GSO: The First Mission

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"So we basically want to sneak around, find out infromation about the rebel army, and if the opportunity presents itself cap the leaders in an untraceable way." Jason said trying his best to follow everything that was being said. "You know sir if we were to steal some of the rebels guns we could use them to kill the two leaders and make it look like a coup d'état." Jason added.

"That could work." The Colonel spoke again, with a serious expression on his face. "As could, for example, a well placed explosive device, a fire, a cut throat or just an old fashioned bullet. Again, killing the leaders is just a secondary objective, but if you do it, do it right. Really, the exact way they are killed in isn't important, but it has to be deniable by both us and the Morunian government. Everything else would be bad for business."

Irina nodded in agreement with her boss. "Bad for business also means bad for you, so listen to the old man. Any more tactical input?"

Tom sat, staring at the map, thinking after hearing the Colonel's next words.
Hmmm "These houses have gas boilers right? Was just thinking, we could go in quiet-like to the building those two are in, and rig their tank to blow. No bullets, no knife wounds, just a 'tragic' gas explosion." He suggested.

James had been sitting quietly, sipping his water, and listening. Staring into the eyes of their 'client', the little voice in the back of his head kept telling him this was a potential clusterfuck waiting to happen. He began to drum the butt of his revolver with his fingers, wishing he knew what was bothering him.

"These houses have gas boilers right? Was just thinking, we could go in quiet-like to the building those two are in, and rig their tank to blow. No bullets, no knife wounds, just a 'tragic' gas explosion."

He chuckled as he heard Tom speak. "I like it. Nothing caps off a stealth operation like a thunderous and devastating explosion." Leaning forward to snag another sandwich he asked. "So, when does the fun start?"

Steven met Irina's eyes when she made her comment about a good pilot with a steady gaze. A single confident nod was the only response he offered before going back to listening to the others.

As he looked over the local topography again a thought entered his mind. "Will I be expected to accompany the team to the site, or should I stay with the vehicle in case of..." Steven's sober voice trailed off for a moment as he searched for the proper term. "rapid extraction?"

"That's the way of thinking I like!" The Colonel's voice showed his excitement and the gleam in his eyes told everyone that he would have liked to go on the mission with his team. At the other end of the table, Sven Johansson's throaty laughter was heard. "A leaking gas tank and one smoking soldier. That should work."

"It would require the targets to be in one of the bigger houses at the centre, though.", Irina interjected, "As far as we know, the farms surrounding them don't even have electricity and we know nothing about gas."

"But it doesn't seem all that unlikely that you'll find those bastards seeting up camp in the town hall or something. It's a plan, at least." The Colonel said before turning to Steven to answer his question. "Standard operating procedure is that the pilot stays with his disguised vehicle on stand by for extraction, yes. How things really go down though will depend on the situation in the field, of course."

The Colonel looked around and seemed to be content with what he had heard.

"After this briefing, you'll have to sign some paperwork with our lovely Belle here. Once that is done there is no turning back before your contract ends. Then you'll have some time for yourself, to eat, rest and make preparations. You have full allowance to use our standard facilities in his time. At 2000, the helicopter will take you to the airport, so that you will arrive in the Morunian capital early tomorrow morning. Your planned arrival in the area of operation is 0900, so use the time you have till then." He waited in silence for quite some time before speaking on. "One more thing. Consider this mission a test of your abilities. It won't be easy, but you will encounter more difficult situations in your line of work here. Do your best. So then, if there are no other questions, this meeting is over."

After the Colonel announced the end of the meeting, James stood and went over to Belle to fill out the paperwork. Finishing that, he retired to his room with the thought of a drink and a shower. Opening the door, he let out a low whistle. "I could get used to this."

After years in the army, and time as a low level GSO operator, he was used to pretty simple accommodations. While this was by no means extravagant, it was far more than he was used to. Finding his bags in a corner of the room, he dug through them until he found what he wanted, a bottle of 60 year old scotch. Placing in on the well stocked bar, he stepped back admiring the view, and sang. "A drunkards dream if I ever did see one!"

Stripping off his clothes James jumped through a shower, before doing anything else. After he got dressed he poured himself a large rye and coke, before filling his flask. Finishing the rye, he set off to find the cafeteria, and some grub.

Once the meeting ended Jason went over to Belle to do his paperwork. After he finished writing down what was needed he started to spin the pen around his fingers, one of the little amusing tricks he learned from his father. After the little trick he gave the pen back to Belle and decided to go take a look at his new room where he'll be staying at and once he opened the door he was pleased with what he saw.

Once Jason got to his room he went straight to his bed and started to stare at the ceiling. "A gas explosion huh, if I remember correctly a little spark to ignite the gas and boom. I could fix a wire to a little battery and have it give off a spark at the push of a button." Jason thought to himself. "Might as well go make it just in case." Jason said to himself, he then stood up and went to work making his little device that he may or may not use but being the explosive expert of the group he wanted to be prepared if that was what they wanted to do.

Caitlyn followed on behind Jason to do the paperwork, filling out each form in triplicate was time consuming, but it was a necessary bureaucratic nightmare. As she penned in the details and read the disclaimers absolving GSO of all responsibility for her actions on the mission and removing their liability for any injuries she may sustain while on deployment, she smirked slightly, but kept a slight frown. She had an idea that would work better than an explosion and would be easier, but it didn't exactly mesh with her interpretation of the Hippocratic Oath.

She walked out of the doors and headed down the empty hallway and out of a door onto the training grounds. She walked around various apparatus for exercises she didn't much care for and towards the forest. A little ways in, she stopped and settled against a tree, wondering why she was here with all of these soldiers. She was a doctor for crying out loud, not a paratrooper.

Jim, who had been drifting around the room yet not really interacting with anyone or anything in it, nodded to himself in response to the Colonel's latest words before wandering around a bit more and heading out to get his papers signed.

They were a little glaring. They were essentially the same sort of deal and similar to forms he filled out when signing up to any sort of PMC, but these ones seemed to repeatedly stress that GSO is not responsible for an agent's injuries, psychological trauma, lost limbs and such, the usual stuff, but it all seemed a bit more involved and had an air of the whole 'deniable operations' idea.
He got the feeling he was signing up to some really hardcore stuff, and that these new assignments would be far more dangerous than anything he had done before. Another thing that was a little jarring was his teammates seeming to jump on the idea of fragging the two assholes which would be the main objective of the upcoming assignment without a moments thought or consideration of another alternative. Whilst, as the Colonel pretty much said, they wouldn't be missed, in Jim's eyes killing them should only be seen as paramount if it were actually paramount to the mission's success. Killing them, to him, would only generate unnecessary complications.

Jim stared at the paperwork, not focusing on any text in particular while thinking things over. He then just reckoned that seeing as working for GSO got him a shitload of money, he may as well keep doing it despite any increased risk, and so he signed the paperwork, wandered around for a bit more and grabbed a coffee.

He went out and walked around the training grounds, making his way over to the forest. He simply stood at the edge of it, looking in while sipping his coffee and thinking about his new squadmembers. Who were they and what led them here, and more importantly would they hold up in the field.
Jim looked to the left and noticed one of them, the medic, a few metres into the forest. He walked up to her before stopping a few metres away and continuing to blankly stare into the forest.
"So." Jim said after another sip of coffee. "What's your story?" he asked Caitlyn.

After grabbing a bit more to eat in the cafeteria, James set off back to the firing range. Grabbing a box of .45 ammo, he walked to the firing line and began to shoot. Taking his time, and not doing anything fancy, he quickly racked up a good score on the target.

After firing his last round, James yawned and looked at his watch. "Fuck it," he said. "I'm gonna get some rack time." After cleaning up his mess at the range, he stuck his head into the armoury to ask about some special kit for his KSG. Than done he returned to his room, and promptly fell asleep.

After signing the paperwork he walked back over to the Colonol

"You have any Pool Tables here? It always helps me relax before a mission

Caitlyn didn't look up at the new arrival, and from the accent placed the speaker as American, and the cargo trousers pegged it as the gunner. "Not much of a story really, unless I'm tellin' it of me own accord. I'm a Belfast lass originally, but me mam and pap died in a car bombing, so I got shoved into the care system. I worked hard and went to med school to try and help people, to save lives, and took up an RAF deal that they fund your fees as a student if you do a number of years for 'em. Officially, I'm KIA on their register, so they couldn't even pay me air fare back home. I took some equipment and tried to take out the bastards that killed my squad, and got scooped up into this in the process." She lifted her head and looked at the compound.
"But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness. Above all, I must not play at God indeed" she snorted. "What about you? What wasn't in your file?"

"Huh. That's...rough." Jim said in response.
Caitlyn's whole story seemed pretty tragic compared to most of the people in the place. He couldn't help but wonder just how someone who initally wishes to help people ends up becoming a mercenary and becomes involved in the business of death dealing instead.
"Well, was in the Marines for a while but left it after the bullshit kept stacking up, along with the number of my friends getting killed for no reason. So I left, joined a PMC and was doing pretty good for the first time in a long time, and eventually everything just sorta led me here."
Jim said, while wondering just how much info about him was in his file.
"So, you in on the mission?" He asked. "It should be pretty eventful."

The Colonel looked at William for a long second before shaking his head.

"Sadly, no, Mr. Cravens. In our little lounge on the second floor we've got a dartboard, one of my favourite pastimes, and Peter and Sven are always looking for someone to play table football, or soccer or whatever you call it in America, with. But no pool table. Those things take up quite a lot of space and we never had a request for one yet. Maybe I'll be able to organise one for the future."

"I would be more than happy to pay for it if you could supply it sir. So in my down time I was told I could hunt. Do we have any rifles I could use since using mine would blow all the good meat away. And I like to cook a good deer steak. If u would like sometime I could make one for you sir."

"I'm sure Peter, I mean Mr. Falk, has a hunting rifle he could give you. I know he likes to hunt himself. And I'd certainly like to eat one of your steaks. Maybe we'll all be able to eat together sometime between some missions, the whole team." The Colonel took William by the shoulder and gave the soldier a friendly pat. "And no talking about paying anything. I pay for what my men need."

The last sentence earned him another sharp look from Anabelle Duval, who still sat at the table with some paperwork. With a snort, she shook her head and returned to her work.

"Look at it this way. If I don't come, one of you is going to get shot, and they will die. If I do come, then someone will get shot, and they might not die. I'm not here to kill any rebels, I'm here to ensure no-one else dies." Caitlyn said."There would be a lot more hurt in this world if they found one of your bodies. Sometimes you just have to amputate the foot to save the leg." she continued in a monotone. "But enough mopeyness, of course I'm in, someone has to be around to keep Hunter's head from getting too big. Maybe a prescription for some Amobarbital or some other barbiturate might help." she joked, knowing that barbiturates and alcohol would be a bad idea, and heavy duty sedatives shouldn't be given to borderline alcoholics in a million years.

Waiting for the others to do their business and move on, Steven finally stood up and walked over to Belle. Finishing the paperwork was straightforward and simple enough.

Having finished he made his way over to where Cravens and The Colonel were chatting amiably enough.

"Sorry to interrupt." The statement was simple and to the point, more formality then genuine apology. "But if possible I would like some information on the make of helicopter I'll be flying as soon as possible. It is not necessary, but would be appreciated." Steven's speech and eyes were totally directed at The Colonel, almost ignoring Cravens entirely.

Filling out his paperwork quickly, Tom retired to his room.
The journey to Headquarters had been tiring, so after a 15 minute weightlifting session, he leapt on his luxury sofa with a content grin, and started a nap.

As soon as Steven had interrupted his little chat with William Cravens, the Colonel seemed to completely forget about the sniper. Business always came first, especially if it was an important point like this. Without another word and only a sharp nod, he ended his conversation with William and gave his fullest attention to the pilot who soon would be responsible for the safety of his men.

"Right, of course. We've got a Eurocopter Dauphin stationed here at the castle. It is a completely civilian version, everything else would call too much attention to us. We usually just use it for transport in the closer area, mostly between here and the airport. I'll let Mr. Falk lead you to the helipad so that you can inspect your vehicle."

With a wave of his hand, Colonel Orson signalled the German ex-military to join Steven and him and then continued to speak while Falk came.

"According to plan, our eastern Europe office will provide a helicopter of the same type in Morunia, this one however with light armaments. When you arrive with the team in the Morunian capital, it should be fuelled and ready for take-off. Peter, would you show Mr. Holst the helicopter."

Falk just responded with one of his characteristic short nods and told Steven to follow him. The way from the briefing room to the helipad wasn't far, but contained more than just one set of stairs. The helicopter stood on what would have been a small bastion at the corner of the outer wall of the castle, directly above the valley. It was a relatively new vehicle and seemed to be in good condition. The Dauphin, with its characteristic, short snout and the broad body ending in the casing of the tail rotor, was painted in a dark blue.

"Eurocopter AS 365 N3, twin-engine, fenestron tail rotor.", Falk announced, "Not the kind of chopper I would prefer to ride into war, but a good machine. 306km/h max and a range of aabout 800 kilometres."

Jim laughed softly in response to Caitlyn's statement about prescribing drugs to Hunter, to 'stop his head from getting too big' before speaking up again. "Well, its good to know we have something less of a chance of dying in the field now at least. I might as well go get ready and stuff. Cya around."
Jim walked back to the base in a somewhat uncoordinated fashion, due to his tiredness, then proceeded to his room and decided against getting ready, and simply laid on the bed and went to sleep.

At exactly 2000 the Colonel watched the team assemble on the helipad. He spoke a few hushed words to Falk, who stood to his left. Falk nodded and then went back into the castle and the Colonel turned to the team:

"I see everyone is ready to go. I hope you all are ready for what is waiting for you. The flight won't be very long, about three hours to Morunia. At both airports, everything should be prepared for you. This will be your first mission under my command. I want you to make sure it isn't your last. Remember, the primary objective is to assess the strength of the rebel forces in Banicze. Numbers, weapons, structures. The secondary objective is to eliminate the rebels' leaders, Alexandrow and Zakov. This operation has to stay deniable, further steps on the secondary objective have to be cleared with your commander." He stopped and looked at every single one of them again. "Good luck."

With that he stepped out of the way, his hands crossed behind his back, to allow the team boarding the helicopter, nodding at each of them as they walked by.

"If I needed luck, I wouldn't be on this team" Caitlyn remarked as she filed into the chopper, climbing into the seat furthest from the door and sitting down to strap in. She mulled over her idea of how she would take care of the situation were she making the plans and didn't have morals, but kept her tongue to preserve the rapport everyone had started to get going. She figured that a team that trusts each other would probably be better than a bunch of idiots bickering.

"Be nice" James joked as he boarded behind Caitlyn. "The good Colonel is paying us great sums of money after all." Giving her a wink, he slid into the seat across from her, pulling a set of ear buds from his vest.

"First mission time! Can't let the colonel down on the first mission so I can guarantee that we will succeed in this mission!" Jason said very excitedly to whoever was listening. He then boarded the helicopter and took his seat still smiling from the excitement of going on his first mission with his new squad. After taking his seat Jason reached into his pocket and pulled out his little battery spark invention that he made, it wasn't fancy but if they needed to use it, it could blow up a gas boiler if put on right. He then put his little invention back in his pocket and sat back in his seat getting mentally prepared for the mission.

William boarded the helicopter quietly and took a seat by Jason, pulls out and packs a can of Grizzly dipping tabacco and puts a pinch in his lip, he then offers the can the the rest of the squad

For what seemed the twentieth time Steven fidgeted making sure that his grip gloves were tight around the wrist as he saw the others climb into the transport.

Giving a quick nod to the Colonel he also walked forward and stepped up into the helicopter. However, instead of getting into the back with the others he stepped into the forward cockpit and strapped himself into the pilot's seat.

With a quick practiced motion he put on his custom flight helmet and affixed a small plug that would allow it's internal mic to operate through the helicopter's intercom.

"Alright, forget all about the shooting range. Now I will show you what I can do." He intoned dryly as he started the pre-flight checks.

"YO Holst!" Jason called from the back of the helicopter. "Make sure you don't kill us, if my parents are going to get one of those sappy 'your son has died' letters I want the letter to say I went down like a badass not he died because of a helicopter crash." Jason said jokingly trying to raise everyones spirits before the mission.

With the rest of the team loaded in Steven quickly finished the startup. "Of course not." He responded to Jason's comment, "I need to earn the first of many steaks." He said referencing the previous conversation. With that the helicopter leaped up into the air.

-------------------------------------------------

Some time and two vehicle changes later the team was now in a different but similar helicopter that easily flew along near the almost sheer cliffs of a long valley.

The flight itself wasn't very challenging yet, and Steven thrilled at the chopper's responsiveness. At his previous site he had often been using older or smaller craft, and it was a joy to feel the power of this machine.

Not getting too wrapped up though, Steven was still paying attention. Checking his charts and interments an extra time left no doubt; they were getting close.

Steven looked about inspecting the valley as he dipped down slightly. The sides were steep and heavily wooded, but the bottom was mostly clear. The sides were far enough that there would be plenty of space to put the bird down; if the winds were higher it might be tricky, but they were pretty light now and the landing should be easy enough.

Steven thumbed the intercom and spoke to the others. "Prepare to hit dirt. We're here."

With that, he began to lower the vehicle again, slowing the decent as it dropped lower and lower. Soon the landing gear was only a few inches from the ground. Then a second later, and a slight bump, and the helicopter was solidly on the ground.

Steven began working the controls, beginning to set the helicopter into standby mode. The near constant whine of the engine died away and the rotters began to slow, though they were still moving quite fast.

As he worked Steven talked to the others. "All right. So now it's time for you guys to do your part. Blanicze is still about 3 kilometres that way." He said motioning towards the north-east. "Get through the forest and do what you have to."

During the whole flight, Sven Johansson had been quiet and calm, keeping out of everyone else's business and only talking when someone asked him. Despite his seeming calmness, it looked like he was praying the last few minutes before they arrived. Now that the helicopter had landed though, the blonde giant flashed into action without losing time. Quickly he checked his handheld GPS device for their position, grunting contentedly.

"Good job, Rollcage. Send a message to the Colonell, we've arrived and are moving out. We should reach our destination in four to five hours. Watch out, keep radio contact and be ready for rapid extraction."

After these last words to the pilot, Viking took his small backpack and his G36 rifle with underbarrel grenade launcher and jumped out of the helicopter. With his stature he had to duck even deeper than most men under the still moving rotor. He didn't stop moving until he reached the edge of the near forest. There he waited, scanning the environment with his eyes and already plotting a route through the valley.

"30 kilometres, you heard it.", Viking said as soon as the whole team had joined him, "This will be quite a walk. Keep an eye on the environment."

James, who'd been asleep for most of the flight, snapped awake as the chopper touched down. Grabbing his KSG he made his way quickly to the tree line with Viking. "Ahh, such a lovely day for a stroll in the woods."

"You gotta be shitting me"

He sighed as he putin another pinch of grizzly

"30 fucking killometers? *spits* Oh well as soon as we get home I'm sleeping all the way until the next mission *spits*"

Steven nodded and quickly relayed the message quickly and cleanly. However, something else he head had bothered him.

Quickly activating the com, he called out to the team that was assembling by the forest. "Hey. Are you sure you heard me right? Distance to target should be about 3 kilometers, not 30. Repeat, 3 kilometers."

Now that the helicopter had finished powering down Steven checked his own gun. A small compact submachine gun. It was incredibly unlikely that any patrols would come out this far, but being careless was a good way to get killed.

Soon after, the team disappeared into the forest. The environment was lush and green, with leaf trees and conifers, but only little undergrowth in their way, which made the walk considerably easier. Viking lead the group in a constant north-east direction, regularly checking his satellite map. Despite his size, the norseman was able to move silently, a low rustling of the leaves on the ground the only sound his steps made. Soon they had to leave the valley and followed something like a deer trail up the hills.

A few hours later they were still in the forest, but now their way led slightly downhill. In front of them, their own path now crossed the forest road they had seen on the satellite image.

"We don't know whether they've got patrols on this road. We'll move parallel to it, in a safe distance. Spread out, from now on we've got to be careful."

With the simple road in sight to their right, they continued their way. Viking's cautiousness seemed to be unnecessary, as they didn't spot a single human body on the road. According to the map, they had nearly reached their destination. The closer they came to the border of the forest, the more the bushes and undergrowth provided cover.

Everything in the forest seemed to be normal, only a lack of animal life was noticeable, but maybe the deer and foxes just didn't show themselves to the intruders in their realm. The GSO team had nearly reached the border of the forest from where they would be able to watch the village. But directly in front of them, between two trees, short above ground and nearly invisible to the human eye, a suspicious string crossed their way.

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