Alchibah Late Day 885 Ft Stuart
I had just finished the joint mission planning session with Bartlett, Christopher and Seaworth when the line to the Comm Center chimed. Oh Great, what now. “Stuart here!”
“Master Chief Benjamin, Sir I need the Commander Strike Force and the Chief Communications Engineer at this site, HYPE!”
I was boiling out the door screaming on the short comm to Marina before he blanked the screen. Frack the snowshoes it was downhill any way, I grabbed the Nordic skis and poles and flew. I would not have thought that Gabe Benjamin would have used the highest alert code we had for anything short of a Nova.
Three minutes later I walked into the Comm Center and what looked like a staging area for a raid. Angel, Scythe and Grinder were geared up and ready to go. Gabe began in the most formal of manners.
“Sir, we have all indications of a active spy in the process of communications. Request that the Communications Engineer confirm and the Commander authorize a surface Covert Action.”
I did not answer just moved to the analysis console, “What you got, Tim?”
“I have this solid and located, I just don’t know what it is.”
I studied the waterfall display and glanced at the Spectrum Display. “That’s because you have a UNWG 37B/A-4 Secure, oh so loved by the Political Directorate. Master Chief do we have an ID on the suspect?”
“Yes Colonel, Sensor systems indicate only one person could be in that spot: Buchanan!”
“Master Chief, Strike Authorized. You will assume the lead due to experience. ROE 2 approved. No way you will save the cypher key but get me that radio and Buchanan alive. HYPE!
“Tim, get me Joe Fortson and Les Reye on secure fiber. No copper and no radio!”
“Got them Line 4.”
“Councilor Reye, Sheriff Fortson; Colonel Stuart, are you secure?”
“Come Mr. Stuart do we have to be…”
“Shut the Frack up Les, Sheriff Fortson are you secure?”
“One moment,” came Joe’s voice. “OK we are now secure and a gun I trust has the door. Your floor Colonel.”
“Thanks Sheriff, this is your formal notification that Strike Force Alchibah has a Covert Surface Action in progress. We have a known Traitor in direct communications with an Enemy Force. As such he constitutes a Direct Military Threat. Upon recovery of his transmitter system and apprehension he becomes a Civil Problem. Sheriff are you prepared to assume custody and jurisdiction at that point?”
“Yes Colonel, I am. Who is the suspect in question?”
“Merry Christmas Joe—-, it’s Buchanan! Les, this is how Military and Civilian authorities are supposed to work. The next time you poor mouth me you Officious Bastard, Andy Stuart is going to punch Lester Reye right square in the mouth and Official Titles ain’t gonna have Frack to do with it. Joe, I’ll call you as soon as I can. Stuart Clear!”
We were moving in on the location down in the shipyard. Pity poor Buchanan that two of Ash’s surviving cameras still covered this area. What was amazing me were Scythe and Grinder, they were as good as any I had ever worked with. They were not Wildcat or Magic and God’s forbid not the Reaper but, they were Pro’s. I once told an old Air Force puke that given time Andy could train a rock. These two were not rocks.
Coming to the door I decided to try the old SOCOM sign language, I gave the signs for Scythe to kick the door and clear out and Grinder to back cover. To no great surprise on my part I got immediate “Understood” from both of them.
Scythe flashed across the door with one big right foot reducing it to splinters, I went to overdrive and drove in. Nothing could have stopped Buchanan’s thumb from coming off of the deadman’s switch for the cipher key. But, there was no way his thumb was going to get to the destruct for the Radio.
As Buchanan’s unconscious body bounced off the far wall I heard the comments from outside.
“Scythe, did you happen to see that train go by?”
“Nope, I blinked. BREAK, Reaper Target Secured!”