"Running with the Devil" Chapter 6 snippet 1
She instructed her CPU to establish a connection with Reyes at Intelligence Command. He would see the data the satellite was providing her. Maybe the analysts back on Arlington could make sense of what she was seeing because it certainly didn’t make any to her! How could marines be involved in kidnapping and threatening to kill the Commander in Chief?
Nothing about this makes any sense, she thought.
“Are you seeing this, sir?” she asked Reyes through the secure link in her CPU.
“It doesn’t look good,” Reyes answered.
The thunder roared again, much closer this time, and Kate cursed under her breath. Once the rain hit, her biggest advantage, the suit she wore, would be useless. She sighed at the reality of her situation started to hit home. This was a no-win situation and nothing she did would make it any better.
“The weather is getting ready to go to hell,” she told Reyes. “Once it does, my camouflage will be useless.”
“Not much we can do about it I’m afraid,” Reyes said.
“No, sir,” Kate said.
The wind started to pick up and the trees swayed. Kate gritted her teeth as she kept her balance on the limbs. It was just her luck that the weather would go to **** right at the time she needed it to be good. A drop of rain hit her face as the missile launcher came into view.
The woods opened up into a clearing that was thirty meters long by twenty meters wide. In the center, the missile launcher sat with cables running off to a portable generator. Portable lighting had been hastily attached to the trees to leave the clearing in bright light.
Damn, Kate thought. They’ve really covered all their bases.
“I’m counting four people on guard,” Reyes said. “What do you see?”
“There are the four guards,” Kate said. “And two people off near the tent. The others must be in the command tent.”
“I’m not going to tell you how to do this,” he said. “But putting that missile launcher out of commission is of the highest priority. If, by some chance, you fail and we have to send in Special Forces, they couldn’t land with that launcher operating.”
“I understand, sir,” she said. “I’m on it.”
“Good luck,” Reyes said.
Kate closed her eyes while she felt the connection in her head go into standby mode. Reyes was smart enough to let her work without distractions and that was a good thing. It wasn’t going to be easy to take out ten armed terrorists alone and it would be even worse if the rain got worse.
‘May you live in interesting times’ the Chinese proverb said, Kate thought. Boy, I wonder if they had any idea what my life would be like?
Kate knelt on the limb and slowly lowered herself to the ground. With all the movement involved in putting the missile launcher in place, the leaves had been crushed and weren’t able to give her away. Maybe with just a little bit of luck…
Captain Jason Terry dropped his cigarette to the ground and crushed it underfoot. They had been warned to expect Intelligence to make and move and nothing had happened. Overhead the lightning flashed and the thunder boomed, making him nervous.
If Intelligence wants to make a move, he thought. Then during the storm would be a perfect time!
“Anderson,” he said to Lieutenant Margo Anderson, his tactical officer. “Have everyone up and on patrol. I expect something happen soon.”
“Yes, sir,” Anderson said before hustling over to the command tent.
Who are you? He thought. And when will you strike?
Terry lit another cigarette and thought about what he had gotten into. How did an honors graduate from West Point end up conspiring to overthrow an elected government? When he had taken his oath he had sworn to protect the Alliance Constitution and the President with his life, but here he was with a force committed to eliminating President George Carver.
Just how stupid were you, Jason? He asked himself. Was Ark Angel that convincing that it was worth throwing your entire career over?
He took a deep drag on the cigarette and blew it out. The time for debating his role in the action was long past, and he turned his attention to preparing for the Special Ops Agent’s arrival.
Rollins heard the com system chirp for his attention and he activated it. He had been expecting the call for a while and was relieved that it had finally arrived. It was no surprise that Reyes would send agents in to save the President, the question was: how many and who?
“Yes, Mabus,” he said. “You’re late.”
“I had a bit of trouble I had to take care of,” she said. “Your own men nearly killed me!”
“They have a itchy trigger finger for good reason,” he said. “What information do you have for me?”
“Two agents were sent in to stop you,” Mabus said. “One is a woman named Rachel Adams and the other is a hot-shot lieutenant by the name of Katherine Almir.”
Rollins frowned at the sound of the second woman’s name. He had heard it somewhere before but he couldn’t place it. Katherine Almir…the name had a familiar ring to it, but from where?
“If you don’t remember,” Mabus said with a laugh. “She’s a former Master Champion for Necko.”
Necko, Rollins thought, and that explained everything then! I’ve seen her fight before! That bitch could fight!
“That’s trouble,” he said. “Have you let the skin suit operators know about her?”
“Yes, sir,” Mabus said. “But what you don’t know is that she’s almost completely cybernetic now.”
“Damn,” Rollins said. “I want to alert Terry myself. Just get yourself back here on the double.”
“On my way,”
Rollins changed the channel and worked to make a connection with Terry. Almir was going to be one royal pain in the ass and he wanted his men to be prepared. Albright had paid them too well to fail, and if they somehow managed to survive the failure, Ark Angel would finish them all of
He never noticed how Loving was looking at him with wide, astonished eyes…
“You’re kidding, sir!” Terry said. “A former Master Champion AND a Special Ops Agent? Jesus Christ!”
“Just stop her cold,” Rollins said.
“Thanks for nothing, sir,” Terry said. “But…I’ll stop the bitch cold.”
Terry killed the connection and growled in anger. How in the name of hell could he be expected to stop someone of that caliber? When this mission had been planned out, nobody had expected anyone but a normal routine Special Ops Agent to be assigned. Now they had a killing machine coming and for the first time in his life, he was scared.
That woman could kill us all if this isn’t done right, he thought.
“Anderson,” he said into his com unit.
“I want everyone patrolling this area,” Terry sighed. “This agent is worse then we expected.”
“I understand, sir,”
“And be on the lookout for a woman,” he said.
Terry switched the com into its wide-area tactical net mode. It would allow how to hear everything that happened in the camp and his men’s transponders would show in his head’s up display. He didn’t put great odds on them being able to stop the agent, but that wouldn’t keep everyone from trying though.
Oh Jason, he thought. How could you have been so stupid as to believe that this would actually work?
With a sigh, Terry grabbed his helmet and put it on. While he strapped it on, his HUD came to life and he watched his troops. Red dots marked each soldier and they were moving into position to protect the missile launcher. In a matter of moments there would be no way for the agent to enter the perimeter without someone knowing about it.
He pulled his pistol from its holster and he pulled the slide back to chamber a round. If it came down to his pistol having to save the day, then they were all screwed and he knew it. The people he had on guard were capable to stopping the agent it was just a matter of letting them do so.
“Let the bitch come,” he muttered. “We’re ready for her.”
Kate frowned. Why did a man who was aggressive get called a go-getter, but a woman who had the same qualities got called a bitch? She gritted her teeth while contemplating the double standard.
Men and their need to keep us beneath them, she thought. If there is a constant in the universe, its men wanting to dominate women!
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