Christmas Has Come Early
As the squad came to terms with what Minnie had said, Agent Enyo was far more interested with the computer console Minnie had been working at. Specifically, the programmed path leading to the station’s control center. Enyo found herself grinning. This pathway had few Klisk on it, and passed the armory. Perfect for them.
Tartarus and Anemoi were debating what to do with Minnie, but Enyo could not divide her brainpower. She tapped her chin, then pressed the green button on the console labelled “Help”. On cue, the holographic woman appeared in front of Enyo.
‘Hello, tiny blue woman,’ Enyo said happily, ‘I require your answers. Will you comply?’
Had Belle not been used to how certain people spoke, she would have accused Enyo of mocking her.
‘Certainly, ma’am. Please provide your name for identification purposes.’
‘Agent Enyo, Olympus Squad.’
‘A connection cannot be made. However, I have records of Olympus Squad, so I will answer your questions.’
‘What!?’ Apollo cried incredulously, earning a grin from Enyo and a ‘shush’ from Anemoi.
‘Very well, blue woman-’
‘-my first question is, apart from those wearing our armor markers, how many other people are on board?’
Belle brought up the query’s answer by making the green dots appear again. Several winked out, likely the members of Olympus, until fifteen remained on the entire map. On the programmed pathway, there were six.
‘Are they members of the Alliance of Three?’
‘No, their markers indicate they are members of the Realmic Concord, like your prisoner.’
Tartarus and Thanatos drew their weapons and focused them on Minnie on that sentence, sparking resistance from Epione and Anemoi. Apollo and Cerberus stayed away from the argument.
‘You heard the computer, she’s an enemy of the Agency. We’re literally being paid to kill her.’
‘Thanatos, this woman is unarmed and not a threat!’
‘Shows what you know, I still can’t feel my jaw.’
‘You broke her wrist!’
Enyo rolled her eyes, pulled her handgun out and fired at the ground. The sound reverberated off the metal , silencing everyone and focusing their attention of the scientist.
‘The issue is not “should we kill her”,’ Enyo started,′ ‘the issue is “can we take her with us”? Anemoi, can we devote someone to keeping her under guard?’
Anemoi looked at his team. Tartarus and Thanatos had already made their positions known, and Apollo was not going to be much use without his armour. That only left Epione, Enyo, Cerberus and himself.
‘Cerberus?’ Anemoi asked hopefully.
Cerberus pushed his visor up, revealing the young man beneath. He barely look twenty-five, but his smile seemed to be more contagious than Enyo’s.
‘Sure thing, boss. Save’s me having to do actual work’
‘There,’ Enyo finished, ‘You see? Problem is solved. Back to tiny, blue woman.’
‘Are these people armed and considered dangerous?’
Belle checked on the people walking through her corridors.
‘Do you have counter-measures to remove them in a not-dead fashion?’
‘“Not-dead fashion?“’ Epione repeated.
‘I do not. I can vent the corridor they stand in now, but once they reach the next room, my venting procedures will not work due to Alliance protocols.’
Minnie shook her head and tried to fight past Cerberus.
‘No, please! They’re my friends.’
‘And will your friends shoot us when they see us?’
Minnie was silent, the only answer Enyo needed. Enyo said nothing, either. Killing people was something she hated, but it was necessary for the mission’s success.
Through her own research she had discovered her own government, the U.S.S.R, had been dissolved in 1991. All the people they had killed, all the laws they had broken, and they were still gone. The US had won, and through that, established the first contact between Earth and other realms. Now she worked for a descendant of her mortal enemies. Funny how things worked out.
‘Vent the corridor, please, tiny, blue woman.’
‘Belle,’ the tiny, blue woman responded, and vented the corridor. In mere seconds, the green dots winked out. Minnie started sobbing, muttering in a language none of the squad understood.
‘I apologize, ma’am,’ Belle said to Minnie, ‘I do not believe this squad speaks Elven.’
‘Elven?’ Anemoi said. ‘An elf? Like the ones from Tolkien?’
Enyo opened the door after the venting procedure, and the recently evacuated corridor was revealed.
‘Thanatos, you have point,’ Anemoi commanded. Thanatos grinned under his helmet, and walked into the corridor with his rifle ready.
‘You have clearance to get us to the command center by any means necessary. Klisk and Realmic Concord.’
Minnie was disturbed by Olympus Squad, and it showed on her fine features. Thanatos glanced at her once, and immediately regretted it. He could not hold back on his first mission, lest he suffer the same fate as Ares and Panacea.
Thanatos walked ahead of the squad, with the determination he felt in his first life. At the end of the corridor, the door opened, and a Klisk squealed at the agents, barreling towards Thanatos with claws bared.
Thanatos breathed in slowly, letting the Klisk draw closer, then sidestepped and brought the stock of his rifle down upon it’s head, denting the bone and causing a small gush of green blood to ooze out. The Klisk writhed in pain, then scrambled to it’s feet, only to be met by the barrel of Thanatos’s gun.
‘Now, you can’t talk, but even you know when your number is up.’
The Klisk’s head exploded, drops of acid spraying Thanatos’s armour and making little holes where they landed. Thankfully, most had sprayed towards the wall, burning through to the quarters on the other side.
Thanatos continued, ignoring the little burns on his flesh. The acid had not hit him in a large enough quantity to kill him. When he stepped into the other room, he saw the remaining seven Klisk, and he couldn’t contain his glee.
‘Christmas has come early,’ Thanatos said, earning a groan from Epione. Thanatos fired his rifle and killed two more in a similar fashion as before, then used the rifle to block a slice from claws. The gun was shredded into metal ribbons, so he discarded it. Forgetting the previous order, Thanatos drew the hilt of his blade, clicked the button and the energy crackled to life, forming a sword of electricity.
‘God made you to devour everything,’ Thanatos said, running his sword into the jaw of a Klisk. The electricity burned the flesh and stopped vital neural pathways in the monster, before Thanatos kicked the beast towards it’s friends.
‘A pity he made me, too.’
By the time Anemoi and Tartarus had caught up to Thanatos, the room was full of acid carved carcass and melting metal. Thantatos was still standing, taking his armor off calmly, and discarding it in the middle of the room.
‘Ah, Anemoi,’ Thanatos said smartly, ‘I’m afraid I disobeyed the order to focus on ranged. I do hope we can discuss this out of a tribunal.’
Anemoi and Tartarus watched the floor dissolve, showing the ducts beneath them. Thanatos was indeed a powerful person. Powerful and reckless. Anemoi frowned at this revelation. Did Thanatos not care if he died?
‘Holy hell!’ Cerberus said as he entered, dragging Minnie along with him. ‘Than, you could give Aquarius a run for her money.’
‘Let’s not get crazy,’ Tartarus grumbled, then nodded towards Thanatos. The professional’s compliment.
The squad managed to use the sections of floor still holding to cross to Thanatos, and into the next room. Before them stood an Alliance armory; racks upon racks of guns and equipment, armor and vehicle chips. But sadly, no gunnery officer to sign them out.
‘Alright, Olympus, find a way to get these weapons out,’ Anemoi commanded, walking towards the computer console. A dead Alliance officer was on the ground beside it, claw marks tore through his guts. Anemoi sighed, then started trying to get the computer to work.
Thanatos, meanwhile, had another idea.
‘I’ve got it, we just have to hit it really, really hard.’
When Thanatos was met with speculative looks, he closed his fist and punched the keypad beside one of the racks. It sparked and fizzed furiously, then petered out. Thanatos grabbed the rack’s covering, and used his strength to lift it up, breaking the locks.
‘My, my, aren’t you the modern day Superman?’ Enyo quipped.
After six more racks had been opened this way, the squad stood by the door to the command center. Anemoi, still at the computer, pulled the map up again.
‘We have more people inside. Belle, can you identify their signatures?’
‘Yes. They are Realmic Concord signatures.’
Before Anemoi gave the order, however, Belle turned red, a large tonal shift from her usual calm blue.
‘Warning: Jonathan Love and Renee White present in next room. Proceed with caution.’
Those two names meant nothing to the squad, but Anemoi, who had deigned to take stock on his new time period, paled. Those two were the leaders of the Realmic Concord, and powerful, former agents of the Alliance of Three. Whatever they wanted on Set Station, it was imperative they never get it.
‘Olympus Squad,’ Anemoi thundered, ‘shoot on sight.’