If you haven't already, you should catch up by reading the prologue, part one and part two of this narrative before reading part three.
Deimos Fawkes, Have Blue and 2 and 2 make 5 were hiding behind the Spectre - Deimos's highly customized automobile - using the energy shield for cover from the advancing teams of mercenaries but things were beginning to look very grim. Almost an hour had passed since the AOL CDs that Deimos had dumped into the fuel converter destroyed the vehicle's primary defense system from the inside. Luckily the energy shields were powered by a separate subsystem with multiple failsafes, but it was only a matter of time before they were overrun.
"I'm almost out of ammo!" hollered 2 and 2 make 5, as he reloaded his vintage WWII firearm.
"Give me another clip, Blue!" Deimos yelled to his friend.
"That was the last one, Dei," came Have Blue's reply.
Deimos Fawkes peeked his head around the rear bumper of the Spectre and immediately jumped back as several projectiles reflected off of the shimmiering energy shield immediately in front of his face.
"Gentlemen, I hate to say it but I believe we're fucked," Deimos stated flatly. He paused for a moment, weighing his options. "I will attempt to surrender to the mercenaries and negotiate the terms of our being held prisoner. 2 and 2 make 5: initiate self-destruct sequence on the Spectre. They may take us hostage, but they will not take my car."
Deimos cursed to himself. If it weren't for Moljnir disappearing from sniper duty, they wouldn't be in this situation. Without the cover that the long range precision shooting had given them, he had no way to defend himself *and* reroute power from the secondary systems to the engine.
Molj had given them just enough supplemental cover for Have Blue and 2 and 2 make 5 to finish removing the last of the Omnistation components and then the sniper fire suddenly stopped. Several of the mercenaries protecting the facility slowly worked their way forward, and once it was clear that they were no longer in danger of being picked off from an unseen sharpshooter it wasn't long before every mercenary available had taken up a position to keep the three Subnova operatives pinned down behind their transport.
Was it possible that Moljnir ran out of ammo? Psyrixx and Moljnir were rumored to be able to pack several times more ammunition and weaponry than the average person would be able to carry. The average trio of soldiers, if the urban legend was true.
Then maybe he was flanked or taken out by some other means? Not likely. Deimos had a pretty good idea that if any of these mercs had been able to get past their position they would have already been flanked and captured. Or killed.
Then the ammunition must have run out for Moljnir. So the urban legends were propaganda and Psyrixx and Moljnir were regular 'ol people after all. Regular enough to tuck tail and run when the fighting got too intense.
2 and 2 make 5 fired his last bullet and his M1 Garand made its distinctive 'ping' sound seemingly to punctuate that fact. He turned to the other two and said grimly "I'm out of ammo."
"I'm out too, Dei," Have Blue admitted.
Well, it seemed there wasn't anything else left to do. Out of ammo and with no support from any of the Psyjnir crew, it was time for the finale. Deimos held his weapon in a defensive grip and slowly started to reveal himself from behind the Spectre to surrender. He nearly jumped out from behind the energy shield when his is radio suddenly crackled with static.
"Spectre One, this is Spartan Two, what the hell are you doing?"
Deimos ducked back down behind the Spectre and yelled angrily into his microphone "How the hell did you know I was--"
"Deimos, keep. your. ass. down. behind. your. car."
"Moljnir, where the hell are you? Where have you been? We're out here getting our asses handed to us... with no support from you! Where did you go?! And where the hell is Psy--"
A group of five mercenaries had vanished from where they stood, replaced by a smoking crater. A few seconds later they fell from the sky, badly singed. A rocket impact. Deimos followed the rocket trail back towards the entrance of the facility and halfway there he caught sight of Psyrixx sprinting around the circumference of the yard, rocket launcher smoking.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Four more mercenaries fell as rounds from Moljnir's sniper rifle took them down. BANG BANG BANG BANG! The count jumped to eight.
Deimos Fawkes, Have Blue and 2 and 2 make 5 promptly hit the deck. "Oh... there you are." He crawled under the Spectre and immediately began to reroute the power from secondary systems to the drive system so that they could get the hell out of there. His fingers worked by muscle memory while he directed his eyes towards the spectacle taking place in the main yard. The other two were already mesmerised by what they were witnessing.
* * * * * * *
"I have two rockets left, Moljnir!" Psyrixx hollered over the radio, shouldering the launcher and pulling out his dual Berettas. He fired at incoming infantry while on the move, thinning their ranks by two with each pair of shots. "Find me some hard targets that I can use them on!"
Moljnir scanned the terrain through the scope of his sniper rifle. "Psyrixx, there is one rocket turret still operational, repeat one fully operational rocket turret on the other end of the facility grounds and there is a mercenary moving straight towards it. He might be fifty paces from the turret. He'll probably be targeting the Spectre. It's a sitting duck."
Rixx looked across the property, several acres from his current position. "I see him and the turret, I'm moving to engage," he said while reloading his pistols mid-stride.
Psyrixx immediately changed his direction, the fluid motion seemingly unnatural. Small arms fire coming from the mercenaries frantically trying to take aim at him whizzed by while the unfortunate aversaries close enough to be within range of his pistols fell under his hail of bullets. He quickly closed the distance between himself and the rocket turret and looked around for something to shield himself from the incoming weapons fire long enough that he could aim and take the shot.
To his right he saw the smouldering wreckage of a pillbox-style bunker, the smoke from the burning structure would give him enough time to line up and fire. Changing his course again so that he could put the bunker between himself and the mercenaries shooting at him, Psyrixx increased his pace. He jumped, clearing the wreckage and holstering his pistols in mid-flight, and landed into a roll the momentum of which moved the launcher from his back and into his hands, pointing it perfectly at the location of the turret.
The mercenary had reached the turret and it already begun to swivel around towards the Spectre. Psyrixx steadied his aim, held one breath, and fired. The rocket turret exploded into a plume of bright red fire and bluish smoke that lit up the night sky. Psyrixx paused to admire his work, making a mental note that he had one rocket left. "Moljnir, any other hard targets for me to destroy?"
"None that I can see on the field, Psyrixx. All I see now are infantry."
Psyrixx slid the launcher back onto his back and pulled out his pistols. He peered around the smouldering pillbox wreckage to survey the remaining mercenaries and --
An Apache helecopter roared over Psyrixx's position, the nose turret immediately tracking towards him and opening fire.
"Moljnir! I think I'm gonna need a little help!" Psyrixx hollered in suprise over his radio as he watched the bullet impact trail speeding along the ground in his direction and bolted from his covered position.
* * * * * * *
*Ar-Isildur, SilverBrin and Djof were driving back towards the staging area. They had somehow lost the Apache that had been in pursuit and were heading back to re-arm and take a look at the strategic maps to check on the locations of their friends. If anyone needed any help, now would be a good time to show up.
They pulled up to the big rig that housed all of their equipment. A makeshift command center had been constructed by Psyrixx just prior to the mission start. It was linked to a geostationary satellite that was orbiting above their position. The satellite could position each member on the raid within five meters, thanks to some very spiffy tracking devices that everyone had stitched into their belt lines.
SilverBrin parked the Warthog and the three of them got out and headed towards the command center at a quick pace. Djof pulled open the doors to the back of the big rig trailer and let out a scream.
"MAIS QU'EST-CE QUE TU FOUS ICI?! TU DEVRAIS MAUDITEMENT SAVOIR COMMENT C'EST DANGEREUX!!!"
*Ar-Isildur and SilverBrin stopped dead in their tracks and stared at Djof.
"You... you speak an alien language!" SilverBrin stuttered uncertainly, covering his bum instinctively to ward off any probing that may follow.
"Please don't eat us," *Ar-Isildur added in a whimper.
"That was French, you ignorant Americans! And I yelled in French because I just saw something I had never expected! Look in the truck!"
*Ar-Isildur and SilverBrin edged closer to Djof, keeping alert for the first sign of any probing devices, and finally peered into the trailer of the big rig.
"Oh shit," they said in unison.
"Permettez-moi de requérir de vous trois de bien vouloir pourvoir à mon bon plaisir personnel par moyen de stimulation sexuelle orale." Tirion, their 16 year old fanboi, replied from within the trailer.
SilverBrin stared at Tirion, his mouth agape in horror. "Oh... my... God... He speaks alien too!"
*Ar-Isildur turned quickly to Djof and said "Please don't eat Tirion either, he's our friend!"
SilverBrin, thinking that *Ar-Isildur had understood the strange words spoken by both Djof and Tirion and therefore must be an alien too, went pale and fainted.
* * * * * * *
It turned out they weren't completely out of ammunition.
2 and 2 make 5 actually had one bullet left, one that he kept in his front pocket for good luck. It had been given to him by a rather sharp fellow in New Orleans a months ago. The man was interesting in that he happened to have his face painted to look like a human skull. Baron Sam... something or other. The man had given him the bullet saying that it would become useful in the very near future. Then he started laughing maniacally and danced off.
At the time, 2 and 2 make 5 thought it was simply a good idea to hold on to the bullet and maybe use the story to pick up chicks at bars. Now, bullet loaded into an empty clip, he took careful aim, steadied his breathing, and pulled the trigger. The nose cannon of the Apache helecopter stopped firing shortly after the bullet smashed through the lower windshield and lodged itself into the brain of the gunner. In the momentary confusion, the pilot of the Apache veered off and flew away into the distance.
"Well what do you know... that crazy voodoo guy was actually right," he thought to himself. He made a mental note to do a bit more research on the Voodoo Baron. The metallic 'ping' sound from his rifle had taken a second to register as he mused on the circumstance, then he popped back into the moment. "Now I am out of ammunition."
"Spectre Three, thank you very much for that save," Psyrixx crackled over the radio.
"Any time, Rixx," 2 and 2 make 5 replied, "but remember that pilot can still fire the Hydra unguided rockets and his Hellfire guided missles at you."
"Yeah, I'll try to keep that in mind."
Psyrixx rolled to his feet and started sprinting away from the incoming mercenaries, looking for a more entrenched position. He saw a small indentation at the higher end of a small hill and started to make his way towards it. It wasn't much, but it would afford him at least some cover. "Moljnir, where is that Apache?"
"I can't see him through the trees, Psyrixx. I can hear him but I can't tell you anything about what he's doing."
He quickly changed direction to the right, moving towards the dimple in the small hill. "Roger that. Spectre Three, do you have a--"
The Hellfire missle impacted four feet to Psyrixx's left sending him arcing through the air. He landed on his side and used his momentum to continue to roll onto his feet. He was now facing the Apache, rocket launcher in hand, staring it down.
* * * * * * *
Deimos Fawkes cheered as his Spectre's engine roared to life. "Power has been successfully rerouted from secondary units to the drive system! We can get the hell out of here now!" He climbed out from under the vehicle and shot a look of satisfaction towards Have Blue and 2 and 2 make 5, both of whom were not paying any attention. Their eyes were transfixed on the Apache helecopter hovering just twenty feet above the ground, no more than a hundred feet away. It was looking straight at Psyrixx.
"Holy shit," Deimos said, taking in the scene. He quickly looked around for some kind of weapon - anything! - that he might use to help. All of their guns were out of ammo, the Spectre's plasma turret was non-functional because of... a glint of light in the grass caught his eye. CDs... AOL CDs... one was laying right there on the ground! "It must have fallen out of the box before I poured them all in to the car!" he exclaimed as he picked up the vile installation medium.
He looked at the Apache, still hovering and within his range, and did some quick mental calculations. Then he twisted his arm back around his body and uncoiled, sending the disc soaring through the air towards the Apache.
It was too high, he knew it as soon as he threw it. He was going to overshoot the helecopter and Psyrixx would be toast. He watched in horror as the AOL install disc floated over the helecopter... then was filled with suprised glee when the force of the rotors sucked the CD down and into the whirling blades, shattering the disc into a billion pieces.
The Apache turned towards them, unaffected.
"Well shit," Have Blue said.
* * * * * * *
The Apache pilot was angry. Today was his day off: he wasn't even supposed to be there today and already he had lost a jeep in the winding forest roads, lost his gunner to a stray sniper round and was now staring down the barrel of a rocket launcher held by a kid who should have been vaporized by that guided missle... if only he hadn't decided to start running to the right at the moment the missle was fired.
He knew that as soon as he fired the kid would fire back with a rocket and they would probably both be blown to bits. But he had more manuverability in the air and the unguided rocket from the ground would actually have to hit him directly to do any damage. The kid would be toast from the concussive damage from the Hellfire missle explosion: at this range there was no way he could get out of the way in time to survive.
Just as the targeting system locked onto the ground position that he was targeting, the pilot noticed a glint in the sky and looked up in time to see ... was that a CD flying through the air? Before he had a chance to focus, the shiny object was sucked down through his rotors and shattered, covering the entire helicopter with shiny bits of plastic. Well, whatever it had been, it didn't work.
The lock-on tone was sounding through his cockpit and the targeting system was locked on this kid in front of him with the rocket launcher. He pulled the trigger - and nothing happened. He checked his safeties, and as all of them were off, he pulled the trigger again and again nothing happened. He swore and turned the helicopter sharply towards the vehicle about a hundred feet away and trained his sights on the kids wearing the blue glowy shit, locked on and pulled the trigger to fire his Hydra unguided rockets.
Again, nothing happened.
The pilot swore very loudly. The sound of static started to fill the cockpit, it actually sounded like a modem was trying to connect to the internet. He hadn't heard that sound since the days of America Onli--
Just as he came to the realization of what the shiny plastic object that had been sucked into the rotors and exploded all over his helicopter had been the flight control stick simply snapped off in his hand.
The Apache exploded in mid-air, sending debris flying everywhere and the smoking wreckage fell straight into the ground. Several secondary explosions complemented the fireworks display.
"I knew those CDs would come in handy someday," Deimos said triumphantly.
Have Blue and 2 and 2 make 5 applauded Deimos Fawkes with golf claps.
"Spartans One and Two, we're getting the hell out of dodge," Deimos said over the radio. "See you starside."
"Affirmative Spectre Team. Thanks for all of your help. Dragon, we're ready for pickup. Rendez-vous at the extraction point."
"Roggerrrrr thaatttt, Schpartaann Wwone. Headingg towardshh exshtrackshion point."
"Dragon... Webby... are you DRUNK?!"
"EYE flye BETTERRR thish WAAyyyyy..."
* * * * * * *
Djof was now driving the warthog, since SilverBrin was still unconcious. Tirion took the rocket turret and *Ar-Isildur was again sitting shotgun. They were driving towards Jester's position -- about five miles in the opposite direction from anything.
"Gollum, do you copy? This is Bunny Team to Gollum, come in please."
*Ar-Isildur had been trying to contact Jester for about fifteen minutes now with no success. This was odd because the radios that they were using were tied to the satellite, which meant that if the satellite could see you then, in theory, you should get reception. Why on earth would Jester NOT want to talk to anyone? The answer came soon enough.
"KEEP HIM AWAY FROM ME!!"
"Oh my God! Jester, are you ok?! What's happening?! What is your location?!"
"NO! NO! KEEP HIM AWAY FROM ME!! Keep Rixx away!!!"
His panic was absolute.
"Jester, this is *Ar-Isildur, Psyrixx is hitching a ride with The Webmaster in the Nighthawk. He's nowhere near us. Give us your location, we'll come and get you."
"You promise that Rixx isn't with you guys?"
"Yes, I promise. Why don't you want Psyrixx anywhere around you?"
"He swore he'd kill me if we got out of this alive, so as soon as we got out of the facility I started running in the opposite direction" came Jester's faint reply.
Curious, thought *Ar-Isildur. He had planned to do exactly the same thing.
"We'll take you in and then we'll talk it over. Psyrixx won't kill you, I promise."
Jester, calmed slightly by *Ar-Isildur's words, directed them to his position.
* * * * * * *
"They're WHERE?!" Psyrixx asked, unable to comprehend what he had just heard.
"About five and a half miles in the opposite direction from anything," Moljnir repeated, "and get this: it looks like Tirion is with them."
"MY GOD!" Psyrixx hollered anxiously. "WHAT IS HE DOING HERE?! DOESN'T HE KNOW HOW DANGEROUS IT IS?!"
They jumped into the Nighthawk, lifted off and sped in the direction of the rest of the team.
* * * * * * *
Djof had parked the Warthog under some bushes, leaving it well camoflauged. Jester's location was not reachable by car, so they were all walking to meet up with him. SilverBrin was concious now and Djof, *Ar-Isildur and Tirion had finally convinced him that he had been dreaming about Djof and Tirion speaking French. It was the only way to make him stop screaming about anal probes.
A few moments later they came upon a clearing. Jester was easily visible hiding in the brush along the outer ring. His heart boxers stuck out like a hitch hiker's thumb.
"Hey Jester!" SilverBrin hollered.
Jester looked up in suprise. Upon realizing who it was he sprinted across the clearing and flung himself around *Ar-Isildur. "DON'T LET PSYRIXX KILL ME PLEASE!!"
"No one is going to kill you, Jester," *Ar-Isildur said consolingly, "It was just a figure of speech."
"Yeah Jester," Djof continued, "Psyrixx couldn't hurt a fly."
"Exactly," added Tirion, "He's too much of a pussy bitch."
"Right," finished SilverBrin, "I mean why would someone want to kill you for disappearing without a trace on a secret mission only to be found surrounded by scantily clad hot women while we are all worrying about you, then losing all of your clothes and ammunition and finally running in a direction completely opposite to where you're supposed to be and thus prolonging our exposure to hostile territory and mortal danger?"
The silence was claustrophobic as everyone stared at SilverBrin. Jester started weeping.
"What?!" SilverBrin asked.
Before anyone could answer, a bright light shone on them all from the sky and the roar of another Apache helecopter echoed through the forest around them. The nose turret spun around as the gunner took aim at the five intruders scurrying to find cover on the ground below.
The gunship opened fire.
* * * * * * *
"That looks like a second Apache gunship," The Webmaster said over the intercom, "and it's firing into the forest. I can also see a large group of infantry moving in to take the position."
"Damnit!" Psyrixx said under his breath. "Moljnir, I hope you still have ammo."
"Of course. I've still got several clips."
"Good. I need you to take out the tail rotor on that Apache as soon as you have a clear shot. That will cause it to spin out of control and hopefully in a direction away from our men. After it's a safe distance away, I can take it out with my last rocket."
The Webmaster quickly closed the distance and then rotated the Nighthawk to give Moljnir a better firing angle.
* * * * * * *
*Ar-Isildur watched as the incoming fire impacted the ground around his friends. He had been standing just out of the spotlight circle: the gunner hadn't seen him. He watched as his friends ran for their lives. If he didn't think of something, they would all be torn to pieces by the incoming fire.
A medium sized stone lay at his feet. He picked it up and hurled it as hard as he could towards the attacking helecopter. It cracked the glass of the gunner's side window and the gunner stopped firing for a second.
The spotlight was on him; now it was his turn to run. He had distracted the helecopter enough to afford his friends time to escape and now he had to act fast to save himself. He bolted for a secure position just off to his left; the ground where he had stood a moment before erupted as shards of metal tore into it.
He was almost there now, just a few more feet to safety.
The first bullet pierced his right shoulder, sending him spinning from the force of the impact. The next two went through his torso. His momentum carried him to the location he had been attempting to reach, but it was too late.
The Apache turned its spotlight back towards the others and opened fire wildly into the forest. SilverBrin, Jester, Djof and Tirion had found places to hide behind large boulders, but the boulders were rapidly being torn away by the barrage of gunfire. *Ar-Isildur was laying lifeless behind a large stone sculpture on the right side of the clearing.
"HOLY SHIT!" Tirion exclaimed, "WE HAVE GOT TO GET *AR-ISILDUR OUT OF THERE!"
"AND JUST HOW DO YOU SUGGEST WE DO THAT?" SilverBrin hollered back. The incoming gunfire was brutal. The noise was incredibly loud.
Just then, the rear rotor of the Apache exploded into a shower of sparks and the helecopter spiraled up and into the air as the pilot increased the collective speed to avoid crashing into the trees. Immediately Jester and Tirion ran into the clearing and over to the stone sculpture, grabbed *Ar-Isildur by his arms and dragged him back to cover. He did not look good.
Tirion pulled an assault rifle from the holster strapped to his back. "GO! Get back to the Warthog and get back to the staging area! I'll hold this position and buy you guys some time!"
SilverBrin turned quickly to Tirion, "No way! We can't leave you here!"
"Psyrixx and Moljnir are inbound in the Nighthawk. They can extract me. Besides, five of us absolutely WILL NOT fit in the Warthog! Especially with one man down!"
A sniper round slammed into the cockpit of the spiraling Apache, causing it to spin even more wildly out of control and further away from the ground team's position. A rocket followed soon after, the explosion tearing through the metal and sending debris everywhere. The Apache fell from the sky and into the forest below.
Suprised hollers from an infantry force could be heard in the silence that followed. They were getting closer.
"Okay, we're out of here," SilverBrin said, looking at Tirion with a hard gaze. "Good luck."
"See you back at the Complex. Get *Ar-Isildur out of here."
The Nighthawk was circling overhead, sniper rounds pouring out of the side doors as Moljnir was taking every opportunity to slow the advance of the troops.
Jester and Djof were carefully situating *Ar-Isildur into the Warthog as SilverBrin ran up. He jumped in and started the engine, driving as quickly as he could while still maintaining a smooth ride.
Tirion was entrenched. He had found an excellent position behind a pair of rocks that provided him with near perfect cover. He was also not a bad shot with his rifle. Especially when he was angry.
"Tirion, this is Psyrixx, do you copy?" The voice came over the radio.
"Affirmative, Psyrixx, copy."
"Tirion, we are setting down One-Five-Zero meters behind your position. Moljnir has the side cannon. It is time to get the fuck out of here."
"Roger that, I am pulling out."
Tirion pulled out a grenade that he had smuggled with him from the Psyjnir Complex weapons store. He pulled the pin and tossed it into the clearing, using the explosion and resulting confusion to mask his egress. As he made it to the helicopter gunfire started coming out of the forest behind him. Moljnir opened up with the side mounted gatling gun and leveled the place. The Nighthawk lifted off and sailed into the night sky, heading back towards The Psyjnir Complex. Moljnir did not stop firing into the forest.
* * * * * * *
The rest of the team had made it back to the staging area without incident. *Ar-Isildur was transferred to a medical gurney and loaded into the back of the big rig. The makeshift camp had been packed up and they had left in a hurry. They had brought basic medical supplies and this did not include the tools that they needed to remove bullets and patch up the wounds.
*Ar-Isildur was laying on his back, bandages covering his midsection in an attempt to stem the bleeding. The constant vibration caused by the movement of the big rig wasn't helping. He had been unconcious but breathing since they had left the clearing. Two hours had passed since then, SilverBrin and Jester had done all that they could to keep him stable. He stirred.
"Relax, Issy" SilverBrin whispered, "You're going to be okay. We're only five minutes away from The Complex. Once we get back, we'll get you into the medical level and everything will be fine."
"Brin... there's something I have to tell you." *Ar-Isildur opened his eyes dreamily and sighed. "I <3 you guys."
* * * * * * *
Psyrixx, Moljnir and Tirion were checking the airspace around the NightHawk, to be sure that there wasn't any aereal pursuit. Luckily, the skies were clear. They had achieved their objective: the Omnistation was theirs. It was definately the worst raid that they had ever executed, but at least nothing too horrible had happened.
Psyrixx's radio crackled. "Psyrixx, this is SilverBrin, do you copy?"
"Roger, Brin, go ahead."
"Rixx... uh..." An unusually long pause followed. "Rixx, I've got some bad news."
* * * * * * *
The security monitors cast a soft glow into the inky blackness of the room deep within the Omnistation facility. There was enough light to give the soft outline of the contours of objects in the room but not enough to identify what these objects were. The figure watching the monitors stood so still he blended in with the rest of the objects until someone opened the entry door and bathed the interior of the room with artificial light from the outside hallway. The door was closed and again the room was pitched into darkness.
The officer approached the dimly lit desk behind which his superior sat, his movement barely noticable in the void between door and bureau. The superior was watching the security monitors with passive amusement, reflecting on the carnage that he had just witnessed. His trap had been most unexpected by the assaulting force and executed well, considering most of the important tasks were given to the hired mercenaries. Not a usual tactic that he would consider using, but in this event it proved to be effective. The Psyjnir Complex Administrators and Subnova Command had been completely caught off guard.
The officer stopped just short of the command console and paused while his superior turned to face him. "Number Six, reporting. Our ambush was successful, on the whole. We have very good digital video surveilance of their combat strategies and tactics. Numbers One through Three are analyzing for counter intelligence. Also, we have a confirmed report of one casualty to the Psyjnir Complex. *Ar-Isildur is dead."
Unexpectedly, his superior narrowed his eyes as he hissed "You killed *Ar-Isildur?"
"Yes, sir. He drew the attention of our second Apache and saved four of his friends. We feel confident that this will confuse Psyrixx and Moljnir enough that we can launch a full assault on their position with no chance of their having defenses in place. It might even shake the others enough that they leave the Complex."
The superior shot a very angry look at Number Six.
"You idiots. *Ar-Isildur was very dear to the whole of The Psyjnir Complex."
"That is exactly why we feel it will cause distress and confus--"
"YOU ARE WRONG!" yelled the superior, banging his fist into the desk, leaving a large print in the wood finish, and standing up so fast that his chair fell over behind him. He regained his composure and continued. "You are wrong. Killing *Ar-Isildur may cause distress and confusion to the five subordinates, to be sure, but to Psyrixx and Moljnir it will only fuel anger and resolve. They will come looking for *Ar-Isildur's killers. I believe the five subordinates will also want vengeance."
"So you feel we should abandon this outpost?"
"Yes, and we must also accelerate our plans. Abandon this outpost and begin Operation Apocalypse."
"Yes sir. And what should we do with the surviving mercenaries?"
"We can leave no one alive that knows of our existence. Kill them. No traces. They are threads that Psyrixx could follow that lead to us. If he finds us, not only will our veil of secrecy fall, much too early, he will also certainly begin a full-scale assault before we are fully prepared for him. This time he cannot have the benefit of knowing that we exist until we are prepared to strike. Then he, as well as the rest of his precious Administrators, will perish."
* * * * * * *
The Nighthawk had turned around upon receiving the news of *Ar-Isildur's death and headed back towards the omnistation facility. They flew low over the trees to mask their radar signature and both Psyrixx and Moljnir had taken up positions on mounted gatling guns at either door. They were ready to destroy all remnants of the mercenaries at the facility.
The moon was high in the night sky as they rose over the final mountain between them and the facility, descending rapidly towards the grounds and ready to loose hell on the armed men below. They flew over the grounds and scanned the property for targets.
But there were no targets.
In fact, there was nothing. The grounds looked as if a battle had never taken place. It had only been a few hours since they left and already the facility looked as if nothing had ever happened. No traces.
In Psyrixx's mind, there could only be one explanation.
"We have to get out of here immediately," Psyrixx said.
The Nighthawk quickly climbed to a cruising altitude and raced away from the facility. Several minutes later a bright flash lit up the sky behind them as a shockwave blurred the atmosphere around what used to be the Omnistation fortress. As the flash subsided, a very large cloud of smoke twisted its way up into the shape of a cauliflower and left nothing but a mile-wide crater where they had all been just hours before.
"Kinda makes you wonder why they didn't just set it off while we were all there," The Webmaster mused.
"I don't think they expected us to respond this quickly. We weren't meant to see this. They wanted to wipe any trace of their existence away before we came for revenge. That means they must have been in that place while we were there taking the Omnistation! Probably watching our every move and then they got the hell out of there right after we did. The whole thing was a trap! DAMNIT! Why didn't we see this one coming a mile away?!"
"Well, it seems you're thinking exactly what I'm thinking," Moljnir replied, "The Seven are back."
* * * * * * *
Operation: Share the Love (Part 3) is dedicated to the memory of Brian Morden, the author of the prologue as well as the first two portions of this story. Brian's life was taken by Ewings Sarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer, before he even had the chance to start on the third and final part of this story.
Robert Sogomonian, close friend and collaborator with Brian, decided to write the ending to the Share the Love storyline as an homage several years after Brian's passing, and also as a way to send him out with a heroic bang.
Please visit The Brian Morden Foundation to find out how you can help fund Ewing's Sarcoma and childhood cancer research, how you can support patients, family, and staff of pediatric oncology units, and how you can provide funding for "Brian Morden Memorial" higher education scholarships.