August 6th 2134, A Freedom Knight forward command post in Russia.
“Where do we stand?” Corpus asked an FK officer.
“Sir, the Communists still haven’t made any progress in pushing us back. They seem to only be focusing on defense,” the officer replied.
“Good. However, tell me, firebases Fortnight, Speartip, and Zulu were all powered by the hydroelectric power plant near Mozhaysk right?”
“Yes sir, but all three reported a power failure around 2:35 P.M. yesterday. The onsite generator backups kept them powered for the time being until just recently, when they reported receiving power from the power plant once again.”
Corpus thought for a second, Hm. Could it be that there was already an issue at the power plant. That was much faster than I expected. Still, Vapor Team must have already resolved it, but why haven’t they checked in to FK command. Something still doesn’t seem right. But, Vapor Team can take care of things for now. “That will be all officer, thank you,” Corpus said. The officer saluted Corpus and returned to analyzing the current situation in Russia.
Connor awoke to the sound of a desk being shifted across the lobby floor. Dale and Arden had come back inside and were moving the objects barricading the two RL soldiers in the office. John wasn’t in the lobby. Connor stood up and stretched for a second. “What you guys doing?” Connor asked them.
“We’re going to get these two douchebags in here set up for interrogation,” Dale replied. “Me and Fog have a plan.”
“Alright. Where’s Mist?”
“He’s outside collecting all of the dead soldiers and their weapons,” Arden replied.
Connor nodded and exited the building to the catwalks. He noticed the pile of dead RL soldiers was bigger. John was walking along the catwalks hefting a dead soldier over left soldier and carrying a rifle in his right hand. John dropped the soldier on to the rest of the RL soldiers and placed the rifle in a separate pile of weapons next to the pile of soldiers.
“Morning sunshine,” Connor said jokingly to John.
“Morning,” John replied, playing along. “So I got all of the bodies together and their weapons are right there,” John said motioning to the pile of guns and grenades and knives.
“Nice. So do we have a much better stock of guns and ammo now?”
“Yep, and here’s the best part. I found two assault rifles,” John said with a grin hidden behind his helmet. “So now we finally have something a little more suited to our tastes.”
“Sweet!” Connor exclaimed with glee. He picked up one of the assault rifles and synched it to his HUD. The assault rifle he held fired much more precise shots than a typical assault carbine, but lacked a higher fire rate. The rifle had a full clip. Haha, the soldier must’ve died before he could even retaliate, Connor thought to himself. He unholstered the carbine on his back, laid it down in the pile of weapons and holstered the rifle instead. John picked up the other rifle synched it and holstered it as well. “Dale and Arden are about to interrogate the two captives.”
“Really?” John replied. “I wanna be there when they do.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Help me carry the weapons inside and then we can interrogate them.”
“Okay,” Connor replied. It took both of them three trips to carry the weapons inside and hide them in an office on the top floor. Connor and John then walked into the lobby on the ground floor to find the two captives sitting in office chairs facing each other on one side of the lobby. Their hands and feet were bound tightly by computer wires and their helmets were on backwards. Dale and Arden were on the other side of the lobby whispering to each other very quietly. John and Connor joined them.
“Okay. I have an idea on how to interrogate these two,” Dale proclaimed.
“What?” Connor asked.
“They more than likely know each other since they were in the same unit right? So here’s what we do. We ask them any initial questions and they will probably not cooperate. After that we remove their helmets so they can see each other face to face. When we ask one of them a question and he doesn’t answer, we hurt the other guy instead. That’ll make them hurt on a trusting and emotional level,” Dale said.
“That sounds a bit dark,” John said.
“You got a better idea?” Dale asked.
“What about good cop bad cop?” Connor asked.
“They’re soldiers; it won’t work on them because they won’t mind the bad cop. But my way attacks the brotherly bond that a soldier has to his squad mate,” Dale replied.
“Okay then, who’s going to do the smacking and who’s going to do the talking?” Connor asked.
“I’ll ask the questions,” John said.
“Alright, I got broken jaw boy,” Dale said.
“I got broken arm guy,” Arden said.
“I guess I’ll just chill on the side and look mean,” Connor joked.
“Alright let’s do this,” Arden said. The four of them headed to the other side of the lobby. Arden stood behind the soldier that he injured, and Dale stood behind the other soldier he injured. John stood a little to the side, midway between the two RL soldiers and Connor stood with his arms crossed on the sideline. The two RL soldiers sat with their heads hung low and breathing heavy because they were still in pain from their injuries. If left untreated the soldier with the broken jaw and ribs would be dead by the end of the night, and the other one with the broken arm would suffer from irreparable bone damage. They were all silent for a few seconds until John finally spoke.
“I’m going to ask you some questions and if you answer them correctly and right when I ask them, we will get you the medical care you need,” John said.
“No, you are liar,” the soldier with the broken arm stated in a Russian accent. Arden raised his fist in to the air and almost struck the soldier but John raised his hand and shook his head as if to say, not yet. Arden slowly lowered his fist.
“No we will get you medical attention if you just cooperate. Now, tell me, what is it the RLA wants with a hydroelectric power plant?” John asked. The two soldiers remained silent. “Okay then. Why did you assault this power plant and kill the innocent civilians, then just leave to come back later?” The soldiers still didn’t say a word. “Last chance before your injuries get even worse. What is the name of the special group of soldiers that attacked the power plant because it obviously wasn’t traditional military like you?” Again the soldiers didn’t reply. John paused for a couple of seconds then motioned Dale and Arden to take the soldier’s helmets off of their heads. They did so and dropped the helmets to the ground next to them. Both of the soldiers began looking at the lobby around them but were forced by Arden and Dale to face forward.
“Face forward asshole,” Dale said as he straightened the RL soldier’s look on to his squad mate in front of him. The soldier cringed in pain because of the forced head turn against his broken jaw.
“Ah shit,” the RL soldier managed to slur out of his mouth when he noticed the special armored soldier standing behind his squad mate. Vapor Team, the soldier thought to himself. The other RL soldier’s face went pale when he noticed Dale standing behind his squadmate.
“Now we’re going to try this again,” John said. He stepped closer to the soldier with the broken jaw and looked directly at him. “What is it the RLA wants with a hydroelectric power plant?” The soldier said nothing. John turned his head and nodded at Arden. Arden raised his fist back and came down on the soldier in front of him, striking him with only half of his full strength. If Arden used all of his strength the soldier would have been out cold, possibly dead from a broken neck. The soldier spat and grimaced from the blow. The other soldier who watched tensed his face muscles in anger and rage at the unexpected blow dealt to his squad mate. John turned his body to the broken armed soldier and asked him the same question.
“How about you? What is it that the RLA wants with this hydroelectric power plant?” John asked, but the other soldier didn’t answer either. John looked at Dale and Dale struck the soldier in front of him with only a fourth of his might. He didn’t need to hit very hard for the soldier’s broken jaw would already cause most of the pain. The soldier squinted his eyes very tightly and moaned at the searing pain that shot through his jaw. The other soldier nervously shifted in his chair slightly.
“You know his face is already falling apart,” John said to the soldier with the broken arm. “I wonder how many hits it’ll take for his entire skull to fracture. So I’m going to give you another chance to spare you from witnessing such an unfortunate scene.” John leaned closer to the soldier and asked again, “What does the RLA want with this power plant?” The soldier stared at his squad mate who was looking back at him with pained eyes. The soldier opened his mouth to reply but hesitated. Dale struck the other soldier again and this time they all heard a cracking sound from the soldier’s jaw. The soldier tensed up every muscle in his face and cried out in agony. He hung his head lower and actually began to sob slightly.
“Suck it up and shut it,” Dale muttered in his ear.
“Do you want his pain to stop?” Arden asked in a gruff-like voice. “Give us the information we want and we can stop hurting your friend.”
“Okay, okay,” the soldier with the broken arm responded. “I tell you everything. The RLA wants to stop your advance. They attack the power plant to weaken and slow you down. That’s all I know.”
“Bullshit, I bet your buddy is willing to listen to what more you have to say before his arm starts to look like yours,” Arden said.
“Wait, wait. Okay, I hear rumors of secret assault group the RLA has that was experimented on in Krietchner Hospital. I heard that is the group that attacked here. That’s all I swear,” the soldier said. Arden and Dale looked at each other. John paused for a few seconds. Connor uncrossed his arms and started to slowly walk back and forth nervously.
“What is the name of this group?” John asked the soldier.
“They’re called,” the soldier began to say then stopped himself. John began to turn his head to look at Dale and the soldier started to talk again. “They’re called the Elite Blade,” the soldier said quickly. John stared in to the soldier’s eyes. Elite Blade. I wonder if he’s just making that up, but I don’t see any lying sign in his eyes, John thought to himself.
“Thank you,” John said in a slightly sarcastic voice. “Now you know what? Normally we would have called command and got you medical attention, but it would appear that all of the computers and radio equipment is either broken or missing. I wonder whose fault that is.” John gave a nod to both Arden and Dale. Arden and Dale then snapped the two RL soldier’s necks.
“Serves you right,” Arden said.
“Assholes,” Dale bluntly remarked.
“Take the bodies and place them with the rest on the bank of the outflow,” John said. Dale and Arden cut the wires that bound the RL soldiers’ limbs and picked them and left the building carrying them to the outflow bank. John noticed Connor was fidgeting with his fingers. “Is something wrong?” John asked Connor.
“Not really it’s just,” Connor replied with a slight pause. “Krietchner Hospital was where Penelope was taken after the racing incident.”
“Penelope as in, your, dead fiancée?”
“Yeah, or at least she’s assumed dead,” Connor replied in a low voice. “Technically when I last saw her, the doctors said that she probably won’t make it. Well it was only two days later that the war started and suddenly I was denied entrance to the hospital. I visited the hospital to find it swarmed with Red Legion troops and buzzing with Red Legion choppers flying overhead. They obviously didn’t want anyone getting into the hospital,” Connor fell silent for a few seconds. “I had to leave my fatally injured girlfriend behind,” Connor said in what was almost a whisper. John was silent for a few seconds.
“What are you trying to get at by telling me this?” John asked.
“I don’t know. It’s just a strange coincidence that a secret RLA assault group was born in that hospital. That hospital was just a simple hospital. There was no obvious sign of military experimentation or a secret Red Legion base hidden within the hospital until directly after the war was declared,” Connor replied.
“Sounds like once we are done defending this power plant that we should pay a visit to Krietchner Hospital,” John stated.
“Yeah,” Connor replied. “Do you think the Elite Blade is coming here?”
“I wouldn’t doubt it. They attacked this place once, they’ll do it again. And if this so called Elite Blade is so special, the RLA will probably no doubt use them to take us out.”
“Well then I guess we better get ready,” Connor said as he pushed aside the thought of his old fiancée.
“I agree. Let’s go ahead and divvy up the weapons we salvaged,” John said. Connor nodded and they went back to the third floor to divide the weapons.
“So do you think this Elite Blade is better than us by any chance?” Arden asked Dale as they walked across the catwalks hefting the RL soldier’s bodies to the outflow exit.
“Are you kidding me? Please, nothing and no one is as lethal as we are,” Dale said in a confident voice.
“Still, it’s not going to be as easy to take out whoever these guys are as it is to take on regular RL troops.”
“Stop worrying so much. What’s the worst that could happen?” Dale asked.