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[MOVIEVERSE] "Razor" - Prologue 1991 - R

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  • Dex
    Razor Prologue 1991 by Dex All recognizable characters and settings belong to Marvel and 20th Century Fox; I am using them without permission but mean no
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 13 8:04 PM
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      "Razor" Prologue 1991
      by Dex

      All recognizable characters and settings belong to Marvel and 20th Century
      Fox; I am using them without permission but mean no harm and am making no
      profit. The plot and original characters, however belong to me. Any and all
      feedback is appreciated at dexf@.... Redistribution of this tale
      for profit is illegal. Please do not archive this story without contacting
      me first to obtain my permission.

      Many thanks to Minisinoo and Matt Nute for betareading and technical
      assistance.



      ROOFTOP, KARKH DISTRICT, BAGHDAD: 1991

      "Target is acquired, Wolfsden. Repeat, target is acquired. Over." Lt. John
      Grey Crow said into the handset, the rest of the squad crouched in the deep
      shadows on the roof of the building. The sky over Baghdad was lit with
      anti-aircraft search lights and flares to try and minimize the advantage of
      the Allied stealth aircraft that was bombing with such efficiency. The CIA
      communications puke was double checking the encrypted comcast signal, over
      the briefcase sized SATCOM system, and Crow found his lip curling in distaste.

      "You have grid reference Echo Delta four two six niner three eight five
      niner pinpointed. Confirm." John waved over Specialist Watts with the map.
      Watts checked the location against the GPS on the SATCOM rig to be sure. He
      nodded and Lt. Grey Crow keyed his handset again.

      "Roger. Echo Delta four two six niner three eight five niner."

      "Very well, Wolfpack four. Paint the target. ETA is approximately six
      minutes. Over."

      "Six minutes, Wolfsden. Confirmed. See you at the dust-off." John keyed off
      the handset, and the Agency man began to repack the equipment. "Marion, six
      minutes. Get to work."

      "Yes sir." Specialist Marion Watts hoisted up the boxy laser and adjusted
      it on his shoulder. Built to throw a beam of focused light up to three
      thousand metres under optimum conditions, it created a beam along which the
      cruise missile would hone in on and follow direct to its target.

      According to their briefing, the target in question was a bio-weapons lab,
      where the Iraqis were attempting to produce bio-weapons to unleash as they
      left Kuwait. Obviously, the Allies were not keen on this happening, and the
      US Army Rangers had been tapped to infiltrate Baghdad and paint the targets
      located by Allied intelligence for neutralization by cruise missile
      bombardment. It was an extremely dangerous mission, and had to be kept
      absolutely secret. According to CNN and all reports, the ‘smart' bombs were
      self guided, homing in on their targets via sophisticated computer brains.
      In reality, they required a man on the ground to act as a pathfinder, and
      if the Iraqis learned that, Baghdad would become a death trap for those men.

      "After the target is neutralized, we move to the school, correct?" The CIA
      man asked, and Grey Crow resisted the urge to slap him. Didn't the man
      listen at briefings.

      "No, Agent Sung. Sgt. Sagatuk is reconing the building first. Once he gives
      the signal, we can move. Hopefully before the target is reduced to rubble."
      Lt Grey Crow said, adjusting the M- 16 Commando carbine on his shoulder and
      mentally wishing that Sung would just disappear. The CIA had insisted on
      sending one of their men with each team, to safeguard the prototype
      encrypted communications gear they had been supplied with. However, no
      matter how good they might be with encryption and scramblers, the agents
      weren't Rangers, and their lack of training showed quickly.

      "Right." Agent Sung nodded and sat back against the wall, wiggling his toes
      inside the combat boots and occasionally running a hand over the case with
      the SATCOM inside, like a father soothing a child.

      Lt. John Grey Crow snapped his PVS-4's back over his eyes, and his world
      was transformed into a green tinted reality by the night-vision goggles. He
      swept back and forth along the allies and the streets, silent from the
      curfew. Watts shifted slightly, easing the laser into a more comfortable
      position. John turned back, stalking over to the doorway leading from the
      roof and opened up the audio channel on his PRC-77 handset.

      "Baer, Quested. Sitrep?"

      "Clear." Baer said first, his gentle bass rumbling over the headset. He was
      at the turn in the stairwell, about halfway down, the big M-60 slung and
      ready incase they were compromised. John touched the tone on his com,
      enough to hear Quested in the background.

      "Clear." Specialist Janos Quested was down by the street. It would be his
      job to secure the street as the rooftop team cleared the building, and to
      demo the lab if the missile failed. Lt. Grey Crow nodded in satisfaction.

      "Acknowledged." He keyed off the set and settled down to wait, watching the
      second hand of his chronometer crawl forwards.

      "Lieutenant." Sagatuk's soft, shushing voice came over the com.

      "Go ahead."

      "Route is clear. Ready to penetrate at command."

      "Acknowledged. Hold for command."

      "Roger."

      Four minutes, three minutes, two minutes, one minute. He got up and tapped
      Agent Sung, jerking a thumb towards the stairwell. The CIA man nodded and
      loped off to join Baer. John tapped Watts shoulder, and the man nodded. At
      thirty seconds, he killed the laser, knowing that the missile had acquired
      the target on its own system and was angling in. Both men hit the
      stairwell, and rushed to the bottom. Quested was in the street, M-16
      tracking back and forth for movement.

      There was a soft whoosh sound, like a hammer striking a pillow, followed by
      a roar as the missile slammed into the building they had targeted. The
      night was split by the thunderous explosion as the two story building
      erupted in a fountain of rubble and fire. The Ranger team dashed across the
      street, slipping through the hole in the fence that Sagatuk had cut. There
      was a dead Iraqi soldier lying in the shadow of the door, blood seeping
      from the wound on his back. Grey Crow wondered for a moment why they'd have
      a military guard on a school when they reached the doorway and cleared
      through it into the school garage.

      At least, into what should have been the school garage.

      "Hallie— " John growled, and the big man just shrugged.

      "This is where the school garage should be, Lieutenant. Blame
      Intelligence." Sgt. Sagatuk said, sweeping left and right with his rifle.
      The room was white and tiled, like part of a hospital. Grey Crow motioned
      the team and they moved forward like wraiths towards the steel doors at the
      far end. There was a security lock in place, but the explosions had
      disrupted power in the area, leaving it dead. Grey Crow was about to force
      it when Sung stopped him.

      "Wait. These places often have independent power supplies. Let me try." The
      CIA man moved forward, and pulled the casing off the lock. Two tiny lights
      blinked in the middle of the wiring, indicating that power was on. Sung
      pulled a tangle of wires and circuit boards from his pouch, and clamped two
      alligator clips at points along the circuitry. He carefully snipped two
      wires, and a light flickered green as the door unlocked. Quested opened it,
      allowing Baer to step in, M-60 in front.

      "This is new."

      The squad entered the room, clearing the corners and doors before scanning
      around the contents. The room was a pristine environment, counters all in
      brushed steel and stacked with all manner of medical equipment. Along the
      one wall was row after row of giant freezers, each with a large
      ‘BIO-HAZARD' label in Arabic stamped on it. Grey Crow looked around the
      room and frowned.

      "Agent Sung, it might just be me, but this looks like how a bio-weapons
      labs should look." He said slowly.

      "I know. Which means— "

      "The folks in the States are going to watch a cruise missile blow up a
      primary school on CNN during breakfast." Lt. Grey Crow finished, the word
      FUBAR running across his mind.

      "Fuck..."

      "Orders, sir?" Watts asked.

      "Alright." Grey Crow mulled for a second. "Our job was to level the
      bio-weapons lab. That's what we do. Quested, what do you need to bring this
      building down?"

      "Geez..." Janos turned slowly around the building. "Shaped charges to blow
      the bottom floor. Offset satchel charges on each wall from the outside.
      Primed with det-cord, set up on a time fuse firing system. Say, every stick
      of C-4 we've got, and twenty minutes."

      "You've got ten. Take Watts and Baer. Sergeant, this lab has to have some
      form of transport. Truck, jeep, golfcart. I don't care what. Find it, and
      see if there is any other security." John ordered. They all nodded and
      left, each focused on the job they had been trained to be the best of the
      best at.

      "Lieutenant, look at this." Agent Sung had one of the clipboards in hand,
      and was flipping through the contents. "I think we found something else."

      "Excuse me?"

      "These charts. This isn't chemical or viral research. It looks to me like
      they're working on genetics." Sung went over to the freezers and opened one.

      "It really doesn't matter."

      "I think it does." Sung leaned forward, checking the labels in the freezer.

      "No, Agent Sung, it doesn't. In ten minutes, we are leaving, and this place
      will be a bad memory."

      "I can't allow that."

      "You have no authorization to countermand my mission orders, Agent."

      "Wrong again." Sung said, pulling out a sheet of paper. "Directive 353-F.
      As the senior intelligence officer on the scene, I have the right to assume
      command and issue orders in the case of the potential involvement with
      assets relating to national security."

      "Horseshit."

      "Lieutenant, we didn't find a weapons lab. This is a genetic research lab.
      Look at the samples in here. Unless I've guessed wrong, Saddam is
      attempting to bring genetically modified humans into this theater." Sung
      rubbed his chin for a moment. "Totally in violation of UN Accords
      concerning augmented humans."

      "What?"

      "Mutants. This lab is designed to try and make mutants. It's pretty
      advanced too. This is a goldmine."

      "In seven minutes, it's a crater."

      "No, we have to get these samples."

      "Agent Sung," John almost lost his temper. "We are deep in hostile
      territory on a deadline. Any minute, the Iraqis will sort out what's
      happened and start getting teams out to the bombed sites. If we're still
      here then, we're dead."

      "We take what we can carry." Sung's eyes darted around, and he smiled. He
      rushed over to the one end of the room and came back with a pair of thick
      cases in his hands. Sung laid them on the counter and opened them. Inside,
      carved out of dense packs of foam insulator, were secure carrying slots.
      "Start moving the samples into these. Take the ones with this designation."
      Sung held up a vial and pointed to a piece of bright red Arabic script.
      Grey Crow swallowed an obscenity and began to fill the cases.

      "Now, I need some disks." Sung muttered to himself as Sagatuk re-entered
      the room.

      "Lieutenant. One other guard. Got him at his post, but his headset is
      squawking. Good chance that we'll have company shortly."

      "You found transportation?"

      "Supply truck. Looks like an old ambulance. We'll have to drive it into the
      ground, but it should get us back to the evac point."

      "Good. Help Agent Sung over there."

      "With what?"

      "We need to get these samples and computer files out of here." Sung said.
      "Only it's going to take me a few minutes at least to crack the encryption
      on the computers before I can download. I can't think of a way to go faster."

      "Are all the files on the computers safe if they get turned off?"

      "Yes. Why?" Sung asked. Sagatuk drew his K-Bar knife and sliced through the
      power cord, hoisting the hard drive on his shoulder and carrying it out to
      the waiting truck. "Good idea."

      By the time the demo team returned to the room, the rest of the samples had
      been loaded. Watts looked at the pile of equipment in the back of the truck.

      "What, we're taking souvenirs?"

      "Shut up and get in the truck, Marion." Grey Crow growled, stressing Watts'
      hated first name. They piled in, stepping around the cases and the hastily
      stacked computer towers. Baer wedged himself in the front seat, the M-60
      tucked between his body and the car door. If they ran into trouble, he
      could unship the weapon in seconds and lay down a blanket of fire at anyone
      trying to stop them.

      The truck careened into the street, jinxing left and right around the
      parked cars. Sagatuk wrenched around the wheel, and they swerved off into a
      side street, barreling down the narrow alley. Behind them, there was a
      white flash, and a yellow-red cloud of flame rose up in the sky. The
      explosion had gutted the centre of the building, and the walls, now
      unsupported, were blown inwards, toppling in a ruin of brick and steel.

      Sagatuk kept the truck moving in a crazy path, taking random streets and
      alleys, moving indirectly but steadily away from the city. They finally
      cleared the outskirts of Baghdad, and bypassed the checkpoints, running the
      truck across the broken ground. Sung held on to the computers as best as he
      could, hoping desperately that the jarring wouldn't damage them. They had
      turned to the east, going over the train lines leading south and speeding
      away from the grain fields and irrigated farms that surrounded the Iraqi
      capital. While the area was still on alert, the ambulance shape of the
      truck gave them a sort of unvoiced pass and they quickly entered the
      harsher cracked grasslands. The truck jumped and bounced, the undercarriage
      unfit for the type of hard-scrabble land they were driving across.

      They were still a klick from the evac site when a ditch tore the front axle
      away, and the truck shuddered to a grinding halt. The team leapt from the
      vehicle and quickly distributed the extra computers and cases between
      themselves. Grey Crow motioned them forward, he and Baer keeping there rear
      secure in case of encounters. The kilometer of scrub and sand was eaten up
      just before dawn, as they descended on the bulky shapes of the UH-60
      Blackhawks. Only two of the four were there, the others dusting off as they
      were filled. A brace of men rushed up to greet the Rangers, and a stockier
      man came to the front.

      "Do your shopping for the month, John?" First Lieutenant Harlen Eckers said.

      "No sir. Orders from the CIA."

      "Orders? Where is that little jizmball?"

      "Under the case." Sung was getting the computers into the copters, yelling
      with the co- pilot.

      "I told you! We don't have room!"

      "Then you goddamn make room!" Sung shouted back, red faced and furious.

      "Agent!" Eckers said, coming up behind him. "The mission profiles didn't
      include cargo. We don't have the extra room. Each of these birds have been
      stripped down to gas and Rangers."

      "Then leave a squad to be picked up later."

      "Rangers do not leave men behind." Eckers hissed.

      "I don't give a fuck. Those cases and computers are a matter of national
      security. Which means they're worth more than you, me and every man here.
      Either they go, or no one goes." Sung said.

      "You don't have that authority."

      "No, but when we get back, I will make my report to the DDI. He will make
      his report to the Director, who will make his report to the President and
      the Joint Chiefs. At which point, our President, who just happens to have
      been the Director of the CIA, will have you court-martialed for gross
      incompetence." Sung snarled.

      "You little discharge." Eckers said, and was moving forward, towering over
      the little man when one of the co-pilots came up.

      "Lieutenant, we have to leave. Now."

      "What about the extra gear?" Eckers said finally.

      "We think we can arrange it. It'll be tricky, and we'll have to dump gear
      to do it." Both men winced at the thought of leaving equipment behind, but
      there was little choice.

      "Alright. Strip down everything. I want it buried and boobytrapped. You
      have ten minutes. Make it happen. As for you— " Eckers turned back to Sung.
      "You better hope what you have is that valuable, or I'm going to personally
      nail your ass to the wall."

      Sung turned his back on the Ranger and trotted over to the other agent in
      the group, securing the supplies. With dizzying speed, the Rangers stacked
      a shallow pit full of stripped weapons, supplies and ammunition. Quested
      and Willis, the two demo experts, laced the pit with C4, and set the whole
      pile to go up in a lethal cloud if the three pronged pressure fuse of the
      Bouncing Betty they eased on the top was disturbed. The sand was spread
      back over and ruffled, so it looked no different from the other sandy
      breaks in the flat.

      The Rangers jumped on the Blackhawks, which took off with a flat whine.
      Lieutenant John Grey Crow sat on the edge, his harness locked to the side
      rail and his feet dangling over the slowly lightening terrain of Iraq. His
      eyes found Baghdad again, a cluster of lights in the distance, and as they
      fled, he felt a brief moment of finality. Grey Crow wasn't sure, but he
      felt in his bones that he wasn't leaving one thing as much as heading
      towards something else. The Blackhawks sped into Allied airspace, leaving
      Grey Crow to his thoughts in the dry dawn.

      ***
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