The Calm Before the Storm
As Mendoza emerged from the hall; the normal atmosphere that greeted him was no more. The place was a buzz of excitement and anticipation for what was going to greet them in the coming days. However, they could not possibly fathom the burden that will be laid upon their backs.
Mendoza made his way to his briefing officers to collect his extraction times and his kit. This troubled Mendoza somewhat because he had already been allocated his kit on arrival, as had every other marine in Fort Knox. Maybe ONI had developed a new prototype that could aid in our, mankind's success...
"Hey Mendoza you girl, check this out!" Montana yelled from the other side of the room, pointing excitedly at a grey box that was being suffocated as a hoard of marines surrounded it.
"What, they finally brought you those Barbie dolls you've been asking for?" he shot back.
"Ha, ha, real funny, no ONI has decided to give us a little surprise, a surprise that kills."
He fought his way to the front of the hoard and peered down into the dark steel box. A metal glint shone back, reflecting off the fluorescent lights that hung from the ceiling. Mendoza reached his hand in and pulled out a cold, metal, yet light object. It was a rifle that slightly resembled the old models of the French FAMAS. Small print on the side read "Battle Rifle". It was sleek, light and maneuverable. He reached back into the grey box withdrawing a clip. He took the first bullet out; it was roughly the size of a 5.56 round. Yet the bullet tip appeared to be made of a much denser material than the standard 5.56 round.
"The're prototype shredder rounds, it says here," Montana began to read over Mendoza's shoulder, "that they deliver twice the punch that the previous assault rifle did yet with precise accuracy and a much higher velocity." He read on, "The prototype Battle Rifle is the most advanced weapon in the human arsenal. It delivers a tremendous punch with excellent accuracy. It has the option of a three round burst for close to medium range confrontation and single shot for medium to long range. Its reliability is phenomenal, it's state of the art magnetic operating system gives the user jam free streamline firing with built in suspension providing low recoil. And it continues, but hey, you learnt to read when you were what, fourteen? I'll let you finish it off."
"Are we the only marines using them, or have they gone full scale?" Mendoza inquired.
"No, just us and a few other Black Ops camps on other outer rim planets. Hey don't you feel special?"
"Yeah Tana, real special."
Mendoza lodged the battle rifle into his back holster carefully; he wouldn't want to damage such a fine piece of art.
"Gotta go get our extraction times, and Tana, make it quick because I wanna take this little gem to the firing range" Mendoza said, gesturing to the futuristic rifle that was latched onto his back.
Mendoza grabbed a few clips before leaving; he wanted to see first hand the guns capabilities before he made it his primary weapon.
They made their way down a series of cold grey corridors to find what they'd been looking for. Three large laminated notices hung on the wall confronting them, formally acquainted with a small plaque underneath the notice board. It read "Fortius Quo Fidelius". Not many people here new what this meant, most people thought nothing of it. Luckily, as a boy, Mendoza studied Latin and Greek, but most of those ancient languages died out as English came to supremacy. Translated the plaque read "Strength Through Loyalty".
"Hey Doza, quit your daydreaming, were in Alpha team, and we're going for my little friend Eudith!" Montana excitedly snapped Mendoza back into the harsh reality.
"What? Who the hell is Eudith" Mendoza asked with a distinct perplexed look on his face.
"Mr Eudith, if you were paying attention like me," fake pride filled Montana, his chest pushed out, "you would have remembered that Eudith is the prophet that the whole damn mission is based around, foolish child."
"Shut up Tana, damn your sarcasm is fricken annoying. It says here," Mendoza gestured to the notice, "that we are leaving at 0100, nice and early."
Because of the abnormal time pattern on Iquit, a normal day consists of waking up at four am, and going to sleep at around seven pm. One am will be the perfect time to strike the unwary covenant as they sleep in their false sense of security.
Mendoza tried to envisage the scenario that will take place on departure. The largest moon, Requin will be patrolling the skies high above, overlooking the small island with its golden gaze. The birds' normal abundance will be no longer. The jungle, the Mountains and the whole Island will be asleep...Bar one constant creature: the sea. Lapping at the shore rhythmically, she sucks any stray objects into to her huge belly, giving them no chance to escape. The sea stays active, and she will be the silent gateway for the marines at Fort Knox to seize the treasure that was always thought to be out of reach to such small hands. Eudith.
"Hey Tana, I'm gonna go and start my preparation. This is going to be big, and I've got a lot to do before we depart."
Mendoza turned on his heel and walked back down the endless corridor until he veered off out of sight.