Sunday, November 16, 2014

That Mission

Stanton laced his boots and readied his gear. He'd been called away from the plant on short notice to accomplish a special ops mission. He'd been called out of an important meeting in the plant with a cover story of a family emergency. He'd actually been in the middle of his presentation on Efficient Consumption Management Strategy when the call came. It came through on his black phone and they told him that there had been a family emergency which meant a high priority operation that required his immediate participation.

He left the lecture hall of the Power Station leaving his captive audience to their chagrin. Dave had took the stage and platform to cover for him though even his comedy did not help the already enticed mood of the audience. They wanted to hear Stanton's talk as he was a great speaker.

Twenty minutes later and he was prepping his gear aboard a helicopter bound for the area of operations. The intelligence officer handed him the operation mission and dossier.

"So what's on the plate this time?" Stanton asked the intelligence officer.

"Its a combination mission. A hostage situation and intel grab. Its the perfect opportunity. We've just got to pop in and nab the hostage takers. They're in a company that was already under watch by section SIGINT YBSEC. The hostage takers are unprepared and disorganized. We're detecting level three stress already and its only been ten minutes. We can't lose this opportunity though. So you're going to play as one of the swat team. You'll be going in to reconnoiter the building. While in there, you'll obtain two intelligence packages, the first we suspect is on a computer in the offices on the third floor. There are only six offices with workstations so should be a piece of cake. Once you're done there, you'll observe and report any detail related to the hostage situation." the intelligence officer told him.

"Oh. That mission." Stanton said to him. 

In his field the term that mission meant the highly unpredictable mission in the midst of civilians on your home soil.

"Yep. Your second target intel package is a delivery that was recently received in the shipping docks. Amongst a pallet of business records. We suspect they're shrink wrapped." the intelligence officer told him.

"Why didn't they have one of the shippers pull the intel collection job for us. I'm sure they could use the money. They're secure and efficient." Stanton asked the fresh intel officer.

"Because this was shipped by a private company. One out of our books and tracking portfolio. They're tricky." the intel officer replied.

Stanton's personal phone rang and he answered it.

"Speaking?" he responded.

"Sorry Brad. Look. The crowd here was really looking forward to the rest of your talk. And. You know. I just can't let them down. Elena is going to deliver the talk. The good parts. I mean she has good parts and that will go well with the speech, but we need your notes. Can you help us? My condolences to... Who died?" Dave asked him somewhat professionally even though they'd developed a friendship.

Stanton heard a slapping sound on the other end of the phone.

"What the heck was that?" asked Stanton.

"Uhhh. It was Elena slapping me for that last comment. Sorry. I meant she's the only one with your level of Engineering training and specialization to know what you were going after with this talk. Can you tell us where you have your notes and slides? Is it Ghostscript of Powerpoint?" Dave asked him.

"Look Dave. I'm in the middle of an important family meeting. We have an emergency here so I'm going to have to ask you to keep your calls to a minimum. My notes are in the server folder under a directory called flirbs, just look there and you should find them. All of the talk is there including the Powerpoint files though make sure you give those directly to Elena." Stanton told him.

"Thanks man. 'Preciate it. Will do. You take care. I'll call you if we need anything else." Dave hung up promptly.

Stanton considered silencing the phone but instead put it on silent ring so he'd know if they needed anything. Very pertinent to keeping his cover at the Plant.

"If any calls come through, cycle them through to my comms. Put them on Channel 72 or something like that. Shouldn't get in the way." Stanton ordered his Communications Officer.

"Yes sir! I could call for some take out maybe. I could have it delivered to you right in the hotzone of the mission if you'd like?" the feisty Communications Officer replied.

"No. I'd rather if you brought it in yourself." Stanton strapped the last of his coveralls and gear on over his office wear.

He checked his weapon load out carefully and all appeared to be well.

"You're free to go anytime." the comms officer told him.

"I'm gone then." Stanton said as he latched onto the rope and descended into the street below. He landed and was approached by the Section Chief of the Swat Team.

"Sargeant Cansen here. I understand you'll be doing the recon for us today. I already have my team set up and we're just waiting for the intel and the go ahead. If you make you entry by the left dock and in through the shipping door there, you should be able to get in out of the security camera's view. The hostage takers have a tech of their own who seems to be keeping his eyes on the security rig for the building rather efficiently. I'd suggest avoiding cameras at all costs. Other than that, just another day at the office. We'll get you close to the building. Just act like a guard for the negotiator, who we'll be sending up to the front door. Then break away and make for the docks at the back. Here's a security card, you'll need it to get in. You've got the highest level access we can give you. It won't signal the tech guy about you coming." Cansen said slightly out of breath.

"Thank you Sargeant, let's get this show underway." Stanton said in a commanding but quiet voice.

"Alright, let's get go ahead with the negotiator. We've got our third man here to accompany him." Cansen gestured to the negotiator who already had two Swat team members by his side.

The negotiator, a short meagre looking man of his forties was accompanied by two of their team members with Stanton taking point. The approached the building which had been sealed off from about 9:30 AM when they'd received the hostage call. It was now 10:17 AM as they neared the front doors of the massive building.

As planned, Stanton broke free of the group before they were in eyeshot of any camera and proceeded incognito around the building to the loading docks. When he arrived he scoped for the cameras Cansen had indicated to him and spotted all of them. He made note of his path and then timed his attempt accordingly. Before long he was at the door undetected and using the security card to get in. He was even surprised when the door clicked indicating that it had unlocked. This was going over a little too well he thought and he turned up his senses a notch. Situations tended to change very quickly on such operations. Inside the negotiator met with one of the hostage takers.

"I said for you to come alone. You're already breaking promises. I don't like that. It's a bad start you know." the hostage taker said to the negotiator.

"You must be Prestin. Look Prestin, I'm sorry but I had to. The Chief wouldn't let me do it alone. I tried to convince him but he didn't go for it. He wanted to send ten guys originally and I had to talk him down to two." the negotiator said to the hostage taker.

"That's what you do? Negotiate isn't it? Well then I guess you've already earned your day's pay then. So this one is just a freebie right?" Prestin said to smiling sarcastically.

The negotiator turned to the armed escorts and sent them off. They hesitantly left and returned (tactically) back to the street and the collection of emergency vehicles.

"I'm going to work with you to get you what you want and more importantly, what you need. I'm here and want to listen to what you have to say and what you require of us. You have my word that I'm going to do my best to get that for you. I just want to make sure that every one of us walks out of here alive today." the negotiator said to Prestin.

"Then what may I call you?" Prestin asked him.

"My associates out there call me Franklin. You can just call me Frank." the negotiator replied.

"Alright Frank. Let's go upstairs and I'm going to tell you some of my rules. Then we'll start to negotiate and you can earn your pay cheque." Prestin said waiting for Frank to approach him. As he did, six guys stepped out from the shadows, each with SMGs cradled in their arms.

"You see. I've got people that work for me that are just itching to try out these new SMGs. I have so much trouble keeping them under control but maybe together, we can negotiate something. Just like you with your Swat guys, huh? They must be chomping at the bit to blow my brains out." Prestin said earnestly and somewhat jaded.

"They are trained to do their job and they aren't biased about it. They'll do what they have to according to their orders. They don't want to hurt you, but from experience I know they'll drop you and the other hostage takers before they drop anyone else. I won't lie to you." Frank told Prestin keeping his face calm and collected.

"I'm counting on it." Prestin said as he moved for the elevators.

The six gunmen surrounded Frank and directed him to follow Frank.

"Welcome to the funhouse." Prestin said unglamorously.

to be continued...

Copyright © 2014 Brian Joseph Johns