OPERATION BRUTAL SLEEP
COVERT DATA RECOVERY
Lancaster watched Talana bend low, gathering power in her legs before jumping up, effortlessly clearing the building and landing on its roof. Lancaster immediately followed suit, feeling the energy wind up in his legs like a spring when he finally released it, enjoying the exhilarating feeling of being launched 30 feet in the air, before landing easily on his feet. Talana and had already moved to the roof’s edge, crouched low, and Lancaster followed suit. Down in the street below them, he saw about a dozen EXALT soldiers prowling around, getting into position to ambush the site of the decoder.
“Alright, Siren, there’s about a dozen soldiers in the street. Is everyone in position?” asked Talana over the radio.
“Sirens 3 and 5 in position,” replied Burning Man.
“Siren 4 is near the decoder.”
“Siren 2 and Minotaur 1 are in the alley.”
“Roger that. On my signal, start the ambush.”
Lancaster watched her leisurely remove the rocket tube from her back, and load in a rocket. Taking a knee, she aimed carefully down in the street, and after a few moments, she fired. Lancaster watched the rocket scream into the center of the EXALT squad, destroying a car in the process. Lancaster raised his laser pistol and fired at a wounded sniper fleeting behind a car, dropping the soldier. Lasers from the squad below cut down a few more of the EXALT troopers, punctuated by the blast of Mendiola’s railgun, killing nother trooper before they were able to find cover.
Lancaster kept his pistol trained on what looked like a wounded medic, firing once and scoring a hit. In retaliation, a laser struck the brick directly below him, destroying his cover. He dove to the side as more lasers flew overhead, and Talana fired two barrages from her heavy laser. Suddenly, cries of, “They’re in the building!” drifted up from below, and Talana shouted to Lancaster, “Get down there!”
Lancaster scanned the street below, looking for any more threats. Areklis and Mendiola were firing at a couple of soldiers further down the street, but there were none nearby. Lancaster stepped on the ledge and leaped towards a large delivery truck nearby, landing on it. He swung himself over the edge of it and dropped to the asphalt below. He could hear the sound of intense fighting coming from the building, and as he rounded the corner he saw Arthur Crimson and Burning Man pinned down by some EXALT soldiers that had entered the building. Mendiola was slowly advancing on a pair of Snipers crouched behind a car down the street, and he dashed out of cover and moved behind the MEC pilot, entering the building. He crouched behind a desk and shot a machine gunner pinning Crimson down, dropping him. Lancaster turned to fire at the second EXALT soldier when a stray laser destroyed his cover, splintering the fragile wood. Horribly exposed, Lancaster looked around for another piece of cover when the sniper was cut down by Crimson.
Lancaster gave a sigh of relief and called out, “Thanks. Is that it?”
“Yea, I think so.”
Lancaster looked outside the street, but didn’t see any more EXALT. “Siren 1, the building is clear. Do you see anything from the roof?”
“Negative. Stay alert, they might be flying in reinforcements.”
Lancaster directed Crimson and Burning Man into better positions, and listened carefully for the sound of approaching helicopters. He moved over to the decoder and pulled his laptop out, connecting the two devices. He listened hard for the sound of any more EXALT soldiers as he tapped away on the laptop. It looked to him as if the decoding was done, and he pulled up the information to see if it contained the location of the EXALT base. He looked it over and swore, calling out over the radio, “Still don’t have the location of the base. I know they’re not in Europe, though.”
“Good work. Let’s get everyone out of here, I think I can hear helicopters coming.”