His focus returned to the task at hand as the target satellite cleared the horizon and Satcom began receiving it's data. His hands quickly and deliberately danced over the keyboard, checking and verifying the Kepler data set. If all checked out the deorbit commands would be sent. He would then have another 12 hours to pick up souvenirs for the Mrs. Before catching his flight stateside. As he reached for his fresh cup of coffee, he notice a red light blinking. The perimeter sensors indicated intrusion. "Stupid Jaguars" he thought, "constantly going after the birds on the fence" A few keystrokes brought up the surveillance cameras looking for the elusive black cat of the rain forest. He stiffened...Contras! The unmistakable red arm band of a contra soldier setting a pair of bolt cutters down. More than a dozen came pouring through the new hole he had made.
The Dr panicked for only a moment then shifted into survival mode. "AIDE" he kept muttering to himself ... Alert Inform Destroy Evade he repeated.
He quickly typed his message
Alert!- Contras have penetrated Hill 4787 security
Inform- Satellite adjustments aborted! >15 Contras noted.
Unable to destroy all documents.
Beginning evasion procedures immediately.
The "send" Icon was linked to a secure channel on the Iridium constellation of satellites. The Dr grabbed his weapon, a small attache' case, and quietly left the control shed. He quickly made his way to the drainage ditch on the side opposite the Contra's new entrance. Once he penetrated the edge of the jungle he changed direction hoping to make as much distance as possible before the contras became aware of is presence.
The Contra General nodded in approval. The squad had penetrated the station and secured it without so much as one squeak from the perimeter warning system. Lazy Americans he half thought half muttered aloud. They install such advanced systems then ignore them. They don't even post a simple guard, now the station was free for the taking.
His investment in sending a member of Las Sambras to an American Tech school was paying off. The student graduated the electronics program with honors and returned as a tech officer. Such a simple investment and they were waging electronic warfare. Competing factions were conceding to their technological superiority and joining with the Contra movement. The corrupt government was faltering and on the verge of collapse. Now all they needed was a few pieces of communications and surveillance equipment to begin the next phase of their revolution.
"General!" a soldier called out "in here!" Something in the junior Contra's voice broke the General's normal swagger into a trot. The "hard life" had kept him in shape not to mention endeared him to his men. He was not some fat corrupt bureaucrat looking to create his own country, he was here for his men, for their families, for the movement. Upon entering the primary building. He immediately noted the coffee.
"Is the tech officer already setting up house?" He joked. The Sambra shook his head nervously, "No General it was here when we arrived..." The general's countenance darkened. He carefully visualized the cup as if it were a scorpion behind glass. "No lipstick," he mused. He then cradled the cup in his hands. "Its still warm in a building that's air conditioned for electronics". "Find him" he ordered "Get the tracking team on his trail. I want him alive" . Then he hissed at himself, "Who is calling who lazy".
The General collapsed in his bed. His body moaned almost audibly. As JSOC field commander he enjoyed being in the field with the troops but age was beginning to curse his body. This last field training exercise was 4 days. Of those 96 hours he got less than 3 hours of sleep at any one time and one shower. The crew, as he liked, to call them, would always say "If the old man can do it so can we" The General cut everyone slack for what they said provided it was respectful and didn't tear down morale. He had started his military career right out of high school. Once in the army he realized how much he liked his new "outdoor" job. After his first tour he went to college choosing a degree that would further his military career. Over the years he met and married. His wife was incredibly understanding. As she walked into their bed room she quipped "hey! get get your maneuvers off my sheets. I just washed them" "How do you know I wasn't at the club on the east side of town?" He retorted. "Men can only handle one wife and one mistress." she needled "I'm your wife and the military is your mistress." He responded with a wry smile " Wouldn't want to over extend myself".
As relaxing as the shower was, the pager cut it short. The numeric code indicated the secure line. "Dear! Fair warning!!" he shouted down the stairs. The last uniform was pulled from the closet as the rest were still in the wash cycle. Striding through the kitchen his wife pouted "I have my limits!" Wearily he shot back "So do I. If this is a joke I promise I'll pin the responsible party to the kitchen table and you can beat them with the skillet!" He quickly twirled the floor safe knob and opened the hatch. It looked like any other cell phone except three wrong unlock codes fired a small thermite charge. The subsequent fire would melt the unit into an irrecoverable mass of silicone and plastic. The speed dial memory was replaced by the latest encryption hardware. Once the authentication was complete, HQ confirmed the page. "It's not a joke nor is it a drill. It's real Dear." Nothing further needed to be said. The uniforms in the laundry gave him enough time to say hello and good by to his wife.
As he walked down the halls of the non-descript building that was JSOC, he was still cleaning his gear. "You're not ready General" a non-uniform pentagon official sneered. The General enthusiastically corrected,"Sure I'm ready. My men and I are always ready to do violence to any one, foreign or domestic, that would threaten life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Which are you?" The official gave him a puzzled look. "Are you a foreign or domestic threat to my families pursuit of happiness?" A familiar voice snapped everyone to task, "Easy General. I'm sure he doesn't want his arm force fed to him and I'm certain I don't want to be a witness at a court martial." The Chief of Staff gestured toward the door. "No excuses. Sorry for the attitude Chief. I'll check it" the General stated. "Sorry for the quick turnaround" the Chief lamented.
The meeting got underway quickly. "There is a potential incident down south. 2 hours ago Contras left their Area of Operations and took over a hill with one of our listening posts. Marine Recon was initially dispatched but NSA requested full JSOC deployment. This now known as 'Operation Eminent Storm' Under "need to know" the NSA has divulged that a solo operative was performing special satellite maintenance at the time of the take over. We do not know the condition of the operative or the listening post designated Hill 4787. JSOC is to pacify the area and provide a complete damage assessment to the NSA. The NSA is only authorized to divulge that the scientist and any documents containing the words "Fire Fall" get top priority.. Gentleman your respective units have already been alerted. Your command staff has one hour to get airborne. We need to have boots on the ground in 8 hours. All available intelligence is being transferred to your mobile command units as we speak. Stay sharp!" Once the generals cleared the room, the Chief of Staff turned on the NSA liaison, he intentionally violated his personal space to show his displeasure"Why are we going in blind!? What is so important about Fire Fall that we commit a full command to this?" The liaison nervously took a step back.
This post has been edited by fastlearner: 16 April 2008 - 06:59 PM