Maneuvering clumsily in heavily scarred and chipped Kevlite combat armor, a kneeling figure grunted loudly in exertion as he stood up. His name was Ron Frazier, a combat engineer for the Collective Defense Corps. Sighing at the rubble of the base around him, he pulled his standard issue repair kit from his belt. He glanced over to the left of him and saw an all-but-dead soldier on his back, with a medic leaning over him.. doing the only thing possible, inject him with morphine. The poor man had been torn apart with what seemed high-caliber slug weapons.. his entrails were pouring out of the large tears in his CMP6 combat armor. Frazier grumbled under his breath, "Damn rebels. I shouldn't even be out here.. should’ve stayed the hell home at the university and become a damn hovercar mechanic or somethin'.."
It had been six months earlier when Ron Frazier saw the recruiting poster for the Collective Defense Corps.. he was in college, hoping to graduate with honors in the engineering field. His family was struggling to make ends meet, and the recruiting poster said it would pay for his education.. it beat his crappy job as a third class mechanic for the transport depot.
Still grumbling, Private Frazier pulled a spare piece of armored plating from his supply pack and used his wrench to open the auto machine-gun turret he was working on. It had been hit several times with sustained fire and wasn't much more than scrap metal.. Frazier sighed when he noticed the auto-feed belt inside was empty. Slowly standing up, he made his way towards the supply room for ammunition. Concentrating on fixing the broken base and getting to the supply room, Pvt. Frazier's mind was remarkably one-tracked and he was brought back to the reality of the situation when he tripped and almost fell on one of the fallen defenders of the base. He had four bullet wounds in the upper chest and blood pooled underneath his corpse. The man's helmet had been removed, and the private glanced at the frozen, ashen face.. he didn't look much older than he himself was. It was then that Pvt. Ron Frazier realized he might not make it out of this alive. All of this scared the utter hell out of him. Visibly shaken, and glad his face was hidden by his own visored combat helmet, he continued to the supply room. Frowning as he tried to unlock the door with his security clearance card, and realizing it was already unlocked, Frazier was even more so annoyed. He muttered, "Damn grunts need to lockup when they're done resupplying..."
Entering the dimly-lit room, Pvt. Frazier unlocked a sturdy metallic box full of ammunition, spare weapons, armored plating for auto turrets, and raw titanium oxide for processing. Kneeling over, he fiddled with the electronic combination lock, when he suddenly felt a burning sensation close around the base of his neck. He frantically waved his arms, feebly trying to grab at his attacker as everything slowly went black.
The partially hidden figure muttered to himself quietly as he loosened the high-tensile fiber wire around the engineer's neck. He lowered Pvt. Frazier slowly to the floor, positive that he was dead. The private's eyes stared blankly at the ceiling, taking on a strange bloodied appearence from the effects of strangulation. Tapping the secure comlink attached to his wrist, the figure began speaking. "Base.. this is Razlin, over. I have entered the nest. Repeat. I have entered the nest. Awaiting orders."
"This is base, Razlin. We copy. You are to proceed as ordered. Oh, yes.. and look in your pack. We're sorry we didn't inform you about it earlier. You'll know what to do." Raising an eyebrow, John Razlin took off his pack. Looking inside through his equipment, he frowned. Five bundles of plastic explosives with timed detonators. Damnit, he thought. This wasn't part of the deal. I was supposed to get that damn package to the Morgans, get my dues and get the hell off this war torn rock. I hate Io.
Razlin pulled his cloaking unit and battery from his pack. He double checked it.. completely recharged. He carefully looked over his suit charger and then his bulky sidearm, a Titan AP 101 .45 caliber pistol. No silencer. Great. Razlin knew he should've checked the equipment he was being assigned. Knowing he wouldn't need the Maklov g9 sniper rifle strapped to his shoulder, he still checked it, and snapped it into the holster on his back. Quickly, but cautiously, he wired the cloaking unit and powercell to his main suit supply, then hooked the combination to the side of his belt. Just to be sure, he pressed two fingers against the strangulated jugular vein of the once-living Pvt. Frazier. He sighed in relief when he felt nothing.
Cautiously opening the door to the supply room, Razlin turned partially translucent as he activated the cloaking unit. He had already acquainted himself with most of the base, the Morgans provided decent intel. His head jerked up suddenly as he heard approaching footsteps at the end of the corridor. The soldier's gait made him appear exhausted, more than likely from constant exterior patrols. Poor bastard probably couldn't even see straight and was hoping to drag himself back to the barracks. Razlin pushed himself tightly up against the wall, holding in his breath. Eventually the guard passed him, and when his back was turned, Razlin crept forward and suddenly jerked his forearm around the front of his neck. He tried to cry out, but Razlin tightened his grip, cutting off his air supply. The soldier wheezed quietly through his rebreather until Razlin readjusted his grip and cleanly snapped his neck. The door to the supply room was still unlocked, so Razlin opened the door and dragged the unmoving body inside. Exiting the room, Razlin locked the door and cracked the combination lock, programming in a new code.
Razlin made his way uneventfully to the research facility, avoiding several patrols as he moved about the base. Eventually he came upon the reinforced, heavy metal door, complete with an optical recognition system for entry. Razlin knelt down, examining the security system. He drew his combat knife, using it to unhinge the unmarked access panel. He had to actually be careful, the designers of the system had installed checks against tampering. Razlin set the panel down slowly to the floor, pulling out a compact microprocessor attached to a digital screen relay from his supply pack. He unpacked his electronics kit and carefully soldered the wires from the microprocessor onto the security console. Putting his tools away, Razlin glanced down the corridor as the computer decrypted the combination for access to the room.
Razlin's pulse quickened as he saw movement a long distance down the corridor. He tapped the side of his helmet twice and zoomed in. Damn! Two guards, coming his way. Taking them out was not an option, they appeared alert and carried assault rifles. He muttered, "C'mon, baby.. work for me. C'mon, c'mon.." the decryption read 78% complete and the guards kept walking towards him, gaining distance. Their movement was outlined in an ominous green box inside his helmet camera. In the distance, he saw one of them point in his direction. Twenty meters and closing, only 84% complete. They quickened their pace, obviously moving to investigate his activites. Twelve meters and 93% complete. This was going to be close. A distinct beep sounded inside his helmet as the processor finished the operation. Razlin quickly replaced the panel, shoving the evidence of his activites inside as the door hissed open partially. He immediatly slid through the small entryway, entering the command to seal the doors closed behind him. He leaned against the door and closed his eyes for a moment. Razlin bolted upright as he heard someone bang disgruntledly on the door and yell, "You're all supposed to be in the command room! The research facility was cleared out for a reason, you backwards eggheads!" When no reply came, the guard talked to his partner about battle fatigue, Razlin eventually hearing their voices and foot steps fade into the distance.
The item the Morgan's had contracted him out for was a fusion powercore from a Collective research facility. If the specs they gave him about it were true, it was quite a piece of work. The assault on the Collective facility had only begun recently, and they were severely outnumbered. Reinforcements were expected within 16 hours, according to Morgan intel. They originally assumed they could slip someone through in a diversionary attack, steal the technology and clear out of Io before the reinforcements arrived to wipe them out. Razlin looked around the room carefully, eventually choosing a console and approaching it. He broke into the system and scanned through the log entries, trying to find a reference to the fusion core's location. "Bingo," Razlin grinned at the monitor. The core had been transported recently into Research Lab 2b. That was.. just down the hall. He proceeded immediatly, amazed that the door wasn't even padlocked or secured. The room was dimly lit, a pale blue color coating every surface. The heavy, thick metal canister presumably holding the objective was in the middle of the room. Razlin approached it and typed in several commands, looking a bit surprised when the polished metallic container spun around and a small panel in the front clicked open. He waited a few moments for the nitrogen gas to disperse, using his hand to fan it away. Razlin's face changed to show a brief look of surprise, then anger. The canister was empty.
Razlin immediatly accessed his comlink and hailed his employer: "Hey, base..come in. Testing 1, 2, 3. This is Razlin. The package is MISSING. I repeat, the package is MISSING, over."
"What the hell, Razlin?! You said the package is missing? God damnit! How the hell.. I guess.. we’ll just have to worry about that later. Forget about it for now.. damnit.. still proceed as ordered and detonate the location. Over and out."
Razlin almost lost his edge. His contractors, the Morgan Raiders had hired him to steal an experimental fusion core from a heavily defended Collective military installation. He had planned this operation for two months with the slimy bastards. He didn't trust them at all. More than likely, he wasn't going to get paid in full. Hell, they might not even pay him at all. Razlin quickly exited the laboratory and began planting explosives in the weakest structural areas of the installation. He set the detonation timer for 10:00 minutes and synchronized the timer with his internal computer. Razlin exited the base, sighing at the likely civilian casualties. He suddenly had an idea..
Making his way up a ridge overlooking the base, he noticed the timer on his helmetcam read 2:00 minutes remaining. Razlin dropped a relay beacon off of the side the ridge, watching the bright activation light flash several times in the darkness. Immediatly, he opened an unencrypted channel to the Collective base: "Collective base at global point 2.00051 ..I recommend you e-vac your non-military personnel ASAP. It could be a real mess in -oh, say.. one minute, thirty. Over." A response came through almost immediately:
"Who the HELL is this? And how do you know about this base location? You're not one of those Morgan bastards who've been attacking us, are you? I demand identification, My identification is: 10778 Sgt. Ric-" Razlin immediately severed the link before they could trace it. The relay beacon was a precaution in case they knew what they were doing.
Almost immediately after the conversation took place, a column of troops began hurriedly leaving the base, a dozen or so non-military personnel in tow. Most of them looked like science researchers or lab assistants. It was a good thing that they had apparently decided to heed the warning and evacuate. There was nothing else he could do, regardless.. the countdown timer on his helmetcam hit 0:00, and, as predicted, an explosion suddenly broke the semi-calm of the area. First to go were the outer walls, the accompanying shockwave from the simultaneous explosions completely demolished the rest of the base. It literally caved in on itself. The troops and assorted civilians were knocked flat from the blast, and they appeared uninjured as they began fleeing from the smoldering wreckage. Protocol would dictate they request for a dropship to pick them up immediately. That's when he heard the familiar voice on his comlink:
"Razlin, this is base.. Scouts report the Collective base has been destroyed, good work. However, there are.. survivors.. and they are to be disposed of. You know the consequences if you don't. Do you copy?."
"Sir.. there ARE civilians down there! You can't be serious!"
"You have your orders, Razlin. Don't leave any witnesses.
John Razlin's facial expression suddenly changed.. from calm and collected, even partially amused, to frustration. When it came to operations with the Morgans, the rulebook for war was thrown out the window. He would never make this mistake again. Razlin unlatched the Maklov g9 sniper rifle from the holster on his back, he glanced through the scope. He scanned the helmets of the base survivors and decided to take out the highest ranked officer first. He sighted the side of a helmet that read, "Sgt. Rick Calvin" and sighed to himself, pulling the trigger. Immediatly, the back of the sargeant's cranium detonated. Razlin sited a soldier who just noticed the officer fall, managing to scream out, "SNI-" before a bullet passed through his abdomen. The soldier fell on his back, screaming inhumanly. That wasn't normal, and Razlin noticed why.
White phosphorus rounds. He hadn't checked the magazine.. the Morgans screwed him over again. The fallen soldier was still rolling around on his back, squirming in agony as the phosphorus burned through his lower digestive track. He noticed several soldiers moving towards his position, and he took them out immediatly. One by one, he killed every Collective infantryman left. The civilians were terrified.. and Razlin knew they had to be next. He personally tried to make sure each shot was a clean, quick kill. Not that it helped any, he was being forced to murder civillians.
They wouldn't get away with this..