The helicopter hovered over a warehouse, it lowered its altitude and descended, part of the roof of the bunker moved aside to allow Jason to land the copter. Jason turned it slightly to the left making sure the tail would get in. the fourteen man helicopter was bulky but good for short ranged missions. It had good manoeuvrability as David has proved in the cockpit many times. It was also camouflaged in a dark blue-black colour that allowed it to be hidden better at night. Radars would have trouble picking it up with the odd angles that would reflect the signal. It could be picked up eventually but it does buy them a lot of time. The helicopter hit the floor, Jason turned the engine of and the machine went silent. David got out first followed by Steve. He opened the metal doors and entered the floor.
“David!” Alex yelled at him before sprinting towards him stopping just before him, “Are you okay?” he asked.
“I’m fine Alex. I need to clean myself up.” Dareous came towards them.
“Welcome back David, glad you okay.” he held his hand out for him to shake. David shook his hand and then gave his weapon to Alex.
“Do I need de-briefing?”
“No,” answered Dareous, “We’ll leave that until later however before you go sort yourself out all of us will be briefed on the next mission.” David pushed his tongue against the inside of his mouth.
The command room’s lights had now been turned on and again Dareous sat at the end of the table. Axon stood behind him while Pinkie and Sam sat next to them. The Excepts: Alex, David, IA, Teyk, Steve, Jason, Clyde and Barry stood against the wall. Barry had dark brown hair with brown eyes. His hair was a very thin army cut. Dareous fiddled about with his pen for a minute before speaking.
“You are all exceptional; all of you even the ones behind me. If you were not you would not be here. If anyone in this room says, they are not brilliant then they would be lying. Each one of you has specialized in a certain discipline and while some may be good at a lot of them, some are just the best at one. I would happily die for every one of you. As we know during the last three months that we have spent in this hell-ridden city, we have gotten to know each other. Through good times, we stood together and through bad times, we fought together. I know we all still feel sorry for Tony but he did his job and he was unlucky because that is why he died. No one dies here just because they are stupid or arrogant; they die because they run out of luck. In addition, I shall tell you something. We have a lot of luck.” Dareous paused a minute allowing his mind to catch up with what he was saying.
“We entered New Orleans, the worst place in the world at the moment with thirteen Excepts and through nearly a life threatening task per day we have only lost four great individuals. However, they are not forgotten and while we all stand, they will never be forgotten. Michelle, Austin, Jacob and Tony.” Dareous saluted the fallen, in which everyone else paid there respects by doing so. “Now, unfortunately we have another mission. The one I hoped would never come. We need to do a search operation on an Ace. I tell you now that I believe that this is not a meteorite, a satellite, or a plane this is the real thing. The precise location that it will crash is unknown apart from in the city of New Orleans so Axon and I have decided to wait to see where it lands. Due to this rebel attack. This rebel attack is based on information that David has collected. I trust him, as I believe we all do. I also believe that it is highly possible we have been found out and they are heading here but I have decided to continue with the mission and unfortunately, if they do attack we have no real defence due to their masses. Nevertheless, the ones left do know how to defend themselves and so they stand a chance. All this does is make this mission even more important. We have all learnt that the possibilities of alien life are strong and that it is possible that they can contact us. If this is true this would be first contact and we will represent Earth and this is part of the reason I’m going.”
“You’re going?” said Jason in a loud, strong voice.
“Yes, I think if I’m controlling this from the field we’d stand a better chance, it’s not like I can’t fight either. Right, when I call you again report to the armoury. We are exceptional, we are…”
“Excepts!” yelled the team. Each one saluted him as they exited ready for the mission ahead. Dareous asked the others to leave and once they had he sat down at his chair. He brushed his hand across his desk and looked into the draw. Inside was a picture of his family and a opened red envelope. He picked the picture up and smiled. His wife and children smiled back at him. A small tear drop pushed its way out of his eye and fell towards the floor shattering like glass.
“Goodbye” he whispered. He kissed the photo and placed it back in his draw.