A Big Deal - 2
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 Beep! Problem emerged.

The message from agent Yuri was shown on the terminal of major Gordon.

"We're proceeding to Plan B. Alpha, Bravo, get ready to dash. Hotel, Yankee, be on standby at the audience room as scheduled."

Following the command, the members became busy for the preparation.

"Make a double check of the video equipment. I don't want any complaints from Yankee."
"Yes, sir."
"Velvet, how much the BISON recon has gone by?"
"L and B1 are completed. I'll load it to the mobile screen."
"Seems enough for now. Adjutant, start briefing."
"Yes, sir."

Wei, aide-de-camp who serves as the commander of the Bravo, started to explain while pointing out the screen of the terminal attached beside the rifle.

"The facility disguised itself as a villa, so fortunately the security force here is not a hassle. When the basement and the stair hall is well-coped, it wouldn't be any problem to enter. However, concerning the message of the problem came first, team November's work seems to be futile. The enemy would have considered the task force. The agility is determined to be more important than the confidentiality, so we need to attack the negotiators directly, rather than neutralizing the building slowly."
"Very well. It will be my command. Alpha, to the east gate. Bravo, to the west gate. All of you two go to the basement by the nearest stairs to yourselves. Leads will be Galleon and Know. Rears will be Hewlett and Ichi. Velvet, stay here, and continue the BISON recon the other stairs. Concentrate to troops and escape routes."
"Should we kill the enemy?"
"No probs to kill them all. They're all legally-dead."

Gordon paused, swallowing 'and so are we' before it came out of his lips.

"Mao, Jacob, you two are in charge of the explosive, and stay back behind the eath lead. Enter as soon as the signal has arrived. Ignore other rooms, go to the center room straight, and secure the targets. The order of priority is same as the operation scheme. Understood?"
"Yes, sir!"

Members of X-17 responded silently, and hurried to prepare for the battle. Major Gordon eased his breath in calm demeanor, and examined the infiltration route while looking at the ground plan of the building on the screen of the terminal attached to the rail aside of the rifle. He paid his attention to the center room, which was lying from the ground to the underground. The members hid themselves in the west shadow of the building to move to their position, and transmitted an at-the-ready signal by their hands. Gordon made an OK sign, and joined to the Team Alpha with his K2C.

For a little moment between the wait for message to appear on the screen, Gordon felt the tension pressing him down. He has played an active part as the special force commander for so many years, but the pressure from the duty which costs the life of colleagues is unable to be accustomed, no matter how many times he experienced it. Gordon stroked his holster with M1911 on his waist, praying that the last duty of the 3rd Regiment will be completed safely — as it have been.

Something broke the tense silence.

 Beep! Negotiation failed!

"Let's go. Advance! Advance!"

Right away, two squads has divaricated to east and west, taking off to the entrance. The sentries standing before each entrances fell down by bullets. Some office workers at the lobby ran away, screaming.

"Forget the fugitives. We don't have the time to waste."

Gordon make the instruction on his headset. Galleon, on the head of the Alpha, fired to the door of the stair hall and opened it. The CI soldier who was preparing for the raid doubled up in pain being bullet-ridden, barely aimed his pistol to the front, but soon collapsed on the stairs with rifleshots in his head. Boots of the Alpha hurriedly passed his corpse.

The guards of the CI, who were standing in front of the entrance of the room, aimed two corners of the hallway between the stairs to snipe the invaders. It was to riddle the enemies with their 5.45 millimeter bullets. Knox of the Bravo first threw the flare grenade to neutralize them, since it was a good weapon for a narrow place to suppress the enemy indoors. But they withstood it, because the Beta-class soldiers of the CI has already undergone a neural procedure against a sudden external stimulus.

"Gosh, they're tough. Flares are ineffective. We will begin to fire."

Wei reported, after activating the Advanced Cornershot by turning the dial of the accessory on the barrel and checking the situation with the curved view of the scope acting as a periscope.

The guards again aimed their arms to the corner to wait for the enemy. But instead of the soldiers, it was a rain of bullets which came out behind the corner turning 90 degrees in the air. Without any moment to be surprised by the mysterious scene, the heads of the guards was riddled with the bullets. How could they ever know that Pan and Hyde — all SAW Soldier of the squad — activated the Cornershot to discharge M249 behind each corner? Anyway, the members have made a foray to the entrance, shot the bullet riddled guards again to assure their death, and reported to Gordon.

"Suppression finished. We have arrived at the destination."

Gordon re-checked the map information from the BISON, and commanded to the explosive manager.

"Prepare for the explosion. Enter immediately."

Mao and Jacob, who have followed the head to get to the door, ripped off some C4, massaged it, and attached it near the lock of the steel door. They checked whether the others are at an long enough distance, and retreated to push the button of the manipulator.

By the powerful explosion, the lock was scattered all over the place, broken into pieces. The members kicked the door open, and entered to the room aiming their rifles. They could saw the captured Team November, the guards preparing for the battle with their pistols, and Richelieu pointing his revolve with a very agitated expression on his face. Richelieu looked at the X-17 who took over the entrance, and said to Yuri.

"I think you're right for now, young agent."
 


 
"Foundation MTF. Get the gun down!"
"Negative. I'd like to suggest another negotiation."

Richelieu answered to Galleon, who was aiming at him. Gordon made the soldiers hold their fire by his hand signal, and started to talk holding his gun still.

"Major Gordon, the commander. Reveal your identity."
"Richelieu. the site director."

Richelieu replied, also not letting his gun down. Gordon was not satisfied, but decided to accept the proposal considering the hostages.

"I'd like to hear the condition. Speak."
"I'll return your two agents, and you should assure the escape of our people for the cost."
"Not enough. Hand us SCP-2395 and related documents for the supplement."
"2395? You say about this?"

Richelieu nodded his chin to the 'Dormant Star' gleaming in the open box. Gordon also nodded. But Richelieu shook his head.

"Any cost other than the hostage cannot be given. I have no authority to accept an unequal negotiation about the anomaly."
"Sorry about that."

Gordon took aim at the middle of the forehead of Richelieu, to assure him that no conversation would be there as long as he acts like that. The red point of the laser sight appeared on Richelieu's brow. But he continued with calm demeanor.

"However, I'd like to make a wholehearted cooperation depending of your behavior, bearing a little violation of the rules. Help me if you want the unharmed hostages and the anomaly."
"…Okay. What is your demand?"
"To quit the military operations onto this site permanently, and to withdraw as soon as the negotiation is completed."

Richelieu's answer made Gordon very agitated. He did not hide it.

"Are you sure that those are the proper demands?"
"Please hear me out. If you accept, we will destroy all the confidential documents we scanned and archived just before. Not bad, hein?"
"Negative. The safety of this site is not in charge of me."
"I know I'm asking for a little much, but I have no choice to answer a little much of yours. I also have to achieve a desired result to persuade my superior."

Richelieu persuaded Gordon desperately. But Gordon felt something that felt out of the place in the proposal he heard. It would be better to get the classified documents — rather than the safety of the site — for the sake of his outcome, but the proposal hardly seemed to have considered that reality. The first proposal have surely met the case, but it has grown too big to be determined on the spot. It would be best to finish the negotiation quickly and run away, as they have hostages.

'But they are willing to up the ante… Probably a shallow idea to kill the time.'

Gordon judged so. X-17 has not neutralized the whole building in order to dash fast to the center, and there could be the unscathed troops on the area which they passed. During being kept by Richelieu talking about the negotiation by way of excuse, the troops upstairs could come down to besiege X-17 with the guards here. Two squads was not enough to deal with them.

[A crowd is approaching the west stair hall from the 3th floor of the facility. Unknown whether or not they are armed.]

Velvet reported via the walkie-talkie, after the analysis that was finished on the right timing. Gordon concluded that they are the CI troops, and decided to arrange everything as quick as he can. Bluffing based on the superiority of the information to stop the enemy could be another way, but he knew well that his acting ability was not quite good enough, so he chose to show his specialty as always. Gordon opened his mouth, loading his gun roughly.

 "I'm sorry for your career—"

At the same time, all the assault rifles of the X-17 which was already aimed at the heads of the guards blasted. On that last minute, Gordon ended his word, facing at the scrunching expression of Richelieu.

 "But I'd like to end the negotiation here."

A bullet — Which was eyed on a single point during the event — flew out of the rifle as a period for his words.
 


 
"Goals are accomplished. How are the movement on the 3rd floor?"
[Roughly thirty of them went down the lobby. They'll be on your location soon. Scanning is completed, so I will send the real-time video to the screen.]
"Got it. We'll be out soon. Contact Hotel to ask for the recovery."
[Yes, sir.]

Checking the dozens of corpses on the floor, Gordon transmitted the message to Velvet on the ground, and made an instruction to the platoon hurriedly.

"Mao, Jacob, install explosives on the top of the wall heading to the lobby. Hewrett, help those two to install the rope ladder. When finished, install another explosive at the entrance. Galleon, check whether the scanner is connected to a network, and destroy it. Martin, take the documents and 2395. The rest of Alpha and Bravo, shut the door and set up a barricade. Wei will be in charge of command. Launch."
"Roger."

All members went to each of their designated job by the command in perfect order. Gordon, finally relieved, took a look around to check the condition of the Team November.

Yuri started at the corpse of Richelieu. She was tangled. If he was just a little less keen or more, he could have prevented himself from reaching this ending. But she agreed that it was an inevitable decision, seeing his finger on the trigger of the revolver becoming stiff.

"Agent Yuri, agent Song, it seems that you are safe."
"Yes, thanks to you."

Yuri replied, taking the revolver away from Richelieu's hand. Song nodded, straightening up his shoulder while leaning to the wall. It looked like that he was hurt due to his arms being detained harshly during the event. He asked Gordon, watching for the members who clasped on the wall and hanging the rope ladder on the iron ring.

"Major, how are we going to escape now?"
"It's difficult for us to make a frontal breakthrough with a force like this. While they're stuck at the entrance, we'll drill a hole there, get out, and take helicopters to escape."

Gordon stretched his hand to point the location at which the detonator is being installed by Mao. Suddenly, someone started to kick the door. Gordon instantly aimed his rifle to the door, but put it down seeing that the barricade is solid enough. He rushed the explosive team, who was drilling holes to stuff with explosives on the ladder.

"Five minutes left. Hurry! Help the rope ladders if the barricade is done!"
 


 
"They made a barricade. Seems impossible to get through the entrance."
"Aren't the bomb prepared yet?"
"Sorry, sir. We didn't store enough explosives…"
"Ugh… They're trapped anyway. They will come out unless they are coward. Guard the entrance in the ready-for-combat condition with all the personnel."
"Yes, sir."

The site guards of the CI — came to response too late — deployed the troop on the underground hallway — the only escape route. The enemy did not respond to the recommendation to surrender; no one inside is able to get in touch with; they might be not thinking for the hostage situation or a haggling at all.

"Traces from the flare are detected."
"The guards would have undergone the procedure for the tolerance of the external stimulus. How did they neutralize them? How did they get in?"

Guards investigated near the entrance became puzzled seeing the soot on the floor and carelessly scattered corpses. The guard commander regretted not putting on the anti-contamination clothing, considering the possibility that the Foundation has sprayed the anomalous killer substances. Along the way, he noticed the sound heard from the interior of the room, which seemed to be of the hand-drill digging holes on the wall.

"Digging a hole. For what?"
"Seems that their intention is to escape through the broken wall to avoid the defense on the entrance."
"What a headache. All the personnel except on the entrance, keep an eye on the wall. You may shoot immediately as soon as an opening is formed."

Following the command, the soldiers glowered at the wall with their Russian rifle in their nervous hands. In fact, they were mostly newcomers which did not get through the actual combat, as Libya was the rear zone — unlike Iran or Egypt, where all the organizations are engaged in a heated competition because of the anomalies buried in the desert. It was also a tendency that the engagement of the CI in a battle were reducing in frequency for the last few years.

Fortunately the commander, experienced by the battle against the Foundation or the ORIA in Iran, realized that the enemy invaded this time was a considerable veteran. According to the officers fled from the lobby (encountering the enemy) to upstairs, soldiers of the Foundation dashed to underground, quickly shooting the armed forces on their pathway. He has come down as soon as possible after the report, but directer Richelieu fell into their hands, without any given knowledge of his state.

The commander was scratching his head due to his complication when the shock and sound from the explosion resounded through the building. He shouted.

"Where are they! Fire! Suppress them! What are you waiting for?"
"No differences are detected, sir!"
"Same here, sir!"
"What? It can't be. Block the entrance of the stair hall, and comb around the room!"

The CI soldiers desperately looked everywhere to detect the exit, but no hole is found on the wall of underground. The commander started to consider seriously if they were digging an underground tunnel. By the time, the second explosion has blazed furiously in the entrance. The steel door, ripped off by the aftereffect of the explosion, has been thrown noisily to the hallway. The commander rubbed his burning ears, instantly being convinced that the enemy is going to make a frontal breakthrough to the entrance diverting attention by the explosion.

"Fire! Fire and then check!"

The commander yelled at the top of his lungs. The soldiers poured their bullets at the entrance for a long time, but noticed that they were just riddling the sofa. No one seemed to escape. Some of the soldiers cleaned the barricade, revealing the ladders hanging on the wall of the other side with a big hole. Suddenly, something caught a soldier's foot. It was a wire.

Which was in other words, the trigger of the booby-trap connected to the plastic bomb and the incendiary bomb, which was stuffed to the brim in the holes all over the wall made by X-17.
 


 
Streets of Tobruk was noisy due to the terror occurred to the villa of Richelieu. As all being surprised by the sudden gunshots and explosions, the civilians has concentrated much more.

Rumors of doubtable origin is spread widely. It was definitely a terror by Da'esh, a black helicopter is shown, it was the sabotage of the Tripoli government seeking for the death of Richelieu supported by the Benghazi government, et ceteras. Curiosity of the people became supposition, and then it turned into other rumors wandering around the city. Meanwhile, someone who claimed that he was passing the place for some reason started talking. All the civilians thirsty for information focused to his story.

"Mr. Richelieu has passed away. The building is totally destroyed, leaving nothing but ruins. I saw them with my very two eyes."

Finally, the passerby opened his mouth to talk to tell the tragic news. Everyone was filled with deep sadness. They roughly blamed the unknown terrorist. Zawoo was monitoring the situation closely, taking a step backward from the clamor. The anger was from the intimacy with the personnel named Richelieu after all. The small communications apparatus on his left ear made its word.

[Gordon here. Agent Zawoo, make the amnesiac procedure along with the Operation Plan B. How's the condition? Over.]
"Satisfactory. Everyone is only talking about the incident. Over."
[Alright. The manipulating scenario is number three. I'll take care of the media, so you can focus on the field action. Communication over.]

Zawoo clicked the button as a meaning of confirmation, and took the apparatus off to put it in his pocket.

People filling the street respectively added each of their own story. Their longing, respect, and grieve toward Richelieu have formed itself in words, swelling over the street. Zawoo carefully collected the memories, looking at their topic changing into the trivia such as the weather and economy.

Tomorrow, everyone in this city will not remember the owner of the villa. They won't remember the helicopter, the grief, and the anger. The information bureau will drum up the event as a terror from an extremist. People will come back to their daily life. A natural sequence for the Foundation to be in this world.

But… it was sill a sad thing to be forgotten from everyone well. Zawoo thought as so, while finished his duty and walked along quietly on the street of Tobruk. It was near sunset.
 


 

 
 


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