was beaten severely by his own brother, who we also learned killed his own parents.”
“Dear god…”
“He is recovering well, physically, better than expected actually. We’re hoping he might remember something that could give us a better idea of where the Serpent Squad is hiding. Our current methods are taking too long. Feedback has facial recognition software running non stop, but Canada is a large country.”
“A needle in a haystack.”
“For the lack of a better term, yes.”
“What about Lt Col Storm?”
“That matter has been resolved, it was a misunderstanding.”
“Yes Sir, he is cooperating fully and following orders to the letter.”
“And where is he right now?”
“He and his field team are on their way back from a scouting mission. A lead that resulted in a dead end I’m afraid.”
“Very well, keep up the good work then.” The Governor General says disconnecting his end. General Phoenix hangs up the receiver and sits quietly for awhile. She did not like keeping the destruction of the Manitoba base from him. It was before his time and may be something he has no knowledge about. With her recent epiphany about what Storm was trying to get her to understand, sometimes there are things they will need to keep to themselves.
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Lt Storm
Commander In Chief
Posts: 151
Joined: 24 Mar 2008 08:15
Location: Ontario, Canada

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