Mission 27

OPERATION PATIENT HAMMER
COVERT EXTRACTION
JAPAN

Coach bent over the desk, brow furrowed, tapping his pen. Due to being a newly promoted Sergeant, Maxwell had saw fit to leave the debrief paperwork up to Coach, and Coach had never known his opinion on someone could change so much in such a short space of time.

Despite there being 7 spots for participating soldiers, he used three lines to write, “Chimera, Bogeyman 1, Minotaur 2,” and then put the pen down. He started down at the report, thinking hard, until he tentatively put the pen to paper and wrote, “On the 14th of July, Corporal Coach landed in Japan to infiltrate an EXALT cell….”

Coach made a disgusted sound and balled the report up, tossing it into a trashcan. He grabbed a fresh sheet and placed it in front of him. He put the pen back to paper, and tried again.

“On the 14th of July in the year 2015, the confident Corporal Coach, the Versatile Viper of Versailles, infiltrated an exposed EXALT cell in Japan.”

He stopped, admiring the opening. He had never been to Versailles, but he liked the alliteration. He said it out loud, and it rolled off the tongue so well that it had to remain. Surely a fellow poet would be able to appreciate it.

“Due to the EXALT experiencing exciting XCOM excursions previously, they were wondrously wary, necessitating nighttime activities aimed at uncovering unusual intelligence indicating the location of the EXALT HQ.”

He paused, frowning at the sentence. He repeated the sentence, loving the way it sound until the end. He stared furiously at the end, knowing that he wasn’t reaching his full potential.

“Unfortunately, being undercover was unexciting until uniformed friends flew forward for…” and he paused. For what? What could he use that started with an F? He thought hard for a few moments, before writing, “Fextraction.”

It was a made up word, sure, but he was on a roll. This was shaping up to be a beautiful report, and he couldn’t understand why the squad leaders always grumbled about doing paperwork. Thinking about how he wanted to end the report, what his coup de grace should be, he finally stumbled upon it. With the confidence of an artist taking a brush to canvas, he put his pen to paper once more and began to write.

“After arrival, an aggressive and accurate assault against adversarial agents arose. Abortive attempts at avenging accomplished aught. Adversaries annihilated, all allies achieved archetypal aims, appeared at abode all able-bodied.”

Coach stopped, admiring his handiwork. He reviewed what he had wrote, feeling a deep sense of pride over the report. He reviewed it, trying to decide what was missing, when he realized he forgot to include the intelligence. Hastily, he scribbled underneath the report, “EXALT HQ not in Europe,” and then added his signature, including as many flourishes as possible.

Pleased with himself, he leaned back in his chair and congratulated himself, deciding to take a well earned nap.

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