It’s 10:00pm on a Tuesday. The team arrived back at Shadow Company HQ after a short mission. Shockler sat in the briefing room, with some of the operational staff, watching the media feeds. As well as happenings around Melbourne and the world, there were private feeds from Shadow Company personnel. Three teams were protecting whistle blowers. One team was guarding a grounded airliner. Shockler wasn’t familiar with their mission parameters but it was clear they’d be home alone tonight.
Another feed reported on a hospital bombing. The entire building had been levelled. A footnote on the article mentioned that Novacorp’s shopping centre expansion would probably be approved. The next article was about a mortar tube and guided mortar round being stolen from a secure ASIO facility. Another moniter remained black, but Shockler could swear he saw movement in it every now and then.
Genghis grabbed his foot-thick novel and retired to the toilet. The rest of the team settled in the staff room with a deck of cards. Grayscale secured himself 10% each of Wu’Kong’s, Fin’s, and Doc Swift’s next mission takings.
Shockler noticed two of the monitor’s, displaying cameras watching the back door, flicker. Shockler took careful watch. Another two camera’s flickered. Shockler put out the alert. “Something’s going on guys. The cameras are playing up.” Suddenly the black monitor came to life. It showed the inside of the headquarters. It moved down the corridor. It was Saskia’s cat! It rounded the corner, showing a squad of well armed soldiers proceeding down the west corridor. The cat turned and fled. “We have intruders!” Shockler broadcasted.
Wu’Kong threw his locker key to Doc Swift and stepped out to guard the corridor. Everyone else ran for the armoury. On the way, Fin saw two machine gunners by the back door. As the first soldier rounded the corner, Wu’Kong let loose the lightning. Another soldier, armed with a heavy machine gun and surprised by the sudden attack, rounded the corner spraying bullets wildly and futilely. The first solder threw a grenade at Wu’Kong but it went straight into the now vacated staff room, blasting the card table aside. More soldiers faced Wu’Kong. A taser dart landed on him, but Wu’Kong’s discipline resisted the electric pain. The operations staff brought the cameras back online. They saw another four men by the back door and alerted the team.
Wu’Kong was swarmed by soldiers. One got hold of him and injected something into him with a hypospray. Pointing a big gun to his head, the soldier demanded “Tell me what you know about the attempt on Colonel Smith’s life!” Wu’Kong truthfully denied any knowledge, but offered to help them find answers.
Everyone else arrived in the armoury and armed themselves. Fin made his way to the back door, whipping one soldier and elbowing another. Both attacks were painful, but left the soldiers unfazed. Seeing the team approach, the machine gunner laid down suppressive fire, ineffectively. Doc Swift fired explosive shells in the crowd of soldiers, knocks one of them down. A soldier ran into the server room and inserted a data-stick into the server. Grayscale rolled a grenade down the corridor. A valiant soldier threw himself on the blast, obliterating himself but protecting everyone else. Shockler bluffed that another team was arriving by the back door, distracting the men by the back door. Before Fin could take advantage of the distraction, the soldier leader spoke up.
Listening to his radio, the solider leader exclaimed “Col. Smith isn’t here. We can go.” The operations staff confirmed that the data-stick was transmitting Shadow Company’s files out of the building.
The team weren’t about to let the attacking soldiers just walk out. The leader was confident and cocky, and read to call in an airstrike if necessary. The team didn’t stand down, but let the soldiers back out. As the soldiers left, Grayscale ran to the room and fired a tracking bullet into the tail of their van, shouting “And don’t come back!” The tracking bullet showed them parking at a nearby NovaCorp facility.
The next morning, two plain clothed men entered Shadow Company. They introduced themselves as representatives of ASIO. They knew about last night’s attack and we’re also interested in the assassination attempt on Col. Smith. NovaCorp, under instruction from Col. Smith was clearly acting illegally in their quest for profit. They bombed the hospital adjoining their shopping mall so they could expand. Being a government agency, they couldn’t stop him without sufficient evidence. They needed him gone sooner. They were interested in the Col. Smith’s assassination succeeding. ASIO offered the use of a “stolen” X-6 guided mortar system, and information on NovaCorp. Shockler also negotiated payment of some mil-spec hardware.