Mission 40

OPERATION DRIVING MOUNTAIN
ASSET RECOVERY
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA

Gray adjusted the Geiger counter strapped to his armor, making sure it wasn’t going to fall off. He glanced around the truck stop, seeing the rows and rows trucks around the gas station, and wondered how long it would take to secure the Elerium.

“Do we know what the truck looks like?” asked Paddon.

“Negative,” replied Gray, “The only thing we know is that it’s radioactive. Thus, the counter.”

Paddon muttered something about a third nipple growing out of his eye as he slammed his fist against another. It rang hollowly, telling the two soldiers it was empty.

Gray sighed and walked past another truck, when he heard the far off explosion of a grenade followed by his earpiece crackling life with Vincent’s voice. “We’ve got Sectoids around. Minotaur 3 just obliterated 3 of them, sent a couple more scattering.”

“Roger that, we’ll keep an eye out,” replied Gray. Up ahead, Paddon slammed his fist against another truck, getting a hollow report. He shook his head and continued down the row as Gray glanced around, watching for any signs of movement. The two soldiers were approaching the end of the row of trucks but as Paddon passed by one, Gray heard the familiar click of a Geiger counter. Paddon moved up and slammed his fist against the truck, getting a dull thud in return, and said, “Hey, I think this is it!”

Gray jogged over to the truck, hearing his counter starting to click rapidly as he closed the distance. Paddon backed away from the truck as Gray called out over the radio, “Pretty sure we’ve found the load. We’re on the east side of the lot.”

“Great,” replied Ravenshaw. “Hold position, keep the truck secure. The rest of will sweep the rest of the AO. Dracula 5, Minotaur 3, have you encountered any more contacts?”

“Negative, Dracula 1. We sent them scattering, no idea where they went after.”

“Roger that.”

Gray and Paddon knelt, facing in opposite directions. Gray’s counter was still clicking slightly, so he moved up a little further, hoping to avoid any unnecessary radiation. From somewhere else in the lot, Gray heard the sound of plasma fire drift towards him and Ravenshaw said, “That’s 2 more down. Anyone else get any eyes on?”

Gray heard something rapidly approaching their row, and whispered into the radio, “Possible contacts heading our way.”

A few moments later, 2 Sectoids trotted across the open space, and Gray fired instinctively. The lead Sectoid crumpled under the plasma bolt, and from behind, Paddon followed it up with another shot, hitting the second alien. 

“We’ve got another 2 down by us,” reported Gray.

“Roger. That makes seven. How does that sound to you, Dracula 5? That about what you saw?

Gray heard the shrug in her voice as she replied, “Sure,” and Ravenshaw said, “That’s a wrap. Let’s get the science team on board to secure the Elerium, and then we’ll bug out. Just keep an eye out for any more contacts.”

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