SALT (Special Assault and Lacis Team)
Jeffery pulled the door, pausing just a few seconds to look back at his sleeping team. The Big Bad Wolf was wrapped around A Little Birdie, his large arms dwarfing her small figure. Even from here Jeffery could see the small contented smile on her face as she basked in the heat from his body. The Lazy Dog was sprawled across his bunk, arms and legs akimbo, mouth opened slightly and face relaxed; the only time it ever truly was. Curiosity Killed The Cat was sleeping like the dead; arms crossed over her chest, her head facing upward with features neutral. Jeffrey smiled; at least she asleep. It was a hard road getting them all here; working together, trusting each other, comforting one another; becoming a team family for each other. But they had done it. And it all began with the Big Bad Wolf.
The Big Bad Wolf was a man with enhanced body and regenerative capabilities. He had been a marine and had been part of tightly knit squad of four. Yet when his abilities manifested, his teammates had betrayed him and had tried to kill him instead of calling it in like they were supposed to. He survived the twenty bullets to his body because of his regenerative gifts and then had proceeded to hunt down his former teammates. Jeffery had been assigned to bringing him in by the Director himself. It had taken all of Jeffery's skills to talk down the man from his destructive path because taking him alive would have been impossible otherwise. It had taken almost a year and a half of work to get Big Bad Wolf to trust him, work with him without fear of betrayal and realize that Jeffery actually cared. But he had done it and in that process had gained one of the best assets that he ever had the privilege to work with.
His strength, speed, reflexes and senses were unbelievable unless you saw him in action. Jeffery still had trouble believing his eyes when The Big Bad Wolf fought against opponents in hand to hand combat, or when he handled his weapons like an extension of his body, or when he simply ran; vaulting over walls, fences, up sides of buildings and slithering though places that seemed unable to accommodate his bulk. It seemed that there was nowhere he could not reach and nothing he could not do. He was well oiled machine with a feral grace and a temper to match. Yet for all the advantages there were severe drawbacks. His regenerative ability was skewed a bit; causing his body to be in a constant state of growth only in hair, nails and teeth. When they had first found him, he looked like a man-beast, was at the end of his tether which made him highly aggressive and could not speak much because of the teeth outgrowth. All of those factors led to the nickname of Big Bad Wolf. He had to have haircuts every four days, his nails cut every three and his teeth reduced down every week. It had been rough thing to maintain during lengthy missions since most of The Big Bad Wolf's mission were done alone or with just Jeffery. But that changed when The Lazy Dog came into their lives.
The Lazy Dog gave himself his name. He claimed that he really didn't do any of the work so he was just a Lazy Dog. Jeffery hated that he could not change the man's mindset about himself or his gift, especially since it was quite a valuable one. The Lazy Dog was surprisingly recruited in the middle of a mission by Big Bad Wolf. The Lazy Dog was running from deal gone bad and had tried to use The Big Bad Wolf as his cover. However that did not work out very well. The Lazy Dog's gift was to take the shape and memory of anyone that he touched. The longer he held on, the longer he could stay in that body and the more memories he got. When he had seen Big Bad Wolf, all he had seen was a tall, strong body that he could use; assuming that Big Bad Wolf was really the snobby rich young man that he was using for his cover. When The Lazy Dog had touched him; Big Bad Wolf found himself face to face with his mirror image; then The Lazy Dog started screaming and went feral. The touch had lasted only a few seconds but it was a few seconds too much. It was one thing to look like The Big Bad Wolf; it was quite another to handle being him. The Big Bad Wolf had removed both of himselves from the scene and disappeared.
Jeffery had been worried about what he was going to do; this was only their fifth mission together and he still hadn't gotten a handle on how to predict Big Bad Wolf's behavior. But to his surprise; Big Bad Wolf had contacted him an hour later to tell him where he was and that he was bringing in a new Asset. It had taken Jeffery a lot less time to convince The Lazy Dog that he was not going to be exploited, which was the main concern of the man. Once The Lazy Dog believed him, the man poured himself into the work. He became the third member of their once two man team. He also took up the job of maintaining The Big Bad Wolf during lengthy missions and really quite good at it. It was even more surprising that The Big Bad Wolf accepted the help that sometimes bordered on mother hen-ing. Jeffery had just assumed that for some reason the two had connected and had left it at that.
It took them a while to discover the downside of his extraordinary gift. Everyone had assumed that the Lazy Dog was still in control when he assumed a person; he never told them that he wasn't. For short touches he was still mostly himself and therefore he could interact using the memories that were still his; but the longer he held on, the more he became the other person and less of himself. Then on one mission he held on too long; fighting through the man's memories to get information and lost himself. When Big Bad Wolf had pulled him away; he had pulled away the target and not his team mate. The Big Bad Wolf had sat in the holding cell for the entire two days and had talked and talked, pouring The Lazy Dog back into himself. Jeffery now realized the deal that they had. The Lazy Dog was The Big Bad Wolf's maintenance man and The Big Bad Wolf was The Lazy Dog's contingency plan in case he went too deep. They had moved on from being just teammates to something more complicated than that but Jeffery didn't think they realized it. And he wasn't about to mess that up by bringing it out. They worked well together, cared for each and maybe one day they would realize that they had become brothers.
A Little Birdie had been with The Agency since she was a child. The first of the Enhanced to be recruited at such a young age. But it was worth every bit of time that they invested in her for two main reasons; she was one of the best assets that they ever had and also if they hadn't started to train when they did, she would have never been able to handle the sheer scope of her abilities. A Little Birdie had the hollow bone structure of birds; that made her lightweight and strong. She also developed a way to glide over long distances, an uncanny ability to hear anything on the wind and a sense she called "The Window to the Soul" where she looked into someone's eyes and could basically sense their emotions. It was a weird mix of powers but a very handy set. Strangely she and The Big Bad Wolf had hit it off well from the start of him coming into the Agency. Yet she did not officially join their team until one mission in the Andes where she had been injured and it had taken them a lot longer to get to her than they had previously thought. When they got there she going blue. Her drawback was perpetual cold. She didn't have the feathers to keep heat, so she usually wore specially made thermal clothes and gloves, but they had not been enough. The Big Bad Wolf had bundled her up in as much material as they had and then curled himself around her, using his body heat to help her warm up. The Lazy Dog had sat guard over them, with a dangerous smirk on his face. It had been the beginning on their fourth addition. The Little Birdie had always been somewhat invisible, due to her small size and her reluctance to look anyone in the eye. Now in a drastic change of events she had gotten two powerful protectors. Jeffery began to see what was going on but he careful said nothing but did all he could to keep it going.
Curiosity Killed The Cat was the one that had the most traumatic of the gifts. She had the ability to relive a person's last moments once she was killed in the same place that they were. If she was killed in the same manner as the individual and killed close to the time of death, she would relive a longer period of time. She had been working as a detective before Jeffery found her and was a witness to her horrible specialty. He had walked in the door just in time to see her put a gun to her head and blow her brains out. He was about to call it in, when her apparent corpse had reanimated, began talking and acting out various movements. It was a macabre but strangely mesmerizing. Then she went silent, jerked once and collapsed. Once her gift was used her regenerative capabilities kicked in and she came back to life. Jeffery had felt both sickened and awed at the extent of her ability. She had gotten up, picked up a small video recorder and walked past him without a word. It took him about two months to find her, convince her to consult for them and then to come work for them.
The first time the Team had to work with her, it had been bad. She hadn't told them what she was doing and had simply shot herself in the head. There had been screaming, cursing and very careful subdued panic before Jeffery could explain what was going on. Then they watched her gift in action. When she was done, to her surprise she had gotten tearful hugs, serious dressing downs and excited chatter about what she had just done. After that Curiosity Killed the Cat found herself at the center of a group of people that she didn't believe actually cared about her wellbeing. She had been so used to being alone and had gotten so weirdly desensitized due to her gift, she had forgotten what it was like to have real human connection. Now she had three people who were not only saying that they were going to make sure that they would take care of her but also backed up their words with actions.
And so S.A.L.T had been formed. A fancy name on paper, a group of highly gifted individuals, a team that had become a family. He swept his gaze over them one last time just to make that they were all alright and still there and then he pulled the door shut.
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