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The 7th Column: Deceit
Posted By: Mainevent<billygoat359@netscape.net>
Date: 28 September 2003, 9:00 PM

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Martina Sal Dur, Sal Uradus

      Trevor was reclining in his plush artificial-leather chair as Stetson waltzed in, apparently happy about something. He was whistling a merry little tune to himself, and was nearly skipping as he sat down at his desk.

"What are you so happy about?" Trevor asked with a grin.

"Georgio approved it." Stetson replied with a whoop and clap.

"Your lying!" Trevor nearly fell back in his chair at the wonderful news. He sat upright, then got on his feet and stood over his desk staring at Stetson.

"I jest you not. I gave him the schematics on it, showed him some concepts, told him how it would work, B.S.'d him a little, and then gave a big one-two punch ending."

"Hot damn. Well, where do we get the materials? I mean, the UNSC isn't just going to hand it to us."

"Georgio is prepping several pelicans as we speak. In twenty-four hours there will be one very pissed off Spritza security chief. They're hitting it, and hitting it hard."

"Well, now that we're getting the materials, and we got the go ahead, we should start making it. One of us has to get it, so who'll it be?"

"You can go, I'll prep the labs for our tests."

"Alright, see you tonight."

"Yea, stay safe."

Spritza Power Plant, Sal Duradus

"Dropping in five, lock and load. No radio chatter about us coming, they still don't know we're here. Hopefully the dumb bastards will stay complacent long enough for us to slip in, slit their throats, and slip out. Rogers, Martinez, Carson, Debrose, and Wilson, you're special guard to our scientist. He gets a bullet only after all five of your sorry asses got one to match. Got it?" Corporal Randaford asked half-heartedly as the vehicle made several small bumps.

"Roger that, he dies, we dies." Debrose responded as he cleaned the grit from under his nails with his battle knife.

"Son, do that when we're back at base, you're gonna cut your finger off with that thing one day." Randaford chastised with a shaking head.

      The pelicans coasted unabridged into the facility's perimeter, and easily slipped past the unguarded gates at the entrance. The group of eight pelicans split off into four consecutive groups, to confuse the enemy with multiple fronts.

      Travis' landed at the eastern edge of the enormous towering structure, which provided clean electricity to over five million civilians in the large industrial city of Rasta de Azur three miles down scope from the plant.

      His personal escort hopped from the rear and secured the area, then gave him the all clear. Fifteen or so marines brushed past him as they forged into the compound, eager to clear out the plant's security in a hurry.

      Travis took a deep breath and combed the structure several times as they waited for the signal. In a matter of five to ten minutes the voice of Randaford was heavy on the comm. His escort checked their weapons and led the way as he and the large cylindrical tube he carried entered the sliding doors.

      The dull gray's and neutral beige's that covered the walls had a tint of green from a mold buil-up near the door. Maintenance was apparently of little concern as long as the reactors worked. He strolled unopposed down the long corridor, and finally came to a retinal scanner, at which a crying technician was being held hostage.

      Travis nodded once, and the technician's head was jammed into the security terminal. The scanner crossed his eyes several times before finally accepting his retinas. Bullets spattered his brain against the wall, and his corpse was kicked against the wall as Travis shrugged into the reactors core.

      Checking the cylinder for any visible defects, he found none, and inserted it into the corresponding port on the large machine. Lights and sirens came to life as the cylinder drained trillions of raw neutrons from the device, and after a three minute wait the gauge on the container read full. He unsnapped it with a crisp tug, and then inserted it into a back-strapped box he was carrying.

      The thick metal doors slid quickly apart as his team headed for the exit, eager to return to their base. Five other technicians were being prodded down the hallway, and Travis glared as they were locked into their seats aboard his pelican.

"Without us, the facility will go into a meltdown. This whole city will be destroyed. Millions will die if we don't run the reactors." A balding technician pleaded, but was returned with a quick butt from Randaford's rifle.

"Isn't this facility automated like the rest? It should take care of itself just fine." Debrose quipped, but another technician interupted.

"No, that's what you don't understand. It isn't automated, if we don't keep it in check, it's core will overheat and a thermo-nuclear explosion will wipe this entire valley clean."

"When's the next shift supposed to arrive?"

"In five hours. Far too long to prevent what is going to occur if we're taken hostage."

"Well, then I guess this will just have to serve to teach the UNSC a lesson. They should've listened to us when they had the chance."

      Another blow to the man's head knocked him unconcious as Travis stared at the twinking lights of the city below. In less than four hours, over five million people would be reveiving a three hundred megaton surprise for breakfast.

Cana Sel, Sal Uradus

      Stetson stood at the center of the large plaza at the heart of Cana Sel. The sprawling government complex was at the heart of the city. Cana Sel was the home of the Sal Eurades system, located on the enormous terra-formed world of Sal Uradus. The perfect place to get their message across quickly.

      His heavy black overcoat wasn't all to strange during this time of the year, but the bulky item conceiled under it got him several strange glances. A small squad of security personnel approached him through the corner of his eye, the perfect targets for his live tests.

      He whirled around to face the stunned cops, and they fumbled quickly for their weapons. Stetson snapped the safety off and nudged the barrel from under his clothing. He gripped the weapon firmly, and pulled it's large trigger.

      A brilliant chartruese beam broke the calm air. It landed squarely on one of the guard's chests, which he clutched futilly before keeling over. It was edged over to the other two guards, with much the same effect. A black and white warthog sped into the plaza's park, but was quickly sent headfirst into the ground as Stetson reversed the weapon's effect.

      Neutrons were ripped violently from the vehicle's molecular make-up, and it's tires crumbled into a thick white powder as it nosed into the soft dirt. It's occupants were thrown like ragdolls from their seats, and one landed on the spear-tipped top of the nearby fence.

      Stetson smiled to himself and rushed through the crowd of panicked onlookers, who created a smoke-screen as they rushed for cover. He took refuge in a ten story building, and sprinted to the rooftop.

"Tell me you got that on tape." He greeted a chuckling Travis with wide arms.

"Beautiful man, just beautiful."

      Debrose and the rest of the security team, as well as Randaford, were still watching the ensuiing chaos from above. The security team, turned to face the scientists, whos newest weapon seemed to be the very thing that would save humanity, as well as move The Seventh Column to their dominant status.

"How much do you think that ole' bastard Georgio is gonna pay us? Hell, I could probably retire off of it." Stetson grabbed his stomach from the pain in his gut, he couldn't stop laughing.

      Randaford, Rogers and Debrose approached the men with smiles, and shook their hands. Wilson, Carson, and Martinez only stared at them from their prone positions perched atop the building.

"Ohh, and speaking of retirement, Georgio wanted me to personally give you men a reward for all of your hard work and dedication." Stetson held out his hand to receive whatever payment Randaford was going to give, but was welcomed with two bullets to the stomach.

      Travis' eyes widened and his jaw dropped uncontrollably as he watched his friend clutch his midsection and then fall to his knees in pain. Blood soaked his shirt and hands, and was running onto his pants. Randaford turned the pistol to Travis' skull.

      Travis closed his eyes and braced for the bullet as he heard a gunshot. He was still alive though, and he opened his eyes quickly. Randaford grabbed the back of his left leg and his face was contorted in pain, and Debrose turned to his attacker. Carson received three shots to the face, but was quickly taken down by Wilson and Martinez.

      Rogers unloaded ten rounds into Martinez's suit, which absorbed the bullets with little grace. Wilson unholstered his pistol, and fired three shots. The closest he got was a lancing wound on Rogers' arm, which began bleeding only minorly. Randaford turned to face wilson as well, but felt another sharp sting in his right leg.

      Travis pulled the trigger again, this time aimed at Rogers' head, and the marine fell to the rooftop motionless, his head breaking into a fine white powder. A crisp wind blew the remnants of the traitor across the plaza and further on.

      Travis brought the weapon to bare above his head, and it slammed into Randaford with a sharp blow to the temple. Blood sloshed from his mouth as he lay motionless on the ground. Wilson pushed himself to his feet, and ran to Travis.

"We've gotta get the hell out of here. Locals will be all over us in five minutes." Wilson urged Travis with several tugs on his arm as he headed for the door. "There's nothing you can do for him, he's dead. Let's go!"

      Travis stared at his friends corpse momentarily, and then turned and followed Wilson down the dimly lit staircase leading to the tenth floor. Whatever the hell just happened he wasn't sure, but right now it didn't matter. The heavy footsteps of S.W.A.T. teams heading up from below was ominous, and Wilson stared over the railing.