Griffin Security Operations Interest, Sign-up & OOC Thread
Griffin Security Operations: The First Mission
A black van picked up the six men from the airport. From the outside it didn't seem like there was anything special about the vehicle. A normal van of a common make, with a sliding door on one side and a relatively large boot. It was big enough for an extended family to go on vacation. A trained eye on the other hand would notice that a few special and expensive customisations had been made to the van. The skin of the car was slightly thicker than usual because of a layer of amour plates directly underneath it that protected the occupants from nearly anything fired at the vehicle from a rifle or handgun. The bulletproof glass was subtly tinted, so that it wasn't easy to see what was going on inside.
The "family" for the vacation didn't really fit the picture either. Six men who, each of them more or less, stood out in the crowd of normal travellers. At the exit of the airport they were greeted by a man who was about as tall as most of them, but a good bit leaner and older, having the 40 already left behind him. He had a pale and narrow face that seemed to be in a state of constant frown. This impression was supported by the neatly tied back long, black hair that gave his face an air of strictness. He wore jeans and a short-sleeved white shirt, neatly tucked under the trouser waistband.
"My name is Peter Falk. I will drive you to the headquarters."
Falk spoke with an unmistakably German accent. He greeted every man with a short hand shake, but didn't exchange any other cordialities. After that, he helped them with their luggage and then took the driver's seat of the van. Falk didn't say anything about it, but he limped slightly as he did so. It was nearly unnoticeable, but he certainly wasn't able to move as fast the men around him.
Instead he stepped on the gas pedal as soon as all six had taken their seats in the back. He drove the whole way just under the speed limit. The airport lay in the outskirts of an urban area, but as they drove for a little more than an hour, their surroundings became more rural, at first with green fields and little farming villages between them, then through dark green forests. During that time Falk watched his passengers in the rear-view mirror. He had once been very similar to them. They were tall, burly men, military types, most of them with short hair or even shaved heads. All of them had worked for GSO in one of its international branches and, judging by the fact that they were here now, had done their job well. Only one didn't look like he had a military background. Peter Falk had read that he was a driver, an ex-stuntman, and for a moment he wondered whether he should have given this man the control of the van. Then he shook his head amused of himself and just pressed through the gas pedal a bit more. He didn't take part in any conversation during the drive either, and if he was asked something, he didn't answer.
Soon the grey of rocks mixed itself between the green outside. They climbed up a hill on a serpentine street and as the bends got sharper and sharper and the slope steeper, the hill became a fully-grown mountain. At one point the driver took the fork off the main road and on a small side road that seemed rarely used. No 100 metres after the junction an automatic gate blocked the road and a sign warned trespassers that area after this point was private property. As if on a secret sign, the gate opened and closed behind the van again. The road continued for a quite a bit through a forest before the view opened up at the side of the mountain and down into the valley. From there on, it followed the outlines of the mountain, a steep precipice to the left, a wall of rock to the right. As they turned around another bend of the mountain, their destination came into sight: A castle, built from grey stone, the roofs of its towers tiled with black slate, sitting enthroned above the valley beneath. It wasn't big, but seemed to cling directly to the side of the mountain. The view from one of these towers had to be spectacular.
For the first time since their greeting, Pater Falk opened his mouth:
"Welcome to the aerie of the griffin."
Above the gate they now drove towards, a medieval crest became visible as they got closer . It was a griffin holding a sword. The hybrid creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle had given this castle and a whole company its name. Behind the gate with the portcullis, there was a short, dark tunnel that eventually opened up to a inner courtyard paved with cobblestone. The courtyard was so small that the buildings around it nearly seemed to smother it, adding to a general feeling of claustrophobia. Every building in the looked like it was built in medieval times, but the windows had glass in them and surveillance cameras adorned the walls, watching the gate and other possible points of entry.
The van stopped in front of the main building. Peter Falk jumped out of it and opened the sliding door for the passengers. While they got out, he took position in front of them, arms crossed behind his back.
"This is the unofficial headquarters of Griffin Security Operations. You may have seen some of the other offices around the world, but this isn't an office, this is the Special Operations Division. I will now give you a tour of our facilities and then you will be introduced to the Colonel and our executive staff. Any questions?"
*whistles* "This is a nice place you got here sir. Now I wasn't aware that we even had a Special Operations Division, judging from the fact that I wasn't aware of it's existence, these missions must be high risk and dangerous am I right" Jason Kahlil asked being the first one to speak up.
The frown on Falk's face seemed to deepen, but a small smile seemed to play around his lips at the same time.
"Well, you won't find it any company brochures. Our clients value discreetness, we certainly don't just tell all the world about what we do here. But if you want to know more about these things, I'd ask the Colonel. About the other part of your question ... You are working for a private military company and you've been to some of the most dangerous conflicts in the world, yes? So everything you are doing for the company is high risk and dangerous."
"Had to make sure, I didn't know about this Division and I wanted to make sure I didn't sign up for the cupcake parade." Jason joked.
While the two were talking William adjusted his eye patch and scratched his head
"So what's the catch? This little merc boyband wasent assembled for some fussy mission. Something big is goin down."
"Cupcake parade", the long haired man repeated, wrinkling his nose. By now his annoyance with the younger soldier was clearly visible.
"What do you think why you are here? The last team just lost two men, three wouldn't prolong their contract afterwards. That's why the Colonel asked for new recruits."
It seemed as if Falk wanted to kill Jason with his stare as he looked at him intensely for a few seconds. Then he turned to the next man speaking up, but without the aggressive undertone in his voice.
"That should answer your question, too. You are Mr. Cravens, right? Nothing bigger than just any day. The Colonel has planned some assignment to see what you clowns are made of, though. But he will tell you about that. So is there anyone else who would like to make a joke? If not I'd like to get back to my work."
"I have one. So what was it like being killed ay the end of Die Hard?"
"hahaha, Cravens I think were gonna get along just fine"
Peter Falk just ignored the joke, but the expression on his face showed that he was able cope with these kinds of personal attacks much better than with what he felt had been an insult to the people he worked for.
"I think we should move on now. If you have something to say, you can just as well say during the tour. We don't want to let you employers wait, do we? If you will follow me ..."
With those words he turned around and opened the door to the main building. The hallway they walked through now was surprisingly modern, with milk glass doors leading to room on both sides.
"These are the offices of the executive staff. You won't have much business around here. For your stay here, we have prepared some rooms on the second floor. The landing spot for our helicopter is on the western fortification. That will be you main means of transport around here. There is a second chopper belonging to the company at the air port you arrived at, as well as a small transport plane to bring you wherever we want you. The training area is outside, in the former garden of the castle. The briefing room is in another wing of this building, but we won't go there just yet."
He opened a door. Behind it, a row of fluorescent lamps began to glow, illuminating a flight of stairs. At the end of the stairs, there was a long room, separated into a number of lines.
"This is our shooting range. It's good enough to satisfy most needs. I believe you will find your preferred weapons over there." He pointed at a set of tables standing at the wall next to the stairs. On them there were several arms chests and pistol cases. Then Falk pointed at a surveillance camera overseeing the whole room. "Why don't you show us what you can do with them."
"oohh lets see whats in case number 1, ooohhh a G36 just what I wanted. OK sir let me show you that not only am I a demo expert, I'm also a pretty good marksman as well."
Following the imposing figure of Mr Falk into the startlingly lush interior of the castle, Tom's typically gruff expression had changed to one with awe visible on his face.
He had heard many things about Griffin Security, mostly outlandish rumours, but this well-hidden castle was something else entirely.
As they arrived at the shooting range, Tom hardly needed the prompt: 'Show us what you can do with them'.
With that, his sharp eyes scanned the pistol cases until he found one he was familiar with: A Sig Sauer P228. A slightly different model to his 239, chambered in a different caliber, but to Tom Fenton, well aquainted with all manner of Sig pistols, it was like fitting into an old jacket.
Swiftly pulling the pistol out of it's case, he pulled the magazine out to check it, and, satisfied, reloaded and racked the pistol's slide back, ready to fire in around a second, and then spinning the gun around his finger.
He grinned to himself: Usually he wouldn't be that dextrous or arrogant, but the man had asked to show them what he could do. He couldn't resist showing off.
"So where do I practice? I'm a professional sniper, so unless you got a range a mile long this is child's play."
Walks over to the crate and picks up his signature .50 cal. Then takes his throwing knife out of his boot.
"now this I can practice with here."
As he says this he throws it clear across the room and sticks it between the eyes of a practice dummy.
With two of his guests already equipped and prepared, Falk turned around to press some buttons on a control panel at the wall. Human-sized targets started to pop up in two of the rows, in the right distance for the given gun in both cases. As he turned back, William had already demonstrated his proficiency with the throwing knife. Falk nodded slowly.
"Yes, of course, Mr. Cravens. We've got a sharp-shooting range on the other side of the mountain. We practically drove by it when we came here. Also, I'm sure you like to hunt, and those forests around here are full of deer and boars. But that will have to wait until after the mission."
"Go ahead,", he said, turning back to the other two again, "I'm sure we are all very interested to see how each of you does."
Waving his hand towards the shooting range, he invited Tom and Jason to try their skills. For himself, he grabbed some earmuffs and urged the other persons attending to do the same.
"After those two are done, the next ones can directly continue. So ready your weapons."
James had been quite happy to let others do the talking, as he was far to sober to think straight. Taking in everything he could, he'd been suitably impressed by the castle as they'd toured it, but now at the range his head cleared and a smile crept across his lips.
"Where's my baby?" He muttered, as he sorted through the pistol case, then finally he saw it. Sitting with all of the polymer framed semi-auto handguns, his replica S&W No. 3 looked totally out of place, and he wouldn't have it any other way. Snatching it up he checked the cylinder, before grabbing the accompanying holster. After a few practice quick draws to get the positioning right, he loaded the pistol waiting for his new teammates to show their stuff.
Steven Holst had followed along with the others also choosing to stay quiet though his ears did prick up a little when he heard of a helicopter. He knew full well that there was the place he would shine then here on the firing field.
Steven nodded silently at Falk's suggestion and slipped a pair of ear protection over his head before moving to inspect the weapon selection. Unlike the others he had nothing in particular that he was looking for as he examined the guns one by one. It took him a few seconds to identify each one as he thought back to his reasonably recent weapon training courses as he looked for identifying features and checked them against his memory.
It didn't take too long for Steven to find a gun that fitted him well enough. The Glock 18 wasn't as flashy or powerful as what most of the others were picking, but it was balanced and practical. Besides, Steven smirked as he thought, the option to switch it to full-auto fire with a flick of a switch could be useful in a pinch.
Steven checked the weapon over once, making sure the safety was engaged, before finding and holding onto a extended clip. He then turned his attention to the firing field to watch the the others
Wasting no time in practice just as he would in the field, Tom snapped the small iron sights into place and aligned his eye in an instant.
Aiming at one of the dummies, he double-tapped it's upper chest before precisely hitting the forehead.
Moving onto the next target, he repeated the trend: Two in the chest, one in the head.
With a third, he decided to practice something more tricky.
Holstering the weapon in his pocket, Tom turned around, facing the opposite direction to the card target.
Suddenly, he turned around, unholstered the weapon and aimed for the neck, squeezing a round off.
He grinned with pride as the bullet punctured the target.
He was much more likely to use his simple 2-shot strategy on missions, but he occasionally granted himself a little fun by taking out some poor fool's windpipe.
Repeating his previous neck shot technique, Tom emptied the mag and reloaded in a swift movement, before shooting the same targets, but nothing outlandish this time: just two shots to the head each until the mag was empty.
Jason whistles approvingly after watching Tom go to work on the targets.
"Looks like it's my turn, better bring my A game don't want to lose to you guys." Jason said while walking towards the course.
After walking up to the course he took his position and took a deep breath. Pointing his gun forward he took a deep breath and held his breath and fired at the targets. After unloading his clip he exhaled and relaxed from his firing position and pressed the button to move the targets towards the firing area so he could check where he hit.
Each target had two shots to the head and the rest of the shots were scattered around the targets chest area. After checking the shots something seemed to bother him and as he checked the holes in the targets he only counted 29 holes in total.
"Damn, I missed once." Jason said angrily under his breath but loud enough that everyone could hear him. He then walked to where everyone was standing and took his position to watch everyone else take their shots.
"Scooch over boys time to demonstrate some REAL firepower at close range."
As he said this he fired his .50 cal. From a standing position. Hiring the Target right in the head, it was blown off its base and fell onto the groud without its head
"on a mission just imagine that, but hit a red mist behind it. It's quite a site to see. "
"Well that's just great boys" rang out a voice from behind the group with a Northern Irish twang to it. "But you've failed to notice that someone got to the weapons first, took their pick and has now taken you all out. Now that would be a crying shame and something I'd lose absolutely no sleep over, but sadly I've been tasked with keeping you alive, meaning I just failed and lost my job because you didn't do yours." she said, stepping out from an alcove, her pistol raised but her finger well away from the trigger, her features deadpan until a smile cracked on her face showing that she was joking. "Name's Caitlyn, but you can call me Phoenix on account o' the hair an' me fiery personality. Forgive me for having read your files beforehand, lads, they've kept me cooped up in here for a couple of days now, just waiting for you lot to turn up after hoiking me away from my squad after our last deployment. I had to find something to do and it was the only reading material around."
Ignoring the usual bravado that was swimming around the firing line, James took his place. "My aim might suffer a bit here. I don't usually shoot this sober." Taking his time he put all six rounds into a 1" grouping, in the head of one of the targets at 100 yards. Hitting the catch and flicking his revolver open, he reloaded with a speed loader, before snapping it shut.
Holding the pistol at his hip he fanned the single-action 'Old West style' into a target at 50 yards, getting a 3" grouping. After ejecting the spent cartridges, he did a few 'gunfighter' twirls before holstering his pistol and stepping off the line. Smiling he, lent against the wall near Phoenix. "How do you do my dear? My name is James Novak, callsign 'Hunter', you wouldn't happen to know where I might find a bar around here would you?"
"Trying to pick up chicks Novak, guess I know why your callsign is 'Hunter'" Jason joked almost laughing to himself after saying that.
Caitlyn ignored Novak momentarily, instead pulling her safety goggles down and her earmuffs on, she took careful aim and fired four bullets towards a mannequin. Only three hit, and none in fatal places, but enough that anyone hit would be dead in a few minutes unless they got some very good medical help immediately. "I know who you are Hunter, and I'm certainly not telling you where the bar is. If there is a bar o' course, I haven't really been that interested in the facilities." her eyes flicked momentarily to Kahlil, thinking about the mishap he had that got him discharged and the smell of burned flesh mixed with kerosene. The moment passed as quickly as it came, and her eyes moved on to the others. "His callsign's Hunter because he likes moose. An awful lot." Caitlyn chided, knowing it would probably get a rise from the Canadian ex-pat.
"Hahaha, that's cold remind me not to cross you, I might not make it back alive" Jason joked while he fiddled around with his gun.
"Haha that was a good one"
William said while fiddling with his eye patch, then retrieving his knife from the other dummy
With some amusement, at least as far as one could see any real emotions on his face, Peter Falk watched the men shooting holes into the training dummies. It was always the same among people like this. They weren't just self-confident, they were sure that they were the best there were. They showed their little tricks and skills, trying to build a hierarchy already. He just hoped that they were just as good in the real action as they were at the range, or else they too would find themselves limping around.
Falk knew that the people behind the monitors of the security cameras were eagerly taking notes of everything they saw in this room. In the Colonel's opinion, no psychological examination beat something like this to make oneself a picture of a group of men. All this macho demeanour, the jokes and the big talking. It didn't just show who was good with his weapon, but so much more. Which was part of the reason why the last member of the new team hadn't joined them yet.
A fact that quickly changed now, with Caitlyn Welsh entering. For the first time, a real smile cracked on Falk's face. Her entrance had just been too perfect, exactly what the six men had needed.
"With an entrance like that, I do not believe any further introductions are needed."
But his voice was immediately drowned out by the hubbub starting now. A perfect continuation of the test. After Caitlyn showed that she would have no problems to keep up with the rest of the group, Falk took James Novak aside. The German began to speak in a hushed voice, as if he was ashamed of what he would say now:
"Mr. Novak, up in your room you will later find a refrigerator filled with beverages to your liking. If may add, against company rules and at the special request of Colonel Orson. He also told me to tell you 'not to overdo it'"
He waited a little bit, looking at Novak intently to make sure the man had understood both the privilege as well as the threat in that sentence. Turning back to the whole group then, he spoke a little louder again.
"When everyone has finished his performance, we will continue to the briefing room. The Colonel is waiting."
Tom, noting the arrival of the only female so far to enter the room, changed demenour quickly.
Instead of being outright flirtatious, he took on a more gentlemanly approach.
"Tom, Tom Fenton." He said politely, holding out his hand to shake hers. "It's a pleasure to meet you Caitlyn."
He wondered if it would surprise her; she having read his file, he assumed she thought he lived up to his callsign of 'Brutus'.
Trying to be the opposite seemed like fun.
Upon hearing what Peter had said, James smiled. "Here I was thinking I'd have to break into my emergency ration and don't worry, I may be a lush but I'm not a moron." Walking back to the gun racks, he picked up his KSG, and loaded a few shells. "The reason I'm called 'Hunter' is because once I start stalking my prey I am relentless."
After putting another tight grouping of buckshot into the chest of a target he looked at Phoenix, and smiled again. "I've never had moose, but I have bagged a couple of cougars. What I want to try for next is the rare Irish red beaver; I hear they can be a bit tricky though." Placing his shotgun back on the rack, he started to whistle 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling'.
"Hahaha, If their was ever a perfect squad this would be it. Mr. Falk whoever this 'Colonel' person is he sure picked one hell of a squad, I got to shake his hand when I meet him" Jason said with a big smile on his face as he finished inspecting his rifle.
"you do that kid. I hate officers always have."
He said looking at Jason
"Don't worry I said I'd do it and I intend on following through," Jason said while smiling
"Good thing I'm not an officer" Jason added after a pause.
"well I was originally a Marine sniper, nut I was thrown out for breaking my drill seargents jaw. The army scooped me up when they saw my accuracy. They made me promise no mote outbursts, and boom after an incident here I am."
"That's rough man, I was discharged after some C4 I placed was tinkered with by some terrorist and when I tried to detonate it it wouldn't explode. So my squadmates went to go see what was wrong and at that point they blew up my C4 with an IED of their own, killed my squadmates. I was discharged because they thought I blew them up, and here I am now." Jason said in a serious tone.
"I don't realy like to talk about the "incident" that got me discharged. Very, very bad thongs happen. I black out and run into a fire fight with a pistol and knife."
"Et tu, Brute" Caitlyn said, pleased that Fenton's 'Relatively jolly' manner had come out this way, but the humour had yet to show itself, which worried her a little. She turned back to Hunter "There's more to this Welsh lass than you know, though I'm sure you know your way around a beaver intimately from your lonely travels in the great white north." She said, making it quite clear she was talking about the animal with a smirk. "I'll also make a note to draw the curtains an' lock the doors when you're around"
James staggered back like he'd been stabbed by Cailyn's retort. "Ouch, any more barbs like that and I might need to go see the Doc." Catching a bit of William and Jason's conversation, he piped up. "So we've got a sniper with anger management issues, and a bomb tech who cut the blue wire instead of the red one...fuck I feel positively normal."