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« Part 1

Junn sat crumpled at her desk as she fiddled with her pen, trying not to fall asleep. An email was open on her desktop which she had already read several times over.

Important Intelligence


Arnold Hithock
March 1st, 2016, 12:30 AM

Site Director Junn,

Attached to this email is file "S-DIV-COMMUNICATION-X556" which contains valuable information regarding the groups of interest GEAR and APAS. The information in this file was intercepted unbeknownst to either party.

I would like to formally request an immediate investigation.

Arnold Hithock, Site-005 Intelligence Officer


A loading bar slowly trickled from one side of the monitor to the other as she downloaded the attached file. The email servers were always slow but Junn kept her patience.

38% loaded

She noticed a dead mosquito had been sitting at the end of her desk. Examining the pest left Junn with an unexpected dread. It was upside down, its legs spindled together, its beady eyes pointing in her general direction. She grabbed the unused napkin from her lunch to wipe the pest away, but it spun itself around and flew out of sight just before the napkin could reach.

67% loaded

Junn thought to herself, briefly entertaining the idea that it was watching her before looking back at her computer.

100% loaded

The attachment opened automatically. It was a text document, only half a page long. Meticulously, she read through it, then again.

Junn thought only for a moment before making a call.

Captain Stancher wakes up in a cold sweat to his sat-com blaring through his ears. Dazed for only a mere moment, his mind clears as he answers the call.

“This is Site Director Junn. We have an immediate assignment for you. You should have already received a mission overview. Verify this.”

Stancher puts the call on hold as he checks his emails.

“Yes, I have it.”

“You have 15 minutes to ready your team and head to pick-up point A-46. A helicopter will arrive. Get equipped on the way there.”

Stancher reads the overview, alerts his team and prepares just as efficiently as every mission before. With 10 minutes to spare and with suppressed excitement, he leaves his quarters, no one to tell him goodbye.

As usual, he arrives 5 minutes early, the first to arrive. He uses his spare time to review the overview.

Mission Overview

March 1st, 2016, 1:05 AM

Mission Objective
Gather information without being observed.

Prerequisite Information
As determined through an intercepted communication between GoI GEAR and GoI APAS, a transaction is going to occur at the exact coordinates -70.926941, 33.014914, Antarctica. For providing a currently unknown service, APAS has agreed to forfeit several high value, anomalous items. This transaction is planned to occur at exactly 1:45 AM UTC, March 1st, 2016.

Mission Instructions

  1. Travel by air to coordinates -70.927268, 32.705535 (10 miles from the point of interest)
  2. Travel on foot closer to the point of interest.
  3. While remaining undetected, observe and record any information.

All but one are at the pick-up point. The missing team member is nowhere in sight. Stancher checks his sat-com, no messages. Hearing the helicopter whirring in the distance, he delicately places his sat-com into his backpack.

"Time to leave", he says, atonal.

As the team boards the helicopter, the last member arrives, 3 minutes late. She says nothing.

Stancher motions her to come, she does.

As they begin to pick off the ground, the team equips themselves, all but Stancher.

"You were late". He looks at agent Mary, emotionless.

"I-I'm sorry", she says, distraught.

Stancher says nothing, though it is clear he wants an explanation.

"My… my son left us last night… It was a heart attack."

At a loss for words, Stancher said nothing, though he felt no guilt.

Moonlight glistens through the snow as MST November-1 move under the mask of nightfall. The group wades through a week’s worth of snow, a blistering hail storm pounding against their suits. Captain Stancher takes a pair of binoculars out of his thick, leather backpack. He turns against the hail to dust off the lenses.

The team exchanges glances silently as Stancher scours the landscape. He searches the landscape intensely, but efficiently. After 30 lengthy seconds of searching, he finds nothing. They continue walking. A few minutes pass. Stancher checks the time. They are on good pace. Their destination is in sight, a small ridge, optimal for observation without being observed.

They reach the bottom of the ridge. Stancher motions his team to stop moving. He ascends the ridge, alone, keeping his head low, careful not to be seen by anyone in the distance. Stancher reaches the top of the ridge, still careful not to be seen. Slowly, he raises his head over the ridge just enough to see.

He sees no one.

In shock, he takes his binoculars back out and surveys the land from the ridge. Again, he sees no one. He swiftly ducks back below the peak of the ridge.

He checks the time again.

Alarmed, Stancher thinks to himself, "The transaction should be happening right now".

He looks back over the ridge. Still nothing.

He ducks back down and looks over at his team. They look confused.

Stancher pulls a map from out of his pocket. He is at the right location.

He clumsily pulls his sat-com out of his bag, almost dropping it in the snow. He tries to call his superior only to be met with pure static. Grasping at his abdomen, he feels a stabbing pain in the pit of his stomach.

A thick, putrid smell engulfs his senses, his eyes watering. Stancher holds his breath.

He looks over the ridge again. He doesn't see anyone, but he notices his field of view starting to shrink. He looks back at his team again, all unconscious.

As he begins to lose consciousness, he catches glimpses of a bright light approaching and the sounds of a vehicle.

The last thing he hears is the sound of a P90 reloading before he falls to the ground and the world fades to black.

March 2nd, 2016, 6:30 AM

Junn woke up peacefully, sunlight glaring beautifully through her window. She rolled out of bed and picked up her phone. She had one new email, titled "Investigative Mission Report - Agents lost".

She read the email and put her phone back on her night table as she got ready for work, the same as any other day of the week.

30 minutes later, as she entered her office ready to work, she saw the mosquito on her desk, perched, watching. Her heart skipped a beat.

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