The crowd gathering in the bazaar had been steadily increasing all morning. Among them, Captain Dianna Mitchell lurked quietly in the background unnoticed by the throngs of pedestrians moving around her. Being of similar height, and required to be covered from head to toe, no one would have ever known that one of the world’s most deadly assassins was in their midst.
Sanctuary to Alpha One: primary is en-route.
Alpha One to Sanctuary: copy that.
The primary target was radical extremist Francis Peralleux. Francis happened to be in this small, northern Iraqi village on business. INTEL had been coming in hot and heavy that he was putting the finishing touches on a major terrorist action and was coming here to recruit the necessary personnel. Capt. Mitchell had been in the small village a few days already waiting for Francis to arrive. In the mean time, she had become quite familiar with the surroundings. No one seemed to notice the extra body, which made hiding, and more so moving around, extremely easy. It’s almost cheating, she had thought.
The satellite feed was filling her inner-HUD with a myriad of data including the location and direction of the target. He was closing in on her position, so she began to move forward with a small group of women that had just passed by. As they approached each other, she worked her left hand free, which was covered by her combat SBT. Passing as close as possible without drawing any attention, she ran her exposed hand across his left arm. In the crowded streets, he hadn’t even noticed the exchange and continued towards his destination. Mitchell kept her course steady as she made her way in the opposite direction toward her small base of operations located in an abandoned house on the outskirts of the village.
Within 15 seconds, she began receiving the data stream from the nano cluster she had left on Francis’ arm. She could see his vitals, his location, and hear the conversations going on around him. By the time the transmission had begun, he had already made his way into a small house, and was engaged in conversation with it occupants. They were speaking French, and thanks to her SBT, she was able to understand all that was being said. He was thanking the home owners for their hospitality. They had insisted that he spend the night, that they would be honored to entertain a hero of the people. Though she could tell it was with a touch of reluctance, he relented and obliged their request.
The rest of the afternoon consisted of small talk mixed with eating and lots of drinking. There were plenty of boasts regarding his past terrorist activity, that were all being recording for posterity’s sake. Occasionally laughter would erupt when a story would end with some world organization being embarrassed or with the death of many infidels. And then something about an EC seat holder, his daughter, and one less virgin to await him in heaven. After listening to as much as she could stand, Mitchell allowed herself to relax and grabbed a quick cat nap while waiting for night to fall.
When she woke, she discovered her cat nap had turned into a 6 hour slumber. Almost in a panic, she began running checks and processing data to make sure everyone and everything was where it should be. Francis was still in the village, but at a different house, and just as she had made that discovery…
Sanctuary to Alpha One: Message following, Priority level high. Stand down, repeat, Stand down.
After a few seconds of stunned silence, the followup message was transmitted.
Sanctuary to Alpha One: Message following, Priority level high. New target of opportunity. Consider as primary. All other targets secondary.
With that her mind lit up with the face of a woman she had never seen and a name she had never heard of before. Along with the face and name, came a small data dump regarding her new target. Her name was Inirah Basilah. She was young, twenty five according to the INTEL, but she had a rugged beauty that bespoke a life of hardship met with grace. But looking into her eyes, Mitchell felt as though she was looking into a mirror. Staring back were the dark and beautiful, yet cold and lifeless eyes of a killer. According to the data dump, Inirah was seeking to become the new caliph, or religious leader, in this region which meant that unless she was stopped, a lot of innocent people would die. Her list of accomplishments was short, but it was believed she had been incredibly active, with most of her exploits being claimed by other terror leaders as their own. After reading the rest of the data dump, Mitchell closed Inirah’s info and focused on the image of the building that was now showing a pulsing figure labeled Inirah Basilah, and sitting across from her was another figure labeled Francis Peralleux.
It didn’t take Mitchell long to figure out that the INTEL reports were wrong. It was Inirah that was planning something major, and she had recruited Francis to help plan the action and organize the resources. Mitchell accessed the nano cluster she had left on Francis’ arm, and began listening in on the conversation. It was quickly determined that Inirah was tired of others taking responsibility for her actions. And she would be dealing with those liars and usurpers soon enough. Inirah then went on a ten minute rant that went into graphic detail of what she would be doing to those dogs once she was finished with this current project. By that time, dinner had been served and Inirah changed the subject to one more suitable for eating. It was time to move.
By the time Mitchell had left her room, the moon was high and the streets were all but deserted. With her disguise intact, she proceeded to make her way through the village towards the center where Inirah and Francis were meeting. As she approached, she let her SBT and satellite scour the area looking for anything or anyone that might be considered hostile. Once she had closed to within fifty yards, she backed into a dark corner, removed her disguise and extracted her small Dark Ops assault rifle from its nano sheath. Quietly, she continued working her way towards the house. She carefully scanned high and low for booby traps or any early detection systems. Her suit straining to pick up even the smallest amount of data that would help her stay undetected. As she moved, she could still hear her training officer screaming at her class that many a high-tech warrior had been compromised by the most low-tech devices. A terrorist favorite is to simply run a trip wire attached to a bunch of cans across a doorway or walkway. Fortunately, she encountered nothing that would alert the neighbors that a killer was lurking in their streets. Mitchell made her way around the back of the house where the two targets were eating and found a small door which lead to the kitchen. She quietly placed her hand on the door and her suit ran a quick diagnostic and determined there were no devices attached to it that would alert the occupants. Before moving in, she stowed her assault rifle and replaced it with her silenced 9mm handgun. The door was unlocked and opened inward. Slowly, she eased through the door, her suit taking in the surroundings looking for anything that might be hazardous to its health as well and Capt. Mitchell’s. As she entered the kitchen, she could see a small bed sheet, being used as a door, that separated her room from theirs. And another “door” to her right which probably lead to a bedroom. Theirs were the only heat signatures in the house, so she wasn’t worried about being surprised. Whoever had servered them dinner had made the wise choice and left for the night. Fully inside the kitchen she closed the door behind her and began making her way across the kitchen. With her handgun at the ready, she took one last step as she reached the sheet and found a soft spot in the floor which groaned in loud protest. Mitchell froze. And in a heart beat Inirah bolted out of the front door leaving Francis to fend for himself. Dammit! Mitchell ran into the living room where the pair had been eating. Francis looked at the dark figure standing before him. Judging by his terrified stare, he might have been looking at a ghost. More like an angel, she thought. “I bring you the gift of death” were the words she spoke to the petrified Francis before she knocked him out cold with a swift backhand to his temple. She gave an internal command to the nano machines that had been planted on him earlier and began the hunt for her primary. When they discover his body, presuming the authorities even bothered trying to figure out what had killed Francis, they would find that sometime during the night, he had suffered a fatal brain embolism.
As she made her way out the front door, Inirah was already making her way around a corner about a hundred yards down the street. Damn she’s fast. Doing her best to remain silent and hidden, Mitchell began stalking her through the village. With the help of the suit and satellite feed, keeping tabs on her wouldn’t be a problem, but trying not to draw any unwanted attention was going to be tough. Mitchell walked quietly along the sidewalk until she found a dark alcove. Quietly, she ducked into it, and waited. She had remembered some advice her dad had given her when she was a kid. They had been out deer hunting and she had just let loose an arrow which found its mark on the buck; low on the ribcage, just behind the front leg. As the deer bounded off into the woods with its fatal wound, Mitchell had jumped up and began to run after it when her dad pulled her back down into the blind. “If you chase it, it will keep running and you may never find it. Be still and it will lay down and die.” While she wasn’t worried about losing track of Inirah, she certainly didn’t want to chase her all over the town and risk waking every one up. So she sat still, and waited for her to settle down.
After about twenty minutes, Inirah finally found a place that appeared to make her feel safe because she had stopped moving. Mitchell quietly moved out of her alcove and began making her way toward the house Inirah had holed up in. As she was making her way there, she had the satellite check the place out. Inirah’s was the only heat signature, but she had also picked up a weapon; it appeared to be a sub machine gun. The going was slow and tense, and it took Mitchell about 30 minutes to reach the house. Inirah hadn’t moved, but her vitals were still running high. She may have found a place that seemed safe, but it was obvious she wasn’t completely convinced. Unlike the previous house, this one only had the front door which was slightly ajar. Mitchell cautiously approached the door and saw the interior was dark. Internally, she could see Inirah at the top of a small flight of stairs just around the corner to the left. Mitchell reached into one of her nano pouches and retrieved a small, flat disk and slid it into the room towards the foot of the stairs. Five seconds later, the house erupted in a blaze of phosphorescent light. At that instant, Mitchell barrel rolled into the room towards the wall next to the stair case. As Mitchell entered the room, Inirah let fly a panicked burst of automatic gun fire. A few of the rounds struck Mitchell on her leg, but the SBT hardened at the point of impact and absorbed the kinetic energy. After the burst, Inirah ran to a room at the far end of the hall, slammed the door and positioned herself against the wall opposite the door with her gun at the ready. Slowly, Mitchell proceeded up the stairs, this time mindful of any loose floor boards. As she climbed, she could hear her heart pounding in her ears as well as the sound of voices growing outside. She needed to end this now. Reaching the top of the stairs, she replaced her handgun with her assault rifle and put a three round burst through the door. She heard a small whimper of pain. The body armor she had been wearing prevented Mitchell’s burst from being fatal, but it did nothing for the force of the impact. Inirah loosed another long burst of machine gun fire. Before Mitchell could get completely out of the line of fire, she felt her assault rifle jerk in her hands. After the gun fire died, Mitchell’s internal HUD began flashing…
ALERT: Assault rifle damaged. Non-functional.
Mitchell began to stow her rifle and retrieve her handgun just as the bedroom door burst open and Inirah came charging down the hall spraying bullets everywhere. Mitchell jumped down the stairs, rolled to her left and began fumbling for her handgun. Before she could get it out, she was tackled from behind and her pistol went flying. Mitchell was face down with Inirah on her back punching and jabbing wildly, but Mitchell’s suit bore the brunt of the punishment. Mitchell immediately reached back, grabbed the first thing she could get a hold of and pulled as hard as she could. Inirah screamed in pain as her hair was being wrenched from her scalp and the floor came rushing up to meet her. With a satisfying crunch, Inirah’s nose kissed the floor. Mitchell quickly got to her feet just as Inirah rolled onto her back and began spitting up blood and teeth. Mitchell reached down to grab Inirah by the shirt, but Inirah grabbed Mitchell’s arm, twisted and sent her flying across the room. Inirah was back on her feet, screaming and running wildly towards Mitchell who was still lying on her back. Mitchell quickly raised a foot and caught Inirah in the soft part of her gut, just below the ribcage. Inirah doubled over, fell to her knees, and retched. Mitchell stood up, grabbed Inirah’s hair, pulled back hard, and punched her square in the mouth. Blood, more teeth, and vomit splattered the wall and floor. Inirah was on her back, semi-conscious, and hurting badly. Mitchell walked over to where her handgun lay on the floor, picked it up and made her way back to Inirah. By this time, the voices were growing louder and heading her way, A quick satellite check confirmed that a small mob, including some local police were just down the street making their way toward the house. Mitchell closed the front door, walked over to Inirah, knelt down and placed the gun to her head. Through the fog of pain and broken teeth, Inirah muttered “Have you no mercy?” Mitchell moved to within a inch on Inirah’s face and allowed her suit to expose her eyes. Mitchell knew by the look on Inirah’s face, she had received her answer. Almost in a lover’s tone, Mitchell replied “Death is a mercy you don’t deserve.” With that, Mitchell bent down and gently kissed her forehead. Inirah closed her eyes, mouthed a silent prayer, and gave a slight shudder as the bullet entered her brain.
Mitchell stayed around long enough to ensure Inirah’s vitals went dark. By that time, she could hear the angry shouts just outside the front door. She quickly ran upstairs, down the hall, and into the room Inirah had run into. In the dark she could see a window on the back wall. From the satellite view, she could see the mob had all gathered out front and she appeared to have a clear exit out the back. Quickly she opened the window, and quietly jumped down into the the alley. As she hit the ground, she could hear the front door of the house give way to the battering ram the police had brought along. Shortly followed by shouts of panic, grief, and instructions to get some emergency medical personnel on the scene. By that time, Mitchell had safely made her way down the alley. She paused briefly in the shadows to get her bearings. According to the satellite, she was on the southern edge of town. If she continued south, she would be out of the town in less than five minutes.
Alpha One to Sanctuary: Primary and secondary complete. Heading to the south street station.
Sanctuary to Alpha One: Copy that. Congratulations. All trains running on time.
Within an hour, Mitchell was on the Dark Ops helo heading home. As she sat back in the seat, she closed her eyes and tried to relax. Staring back at her were Inirah’s beautiful, dark eyes. In another life, it could’ve been different…